How to Build Your Insurance Practice

January 24, 2014 | BY DAVIS LIFE & ANNUITY

At the end of this article I am going to share with you The Big Secret for achieving consistent sales success in the insurance business! However, before we get there, we need to examine four key reasons why agents fail to become top producers. I have trained many, many agents over the years and I have learned from experience The Big Four Problems that can stop a sales career before it starts. See if any of these apply to you:

1.  Call reluctance

Every agent who enters the insurance business experiences various forms of call reluctance such as tele-phobia, self-consciousness, or doom saying. All agents have this problem at one time or another. However, successful agents find a way to overcome it. Do what you have to do to fix it. Not doing so is fatal to your sales career.

2.  Taking Rejection to Heart

Constant rejection can cause a person to shut down emotionally and, as a result, lose valuable selling time. Stop thinking about the last call when you are on the next call. Being “present” for each and every prospect is necessary for sales success. If you take rejection to heart you may stop prospecting and also become less effective on the calls you do go on. You need to understand that sales is a numbers game. The more action, the more applications. Most top professional baseball players strike out two out of three times at bat, yet they are still considered successful. Learning to shake off rejection is a key requirement for a successful sales career.

3.  Improper Time Management

“What is the best use of my time right now?” Agents need to spend 80% of their time in front of prospects. It is easy to get diverted with administrative work – activities that do not produce revenue, but limit this to 20% of your day. When you become more successful, hire an administrative assistant. Based off of the success of the agents I have coached, this strategy could increase your commissions by 30 – 40%.

4.  Failure to Get Referrals

Often agents get so involved in the sales process, especially when they make a sale, that they forget to ask the client for the names of friends and family who also might be interested in the agent’s professional services. A warm lead is a great lead.

Why do agents with great potential leave this business? I have learned that it is usually not a lack of product knowledge that drives them away. Most often it is trouble with some or all of the above situations. Agents must overcome these very common problems or they will fail. Recognizing these problems is the first step toward overcoming them.


I have helped many agents develop a fool-proof method of systematically building their books of business. It is called the Hot 20 List. Each day, list twenty prospects you intend to call and ask for an appointment. (In a future article we will discuss powerful ways to find more and more potential prospects.)

By using a Hot 20 List you will learn a very surprising fact: writing just one application a week results in substantial income for the persistent agent. Do not head home at the end of each day until your Hot 20 List ready for the next morning. Experience has shown me that if you make those calls the next day you will always have enough appointments to write one life application per week. Do the math: If the average sale results in a $1,200 commission and you write one new application each week for 52 weeks, then your income this year will be $62,400 from new sales alone. Follow this process for a year and your skill level also gets much, much better.

Eventually you will be closing more than one sale a week for many weeks a year. It is virtually impossible not to! But overcoming the four problems discussed at the beginning is the important first step. Then, you will be off and running with an exciting, rewarding and lucrative selling career.

2 thoughts on “How to Build Your Insurance Practice”

    1. Hello Mr. Passarelli,
      Thank you for your comment. We are delighted that you are reading our blogs, and glad that this blog from 2014 still has relevance.

      Many producers do use cold-calling for their Big 20. Others follow-up with clients whom they have not spoken to for a while, or perhaps networking with colleagues in related business for which they may build cross-promotion relationships and referrals. In all likelihood your Big 20 will be a mix. The message we want to get across is that it is easy to get caught up with running illustrations, but do not forget the importance of new and renewed contacts.

      We understand how difficult prospecting can be. We encourage you to call us at 800-747-5612. Depending on your business needs, our life and annuity marketers can help you find marketing materials and programs to assist you.

      With kind regards,

      Davis Life & Annuity

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