February 6, 2013

A while back I heard of a story involving a night at sea. A ship's Captain saw what looked like the lights of another ship heading toward him. He signaled, "Change your direction 10 degrees south." The reply came back, " Change your course 10 degrees north." The ship's captain answered: "I am the Captain, change your course south."

"Well I am a Seaman First Class - change your course north." This infuriated the captain. He signaled back, " I say change your course south, I am a battleship!" To which the reply came back: "And I say change your course north, I am a lighthouse."

One thing is for sure - we are all expected to find change in our paths of life. I think we are on the brink of a new change in our profession of senior market sales. We have become so used to focusing on price, and juggling customers from one company to another, we have forgotten our roots of being an insurance salesperson.

We get paid well and we deserve it. However, if you continue to only focus on price and price alone, the day is coming where people will do their shopping on their own through the internet, and will not need you to stop by.

When I speak with agents, the ones who are having record years are not just selling a lot of Medicare Supplements or Medicare Advantage, but they are also cross-selling. They offer every one of their customers annuities, life coverage, estate preservation, or a specified disease policy. The fact is this: we need to be the best we can be, and we need to sell the insurance products that are available in the market.

I know of agents that sell Medicare Advantage products about 3 months of the year and never offer another plan to their policy holder. My entire career has been built on relationships, and if you get a customer to buy your product once, you owe it to your policy holder to make sure that they do not have holes in their family's blanket of protection. You also owe it to yourself to maximize your profession to be the best you can be in your insurance sales.

This year you should go back and visit with your customers and offer them another product and at the very least, ask for a referral. I challenge you to be the best. Most of all, don't be afraid to change your course!

Jeff Sams

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