Altig Orlovic Agencies with American Income Life

Phil’s Memo 1/23/2013

Phil_bio_pageIt is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.    –Benjamin Franklin                                                                                             

I try to find something every week that’ll make us all better. Today’s insight is from a guy named Richard Catalano. Dr. Catalano is a one of those uber-smart guys that you pay $500 an hour to talk to. He is the Director of the Social Development Research Group at the University of Washington. The group started with 2 guys and they now have 20 full-time researchers and 50 staffers. They work primarily on issues such as academic failure, teen pregnancy, substance abuse and violence.  But why have they experienced such explosive growth? Because what they have developed not only works but is one of the most successful solutions in the world.

I’ve nly had an opportunity to talk to a few $500-per-hour guys in my life and here’s what I’ve concluded. They’re almost always worth every penny. So when he offered to sit down and divulge what he’s learned over the years, I had my pen ready. He had unlocked the key to many of the hazards people face in life; maybe he could give us some insight on our business, which like every other, has some pitfalls.

Here’s his secret: Over the past 40 years, since the 1970’s and 80’s, all our focus and efforts have been on rehabilitation. Something bad happens; how do we fit it or make it better. He tested 24 programs and all of them emphasized recovery, recuperation, revitalization or restoration. And none of them was terribly successful.

Through the process of elimination, the research team, stationed around the world all simultaneously discovered the answer and here it is, in a single word: Prevention. Yes, that is what seemed to work the most effectively almost every single time. Don’t let it happen in the first place. Match up resources and needs, strengths and weaknesses. The health and welfare issue of young single moms followed children all the way into school and beyond.  The solution:  Assign a family nurse that works with these young mother from the early stages of their pregnancy through the first two years.  Many of the challenges never made their way into the child’s life because they were shadowed by a trained professional. When they added up the cost, it turns out they were saving $3 in actual costs for every $1 they were spending on prevention.

How does that relate to your business? Some applications are obvious. Have every new hire directly mentored by a successful trainer. Don’t wait until the agent struggles and loses his or her confidence or become jaded. Have quality control measures in place so you don’t have to fix someone that’s lost bonuses or had to go off advance for too much bad business. Check in early to see whether the agent is en route to a 20-presentation week. If you wait until the second half of the week it may be too late to catch up. Anywhere your agency has a challenge, stave it off before it even has a chance to start.  Rehabilitation and restoration are much, much more difficult. Set up systems to make sure positive things happen on the front end so you spend less time dealing with problems on the back. There, $500 worth of expert counsel and it didn’t cost either of us anything

At ABC, Ilija led us through John Maxwell’s Law of the Price Tag. And that is really what we are talking about here. The law of the price tag says that EVERYBODY pays the price. The only question is whether you pay up front or later. And like Dr. Catalano scientifically proved, it costs you about three times more to fix it later. Is it easy? NO. I know that capitalizing a word is like shouting it, but that’s what I intended to do.   In fact, Maxwell pointed out, “The road to success is all uphill.”     And the price actually compounds if it is not paid early. Our human nature pushes us to procrastinate.  But the trade off is immediate gratification for significance.

That’s why, when you start, you should do MORE presentations than standard. There sometimes is a tendency for people starting out to get discouraged because they aren’t good yet. So they’ll do fewer presentations. That shouldn’t be a surprise; you’re never good at anything you just started. If you’re in your first 3 months, do 23 or 25 presentations in a week.  If it takes 200 presentations to become proficient, by doing 25 presentations you’ll be good in 8 weeks. That’s less than two months. On the other hand, if you only do 10 presentations a week, it’ll take you 20 weeks to get good.   20 weeks!  Yea, that’s almost 5 months. By then a lot of people give up. But 8 weeks to get good at something?  Almost everybody can do that. Invest up front. Prevent the frustration of doing something you’re not good at for 5 months.

Several more examples of this principle were highlighted at ABC: “Sales is killing the objection before it happens.” Wow. That spins your mindset from defense to offense. These principles are true in almost all of life; that’s why it is so important that they hit home. Prevent bad things happening before they even have a chance to start.

How do make sure 2013 turns out to be life-changing for you? Jumping out the gate is the prevention here.   Five states and provinces are getting a good jump on the year. Here they are:

Washington State. $29,169 in First Six Month Agent ALP. But here’s what I like even better. They turned in over 1,000 referrals. That prevents a shortage of resources over the long term. Can you get too many referrals?  Impossible. More just gives you more possibilities of getting more great clients to visit or hire more agents to your agency.   They’re turning in more than $100,000 of ALP a week, so that just shows how having a strong pipeline of new agents translates into overall agency health.   30% closing and $990 ALP per sale. So 10 presentations gives them 3 sales and 3 sales gives them $3,000 in  ALP. I love easy math.  20 presentations then would give you….Yes! 6 sales. and 6 sales is $6,000 in ALP. But it all starts with 20 presentations.

Alberta. $22,255. They are proof of how quickly you can take your territory to the top echelons of performance.  They are at #2 this week. Alberta is selling every kind of lead but more referrals than anything else. They climbed over $50,000 as well, but they pushed new agent production and the whole province moved up. The province averaged $2,400 ALP per agent across the board. They also had 21 writing agents out of 22 coded. That means everybody is focused. John McGrath’s MGA-ship led not only the province but the whole country with $30,700 in ALP.

#3.  Virginia.  $21,607 Their new agents are already 1 of 4 closing. They’re one of the best at Child Safe but do all types of leads well. I love what Ryan Tucker is doing here:  $20,500 just out of his MGA-ship.  They’ve got 43 total coded agents so when all of them hit the field and go into production mode, watch out.

#4.  Utah with $20,495. This is a pretty new agency but they’re already averaging $3,200 in ALP per agent.  32% closing and over $1,100 for every sale so they are doing it right. Salt Lake City led by Patrick Rieger and RVP Patrick Stenglein wrote $15,400. Trevor Mayer and Nick Lorence are a close second with $13,300 in Salt Lake City North.

Nevada gets honorable mention topping $19,000.  At over $1,000 a sale, they are within a sale of $20,000 in New Agent Production.

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This entry was posted on January 24, 2013 by in Phil Folkertsma.
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