Sales training is important, but finding the right clients by profiling is how BGAs really can help advisors make sales...
By Linda Koco
ORLANDO, FLA. – Profiling is not just an activity for government investigators. It’s something that brokerage general agencies can use to help insurance advisors uncover missed sales opportunities, says Mark Sheer.
“Within 10 minutes of using profiling with guidance from their distributors, agents will see an increase in cases they can open — and often close,” contends Sheer, who is president of Mark Sheer Seminars, Mission Viejo, Calif.
He will speak on this and other sales topics during a Thursday afternoon session here at the 31st annual meeting of National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA).
In the context of insurance sales, profiling entails “overlaying” profiles of certain buyer types on an agents’ lists of A and B clients, said Sheer in an interview before his presentation.
By overlaying, he says he means that the brokerage general agent (BGA), wholesaler or other distributor will help the agent apply a certain profile to the agent’s client lists. This process “will help uncover the missed insurance cases that are hidden in those lists,” he says.
Sheer’s firm develops profiles and works with wholesalers and carriers that want to use them to help grow sales.
He says he has dozens of profiles for all sorts of insurance cases, including life, annuity, disability income and long-term care insurance. During his workshop, he says he will give three profiles to attendees — two for use in developing potential life insurance cases and one for use in developing potential annuity cases.
How it works
To illustrate how the process works, he cites a “policy review client profile” he has used. One section of the profile details the “psychographics” of a client who is predisposed to say “yes” during a policy review process.
This section steers the agent to look for clients who are fun and easy to work with, Sheer says. “In addition, these clients tend to care about others and accept advice well. There is a high trust relationship (between client and agent), and they have had a change in their business or personal life that might make them suitable prospects for additional or new life insurance policies.”
The next section of the policy review client profile covers demographics. Here, the agent is directed to look for an age range, minimum cash surrender values, existing premium, minimum fee and other factors.
The wholesaler works with the agent to find clients who fit the profile in the agents’ customer lists, Sheer says. This is done in person, on the phone or via email. “Once they have identified potential cases and the wholesaler runs the illustration, they can decide how most effectively to position the sale.” This becomes a matter of having “the right case with the right solution,” he says.
Then the agent goes out to the client and sells it.
Wholesalers don’t usually assist with the sale, Sheer says, but he adds that it’s helpful when they follow up with the agent, to see how it’s going.
Less focus on education
Too often, he says, wholesalers, BGAs and other distributors tend to focus on educating agents about some topic and/or providing agents with a couple of sales ideas, to the exclusion helping them to increase sales.
But with profiling, the wholesaler has a way to provide agents with concise, actionable assistance, he maintains.
As for agents, they get a hands-on way to uncover new opportunities. “This approach defocuses on education, and increases focus on sales,” he concludes, and it works for every market range, whether mid-market, high net worth or something else. “You just have to change the parameters.”
Linda Koco, MBA, is a contributing editor to InsuranceNewsNet, specializing in life insurance, annuities and income planning. Linda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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