Altig Orlovic Agencies with American Income Life

Phil’s Memo 5/7/2013

Phil_bio_pageThe company is more important than the price.  It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.                            -Warren Buffett

April is in the books.   Can you feel the momentum!  We started off the year a bit rocky.  $1.4 million in January, to be exact.   By February, we’re usually humming again and we hit $1.7M.  March is usually a good month and we hit $1.8M.   April is a little shorter month, and generally level or a tick down, but Altig came in at almost $2.0 million for the month.   So, $1.4, $1.7, $1.8, and now almost $2.0 million for the month.   Let’s blow past $2 million in May.

Some people like to compare sales to the same month last year.  Most companies do.  But I feel like we should look at the prior month.   We roll into May with the exact number of agents, and exact same level that we left April 2013.   And we should build on that.  In our business, what happened in May of 2012 can be pretty irrelevant.   You may have had a fantastic year and promoted several great leaders, so May 2012 looked like a very different agency.  Or you may have lost a couple key people last fall, for example.    May 2012 might be a good benchmark, but I want you also to look at right here, right now.  Where were you April 30, 2013?   In May you should beat it.  How much?   I like to put the baseline at 10%.  If your MGA-ship wrote $20K in April, then you should write $22,000 in May.   If you wrote $50,000, work it up to $55,000.   That’s very slow, steady growth.

So if you started with $20,000 Net ALP and increased your agency 10% a month.  How much would you write 12 months from now?   What do ya think?   The correct answer is $63,000.   Yes, just adding one person, turning one or two guys around in a month can have that kind of effect on your business if you do it regularly and consistently.   Shoot higher than you want to land; gravity has it’s affects.   But do it every month and you will build an empire.

So last week, we looked at Drop-By’s.  This is the way North America does business in the 21st century.   No more waiting around until your phone call connects with their schedule and then hoping they remember, or something doesn’t come up.   This is important stuff that every family needs to work through.   Whether you’re a son, a daughter, a father, a mother, a husband, a wife.   There is a percentage of the population that no longer qualifies for our product.  Some of them waited too long already.  And there’s about 1% of the population that doesn’t need our product.   There were May Day protests against them last week.   But everyone else has to make a decision.  Not making a decision is a decision.   Think that thru a second.

So how effective is a drop by?  We don’t want to do something that doesn’t solve the problem.  So our Field Operations Managers have been tracking themselves.  What is their success rate on a Drop-by?  50%.   Yes, it may take slightly more work to finally sit in front of the person, but when we do, we know that 50% of the people we meet with say, “Yes!”

The reality, is that they are doing the same amount of work.  You still have to get together with a prospective client and you still have to make a good presentation.   On a Drop-by, you just do the work upfront.   Once you’ve completed the upfront work,  the rest becomes easier.   That’s why drop-by’s work for builders; process people.  They like to systematically work through a process, and are patient to build something worthwhile.   They know that the reward is coming:  A great environment to do a presentation.  Drop-by’s drive your “Instant Gratification” people nuts.  They’re not good at waiting for rewards.  If one or two people aren’t home, their frustration does them in.  No. Know that over time, as you master the skill, your drop-by’s will actually close better than most appointments.   So in the end, you’ll most likely need to do fewer presentations because the ones that you do are rock solid.   You have to work your way up to that level, but know that you are adding a valuable tool to your professional tool belt.

Torchmark’s largest shareholder joined Twitter this past week.   He just joined twitter?  Finally.  But this isn’t just any investor.  It is Warren Buffet, considered the greatest investor of our generation.  This week, thousands of the best, richest and brightest financial minds in the country descended on Omaha, Nebraska for the annual shareholders meeting.

He’s bullish on Torchmark.  Someone once asked him what his favorite holding period for a stock is and he didn’t hesitate a second: ” Forever,” he said.  Because if you’ve got a good company with good leadership and a good plan, you should never have to sell it.

Buffet’s investment company, Berkshire Hathaway beat the market again in first quarter of 2013; the company is again bumping up against record-high share prices.   You want to buy 1 share (that’s one share) of Berkshire stock?  That’ll cost you about $160,000.   They started the year at $140,000 a share so you do the math.  $20,000/$140,000 or 14% over 4 months.   That’s on pace for over 40% this year.   Past 12 months, they are up 32%, so Buffet is picking up steam.  Warren took a little time off in 2012 to take on and heal from a bout with cancer but he’s back in the saddle.   They made a “disappointing” $24.1 billion in 2012 and he has said he won’t let it happen again (tongue in cheek).

Torchmark is on the cutting edge of Berkshire Hathaway’s growth.   They started the year at $52/share and are sitting at $62/share as of this writing.  A $10 gain is +19% for the 4 months of 2013.  That’s an annualized rate of +57%.   Their actual 1 year return is still over 30%, so they are trending upward.  You know somewhere else that has this kind of stability, this kind of track record, that is giving you a 30% a year return?  I can’t predict the future but I can tell you that you are working for a winner.

So Warren’s on twitter.  59,000 people jumped on his account in the first hour.  What is Buffett saying?  Well he had just written an article on…men making sure that women succeed in the workplace.   The pay differential in the US is 23% (women make 23% less than men for the same work) and that needs to be corrected.  Women shouldn’t wait for the guys but we as a country are wasting too much talent and too much potential.   Be deliberate about it.  I know at Altig, women have gifts and capabilities in the client’s home, in the office, and in the boardroom that guys just don’t have.  You have received your mission.

The opportunity in the Altig environment is that all contracts, all commission scales, all resources are completely equal.   We don’t care if you are man, woman, single, married, straight, gay, whatever.  You are welcome here; we know that we need you.  We know that we need all of us, because we all bring something different. Talent is a terrible thing to waste.  Life is incredibly valuable, breath is a deep mystery, and you are a miracle.   If you don’t understand that, you have never been in a delivery room or held the hand of a dying person.  Next week we’ll sit in his annual meeting and see where he thinks we’re all going.

Top Regions.  Quickly this week. 

#1.  Washington.  $30,638 in ALP from new Agents.  $147,00 in Total ALP.  That’s heady.  52 writing agents turning in $2,800 apiece.  They closed 25% at $1,001 ALP per sale; great!  The offices with the most presentations led the company.  It was almost a 1 to 1 ratio.

#2.  California.  $29,446.  Josh Olin and Nick Lorence have jumped in so watch out.  Levi Sterns has just launched the new Chico office in that state.  It will soon all be ours.

#3.  Hawaii.  $26,363.   Both Washington and Hawaii brought in over 1,300 new referrals this week.  Blake Higuchi, Jonathan Emura, Pamela Furuya, Chris Clark and Daven Hermosura are your leaders.  The Hawaiians are outworking everyone.

#4.  Nevada.  $20,499.  Darrell Asbell is the real deal.  $19,000 just out of his agency.

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This entry was posted on May 7, 2013 by in Phil Folkertsma.
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