Focusing On Quality of Business As An American Income Life Agent
As with all American Income Life Agencies, the quality of business is the most important factor to maintaining good business. Quality can be viewed in three stages. Each of these stages affects your income, especially your renewals.
The most critical stage to an American Income Life Agent’s profitability is when the application is taken in the field. No effort is strong enough to save a deal that should not have been sold in the first place. This comes down to affordable needs-based selling. Do the American Income Life insurance products fit the needs of the applicant, and are they affordable to the applicant? Remember, while it may be affordable initially, the plan also needs to hold value in the eyes of the AIL insurance policyholder in the future as well. Thus, underselling may lead to a perception that if the cost of the plan is inexpensive, perhaps it holds less value. The needs-based laptop presentation is targeted directly at agent profitability! (For more training on the needs-based laptop presentation ask your managers and visit American Income Life’s Laptop On Demand)
Crucial to quality is following proper procedures. Has the paperwork been filled out completely, truthfully, and accurately? If needed, were the proper questionnaires submitted? Does the applicant understand the lifetime commitment to provide for the monthly payment? Are you reviewing a specimen policy to help the applicant understand the policy when received? Did you prepare the applicant for the possibility of being rated or denied? Managers and sales leaders, how often do you retrain the fundamentals and concepts of needs-based affordable sales?
Once the application is brought into an American Income Life Agency office, the second phase of the quality process begins. Is management reviewing the paperwork for accuracy and completeness? Are mistakes made by other AIL Agents used in the training process for all to learn from? Are the sales managers reviewing the specifics of the presentation that occurred while in the home? Is the Agency office verification process set up to determine the eligibility, the affordability, the benefit knowledge, and the long-term commitment of the applicant?
Once the application is sent to Home Office, and assuming it completes the underwriting process, it becomes issued. We have entered the third phase of the quality process. Does your American Income Life Agency have a written policy on policy delivery? Have you been trained on handling rated cases? At the end of the work week, are you and your manager reviewing your advance report, and have you been thoroughly trained in reading and interpreting the action items? Action items are losses on the advance report, i.e. lapses, cancels, withdraws, incompletes, declines and NTOs. Are you printing out any action items from your weekly advance report and contacting the policyholder that week to see what we can do to get the policy back on the books?
Working lapses as soon as they appear on your advance report and getting them reinstated results in your long term profitability. The quicker you contact the policyholder, the more likely they are to reinstate. Many lapsed policies are simply due to bank changes. Set an appointment to go out to the policyholder’s house to resell the deal, get new banking information, and/or collect the premium along with a good health statement. If you are unable to contact the policyholder by phone, use the lapse as a “door knock.” You have a very good reason to stop by the home, and be sure to show your genuine concern for the welfare of the family in the event anything happens to the insured.
There are other facets involved in quality and its relation to profitability. However, the most important factor in your long-term profitability with American Income Life Insurance company is correct point-of-sale skills. Work closely with your manager and SGA, and get ready for those (additional) renewals!