The Last Dodo?

by: Mark D. Milbrod, CLU
November 2018

The dodo bird inhabited the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, where it lived undisturbed for so long that it lost its need and ability to fly. It lived and nested on the ground and ate fruits that had fallen from trees. They basically lost their edge, and by the late 1600’s became extinct.

Are we the next Dodo? Are we as life insurance agents losing our edge? Have we become complacent? Have we lost our need and ability to fly?

When I first started in the business, I was fortunate enough to go through the training program of a major mutual company. Under the tutelage of my Sales Managers, I learned how to truly sell life insurance. Sadly, today, that really doesn’t exist anymore. The old fashioned way of training life insurance agents is a thing of the past. This lack of training has created a tremendous void of “new blood” that is able to service a marketplace, that more than ever, needs the products and tools that we provide.

When surfing the internet, looking through our e-mail or within social media platforms, we see tons of ads from insurance carriers that are marketing direct to consumers and trying to sell the same life insurance products that we are trying to sell. At first glance, it can be quite annoying. But when you think about it, what is the true value of that? Can a person manning the other side of the phone or even a totally automated quoting and application process do a better than job than you?

Life Insurance has been and always will be a product that needs to be “sold.” No matter how knowledgeable a consumer may be, they really don’t know the proper way to determine need. They don’t really understand what lies beneath the surface of a life insurance sale. Think back to any client you have sat with that started out by asking for $1,000,000 of term insurance. They think they will have enough, then you explain the subtleties of a surviving spouse being forced to sell their house and uprooting their children from the comfort of that home. And then what about the continuation of income, money for college educations, etc. If you have done your job correctly, they now understand that the amount they were originally seeking was not enough.

Shifting gears for a moment, that was the individual “kitchen table” sale. What about the business client and the need for a funded Buy-Sell Agreement that provides liquidity for the continuation of a business? Or better yet, the estate planning sale that provides funds for the taxes due for literally pennies on the dollar. And last but not least, the real need for Long Term Care Insurance. The list goes on and on.
The point in all of this is simple. The products and services that we, as insurance professionals provide, are needed today more than ever. We live in an age of obsolescence. Technology moves pretty quick. Even in our industry, it’s a real threat, but life insurance is not a commodity and it shouldn’t be sold as such.

There has never been a better time to be in our industry. Perfect your craft! Learn more about what makes our clocks tick and there will be an unlimited amount of opportunities waiting for you. The market is ripe and grossly underserved.

Do we want to follow the path of The Dodo, becoming complacent, losing our edge and our need and ability to fly? I don’t think so. ASG has all of the tools and resources that you need to assist you in perfecting your craft. Reach out to us today so we can show you how to NOT lose that edge.

Mark Milbrod

About Mark Milbrod

Mark’s Barks Blog is authored by Mark Milbrod. Mark brings over 30 years of experience to his insightful commentary on the insurance industry. Through his Blog posts, you will learn about new sales trends, be educated on selling techniques and overall, think differently about your role as an insurance professional.

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