How Insurance Agents Can Get Out of the Dreaded January Sales Slump

By Michael Sams

Let's face it – not a lot of business is written in January. Because you come off this high from AEP, it's like going from one extreme to the next.

I've just seen everyone in fourth quarter – how am I going to call my client and say "Hey, I just saw you... but let's go ahead and get together again!"

It's tough. It's really tough.

I'm OK with a slow month of January if I know that the first of February, I'm going to have a great game plan that'll stimulate a lot of activity and appointments.

But when we kick off the month of January... I just sit here and wonder how am I going to get this thing rolling again?

And I feel that way every year. I would think that most agents feel very similar.

So, here's what we're going to recommend to help insurance agents get out of the dreaded January sales slump:

  1. Hire your interns
  2. Set your goals for the year
  3. Consider retiring
  4. Jump start your year with the All-Star Program

1. Hire your interns

College students are going back to college sometime in January, so now is the time to start interviewing potential interns. Once you get the right ones, you'll have the remainder of January to train them, teach them your scripts, and show them the ropes.

Get the scripts

Once they're trained up, they can start making anniversary date appointments. Anyone that has a renewal date between February and September, I want to take care of them now and then only focus on Part D and that storm during fourth quarter.

Those outbound calls will begin at the end of January and the first of February. They could even be for March renewals – if you're 30 days ahead of schedule, that's great.

2. Set some goals

For me, setting some goals gets me motivated for the new year. I know January will be slow, but February will really start things going again.

So during this slow time of January, I'm going to work on setting goals for the year.

A Harvard Business study tells us that people who have set goals for themselves are 10 times more successful than those without goals.

Wait – there's more. Those who set goals and write them down are 3 times more successful than those who just express them.

So, what kinds of goals should you set for yourself?

That depends on where you want your business to go, but one goal I'd always set is your personal production for the year.

For the last 3 years, my personal production numbers have been very similar. While they've been great years, it has kind of bugged me that I haven't increased by pretty good strides each year.

I start to wonder... is there this glass ceiling that's been put on me? Because I serve so many clients, have I hit this wall where I can't really grow a whole lot more?

That idea bothers me. So I'm setting some goals. I've been around $900,000 for the last few years, and hey, those are great years, but I always want to do better than I did the year before.

Breaking that $1M mark is my goal for this year.

3. Consider retiring

Hey, if you're near retirement age, retiring is a feasible possibility, and you just feel like you're done, retiring is seriously something to consider.

Fourth quarter does get overwhelming, and when the calm of January rolls around, there are a lot of guys and gals who feel ready to retire.

That decision isn't an easy one, but when it's time, it's time.

Read More: Succession Planning 101: How to Retire as an Independent Insurance Agent

If you're feeling totally burnt out but it's not time to retire, jump ahead to the next section.

But if you're totally burnt out and you've been seriously considering retiring for years, why not take this slow month to at least make a succession plan?

Watch this webinar to learn about your best two options, which include:

  1. Passing your business to your kids
  2. Selling your book

If you want to retire and the best way out is to sell your book, it makes a lot of sense to sell it to an FMO.

→ Learn more about selling your book to New Horizons

4. Jump start your year with the All-Star Program

If you're feeling burnt out, or you're simply ready to grow your business like never before, consider the All-Star Program. There's a lot of value in adopting something that's already proven.

All the systems and outlines we use are what we share with you in the All-Star Program. If you want to make yourself more efficient, more effective, and a well-rounded producer, then jump start the year by applying to be in our first All-Star class of the year.

The program is incredibly hands-on, so I can only onboard 10 students at a time.

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The experience we have here is something we're sharing with you. We're not trying to reinvent the wheel. We're not trying to waste a lot of time coming up with new ideas when there are proven systems and game plans that we've used to become successful.

So, to recap, getting over that January sales slump is all about setting some goals and creating a game plan for your year.

I know that January is not going to hold a lot of tremendous activity in front of my clients. Once I can come to that realization, I can focus on how I can make January productive.

Do you have a comment? Please share your thoughts below.

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