Altig Orlovic Agencies with American Income Life

Phil’s Memo 1/14/13

Phil_bio_pageIf you come in second, you’re the first loser.    –Tiger Woods.                                                                                     

It is a sad, sad day. If I sound a little depressed today, have some empathy. The Seattle Seahawks were seconds away from pulling off the greatest win in playoff history, when….you know the rest. Yes, the Falcons kicked a field goal with 8 seconds remaining and that was that. Tragic. Devastating. Those were among several strong terms being blogged after the game.

Rather than eat this as a complete and total loss, I’ll review the case and come up with what we can get out of it to try make us better.

1.   It ain’t over until it’s over. You’ve got to push it through to the last minute.  59 1/2 minutes often isn’t enough. And that’s how it is in many parts of life and our business. Those last couple appointments, those last few contacts or resumes is what determines the difference between success and failure.

2.   Redemption is a powerful facet of life. The Atlanta Falcon’s team was made up of under-achievers,  almost-made-it’s, and guys that have come close.  Coach Mike Smith and quarterback Matt Ryan had never won a playoff game before, choking badly their past several times. Even Hall-of-Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez had never won a playoff game in his illustrious career. And now they had blown it again. A 20 point lead in the fourth quarter was squandered. But life doesn’t care where you’ve been but where you are going. I don’t care if you’ve blown it 10 times, you’ve tried and failed, or no one expects you to succeed. Everyone had pretty well written off the Falcons as well.

I want to press on this one a little further. Everyone is gushing about the incredible job that Pete Carroll, the coach of the Seahawks has done the past couple of years since he was hired. Last year, they squeezed into the playoffs, after a couple off years, and this year, they started to look dominant, even being picked by some as a Super Bowl favorite. Did you know that the Jets fired Pete Carroll in 1994? And the Patriots fired him in 1999. He almost didn’t get another chance. The entire team is a bunch of misfits. A quarterback that is WAY too short. One cornerback was rejected by the NFL and was playing in Canada. Not that there anything wrong with that, by the way.  Great country. The other cornerback, a Pro Bowler this year, was the 154th pick in the NFL draft a year ago. That’ll make you feel special. I don’t know where you’ve been or come from. Maybe you were laid off.  Maybe someone said you weren’t qualified, educated, smart enough, strong enough. When you come into this organization, you get the same opportunity as anyone else to make a great career and pursue the goals and aspirations you have for your life, not someone else’s.

3.   As your organization’s leader, you create the environment that determines your team’s success. First that means you get the right people on board.   Saturday, Sporting News interviewed Carroll to find out how he does it. He says he looks for people that have three things:  Passion. Potential. And a determination to make good on an opportunity; Carroll believes he can recognize this trait.  And he never sits still; he is constantly delivering a message.   His doubters didn’t think his “Rah Rah” style would work in the NFL. But his players feed off of his energy and draw from his experience. He ended his talk with the statement. I just want to compete and win.

ABC. Altig Business Conference. I’ll give you the fly-by over the next few weeks. It started off with Ilija Orlovic, our CEO.  Actually, it started off with the UNLV cheerleaders, but I digress.

Interestingly, his message was almost identical to Pete Carroll’s  Their philosophies line up as well. Compete, compete, compete. Pete Carroll opens up every position to competition. He had in fact brought in a high-priced new quarterback at the beginning of the year but kept the position in competition and the too-short rookie took it.

Start with hiring. Make sure it is a competitive environment. The kind of people we want in our company love to compete so set the tone early. If someone doesn’t like to compete, they probably aren’t going to do well in our environment anyway. Remind them that if we say “Yes” to them, we’re probably saying “No” to somebody else.

And keep your agency competitiveWhen’s the last time you held an agency contest?  You don’t have to offer a new car for a prize. Keep your eye out for cool things that would motivate people.  A friend of mine left on a 5 day Caribbean cruise yesterday on Carnival Cruises.  He and his wife paid $285 apiece.   Think that won’t motivate an organization. I buy all my nieces Christmas presents and usually put a $25 cap on things. A fitness watch, a mini-popcorn maker, use your imagination.   Torchmark stock is at $53 per share.   Print up a cool certificate and buy someone a share for being the best at something.  A travelling trophy. Make it so big and gaudy that everybody would want it in their office for the week or month. Keep it COMPETITIVE.

Speaking of Contest. We are going to help you for your first one of 2013. It’s called the BLAST OFF and starts January 22 through February 18th. We are emphasizing personal growth and personal development and so it will measure personal production and personal recruiting. All our top leaders are strong personal producers and many of our top people were personally recruited, so you will be laying the groundwork for future success through this contest. Eric Zackula will fill you in on all the details this week.

2013 is off to a strong start. If you don’t have your agency at full-speed, time is a-wastin’. Five territories already are over the $20,000 new agent production minimum and a sixth is a sliver away.

Washington state busts loose. $34,713. They are hitting POS hard, but selling every kind of lead. They also lead the company in Total ALP, no surprise there. $87,000 on 30% closing and $906 per sale. They’ve got 5 offices going, with Redmond leading the way with $42,000.  Lynnwood is in second place with $24,000. Great job Nick and Hunter.

Nevada continues to grow. $27,486. They sold at least three of every kind of lead as well.  Response cards, referrals, POS and Child Safe. People sometimes ask me, what the best lead is. The best answer is, “The one in your hand” but referrals and POS are your strongest closers.

Utah is coming on strong. $24,938. They closed a whopping 34%, or better than one out of 3.  Salt Lake City wrote $21,300 in ALP and Salt Lake City North $13,700. Patrick Stenglein, along with Patrick Rieger and Trevor Mayer lead the charge there.

Alberta. I could see them roaring back a couple months ago already. $24,332. They took home a lot of the hardware for recruiting at ABC and most of that came from the momentum they were gaining at the end of the year, so look for them to keep on growing. Melinda Rae Lyse and John McGrath both have sizeable agencies in that province.

Hawaii. $20,290. It was great seeing the whole delegation in Las Vegas. One speaker said, “Hire people you like to work with,” and I can honestly say I like working with ALL the Hawaiian leadership team.   They are, to a person, incredible people as well as producers.   Their total production is a bit behind their incredible 2012 performance, but activity now is up so ALP will follow.


One sale away from the $20,000 standard:  Virginia.    A solid $56,000 effort overall, with all four offices coming in strong.   Richmond led the way with $20,000.

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This entry was posted on January 16, 2013 by in Phil Folkertsma.
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