Altig Orlovic Agencies with American Income Life

Phil’s Memo 6/6/2012

Being able to touch so many people through my business and make money while doing it, is an incredible blessing.                                                                                              

–Magic Johnson

May results won’t be out until this weekend, but AIL has published some preliminary numbers. 22% increase last month with Year-to-Date moving up to 17.6%.  Agent count is up 22% last month. Is it a coincidence that agent count and production are both up 22%?  I don’t think so. That’s good news and that’s bad news. Here’s the bad news. If your agent count did not go up, your sales (and income) probably aren’t moving too much as well. Good news, is that if it did go up, your sales and income probably went up or are about to go up. More good news. There is no limit to the amount of new agents and new income you can hire.

And that’s why we measure First Six Month Agent production, and not total ALP. It is like having a crystal ball. If your new agent production is increasing, you total production will increase. If it is not increasing, your total production will decrease. Yes, I’m interested in what production is now, but I’m more interested in what it will be in 3 to 6 months. If it’s great now but is about to dive; or if it’s low now but about to take off – I want to know what direction you’re going. After two games, the Spurs and Heat thought they were doing pretty good. But the Celtics and Thunder were turning it around. I want to know where it’s going, not where it’s been.

Quality is also heading up. 4 month retention (that’s the total policies in effect 4 months after the sale) is up to 73.6%. That’s after cancels, declines, NTO’s, and Withdrawns and being on the books for 4 months. Some of that is laptop. But a bunch of it is everyone focused in on the effort. When I meet with agents that are getting disappointing renewal results, about 98% of the time I can trace it to quality. At AIL, you really get three paychecks (if you’ve been here any length): An advance, a bonus and a renewal check. When you turn in a bunch of bad business, you might get an advance up front, but what you are really doing is trading one paycheck (your advance) and giving up two (your bonus and renewal). You want three paychecks, not one. Trading an advance for your bonuses and renewals is a really short-term fix. 100% of the time it’s a bad deal, past that first week.

We’re looking at “Yes” companies. Starbucks hits you with 5 reasons they give you to say “Yes.” Their strategy is by giving you more than one reason, something will resonate with you. So far we’ve looked at 1. Create an experience. 2. Create Community. 3. Have that community focus in on higher goals than just themselves.

#4. They have stringent guidelines for product handling. Their coffee team samples more than 250,000 cups of coffee per day! Getting the consistency and quality that Starbuck’s drinkers expect does not come without very intentional efforts. And think about this:  Unlike our business, where the guidelines for quality are relatively measurable, coffee quality is a bit subjective and cannot be tested or determined by anything mechanical. They put whatever resources necessary to make sure the quality is consistently good.

#5. Finally, they are passionate about people. Not coffee. Not profits. People. Because almost every organization’s success is determined by the quality of its people. You can hand someone the best cup of coffee in the world, but if the person behind the counter does not connect with the customer, it probably won’t matter. I recently read where the restaurant that had built a national reputation for denigrating its customers just went out of business this month.  They had intentionally created a restaurant that would insult and harass the customers for sport. It worked for a while, but the novelty eventually wore off. Everyone ultimately likes to be made to feel good about themselves.

So where does this all tie into your business? To see what other winners are doing is interesting, but unless it is applied, it’s just academic. It does carry over directly. Do you aim to create an experience working for your agency or are people just going to a job? How do you create an experience? That is different for every leader and every office. But it does include some common factors. Great weekly meetings; keep it a little unpredictable. An office that is professional, yet comfortable. You don’t have to break the bank.  Having it clean, organized, and tastefully furnished is a good start.

Creating community. Do you do this in your agency? It is one of the primary jobs as a leader. Do you have opportunities for your agents to mix, to meet outside of the office? If you’re not great at this, find someone in your agency that is. And what about taking on a charitable case? One night a month in the Union Gospel Mission, as a team, whoever can make it. Taking on a kid that needs help and pitching in. You don’t have to solve world hunger; find a cause that the whole office can get behind; keep everybody up on what you’re doing. Life isn’t all just about us. How about quality?  Am I talking about retention?  Yes, but don’t limit it at that. How about training quality? Do you have people that assure everyone gets the training and ride-alongs they need? Inspect what you expect. Sounds like a cliché but it is true.

And like Starbucks, are you passionate about people? I’ll make a bold statement here. Hope this doesn’t chase you off, but you probably wouldn’t be successful anyway: If you don’t like people, your chances of making it in this business are almost nil. Starbucks wants both their employees and customers to love Starbucks. And they do, although most Starbucks jobs pay $8 or $9 an hour, with not a ton of advancement opportunity, but you regularly see them as one of the favorite companies to work for. They provide a lot of recognition and a positive working environment, to make up for it. Why don’t we give them BOTH. A great paying position with incredible advancement opportunity and AND a lot of recognition, challenge and positive working environment. Next week we’ll look at Nordstrom. Maybe I’ll have to stop in there this weekend to sample the experience.

Top Territory. Washington State. Nick has got the place rockin’. I’m sitting about 50 feet from the lobby, so I can feel the vibrations. $41,765 in new agent production. Most of their production came from tenured business (that’s important too), but we’re focusing on growth.  24.4% closing at $886 a sale.  Redmond had $30,000 in total ALP. Renton, $18,000 at 28% closing, Lynnwood $17,000 and 32% closing, Tacoma, $11,000, over $1,000 a sale.  Olympia and Spokane were on their heels.

#2. Hawaii. #34,839. Their new agents averaged $1,124 ALP per sale. Interestingly, the tenured agents were a bit below that.  It’s primarily a matter of the value you see.  1,100 referrals overall. The vast majority of their sales are from referrals. Diamond Head is their top office this week: $9,017 in new agent production. Catherine Minor is a savvy leader and she’s really hitting her stride.

And then there is a bunch. Around $20,000 in new agent production. California. $21,098 in new office production. They’ve got 32 coded agents and all 32 wrote, so that’s efficiency.

Virginia. $20,970. They’re selling a broad spectrum of leads. Four offices, all four top $10,000.

Minnesota $19,175 in new agent production. Edina is one of the largest offices in the country with over $24,000 in ALP. Manitoba. $18,654. British Columbia.  $18,557.

We always have great personal performances; once in a while I, if I have room, I’ll pull them and publish it. Best week belonged to Steve Stensrud. 23 set, 16 sits and 7 sales for $11,089. Now, unless you close almost 50% at $1,500 a sale – don’t try that at home. Most people need 30 appointments to get those kind of results. Evan Wicklund. 26 sets, 19 presentations and 12 sales for $10,592. Daniel Toshner. 7 sales, $9,369. Ryan Kendl. The best closer in the company: $7,702. Todd Engelson.One of Altig’s best: $6,740, Tran Ho. 36 appointments, 18 presentations, 7 sales, $6,694, Mark Neison. $6,570. A bunch hovering around $6,000.

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This entry was posted on June 9, 2012 by in Phil Folkertsma.
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