Back to the A-B-C’s of Agency Building at American Income Life

Martin Groves - American Income Life Vice President of Field Operations

Martin Groves – American Income Life Vice President of Field Operations

As a wise man once said, “Hiring people faster than they quit is NOT a strategy.” As many of you may know from attending an American Income Life Leadership Academy, this quote is from Larry Strong.

There are 3 key drivers to successful agency building:




As a company, we can always improve. We can help Agents grow in their careers from this early point in the process. It is at this stage that we must make sure we expedite the process as fast as possible. We all know what we need to do but many times forget how critical the “mechanical” part of the process is. Make sure you have the SYSTEM in place!!

  • Accurate contracting paperwork process for new hires
  • Getting new hires through pre-licensing
  • Passing the State exam
  • Getting agent number and getting basic training completed
  • Field training and writing the first piece of business
  • Continuing education and training
  • Leadership development

Training is a critical part of the process. Both classroom and field training are important in equal measure, but WE CAN improve our chances of success. The Laptop team not only has highly trained professionals visiting all of the offices weekly, but they also have a great “open book” online test available to everyone at This has multiple choice questions on all the basics the agent needs to know as soon as they are released in the field. This MUST improve the odds for success when the new agent starts writing business. We must not forget continuing education. There is a great deal to learn in a career and it is not taught in just the first month. A SYSTEM for continuing education should be in place at American Income Life so that all agents get to experience “REPETITIVE SKILL PRACTICE”.

Here is a short article from

Nothing takes the place of repetitive skill practice to prepare people to perform their jobs effectively.  At most companies, the skills that we want our employees to demonstrate in their jobs have been well defined.  We know exactly how we want our sales people to behave with customers, how customer service representatives should handle calls, and how we’d like our managers to effectively coach employees. As a rule, we’re successful at defining what good looks like. But there’s almost always a gap between ideal behavior and reality. The only way to bridge that gap is through repetitive skill practice. It’s what makes the difference between just knowing about something and being able to do it. It’s why even the most experienced pilots are required to routinely practice take-offs and landings, why astronauts repeatedly practice their missions before they’re in outer space, why top major league hitters still take batting practice, and why the army is constantly training, even in times of peace. There’s no way around it. No matter what skill you want demonstrated, repetition is the key to mastering it. Practice makes perfect.

Leadership at American Income Life

One of the greatest leadership tools in our business is just simply caring for someone else’s well-being and their success. We have to hold them accountable to follow the track we suggest in completing all the things they need to do to be successful at American Income Life. Ask permission to do so and transfer the responsibility to them to perform. It’s a great strategy!!

One of Larry Strong’s great quotes: “Will you ever have a problem with me caring about your success?”

Happy retirement, Larry!!

About Martin Groves

Martin Groves is the Vice President of Field Operations for American Income Life Insurance Company. Google+

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