Altig Orlovic Agencies with American Income Life

Phil’s Leadership Memo 7/31/13

Phil_bio_pageThe man who can drive himself further, once the effort gets painful, is the man who will win.    -Roger Bannister

Barriers are usually psychological and breaking through them is the key to achievement and progress.    In 1945, a Swedish long distance runner named Gunder Hagg (ouch), set the world record in the mile at 4 minutes, 1.3 seconds.  People had tried for decades to break the 4 minute barrier but there was a mental barrier that they could not overcome.   Then one day, a British medical student by the name of Roger Bannister dedicated everything he had to breaking that hurdle.   There are several lessons we can learn from the effort.   First of all, he studied, trained, and prepared before heading out onto the track.   Secondly, he recruited teammates to help him; they each paced him at different intervals.   And finally, he overcame adversity.  It was actually a windy day and had rained earlier.  But 9 years later, in 1954, he achieved his goal:  He crossed the finish line in 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds.   The watch that timed the event just sold for $150,000.   He went on to become a neurologist, he was knighted by the Queen of England, and still inspires young competitors today.  Shortly after that ground-breaking feat, several others eclipse the mark.

If you’ve ever been in an endurance race, you know how important those people are that stand along the route, giving you a cup of water, and cheering you on.   Even if they don’t know you from Adam.  Or Eve.    The Million Dollar Club is such a race.   You can’t do it in a year.  Or probably even two.    I shouldn’t speak too soon.   We might have someone step up and do it next year.  No one thought you could write $500,000 Net ALP in a year until they did it a couple years ago.   When I started with Altig, someone had just broken $200,000 and everyone thought that was a crazy number.

Today, AIL has 23 people that have written $900,000 in their careers and stand before the $1 million mark.  A million dollars of personal ALP.    Seven of them, or almost 1/3 are Altig Agents.  They are within striking distance of this exclusive club.  You get an award and a check for an additional $5,000 just for achieving it.  They sit around you.   Yevgeniy Kashkin, $970,687.  Ed Olfert. $943,584.  Andrew Bishop.  Mark Nielson (he started four years ago).  Kevin Ishikane.  Parm Sangha.   Randy Souliers.   The race is a long one, and the last lap is often the toughest, so I want to ask you to do two things.  One is give them a hand.  Encourage.  Help.   Your voice makes a difference.  And secondly, get in the race.  If you thought you were only signing up for half mile, reach deep inside of you and find the motivation to go the distance. It is an achievement no one can ever take away from you.  And will be a catalyst to break other barriers in your life.

The math of your agency.   Today’s concept is as universal and basic as business itself.   The core of what every business school ultimately teaches:  ROI, or return on investment.   And it is essentially math.   ROI = Gain from investment – (minus) Cost of Investment / (divided) by Cost of Investment.  You can either learn to do this in your head, or break out a calculator every time, but you MUST know this one equation inside and out if you want to be a successful businessman.  Period.

“But I don’t invest,” you may say.  I just started out, I don’t have any renewals, I don’t have anything to invest yet!   That statement is wrong on several levels.   First of all, an argument could be made that you invest every dollar you make.  You might invest it in a car payment, an extra tall, grande mocha or a cheeseburger.  But you are looking for a return on everything you put your money into.  The cheeseburger fills your stomach.  The mocha tantalizes your taste buds and gives you a jolt of caffeine.    But you are looking for something back out of it.  That’s why things like bank charges, parking tickets, and late fees are so dumb.  You get NOTHING back for it.  But everybody that makes one dollar invests, on its most elementary level.

Secondly, you won’t have anything to invest, if you don’t invest.  SOMEWHERE you need to start the snowball rolling.  Successful investors see money like a giant snowball.  Have you ever made a snowman?  Do you start with a large 2 foot wide snow ball?  No, what you probably start out with is a tiny 6 inch snowball.  And you put it on the ground (that is covered with snow) and start rolling it.  And what happens?  It starts to pick up more snow.  The deeper and stickier the snow, the larger and faster it collects.  And pretty soon you have a 1 foot wide snowball.  Now it’s getting larger and heavier, so it picks up more snow.    Going from 1 foot to 2 foot actually becomes rather easy.  Sorry, Hawaiians, you’re going to have to take my word on this.

But eventually, if you want to make a really big snowman (wimpy snowmen are lame), then you’re gonna need to get some help.   Now you’re going to have to share the glory, the accomplishment of making the gigantic snowman, but isn’t that funner anyway, to build something together and sharing in it?   Anyway, back to investing.

If you’re new and you currently might have a tiny snowball.  Now if you throw that snowball at something, it’s gone.  And it might be fun to toss a few projectiles at the neighbor girl or an unsuspecting pedestrian, but if you want to build a snowman, eventually you’re going to have to keep a snowball and start rolling it.  You might not feel like you have a snowball to spare.  With rent and utility bills, and clothes to buy, you’re throwing all your money at personal expenses.  But take one.  Maybe a big bonus.  Or you went on a road trip and picked up an extra $1,000.  Now you can start investing in your business.   Would someone setting interviews for you help you accelerate the growth of your agency?   Now you’ll go from a 6 inch snow ball to 12 inches across.   Would an agency contest or a bonus for your agency motivate your people to really go out there and bang it out?   Now you’ve got a bigger advance and bonus.   Instead of spending it all, look around and see what you can invest in to make your snowball even biggerHow about an RGA-ship conference?  It doesn’t have to be at Caesar’s Palace.  Find a great place where you can take your key  people for a couple hours, feed them well, teach, train and spend some one-on-one time with them.  Do you see your snowball growing?   Once in a while, a chunk will fall off, don’t quit or be discouraged.  Keep rolling it!  Look for where there’s deep and sticky snow.   Eventually, if you keep rolling you’ll get to the size of Rick and Ilija and you’ll need to have a team with specialists help you keep pushing the giant ball.   What do you invest in?  How does the math work?  We’re out of time but those are important questions.   Hang on.

Washington State pulls out to an enormous lead on First-Six-Month Agent production.   $38,573.  Almost double the stand of $20,000.   Let’s see what they’re doing to build up such a lead.

First of all, they are collecting more referrals than any other territory.   New agents collected 795.  Tenured agents, 681.   That’s 1,476 referrals collected.   Referrals close 29% better than response cards.  You want to guarantee you’ll close 1 out of 4 in the long run?  Present referrals.  And Washington collects more than anyone.   The top offices sell as many (or more) referrals than response cards, plain and simple.

Next, Washington has more agent and writing agents than any other territory.  This is one of those areas where sheer mass is a huge advantage.   They recruit consistently and hire well.  And at the end of the day, they just have the sheer bulk do a lot of things other territories have grown into yet.

They see more people than other offices.   We haven’t had a territory that has a lower presentation per agent break the Top 5 in a while.   Agents don’t get the momentum they need to pull off huge numbers.   What their agencies have just implemented is going out tandem.  When you’re presenting in front of a trainee, you stay on script, you write good business and you’re not tempted to slack off or break your schedule.  And it’s working.

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This entry was posted on July 31, 2013 by in Phil Folkertsma.
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