Where has our American “get er done” philosophy gone? It seems like I run into cases everyday where a person’s life insurance agent gives up if they application is not approved at the rate they thought their customer would get, or even declined.
I was working with a client who had come to me from a mega agency not too long ago. He had been bumped a rate class for his from his original quote. This guy had life insurance in force, so he asked his mega agency agent to see if he could find a better rate through another company. The agent picked the wrong company and failed again. The client had read a blog on cholesterol and life insurance that I wrote and knew that there was a better rate. He again asked the agent to try again and told him what company he wanted the application with. The Selectquote agent in question told him that he wouldn’t run a third application, that the client needed to decide between the two approvals, both at preferred rates. He said companies get ticked when you run multiple applications without accepting one.
It was at this point that he called me, sent over his labs and asked me what I could do. I recommended the company he read about in my post and we applied there, used the Selectquote exam and he got approved preferred plus. Why would this “agent” tell him it was bad to run multiple applications? Because his manager told him to quit messing around, close the sale or move on to a new prospect? I’d lay money on it. The truth? If you don’t get the results you deserve you can keep trying until you do. There’s no rule against shopping, or pitting one life insurance company against another, and another, and another.
The problem is the big mega agencies are working with mostly inexperienced agents. If there isn’t a supervisor close it is not uncommon at all for them to try to place a customer with a company whose underwriting doesn’t uphold the desired end result. Wrong agent, wrong company, wrong results. These agencies are high pressure, quota filling, slam, bam sweat shops. They don’t have time to truly do the job of field underwriting that they need to. They usually ask the health questions but most of them don’t know what those answers mean about what company will do the client the best job.
Stack on top of that the fact that most large agencies have special contracts with certain companies and they really push agents to let the business fall in that direction unless it’s just stupid. I’ve shared before that when I worked at Eterm.com, their contract was with Zurich Kemper. Eterm got paid 105% on all first year premiums. When they reached a quota with Kemper they got a 35% year end bonus. I don’t mean to use Selectquote, but they claim to be the biggest one out there, so let’s just say I’m using the most successful example. They claim to place somewhere in the area of 100,000 policies annually. Just for the sake of round numbers lets say the average case is $1000 in premium. That means they are selling $100 million in premium each year.
Using the Eterm compensation structure, that would equate to $105 million in first year comp and a $35 million bonus. Do you really believe an agent in that situation has a lot of latitude in how they work with a customer, what company they choose, or how many times they will reapply?
So, let’s quit picking on the big boys. There are plenty of my clients who have come from independent agents who didn’t ask the right questions, went to the wrong company and ended up with a stupid approval. So they just gave up. They quit calling the client. They didn’t shop it and try again. I’ve said it before, one of the easiest ways to an approval is after a decline. They know what went wrong. All they have to do is shop it and it’s fixed.
Bottom line. Agents don’t work hard enough for their clients. There is a perception, especially with new agents, that any result is acceptable. If you’ve been abandoned by your agent or fell like you ended up on the short end of a mega agency, call or email me and let’s get er done!