If you want to become a $1 million producer – or anywhere close to that number – there are a few things you have to do to get there.
None of this is going to be mind blowing (I don’t think), but let me just say this: being a $1 million producer is possible.
And it’s going to take a lot of time, hustle, and determination to get there. Not everyone wants to be a $1 million producer – in fact, most agents have no interest in it.
But if you’re here, I’m thinking you’re at least slightly interested at what it would take to get there.
So, in a nutshell, here’s what you need in order to become a $1 million producer: more premium per client.
You can also learn more about what high-income producers have in common in our annual report:
That’s it. In order to scale your insurance production, you have to sell more per client. The easiest way to do that is obviously to cross-sell, and you can read all about that in our Cross-Selling Roadmap.
But I'm sure you're wondering... just how much more will I have to sell per client? Let’s break it down.
Number of Clients vs. Dollars in Premium
In our “How to Prepare for AEP This Fall” article, Michael Sams explains that if you have less than 250 clients, you’re able to manage that on your own.
This is a small, more intimate approach, and you’re probably able to service that book of business without wanting to rip your hair out.
Some people can handle more than that – some can go over the 300 mark and be fine.
But once you reach the 250-ish mark – or you start feeling really stressed out – you have to adjust your plan so that your book of business is more manageable.
Now, you can better manage your book in a number of ways, but the simplest way is to hire on a helper. That might be seasonal help, a secretary, or even an intern.
So, if you want to become a $1 million producer, you have to be open to the idea of bringing on a new face. And I know this isn’t easy to do, especially if you have your hands on every aspect of your business – you don’t want anyone to screw it up!
But, theoretically speaking, if you said “Nope, I’m not hiring on any help,” and you were able to manage 250 clients on your own, this is how much premium you’d need per client in order to become a $1 million producer.
Is this realistic? Maybe not.
If we take a basic example – let’s say a turning 65 client whose Med Supp premium is around $100 per month – that’s $1200 in premium. Let’s say you cross-sell a cancer plan, which boosts the total premium for the year to $1800. You’re still only halfway to your goal, and you don’t want to be shoving every type of insurance in the book down your new client’s throat.
So, if we look at expanding your book past the 250 mark – and you’re open to hiring on some kind of help – this is how your production would need to scale in order to be a $1 million producer.
Number of clients
Amount of premium
The issue is that the average human cannot manage 1,000 clients on their own. The only exception we can think of is Max (this is a pseudonym to protect privacy), who we interviewed for the article “How An Agent Has Used Cold Calling to Grow His Insurance Production to $500,000 Per Year” who handles 1,300 clients. You can read more about his process in that article.
Yes, selling $1,000 of premium per client is great – that’s less than a Med Supp per client in most cases. But you’d have to spend more money on staff members, which dilutes how much you’d actually earn in the end.
This entire scenario is a balance of quality and quantity.
Come on. You know you love the goats.
But seriously, you want quality clients – clients who are able to spend money on insurance – and you want enough of them to hit your goal. In essence, you want the maximum opportunity for the least amount of your time.
Before I continue, I feel like I need to point something out: we say this all the time, but when you’re selling to a consumer, we never recommend selling them something they truly don’t need.
We are passionate about insurance, because we’ve seen how it can save people from the nightmare of a financial crisis during a difficult time. You have, too.
So, approach this from the right perspective. Please don’t just try to pile on more insurance premium per customer if they don’t even need it.
OK, that being said, there are some other things you can do to help you reach that $1 million production goal.
Present Solutions, Not Price
Price-only selling is for rookies.
I mean that.
If you’re still trying to get quality clients by flashing around low prices, you’re not going to find it easy to scale up to the $1 million mark.
The key to selling is to present solutions. You’re solving a problem – and most of the time, the problem has nothing to do with price.
We go into this subject pretty heavily in the article “How to Sell Insurance to Logical Thinkers” if you want to really dig in, but in short, your job is to reverse engineer the pain point of your client.
People buy things for the following reasons:
- It saves time
- It simplifies something
- It makes money
- It reduces risk
- It organizes
- It integrates
- It connects
- It reduces effort
- It avoids hassles
- It reduces cost
- It adds quality
- It adds variety
- It has sensory appeal
- It informs
When you are doing a presentation, you have to focus on the functional benefit of the product. What problem does it solve for your client?
If the problem is severe enough, and you make it meaningful for the client, the price is less important.
Another thing to consider that can change the game for your sales is approaching clients with an education-first attitude.
You can read more about this (and watch a video about it) in the article “Why Insurance Agents Get a Bad Rap – And How You Can Change It.”
People can smell a salesman from a mile away. And they don’t like being sold to.
So, if you can shift your approach to providing helpful information first, you’ll see a shift in your bottom line, and you’ll be that much closer to the $1 million goal.
Get a Killer CRM
If you have an awesome CRM, you’re going to be able to handle more clients on your own.
We mentioned earlier that Max has 1,300 clients that he handles on his own – I’m not sure he’d be able to do that without a CRM.
His CRM, AgencyBloc, helps him do annual reviews with his clients, which he does when they have a rate increase.
Another agent, Michael Sams, has about 800 clients, and while he does have helpers, he also relies heavily on the power of his CRM, which is also AgencyBloc. This helps him keep track of client records, not to mention all the reports he can get when he needs them.
You can read more about Michael’s story (and watch his interview) in the article “Insurance Producer Spotlight: Michael Sams and His $900,000 Year.”
There are other benefits to having a CRM besides being able to handle more clients. For example, when you start succession planning, you’ll find that you can get a better valuation for your book if it’s digitized. You can read more about succession planning in John Hockaday’s article “Succession Planning 101: How to Retire as an Independent Insurance Agent.”
Bottom line: you need a CRM – not paper records – if you want to scale your production and keep things manageable.
Use a Client Needs Assessment
Cross-selling is the simplest way to become a $1 million producer. The concept is so simple: sell more per client.
It’s easier to manage, and it’s a better use of your time. In traditional work lingo, it’s like you’re making more per hour for doing less work.
Cross-selling doesn’t come naturally for everyone, and I’m not going to shove this down your throat, either.
If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you already know how passionate we are about the Client Needs Assessment, and you can read about how to use this tool to start cross-selling like a champ.
Learn how to use the CNA by reading “The Cross-Selling Roadmap.”
And if you’re thinking “Yeah, right… I still don’t feel comfortable selling these other products,” well, I’d encourage you to contact our team.
For example, if you’re a Med Supp agent and you want to get into life insurance, but you don’t really have the time or training to feel confident about it, all you have to do is contact Kirk Sarff, the Director of Life Insurance Sales.
He will quite literally walk you through the entire process. In fact, many of our agents use Kirk throughout the entire process. All they have to do is find the client, find the need, and ultimately make the commission.
You can learn more about how easy this is by grabbing our free Life Insurance Marketing Kit.
Michael Sams had over $900,000 in premium last year, but make no mistake – it didn’t happen overnight.
Michael has been grinding it out for about 13 years now. When he started, he had 40-50 clients, he was knocking on doors, and he was only selling Med Supps.
He explains, “In the first 4-5 years, it seemed to be really slow, steady growth. The turning point for me came when I started using a Client Needs Assessment. It uncovered the needs of the client so that I could sell specifically to those needs. It sounds silly to say this, but when we quit trying to sell insurance and began to meet the need of the client, my sales took off.”
Now, Michael has about 800 clients, and his biggest product sales come from Med Supps, annuities, cancer plans, and life insurance (particularly life with long-term care).
Michael doesn’t really knock on doors on anymore, because he doesn’t have to. He explains, “Now, it has gotten to the point where it’s all referrals. It’s one of the benefits of our business – the longer you’re in it, you don’t have seek out new clients.”
And that’s when you’ll start to see things moving quickly.
When you don’t have to spend time on marketing yourself anymore, and the clients are seeking you out, you’re going to be able to spend more time selling, and you’ll see your production scale quickly.
Set Your Goal
For you, maybe the $1 million mark isn’t really what you want.
Maybe it’s $80,000. Maybe it’s $500,000.
Whatever your insurance production goal might be, here’s how you can reach it more efficiently:
- Sell more insurance per client (cross-sell)
- Present solutions to problems (not the price)
- Have a CRM in place (we recommend AgencyBloc)
- Use a Client Needs Assessment to help with cross-selling
- Be patient (referrals will help ramp up your business over time)
- Set a goal
If you have a goal, you have something to work towards. Set a reward. Dangle a carrot in front of yourself.
This is probably going to sound stupid, but I switched from a private school to a public school in seventh grade.
I was terrified. I woke up the first day of school and thought I was going to vomit. I got to the door, and I was going to walk out to the bus for the first time, and I couldn’t do it.
I teared up, and my mother grabbed my shoulders. She said to me, “If you can make it through today, I’ll take you to a movie this weekend. Just you and me.”
And that created a goal for me. Make it through the first day of school, and I’ll get a reward.
And it was hard, but it worked.
So, no matter how small or insignificant your reward might be, set one.
I think it’ll help.
Let us know in the comment section below: what is your current production goal?