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Introduction:

Introduction: Life Insurance Industry in India has faced frequent changes so far. Each time the Central

Life Insurance Industry in India has faced frequent changes so far. Each time the Central Government Authority for Insurance IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) is doing the changes only for the benefit of the policy holders. Because of these reviews and changes, the Life Insurance Business in India is becoming more clear and attractive to all. We need to fix one thing strongly in our mind that “all is for good”.

Life Insurance is a basic need of each human who has someone depending on them. You are earning money by designing and recommending such most important financial plans to your customers.

Many joined along with us as Life Insurance Agents. After few months few of them are vanished from this business. After few years, most of them are not in this business. But, only few continue to do this business in a successful way. This is a very sad situation. Only if we have more Insurance Agents, our country will have better future.

You may wonder why I have mentioned that our country’s future will be better by having more insurance agents and insurance selling professionals.

An Individual’s financial stability is his financial freedom. He/she or their dependants should not depend on any others or government for financial subsidiary at any situation. In other words, having sufficient money for the basic survival

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requirement of self and dependents is called financial stability. For an example, if a family’s

requirement of self and dependents is called financial stability. For an example, if a family’s monthly survival expense is Rs.10000/-, then the primary earning person should have a provision to ensure this Rs.10000/- is guaranteed even after the death of him.

We need to have a deposit of Rs.12 lakhs if we want to receive Rs.10000/- per month as interest. Accumulating this 12 Lakhs will sure take many years for a middle class family. But the same time, we can not give any guarantee for the survival of that primary earning member till he accumulates this corpus of 12 lakhs. If he/she wants to by an asset worth 12 lakhs immediately, the only economical and easy solution is to buy a life insurance policy for the sum assured of Rs.12 lakhs. From his income, if the primary earning member is ready to pay Rs.3500/- approximately, he can get life insurance cover of Rs.10 lakhs on normal death and 20 lakhs on accidental death.

If each individual takes the financial protection like this for them and their dependants, the number of people depending on government’s subsidy will be very less and hence the saved subsidy money will be strengthening the government to go for development projects. As present, our country is spending a huge portion of revenue on subsidies and hence we don’t have enough funds for development projects like infrastructure development, industrial development, education, medicine and research and development.

I hope, now you can buy my point that by developing more and more insurance agents and insurance selling

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professionals, we can financially protect each family and thus we can help the nation to

professionals, we can financially protect each family and thus we can help the nation to have financial stability.

I am writing this book for the past 3 years in between my official work. The main reason to write this book is to do something to retain people who eagerly join this industry and we are helping the nation by retaining more agents and sales professionals of life insurance industry.

With my experience of 15 years in Sales and Management and in those 7 years in Life Insurance Management, I have written this book and submitting in front of you.

Whatever the job we start, initially we need to follow the successful people. After the adequate experience, we may form our own strategies and succeed. If we want an assured success, we just need to copy the successful people. This is the prime secret of success. Just think how a child is copying its parents and growing faster.

Instead of treating this profession as an opportunity for another income, we should believe that we have the power to change our nation’s future. If we do this profession with fullest involvement, I am sure we can create a bright future for us and for our country.

Another important reason for me to write this book is there. I have seen many Agents and Professionals who had extraordinary knowledge and profile have failed in Life Insurance. This is a painful fact. Behind each failure of an agent, a good amount of effort of the Sales Manger who recruited

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him/her is just wasted. To reduce the number of dropout agents, I feel we need

him/her is just wasted. To reduce the number of dropout agents, I feel we need to educate them to understand clearly about the nature of this job rather looking only on to the rosy pictures.

The concepts and strategies mentioned in this book are only the outcome of my little knowledge and experience. If you find any mistake or misrepresentation in this book, kindly abide.

With regards,

V. Prasanna Venkatesan,

Vertical Progress.

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Index

Index 1. Let us be proud. 2. Income opportunity in Life Insurance business. 3. Important Factors

1. Let us be proud.

2. Income opportunity in Life Insurance business.

3. Important Factors

4. Important of Training Classes

5. Information are the tools

6. Basic requirements

7. Approaching

8. Preparing

9. Fact Finding

10. Presentation

11. Objection Handling

12. Following

13. Sales Completion

14. After the sale

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There are many professions in the world. We can classify them into 3 categories. 1.
There are many professions in the world. We can classify them into 3 categories. 1.

There are many professions in the world. We can classify them into 3 categories.

1. Production from natural resources (like agriculture, poultry and others)

2. Industrial production (manufacturing a pin to ship).

3.

Service

organization).

(providing

service

to

an

individual

or

Among these three types of professions, service is different profession with lesser investment and better profits. Our Insurance Agent’s profession requires no financial investment. The actual investment in this profession is our Time, Contacts (friends, relatives and other known people) and our Talent. This profession is profitable and attractive for Sales Managers and other insurance selling professional also. From this profession one can get enough money, satisfaction and extraordinary contacts in the society.

Many of the world’s famous personalities had been as insurance agents during their early days. Many top business people, political leaders and celebrities have done this profession in their early days.

The uniqueness of this profession is that we are selling

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something very important to others. Right from a poor to rich, uneducated to scholars who

something very important to others. Right from a poor to rich, uneducated to scholars who ever is earning money and have people depending on them are sure need insurance. This profession is a Noble Profession because we are helping the insured and his entire family by providing the right financial protection. Even if the family leader is dead, we ensure his income is alive. In case of any accidental disability or critical illness, we help him with adequate financial subsidy. In a house where death occurred, friends will be there for a day. Close relatives will be there for couple of days. After few days, people to collect money will be there. The only person there to give money will be a life insurance agent.

In Life Insurance profession, the relationship between us and our customer will increase day by day depending upon our service. We have the opportunity to get in touch with the customer for a long period of time. Many successful agents who were looked as a disturbance initially have become very close family friends to customers by their proper service over a span of time. The special key in this business is Long Term Relationship.

Where ever our customer is going to live, while receiving a maturity from the plan we offered, he will remember us with gratitude at least for a moment. While we give the claim amount to the nominee, we will become another member of their family and also we will get good references without asking them. A successful agent of life insurance will sure accept this point.

In Tamilnadu near Tanjore, one gentleman was working as a supervisor for a factory. He met with an accident and dead

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on the spot. Some one earlier has compelled him to take a policy and he

on the spot. Some one earlier has compelled him to take a policy and he paid Rs.5000 as premium and availed Rs.2 lakhs as Sum Assured. This gentleman has only a widow mother in his family. Though this money 2 lakhs can not compensate the death of the only son, it could have been a support for that old mother.

Just think now, the agent who insisted him to take policy could have got a good reputation in that society after giving the claim. There are thousands of examples like this. I have the following reasons for me addressing this job as a Noble Profession.

1. We sell only the most wanted scheme.

2. The insured person will have mental peace while living.

3. On the death of insured person, the money from insurance will give financial protection to his dependents.

4. We are serving the customer throughout the policy term and

also while maturity or death.

5. More than anything, we give a helping hand while his family is

in trouble.

As we discussed earlier, a country’s financial stability depends on the citizen’s financial stability. To get the financial stability and protection, the only affordable and immediate process is availing life insurance.

A country which has more citizens under the life insurance protection, will grow strongly on economy. So, we are

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not only helping the individuals we know, but also the nation. Now you can understand

not only helping the individuals we know, but also the nation. Now you can understand why I addressed this profession as a Noble Profession.

By selling genuine plans to customers, many agents are serving their customers for a long period and getting more and more business from them. By this strong and long relationship, professional agents are becoming one of the family members of customers. A genuine insurance agent will always have wealth, health and prosperity.

But, among us, few people are thinking this profession is a tough one. Agents and Sales Professionals who tried to sell life insurance and left this business are the one who spreads wrong message about life insurance business. This is completely against the fact.

They could have gone out of this business only because of their wrong approach towards this business. So, kindly don’t believe any wrong information about this profession which is there in the market.

According to me, the life insurance profession is an honorable profession because we sell only the plans which are necessary and mandatory.

But, if we want to do this profession in an appreciable way, we must have business ethics and service mind. For an example, we should keep our customer’s benefit as first priority than ours. The information sought by our customer must be given correctly. We should not miss or reject any telephonic call

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of our customers. We should not do anything that hurts our customer. If we are

of our customers. We should not do anything that hurts our customer.

If we are like this only, we can get the credibility and recommendations from our customers and do this job successfully. If you want your customers to like you, you must be honest and gentle.

No one exposes about their income, expenses, liabilities, assets, details about their family member and their dreams to every one. Only his important person and life insurance agent will know all these things.

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In Life Insurance there are some common formulas of getting business. If we approach 5
In Life Insurance there are some common formulas of getting business. If we approach 5

In Life Insurance there are some common formulas of getting business.

If we approach 5 people for appointment, 1 will give appointment. If we make sales presentation to 5 people, 1 will give business within 1 month.

In general, premium per policy is Rs.15000/-. Now, after regulatory changes, the average commission per policy is 8%. (You should sell Traditional Policies also to maintain a healthy income) Average commission per policy will be Rs.1200/-. If we are getting a correct sale, the average premium paying term would be 10 years. Average renewal commission is 2% per year. According to these calculations, your income will be as below. (Assuming you make 3 presentation each day)

9yrc 30 8yrc 25 7yrc 20 6yrc 5yrc 15 4yrc 10 3yrc 5 2yrc 1yrc
9yrc
30
8yrc
25
7yrc
20
6yrc
5yrc
15
4yrc
10
3yrc
5
2yrc
1yrc
0
FYC
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
(2 nd year only the renewal commission of 1 st year will come. 5 th year,
2,3, & 4 th year’s commission will come. Like this, if we do a genuine

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service, our income will grow with renewals and also by the reference of existing satisfied

service, our income will grow with renewals and also by the reference of existing satisfied customers.)

As we discussed earlier, if we approach 3 customers everyday, monthly we will get 15 policies and Rs.18000 as commission and subsequent renewal commissions will be

Rs.40500/-.

Just look the above diagram carefully, 5th year onwards, your renewal commission will be more than the first year commission of that particular year. This situation will be there if you do the new business as equal to your 1st year business. In fact, the real situation will be very different. If you do a genuine business and service, your new business will be increasing each year. The reasons are,

Generally in the first time, the customer will give premium much lesser than his actual capacity. If you continue to be honest, the customer will not invest anywhere without your knowledge.

Initially you may not be an expert in this profession. After few months, due to your experience, you will take only lesser time than early days to complete a sale.

Initially not many people know that you are an insurance agent or insurance professional. Because of this, well known people too take insurance with others. After few years, you will become popular in your society as an Insurance Selling Professional and the references will also be more.

After enjoying the maturity or after getting the death claim, your selling will become much easier with them. Most of the

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customers are buying policy with the same agent after getting a claim or decent maturity.

customers are buying policy with the same agent after getting a claim or decent maturity. If you don’t believe, ask the senior agents. Their premium after one maturity will be more than the previous premium.

As you continue to be in Life Insurance business, you will become expert in this profession and you would be taking the right decision during the first meet itself. So, you will understand the prospect clearly and get optimum premium.

After few years your service will be faster. Because, you know whom to contact for what kind of service from the company and the required documents, time frame for processing the policy request and so on. So, your service will be accurate and faster. This quality will attract the prospects and you will get more business in lesser time and more references.

Even with the equal time that you spent in your first year, you would make more business and money latter on. As a proverb says, “if you stay longer, the business will become a two horse race”.

For an example, Mr. Prabhu is a Life Insurance Agent and he hails from a small village. He is running a small medical shop also. Like others he started this business without any big expectation. He is doing this profession for the past 4 years and during the past 2 years, he got more offer from the same company to become a Sales Manager. He didn’t accept those offers because now his customer base is more than 200.

After 1 more year, each year 40 policies that he took will come under surrender without penalty clause and the fund value

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also will be attractive. He would serve all the surrender or maturity and get more

also will be attractive. He would serve all the surrender or maturity and get more business each year without meeting any new customers.

Moreover, his renewal commission is higher than the salary of a Sales Manager now. There is under no pressure and reporting mandates as Sales Managers have. Agents who are above 5 years with decent business each year, never bothered about a regular income provision because we get salary once in a month. But, Life Insurance Agent’s commission is twice in a month.

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Will to learn Working everyday Trying Hard Integrity Passion Patience www.verticalprogress.net
Will to learn
Will to learn
Working everyday
Working everyday
Trying Hard Integrity
Trying Hard
Integrity
Passion Patience
Passion
Patience
Will to learn Working everyday Trying Hard Integrity Passion Patience www.verticalprogress.net

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LIMRA is a globally known organization which conducts various study and research on Life Insurance
LIMRA is a globally known organization which conducts various study and research on Life Insurance

LIMRA is a globally known organization which conducts various study and research on Life Insurance business. They studied the reason for the people leaving this profession early. The outcome of the research is, “People failed because they don’t know what to do”.

Friends, we need to understand one thing here. All of us have started this profession with the aim of growing further in life. But, without understanding and practicing our responsibilities and duties, it is mere waste to blame others or the industry. Unless we understand the profession and do our duties, we cannot become successful in any profession.

Start with well known people:

Selling life insurance is fulfilled after discussion with involvement. I am mentioning this here is because selling life insurance plans to unknown people is difficult initially. The reason is there will be initial discouragement if close people are not approached and that should not spoil our morale. In the beginning of your career with life insurance, do it with your well known people only. So, it is very important to have contacts. We should have good relationship with them. We should keep their benefits first. We need to speak nicely. We need to introduce quickly to everyone that we are into this profession. Smiling, patience, knowledge, way of approaching and hard work are the

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factors need to be there with us.

More Contacts More Benefit:

factors need to be there with us. More Contacts More Benefit: As we saw in the

As we saw in the first topic, this business requires few investments like time, contact, speaking skill and knowledge. Among these, contact plays a major role on our success here. Please take a pen and few papers. Just answer the following questions. 1. How many people you know? 2. How many of them are earning more than Rs.5000/- per month? If your answer for the second question is above 200, you are the right person to do this job. If it is above 100 and less than 200, you need to get introduced to minimum 3 new persons each day. If it is less than 100, get introduced to minimum 5 persons per day. To get a regular and continuous income from this business, you must have minimum 100 prospects in working platform.

In present mechanical life, we don’t know even about our neighbors. First, learn to smile. Among us, what fetches success to someone? It is only due to the friend circle we have. If we don’t have more known people, doing this job will not be easy. But, you know well that creating friendship is not a tough task. If you want a specific group or people to be your friend, be there in places they gather. Become a member of social clubs like Lions Club, JCI and Rotary Club and so on.

Now, I will introduce one life insurance agent. Her name is Mrs. Usha. She was living in a city with a middle class status during 2003. I will explain the process of making her agent, efforts taken for that and also the result of that. Her Sales Manager (Development Officer) approached her to become a life

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insurance agent. She is introduced by another person to the Sales Manager. After the business

insurance agent. She is introduced by another person to the Sales Manager. After the business opportunity presentation, she told him that she would convey her decision latter.

The reason for her hesitation is she was not confident of doing this profession. But, she wanted money because they had insufficient income. She stayed in a rented house with her family. Her husband was working in a shop and she had two school going children. She had many contacts from her neighbors, relatives and her husband’s buyers and dealers.

She was living a comfortable life. But, she knew that she requires lot of money for future. She was selling bags to school going children and office goers by meeting the customers at their work places.

To make her as an agent, the Sales Manager took lot of efforts. He visited her house 12 times and discussed with her and her husband about this profession. Finally on the 12th visit, she accepted to become an agent.

There was only few days left before the training session starts. She has to undergo an interview with the branch manager to get selected. The Sales Manager arranged for the interview and on the day of the interview she refused to take up this opportunity.

She was well informed about the interview and required documents like certificates, resume and prospect list. But, she just refused to join and the reason was not also told to the sales manager.

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The sales manager really became upset. After enquiring few times with her, she told the

The sales manager really became upset. After enquiring few times with her, she told the reason. That was shocking. The reason was she informed about her new assignment to the milk vendor and a neighbor. They discouraged her by telling it is very tough and lot of traveling need to be made. Finally, the sales manager could manage to make her an agent.

What we can understand from this case study?

Not everyone will encourage us.

Before we start, the faith of our Sales Manager or Development officer is better than other’s opinion.

The barrier is our hesitation.

As we said, “More Contact More Money.” After joining, she developed more contacts and became the top insurance agent soon. She utilized all possible ways of gathering contacts and became a role model agent.

Work Everyday:

What the top sportsmen are doing? Do they practice every day or few days before the event?

We can become expert in any job by doing that everyday. To get a permanent success in life insurance business, the only way is to work everyday. Once in an interview, the national top performing agent of a life insurance company told, “I will not have my breakfast unless I confirm 5 appointments for that day”. This is the secret of success.

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“Everyday” is a magical word for all life insurance agents and selling professionals. Even if

“Everyday” is a magical word for all life insurance agents and selling professionals. Even if we are doing this as a part time job, we should discuss with at least one person everyday. People not doing this have not achieved anything remarkable here. This is a highly profitable business without investment. Our investment is our talent, speaking ability, contacts and presence of mind. So, everyday practicing in this business is very essential. Any artist without daily practice might have not become a star.

We don’t need to spend long hours to this business everyday. But, we must dedicate at least our possible minimal time to this business everyday.

Recording what we did:

Now you could have understood the importance of working everyday. But, we should also record what we do every day. Whom we met? What was his/her interest? Which plan we suggested? What was the objection? When to meet next time? What are all the proofs we need to show? All these information are vital for the next visit.

Only by proper recording of all the information of what we did, we can continue further successfully. Otherwise, we will be in a position of a person who saw a movie till the interval and the second half of yet another movie starred by the same hero and heroine.

We can see this habit among all our successful senior agents. End of each day the approaches we made, presentation we made, submitted proposals and it’s details, premium paid,

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policy term, premium paying term and other important details are to be recorded on that

policy term, premium paying term and other important details are to be recorded on that day itself. If we want to enjoy the fullest benefit of our efforts, we should not forget anything we did. So, inculcate the habit of writing diary. It would be better if we have a separate diary for insurance business. Keep another quality note book and maintain all the details of your customers there. If we want to do a better service to our customer, we must have all the data readily available at any time with us.

What ever the format of keeping the record is convenient to you, keep like that. By keeping like this, you can calculate and follow your own benefits like commission, renewal commission and other contest benefits also.

Hesitation is the barrier:

In this profession, our hesitation is the biggest barrier. No door opens unless knocked.

Hesitation to start the business due to lack of knowledge about this profession is the main barrier for us. In India, many business giants like TATA, Birla, Bajaj, Ambani are all invested huge money in this business only after seeing an opportunity to make big money. Then why we need to hesitate?

We are not confident to the extent our Development Officer is confident on us. All Development Officers are in need of recruiting new agents. But, they are not recruiting everyone. They will recruit only people with some stuff and quality. You are one among them.

Hesitation will not come if we are aware that we are

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selling only the most important and required plans to our customers. Your customer may be

selling only the most important and required plans to our customers. Your customer may be an expert in his business or profession. But, if you have undergone a proper training, he may not have better knowledge than you about life insurance and financial planning. Please strongly believe this.

In my little experience, I have met many doctors, engineers, government officers and business people and explained about financial planning. Most of them have accepted my recommendations about life insurance plans. So, you have confidence on you, get better knowledge through training sessions and gain more and more experience by presentations. Your hesitation will run away.

To get this level of confidence it may take few months. Till such time, take your higher official along with you. The practical experience will teach you what you have left to learn in your classroom.

Normally, we don’t believe that Life Insurance is very important to all. Because of that, we don’t confidently speak to even our well known people. Believe that life insurance is very important to all and they are not aware of that. Our basic responsibility is to educate them about the importance of Life Insurance. We are hesitating to speak about this.

In 2004, my agent took me to a Spice Processing Mill owner to present about life insurance. We were waiting in the customer’s office for about one and a half an hours. After becoming free, he permitted us to present. We explained about our plans in detail. After listening patiently, he asked his staff to

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pick the insurance file. He showed me a bunch of policies worth 30 lakhs of

pick the insurance file. He showed me a bunch of policies worth 30 lakhs of sum assured already having and he was paying Rs. 1.75 lakhs as yearly premium. Here there is virtually no hope of a new policy because we were not close to him. We went there with a reference only. I appreciated him for already having life insurance policies and paying good amount of premium. I politely requested a permission from him to do a need analysis. He also accepted since we promised him that we would not force him to take a policy with us unless there is a need. I did a sincere study of him and did a need analysis based on human life value calculation. Finally we agreed that by having a life insurance cover of 1.5 crores, he could provide a complete financial protection to his business and family. After our discussion, in few weeks he took a policy in which the sum assured was 1.25 crores and the premium was 1.25 lakhs.

I discussed with him that what ever happens to him, his business and family should not get disturbed. He was doing a spice processing and reselling business. He was purchasing from few bulk suppliers and after processing supplying to hundreds of retailers. His buyers are across the state and he does many transactions over phone.

In case of any eventuality, his suppliers will stand in line to collect the money and not all the retailers will pay without further supply. His employee’s salary must be paid irrespective of production or profit. Otherwise they would go out and their real asset is the skilled labors. The next person to takeover the business is his wife since his children are very young. So I calculated all these factors and projected such huge sum assured

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to him. You must be able to make your prospect to see things that may

to him. You must be able to make your prospect to see things that may happen to get a good sale.

We need to present in a polite way that our customer is not getting irritated. Just observe your mind status and confidence level. I hope that is increased by now. I will be explaining latter about designing a financial solution for different type of customers.

Once

again,

important to all.

Be Honest:

believe

that

Life

Insurance

plan

is

very

Why should we keep the customer’s benefit as prime focus? The reason is natural. If the agent’s commission is more, the customer’s Benefit would be less. If you are recommending a plan which benefits you more, you can not succeed in this business for a long time. Please stop committing the unavailable features and giving wrong information about the policy and features. Only the reputation we create will lead us in this business for a long time.

If you think that there is no way to the customer to know about the wrong selling, you are wrong. Sure the fact will come to his knowledge one day. Just imagine, what will he think about you if you have done a wrong sale? Whatever the earlier image we have created over a period of time will be waste by a single mistake. We should never sell a wrong policy by focusing higher commission or due to lack of knowledge.

I sold a policy to a doctor. I gave maximum life cover to

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him since he is the only earning person of his family and he has two

him since he is the only earning person of his family and he has two school going children. While he was about to pay the third year’s premium, I was working in a different place after my transfer. That time yet another agent met him and asked for a policy.

But, the doctor told him that he is already having a policy from the same company and the renewal is also due then. The agent enquired about the policy and checked the fund value also as it was ULIP plan.

He found that I gave maximum insurance cover and due to the higher insurance cover, higher mortality charges were taken. The agent rushed to the doctor and told him that he is cheated by me and showed him the mortality charges taken each month. He also added that all the mortality charges taken could have come to me as commission. In fact I was not an agent and his statement that mortality charges are given as commission was also absolutely false. He recommended another policy to the doctor showing minimal insurance cover of just 5 times of the premium and explained about the mortality charges for “sum at risk”.

The doctor got wild against me and he called me over my mobile. I understood the situation and I explained him about the conformation made while taking the policy. But the doctor was not convinced. He asked me while there is a provision to take sum assured for just 5 times of premium, why did I give him 40 times of premium. The plan I sold was a ULIP regular premium plan. That had a flexibility of taking sum assured from 5 times of

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annual premium to 40 times depending on the customer’s need and interest. Then I promised

annual premium to 40 times depending on the customer’s need and interest.

Then I promised him to send a detailed mail about the importance of Life Insurance and a proof stating the mortality charges would not go as commission. I sent a detailed mail to him. He took time to read it carefully and completely brought my point and felt sorry for suspecting me. He rejected the proposal of that agent. Even today the doctor is my friend.

What we understand from this case study? The agent instead doing a need analysis, he started abusing the other agent who sold in order to get good impression. This is a very wrong way of selling. Particularly, that agent didn’t have proper knowledge about financial planning through life insurance. Otherwise, he should have appreciated taking higher sum assured and gone for a cross selling. Finally, he didn’t get the benefit and also unnecessarily created a friction between me and the doctor.

If we are honest in selling, we don’t need to fear anybody.

Like this case study, if our prospect is already having a policy, instead researching the existing one, we can look for more opportunity to sell. As we discussed earlier with the case study of a spice merchant, the opportunity will always be there.

The customer may call you at anytime. We must replay in a responsible way.

If your customer is angry with you. Just handle him with

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patience. Any thing we do out of anger, we should feel sorry. After you clarify

patience. Any thing we do out of anger, we should feel sorry. After you clarify him, he will sure accept you.

If you create even single unsatisfied customer, that will spoil credibility with many.

Bad things spread faster than good.

The following points we discussed in this topic.

1. This profession can be done easily among our well known people.

2. We need to keep in contact with as many people as possible.

3. We need to allocate time for this profession everyday.

4. We should record what we did everyday.

5. Continuous effort is the only way to success in this profession.

6. We need to have faith on this industry and profession.

7. We need to believe our higher officers and do as per their guidance.

8. We need to strongly believe Life Insurance is important to all.

9. We need to work with honesty and responsibility.

Exercise:

1. Buy one long size, quality note book.

2. Name it as Prospect Database.

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3. Draw the following table in the notebook and write the details of the known

3. Draw the following table in the notebook and write the details of the known people from whom you can get policies. Minimum 200 names should be there while you start.

4. Add minimum 3 new names and details in that notebook everyday.

5. Draw the following table in two pages starting from the left page to right page.

6. Whatever the information you get about the prospect, write in that notebook.

7. Write complete detail of the policy taken there.

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You need to draw this table in a long size quality notebook by keeping two
You need to draw this table in a long size quality notebook by keeping two

You need to draw this table in a long size quality notebook by keeping two nearby pages as one page. Draw from the left page to right page and keep enough space for each prospect.

S. No

Prospect’s

name

How

do

I

His

Job

or

address,

contact

know him?

business

number

and

other

   

details

1st meeting date

2nd meeting date

3rd meeting

Recommended

date

Plan

Proposal

Form

Premium Amount

Premium

 

Policy Date

 

submitted date

Frequency

 

Birth

Days

of

     

family members

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As we discussed in the earlier topic, we came to know that to do this
As we discussed in the earlier topic, we came to know that to do this

As we discussed in the earlier topic, we came to know that to do this job, the knowledge is very important. Moreover this is not a product selling profession. We sell only the plan. We should have the ability to clearly explain the plan and features. To the questions asked by the prospects, we should give proper answer quickly then only we can win the heart of our customers and excel in our profession. The success secret of this profession is to create a strong confidence on our prospect’s mind.

Insurance agents those who are continuously successful will have a strong knowledge of this business and update of information. Ask them the importance of training classes, they will definitely recommend you to attend all the classes.

As I mentioned, Insurance Selling is an art. To perform any art, we need strong knowledge and practice. If we do things without proper practice, it will be as good as riding in a stallion without proper training. We need to learn required things by allocating time for that.

You may be confident to become expert by reading books. But, have you ever seen a person swimming with book knowledge? Have you ever seen a person performing classical dancing with book knowledge? Few people might have learnt art without proper practice. But, the time and effort they could have spent would be huge. With proper teacher, we can learn any art

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without mistakes faster. We can learn the techniques of the art which he got out

without mistakes faster. We can learn the techniques of the art which he got out of his experience.

Once I made a study on advisors based on their attendance in training programs. I found an interesting factor. 70% of regular training attendees are successful for more than one year. On the other hand, only 30% of advisors who didn’t attend training programs continued after 6 months from the date of their joining. They also failed in the subsequent years. If you want to do this profession for a long time, never miss any training session.

Once, my sales manager brought one busy businessman for interview. I discussed with him and found he has excellent contacts in that city. He is a senior member of a reputed club there too. But I found he was not attending training sessions regularly. Often he went out of the classes. I feared that he couldn’t pass the exam. The sales manager told me that he will be free only in the morning and Sundays and committed me to teach him on his free time. Somehow he passed the licensing exam. He logged only one own policy in the date of coding and after that he didn’t do anything. Due to lack of adequate knowledge in this business, he never gave importance to this business.

I met him in a party after few months and asked him why he didn’t continue insurance business. The replay he gave was shocking. He told that he was unable to do the business without the help of his sales manager as he didn’t have any knowledge. He blamed the sales manager that he promised him to support

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fully and didn’t keep his words. Many of us blame others for our failure. But

fully and didn’t keep his words. Many of us blame others for our failure. But the same time, if this agent could have attended the classes properly, by this time he could have been a top performing agent of that region itself.

There are many correspondence courses. Now the information technology has grown to an amazing level. The world has become very small. Through multimedia we can have a live video chat with a person anywhere in the globe. But, why there is no correspondence course for medical practitioners? The reason is medicine directly impacts a life. Medical practitioner dose a treatment for disease of that time. But, an insurance agent gives solution for the future till death. Now you can understand to what extent our profession is important and what sort of a role we are playing in our customer’s future. So, for life insurance profession, the physical training classes are very important.

An agent I have mentioned before, Mrs. Usha, attended all the training programs regularly. She didn’t miss even a small training program. Because of this, after three months she used to take the help of her higher official only for HNI (High Net- worth Individuals) calls. She started procuring all small premiums up to Rs.25000 on her own. Since she got on the job and off the job training properly, the time was at her disposal and she was not waiting for the sales manager’s availability. This increased her productivity. Many months, she was doing as good as a sales team’s business. She strictly followed all the instructions (including the above mentioned table) given in the training programs.

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Another agent, Mr. Karthikkumar, aged only 24. He was working in Chennai in a private

Another agent, Mr. Karthikkumar, aged only 24. He was working in Chennai in a private concern. He took 15 days leave to attend the training sessions for licensing exam. As he learned this business clearly, from the day one he started maintaining the data properly in a very attractive format. From the date of joining, he was continuously becoming a company club member. Each year, he used to rank one among top 5 in number of policies done.

In am in life insurance industry for the past 7 years, I used to undergo training programs frequently and also I used to update my knowledge through internet. But, even today I feel I have only 25% of the knowledge I need. One day in a training program one agent explained about the importance of savings in a different way. This example I couldn’t have got anywhere else.

The example told was; God keeps the required food inside each egg till the chick get complete growth. Or in other words, till the time the chick has capacity to search food. The only reason for keeping the required food inside the egg is the chick’s life will not be guaranteed if it goes out for food in a pre- matured state. Like this, each prime member of a family needs to adequately insure himself so that the entire family is protected. I feel this may not look like a best example, but surely a different scientific example. Unless I had an opportunity to be in that training session, I might have missed to know this concept.

Only through training programs we can get adequate information and method of using them for our business.

Just

watch

what

successful

medical

practitioners

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are

doing. At least once in a year, they attend medical conference on their domain by

doing. At least once in a year, they attend medical conference on their domain by spending their own money. Even if it happens in a foreign land, they don’t hesitate to invest their time and money to update their skill and knowledge. Why they are doing this? The reason is to excel. They want to know the new inventions and treatment methods and use them to ensure they are further successful. The other purpose is to discuss with other professionals and to update their contacts and knowledge. Though this is an expensive process, they never bother to spend on knowledge and updates.

Better knowledge will increase our presence of mind. We will be able to solve the problems and objections quickly with our better knowledge. Though there are many medium of learning is available, knowing from the expert is always better than self learning.

I hope now you will accept my point on importance of training sessions.

‘More Training Better Productivity’

Some tips to attend the training sessions:

Get the information of Training Date, time and duration well before. Most of the candidates are missing training session because of lack of intimation.

Try to complete all your important works before training.

If you are unable to complete your work before the training session, try to arrange some alternate.

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∑ If you are unable to arrange alternate solution, do your work after the training

If you are unable to arrange alternate solution, do your work after the training session. Nothing will happen.

Believe, you will get at least one new information in every training session.

By using Time Management techniques, give priority to your other works before or after the session.

To compensate your absence, try to seek the help of your friends and relatives.

During the year 2004, there were 18 days training program for agents for licensing exam. To get the agent’s exam hall ticket, all agents must attend 18 days training program. One candidate Mrs. Ramya have attended all 18 days program and passed the exam with good marks. The wonder here is that she was having a 3 months old baby. She used to bring her baby along with her grandma to the training center. Her grandma used to keep the baby in the next room while she was attending the training classes. Once in two hours, she used to feed her baby and continued to attend. What others will do in this situation?

Unless we create the opportunity and lookout for solution, we will never become free to learn something by investing time. To undergo any training program, we need only the interest and attitude. The door will automatically open. After the college, how many days we spent to learn new things in our life?

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There are many factors that are influencing the Sales Process and Sales Completion. In our

There are many factors that are influencing the Sales Process and Sales Completion. In our business, customer’s current financial position, current need and commitments, opinion of others and our convincing capacity are some important factors that are influencing the sales completion. But for the convincing capacity, others are not in our hand.

Our prospect will recognize us only based on the nature and truth of the information we shared with him. As many times I repeated, our product is not tangible. Our customer can not touch and feel or even see the product. To enjoy the benefit of our plan, the customer or his nominees need to wait for a long period. To sell such a plan, our selling ability must be sharpened.

For our profession, the selling ability is very important. Even if we are a stranger to our customer, he will pay his attention only to our knowledge and abilities.

The knowledge about our job is the knowledge about our organization, knowledge about job related current affairs, knowledge about our products and plans, knowledge about our competitor’s products, other investment and saving plan’s knowledge, current stock market situation, knowledge about future expenses of an individual, safety aspects and trustworthiness of life insurance companies, other general

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knowledge and updated general information are the important factors a life insurance agent must know.

knowledge and updated general information are the important factors a life insurance agent must know.

Knowing these information by heart and using these on time would enrich our selling process and it is important also.

Some Important Information:

1. Information about nature of our business

2. Information about our organization

3. Information about our plans

4. Information about our competitor’s plans

5. Information about other saving and investment tools

6. Basic Information of economics

7. Information about the safety aspects of life insurance industry and companies

8. Day to day update of news.

“The success of an agent depends on the information he exchanges during the conversation and the uniqueness of them.”

1. Information about nature of our Business.

Any action done without a purpose and mission will go waste. Moreover, without clearly knowing our job, we will not get the involvement in doing that. Any work done without involvement will not yield optimum result.

Information about nature of our business means the basic requirement of our business. For an example our contacts and their wish, sentiments and expectations is very important

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information for our business.

information for our business. As we know earlier, our job is serving. Serving means satisfying the

As we know earlier, our job is serving. Serving means satisfying the need of our customers. We are not selling products or doing a service for physical products. Since we are selling the intangible products called plans, we need to develop the ability of explaining things in an interesting way. For an example, when we explain about an event happened in the past, we explain others in such a way that they literally form the scene in their imagination and understand. Like this, when we explain our plans, we should explain in such a way that our prospects get the exact picture of the need and importance.

We can perform carefully if we know the nature of our business. For an example, if an agent explains a plan without understanding a particular group of people’s sentiments, there are chances for him to get adverse results.

Where can we search and get this information about the nature of our job? It’s near us. Yes, be in touch with the successful agents of your branch. Discuss with them for minimum of one hour every week.

When we begin this business, not everybody could have encouraged you. Very few could have told you that it is a right choice. Many could have discouraged you. If we give importance to all these comments, we would miss this great opportunity. Everyone successful today here, could have faced the troubles initially. Only people know exactly about this business will encourage you. Interestingly, they would be already doing this business. You need to be away from some unwanted people’s

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comments. This business is like taking water from Ocean, you will get as much as

comments. This business is like taking water from Ocean, you will get as much as you take. What we need is the ability of making friendship and ability of performing interesting conversations.

2. Information about our organization:

We need to win the confidence of our customer to win the competition. To win the confidence of the prospect, we must present enough information about our organization. Even if you have recommended the best plan, it is equally important to promote your company to help the customer to take a favorable decision.

“Whatever the information you are presenting to customer, don’t explain by words alone. Carry sufficient proofs to support them.”

Information about our organization is information about the history of our organization, performance, shareholder’s details, recent achievements, number of branches and geographical spread, the quality of service and the exclusiveness of our service and so on. We need to explain these with proofs to our prospect. These information will win the confidence of the customers though the benefit is enjoyed by him after few years only.

We can get the information about our organization in our Branch itself. Each day update the information. 1. When the organization started? 2. Number of customers we have, 3. The time taken for settling the claim or maturity, 4. The profile of each shareholder of the company, 5. The merit certificates and

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the positive news in the press about the company are some important information we need

the positive news in the press about the company are some important information we need to carry and show them to our prospects.

3. Information about the plans we sell:

As we saw before, we sell the plan. In other words, we sell the promise and collect money. The need of an individual is different from each person. Policy Term, Premium paying term, premium and maturity are some factors that are different from each person. If want the sales process to be completed successfully, we need to attract our customers. If we want to attract the customer, we need to recommend a plan that completely suits the customer’s need. Designing and presenting plans that are looking as tailor made, is itself an art.

Each life insurance company has different plans. Each plan is having a unique quality. We can not sell more plans to an individual. But the same time, we can not sell same plan to all. We need to focus only on the need of the prospect. Then, we need to choose plan or plans that can address the need of the prospect. Our prospect is not an expert in life insurance plans. But the same time, in future, some other agent may approach him and explain different plans. If we are recommending plans focusing on customers benefit. We will be remembered always.

If we want to recommend the best plan, we must clearly know about all the plans. If we know about the plans and their features clearly, we can make a better sales presentation with confidence and also the chance of committing mistake is very less. Knowing thoroughly about all plans will enable us to create

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combo plans that are very attractive.

combo plans that are very attractive. Only by reading the product brochures and company released presentations,

Only by reading the product brochures and company released presentations, we can not learn a plan completely. By attending product training session only we can get clear idea about the plans. In training sessions, we can know the benefits, features, common objections and handling techniques.

Selling after a clear idea about all the products of our company will increase our confidence while selling and also will give us confidence to approach the customers after the sales. If we sold a plan by focusing on our benefits or a plan that is not benefiting the customers, we will sure loose the confidence of the customer and people known to him.

“There are few agents selling products with higher commission only. Doing this, will spoil the entire respect we have created so far. In other words, if we sell plans that are customer centric, we will sure get more recommendations and references from the customer.

In the discussion of a person who has better knowledge about plans, the confidence and clarity will be there. We need to explain only the important features of the plan. Few people having deeper knowledge some time, instead selling they start taking product training to customers. We need to avoid this also. Intelligence is informing the required and we should not hide points that are important too.

The clarity about the plans will be gained only by learning, discussing and presenting with customers frequently.

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Many a times, the doubts expressed by our customers will make us to get some

Many a times, the doubts expressed by our customers will make us to get some unique selling points. The knowledge is getting a shape only by experience.

For an example, in ULIP policies, the profit depends on the stock market if the invested fund has equity exposure. It is profitable to invest when the market is down. Customers having knowledge about stock market will not prefer to invest in stock when the market is up if they see a chance that the market may come down. For the same reason, in the year 2006, a customer refused to invest. He liked the plan and he was interested to invest but when the market is down. I didn’t know to handle this objection till then.

Suddenly, I got an idea. I explained the customer that normally life insurance plans will take 4 to 5 days to get issued. Till such time the invested amount will not participate in the fund growth. But, after the policy is issued a customer can switch the amount among different funds. This exercise will take just a day. If the customer is investing when the market is down, within the next 4 to 5 days, before his money starts performing in the market, the market may go up and that growth may be missed. With this fact, I requested the customer to sign the proposal with debt fund investment and in the future once the market is down, I requested him to switch the fund to equity market so as to ensure the growth. He signed the proposal immediately.

Our brain is very powerful than many computers. It can store innumerous information. If we work with involvement, the brain will supply the information to us whenever it is required.

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The scientist, who invented Benzene, was trying too hard to draw the molecular structure. He

The scientist, who invented Benzene, was trying too hard to draw the molecular structure. He tried several times and he didn’t get a clue of making it possible. He saw an image in his dream and with the help of the image he saw, he drew the molecular structure of Benzene.

4. Our competitor’s plans:

Knowledge about our competitor’s plans and the top selling plans in the market is very important. The reason is our customer prefer only the best available. When our competitor is also on the race with the same customer, when our customer is comparing our plan with a competitor’s one, we can perform well and win if we have knowledge about their plans also.

We should never criticize our competitor’s plan. But, knowledge about competitor’s plan helps us to recommend a plan that is better than the competitor. If our customer is already having a competitor’s plan, we can recommend a plan that is different from the earlier one and offer him a different benefit.

Even if we are not clear about the entire competitor’s plan, we must know about the top selling life insurance plans in the market. We can get the details of competitor’s plans from our training team, higher officials and even directly from the agents of the competitor. But, we should never degrade our competitor or their plans. This will spoil our sales.

Having clear knowledge about our plans and our competitor’s plans will enrich our conversation. The confidence will be reflected in our speech. The things we believe strongly,

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that can be done with full involvement. Otherwise, we will keep quiet and come out

that can be done with full involvement. Otherwise, we will keep quiet and come out if our customer says a competitor’s plan is much better or we will start begging for a sale. By our submissive request, we can collect only donations not premiums. The chance of getting a donation is also very less.

In Chennai, we met one customer. He referred our competitor’s policy and he told that that policy (ULIP) has 95% first year allocation and a gift worth 10% will be given. So, the customer will get 105% of the premium as investment. That time, I was not aware the complete information about that particular plan. But, I had a clear knowledge about ULIP plans and I told him there is no chance for that unless there are hidden charges.

Fortunately, our agent who accompanied me heard about this plan few days before and discussed with that company’s agent. He got the product detailer from him and he was keeping that detailer. Then I took the detailer and explained our customer how that policy takes the charges in due courses and the sum of the charges was breath taking. We explained about our plan and its transparency.

What we did was wrong. But, in that situation to explain our stand and get the business, we did so. After listening to us, immediately the customer rang up the agent who was his relative and asked for the explanation about the hidden charges we mentioned. That agent gave him an escaping answer and finally the customer got frustrated and gave us a much lesser premium than he can.

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This is a clear loss for both of us and in fact we created a

This is a clear loss for both of us and in fact we created a bad impression about insurance plans. Now, we could have understood to some extent how an agent should and should not behave.

Initially we may struggle to understand about policies. But after a little experience, we can understand any plan easily. We can get the details any insurance plan in that particular company’s web site.

5. Knowledge about other savings and investment plans:

Selling pure term policy is very rare today. But, the actual insurance plans are term plans only (the plans has no maturity benefits and high sum assured). The main reason for this is people are not interested in plans that carry no maturity. I felt many times the interest of customer drops down once we say there will not be any maturity. In recent days, even after the market volatility, still people tend to go for ULIPs are the clear example of people’s interest towards short, flexible and high return giving plans.

By explaining life insurance plans along with the comparison of other saving and investment plans will increase the participation and interest of the customers. While explaining insurance plans, if we compare the various aspects of bank, postal savings, mutual funds, share trading and other investments like land and gold, people tend to pay attention to what we say. Nowadays, customers have high knowledge and aware of different schemes. We can get some attention only if we know a bit more than them.

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For an example, bank regular saving schemes, deposits, postal saving and deposit plans, bonds, mutual

For an example, bank regular saving schemes, deposits, postal saving and deposit plans, bonds, mutual fund schemes, stock market analysis, real estate value of your area and growth possibilities, tax effects, liquidity of those schemes, safety aspects and stability of profits are some important information we should always keep ready and updated with us.

All savings and investment plans are good and they will have their own plus points. But the selling technique is highlighting the strengths of what we sell. To do this, we need to have clear knowledge about all. Isn’t it?

We should be prepared with the comparative analysis of our plans with other savings and investment plans and the exclusiveness of our plans.

Each professional will have their own style of comparing these plans. Here I have compared these plans with life insurance to the extent I know.

Bank and Postal savings and investments:

Saving and depositing through banks and post office schemes are safe. The interest rates are guaranteed in the inception. But, the interest rates are often lesser or equal to inflation. Saving through these instruments will attract an indirect loss only. We will discuss in detail about inflation latter. Interest rates of banks are changing year by year. If we are investing in a deposit which gives 8% interest for a 5 year term, we will get the maturity with interest at the end of 5 years. But, if we want to keep the money for some more years with the

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same rate of interest, it will not be possible. The investor has to invest through

same rate of interest, it will not be possible. The investor has to invest through the new deposit and the interest rate may not be equal or more than the previous. But we need to remember a point. When a country’s economy is growing, the bank’s interest rates are expected to slash down. For an example, just look at the bank interest rates of the developed countries. India is a fastest growing economy in the world now.

If we take an analysis that a person saves monthly Rs.1000/- for an expense of his near future that can happen after 10 years. He wants to save this monthly Rs.1000/- for ten years and use the maturity for his future need or dream. Mr. X saves that in bank and Mr. Y saves that through life insurance scheme that can give him maturity and life cover. If they die on the 3 rd year, for Mr. X, the bank will give the money with interest that is saved till this death to his nominee. But, for Mr. Y, the life insurance company will give the sum assured (+ fund value or bonus depending upon the scheme selected) which is much higher than the paid (saved) premium. Here in other words, I can say, Mr. X got what he saved and Mr. Y’s nominee got what he wanted to save.

Gold:

How buying gold as ornaments can be an investment? When we buy gold as jewels, we tend to pay 15% to 20% more than the cost of gold as making charges and wastages. If we want to invest, we need to buy as gold-cakes only. But, we need to keep them safe. There are risks involved in keeping them. Buying gold and keeping them is more profitable to the people who do

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that as business and not for common public. Residential Plots and Land: All of us

that as business and not for common public.

Residential Plots and Land:

All of us have higher level of interest to buy land and plots. This increases our social status. To build our dream home, we can buy land or if we want to do agriculture, we can buy land and we can invest in one or two plots and land. Buying more and more land is profitable and healthy only for those who do it as business. Often, we need to pay more than the registered value when we buy land. The excess money paid above the registered value attracts no guarantee and safety. If the government wants to acquire your land for a project, the government will pay you only the guideline value on that time. The liquidity on land is very low. Another threat is changing the value by an establishment. For an example, there are many commercial properties have lost value due to a flyover bridge constructed above.

Share Market:

There are lot of differences in investing into stock markets directly and investing through funds (mutual funds and ULIP funds). People who are doing stock market investment as their full time business also have lost huge amount in share trading. Without proper experience and knowledge, investing directly onto shares is highly risky. We can buy and keep shares of good companies as long term investments. But, it is not advisable to keep our entire money there. Fund managers of life insurance companies are experts in stock market. Moreover, IRDA will not permit them to take risky investment strategies.

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To explain and compare genuine information like this, we need to have a clear idea

To explain and compare genuine information like this, we need to have a clear idea and knowledge about other instruments also.

6. Basic information of Economics:

It is important to prove our self as an expert in front of our esteemed customers. As per the psychology, if we want to impress someone, we need to be an expert in our profession. The major part of our business success depends on how we impress our customers.

We may not be an expert in all. But, it is important to be an expert in information related to our business.

Some important economics information related to our business.

1. Inflation: The decreasing value of money due to the price increase year after year is called as inflation. In the recent past, the inflation rate is nearly 7% year by year. In what way we are affected by this?

If average inflation rate is 7%, and if we invest in an instrument that gives 7%, we did not make any profit. To know this in detail, if we can buy one product with 100 rupees this year, due to inflation the same product will cost 107 rupees next year. If we invest in an instrument that gives 7% interest, we can buy the same product next year with the maturity of this instrument. As a result of this, his money is not grown here. Now, guess whether this investment is profitable or not.

So,

only

by

getting

an

interest

or

profit

above

the

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inflation will increase the value of money. If we know this fact and discuss with

inflation will increase the value of money. If we know this fact and discuss with this information, our discussion will have truth and attraction.

Once I was sharing about inflation and its impact with my NRI client. He was shocked to know that he was keeping around 18 lakhs in platforms that give him return lesser than the

inflation. After calculating the impact of the inflation, the very next day he took my help in closing all those investments and as

a result of it, I got Rs.5 lakhs of premium. Hope you understand now that all information is valuable.

2. Tax rates and Tax rebate:

Only for few investments the tax relief is there. There are two types of tax rebates. One type is while investing and another

is while withdrawing. There are few platforms like PF, PPF, Tax

relief bonds, and tax relief mutual fund and so on. This is under the section 80(c). But in India, only life insurance has both the tax relief while investing and also while withdrawing. The tax exemption on survival benefit, death claim and maturity is there for life insurance plans under sec10(10D). If a customer can enjoy the entire maturity or death claim as a non taxable income means, is it a very attractive plan or not? It is a very strong tool to counter other investment schemes.

Beyond this, we need to know income tax slabs, plans having tax reliefs, capital gain tax rate and service tax rate are the important details we need to know and update. These information will be helpful to create a confidence with customers.

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In India, the season for life insurance selling is from December to March of each

In India, the season for life insurance selling is from December to March of each year. The salaried people will complete their tax planning in December itself and other self employed and business people will take time till March end. If we are expert in tax planning, we will get great mileage during this period.

3. Our Country’s economical growth:

The growth of our investment will directly depend on our country’s economical growth. The economical growth of a country depends on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of that country. Every year the GDP factor will be announced in media. (Interim calculations are also got published often) Our country’s GDP is growing at the rate of 8% (average) per year for the past few years. It means, the total production of our country (income through production and service) will be doubled in every 9 years. This will directly reflect on per-capita income of average Indian. This is sweet news for all of us. Isn’t it?

As we are one among the fastest growing countries in the world, the same phase of growth is possible for more years in the future too. In the world, it is identified that four countries will have a steady and strong economic growth in the future. These countries are called as BRIC countries. That is Brazil, Russia, India and China. Since India is one among the four attractive market, investing in Indian stocks are highly profitable. Instead telling the customer this may be the return, informing him with data like this would make him more comfortable to listen to you.

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These information can be obtained by magazines and news papers. We need to update regularly

These information can be obtained by magazines and news papers. We need to update regularly and keep ready with us at any time. It will be more helpful if we keep other growing and grown country’s details.

What we are discussing are the factors which can affect a common man. Some more factors like per-capita income, domestic saving factors, future interest rates of investment schemes, share market predictions, change in laws and new amendments are to be watched closely. As we discussed earlier, the growth of a country will directly reflect in the growth of individuals.

7. Safety aspects of life insurance companies:

What ever the financial instrument we sell, people tend to give priority to safety aspects. If we represent a popular brand customers will not have much hesitation. But, if we represent a new brand, these information will support us to create a confidence. Unless we make the prospect comfortable, the sale will not happen.

There are laws controlling insurance industry in India. Insurance Act 1938, LIC act 1956 and IRDA act 1999 are the laws defines all parts of insurance business and controls them. These laws define even the maximum commission to be offered to agents.

Insurance Act Sec 27:

Assets and funds of Insurance companies should invest 65% in central government bonds and 35% in approved

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investments.

Insurance act 27C:

investments. Insurance act 27C: Insurance companies should not invest the policy holder’s money outside India directly

Insurance companies should not invest the policy holder’s money outside India directly or indirectly.

Insurance act sec 29:

Insurance companies, but for loan on policy, should not give any loan even to its managers and directors.

Insurance act sec 31B:

Insurance companies should not give commissions and wages above the specified level.

Insurance act sec 34C:

While the performance of an insurance company is not satisfied, to protect the public and investor’s interest, the Authority can appoint additional directors for the company.

Insurance act sec 40B:

Insurance companies in India are not allowed to spend more than the specified amount for management.

Insurance act Sec52H:

To protect the interest of the public and investors, the Central Government can takeover and run the insurance company if it not managed properly.

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Insurance Act 54:

Insurance Act 54: Notwithstanding anything contains in Indian Company’s Act 1913, an insurance company shall not

Notwithstanding anything contains in Indian Company’s Act 1913, an insurance company shall not wind up or go for solvency.

These are few laws that can increase the confidence level of our customers.

8. Day to day update of News:

We need to update on our job related news regularly. We should observe these information through media. The important information discussed above is to be updated on daily basis.

We can differentiate us from others only by our in-depth knowledge and command we have on subject. This differentiating factor only creates a desired environment for sale. Current world is an information era and doing revolution on information technology. If we want to be a fit professional now, we need to spend time everyday in collecting and updating information. Particularly, life insurance advisors and sales professionals must subscribe for insurance magazines. Without investing money on this, we can not become the best.

More than the domain based knowledge we should develop us on other talents. This will help us to create easy friendships. Ever in the world, the respect will go for the wise.

“The recommendations you are giving should always be the best and exclusive”

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We will discuss about the basic requirements for doing this profession under this session. Whatever

We will discuss about the basic requirements for doing this profession under this session. Whatever the profession, depending on its nature, we need to have some basic requirements. If we have them already it is appreciable. Otherwise, we can develop them if we have involvement. But, if we are ignoring these basic requirements, we can not run the show for a long time.

Basic requirements for Life Insurance selling profession:

1. The number of contacts we have.

2. The time we allot everyday for this profession.

3. Vehicle and Mobile Phone.

4. Will to learn.

5. Interest on Money, Reward and Growth.

6. Self confidence and perseverance.

7. Nature of loving customers.

8. Being ready to serve always.

We will see the above stated in detail now. The above mentioned points are only a few important requirements. By experience, we can develop as it says, ‘practice makes a man perfect’.

1. The number of contacts we have:

Our strength in this profession is the number of known people. As we discussed earlier, the investment required for this

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profession is mainly the number of contacts we have. A person having more contacts can

profession is mainly the number of contacts we have. A person having more contacts can do this profession easily.

Each one of us knows many people. But, we need to identify the prospects for your business who can take a policy from us.

Who can take a policy? Anyone earning can take a policy. But, all earning person may not in a position to pay premium. Though life insurance is important to all, few people’s income may not be sufficient for their survival itself. We need not waste our time with these people. We can approach who lives within his income and have something in surplus. In other words, we can approach from middle class to anyone upwards.

Method of listing our contacts:

We need to write down the list of known people as mentioned below. Take time to prepare this list so as to ensure no one is missed out.

1. Close Relatives

2. Distant Relatives

3. Friends

4. Neighbors and people in your locality

5. Your classmates and teachers

6. Your colleagues (past and present)

7. Your existing customers of other job or business

8. People for whom you are a customer (milk vendor, provision store owner, carpenter, electrician, parents of your children’s friends, tailor, textile owner, vegetable

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vendor, meat vendor, cable TV operator, mechanic, doctor, barber, your colony association members and anyone

vendor, meat vendor, cable TV operator, mechanic, doctor, barber, your colony association members and anyone with whom you have access)

We may not have all the details of the listed person at the time of preparing this list. But, we can write down in a note book and collect the details one by one latter. The main reason for us to prepare this list in a note book is not to miss out anyone. We can not remember everybody and recollect whenever we want. If we have maintained in a note book, whenever we want, we can access to the data. This data will be very useful for us to plan each day.

How can we do this job if we know less number of people? As we discussed earlier, we should become member of clubs in your city. We should learn the art of making friendship. Where ever people are gathering you also be there. Everyday get introduced to minimum of 20 new people and share your visiting card. There will be a place where people go for early morning and evening walking. You also go there and you can find the wishes are shared within a week and you will make friendship there. You can attend any famous Yoga classes where you can get access to rich people. Like this, you can list down many ways to get introduced and become popular.

These procedures are not only for people with fewer contacts, but also for every one who want to succeed for a long time. Whom so ever you meet, you must look out for an opportunity to sell a policy or to get references.

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2. The time we give for this profession: It is important to allot adequate time

2. The time we give for this profession:

It is important to allot adequate time everyday for this profession. Candidates who have all the qualities of a successful agent are failing only because of this reason.

In the year 2006, my sales manager brought to me one business man for agent’s interview. He has more contacts in his town and he was also interested to do this profession.

I asked the business man that the hours he can allot to

this business everyday. He told me that he wouldn’t require a separate time to do this business and he would do along with his regular activities. Though I tried to explain him the importance of separate time, he didn’t accept. Finally to give a try out I selected him to become an agent. He didn’t attend the training session regularly and even for exam, my sales manager struggled to make him appear. God’s grace, he passed the exam and became an agent.

After that, we tried very hard to make him perform and failed. Without dedicating adequate time we can not become successful in any business. In this business, time is converted as currency. Day by day, the money we earn per hour will be manifold.

“Here, time will become currency”

I would like to remember an interesting personality here.

In Namakkal, Tamil Nadu, there is an agent named Mr. Karuppannan. He is a national topper for that life insurance company. I had an opportunity to discuss with him about his

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success secrets. He taught me a new approach to this business. He used to go

success secrets. He taught me a new approach to this business. He used to go for early morning walking everyday by 6 am. He used to choose different directions from his home and walk for one hour in that direction. While returning back, he used to meet the known people in their home and enquire their well being. While starting from their home, he used to promote insurance plans and everyday he meets 15 people like this before 8 am. After returning home, he writes the prospects met. After that, he used to meet the hot prospects (prospects who agreed to take a policy) and complete the sale.

It was very interesting and I invited him to deliver a speech in my agent’s meet. He shared the same point there. There were many agents attended the meet but one took this point very seriously. The very next day morning our agent Mr. Manivannan (he is also a business man) called me by 6 am and told early morning formula is very successful and he already collected 25000 rupees premium.

I was very happy that at least one agent can take the point. In few months, Mr. Manivannan also had become national topper and even today he is very successful in life insurance business.

3. Vehicle and Mobile Phone:

To overcome the competition, we must be fast in serving our customers. In this profession the competition is high due to higher number of agents in the market. Because of this, the customers are getting more offers and services at their door steps. At this juncture, customers expect only a timely service. To

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give a timely service, vehicle and mobile phone is very important. As we discussed before,

give a timely service, vehicle and mobile phone is very important.

As we discussed before, here the time will become currency. To save our time and use it effectively, own vehicle is important. We don’t need to travel by costly cars. But, minimum a two wheeler is essential to this profession. Otherwise, we can work only 1/5 th of a person who has vehicle.

Our customer may not be ready when we wish. We should be at his service. To reach him in time, own vehicle in good condition is very important.

Like this, Mobile Phone is also essential. When a technology is used by most of the people, we also would be compelled to use it. With a Mobile Phone, we can be in touch with our customers at any time. Now, most of the agents are having these. But, it is very bad to know that there are very few sales managers are not having vehicle and proper mobile phone.

“Don’t change your mobile number often”

4. Will to learn:

As we discussed earlier, knowledge is very important for this business. To learn, we need to have open mind. Person who thinks, ‘I know everything’, will become good for nothing.

Learning is a never ending process of our life. Whatever we learn without interest can not be remembered when required. People not having a will to learn, will have a very short span of life in this business.

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When the great Socrates was sentenced, he was asked to take the poison to death.

When the great Socrates was sentenced, he was asked to take the poison to death. The day came and the soldiers asked him to do so. On that time, he asked the soldiers to give him some more time to enjoy a new music that came on air. He asked them to give an opportunity to learn a new thing before he dies since that the music was new to him. Just see the thirst of great people. Learning is the only way to keep us alive and young.

To get the interest in learning, we must love our profession. We should have a passion to be a master in our profession. Always remember this world offers a red-carpet welcome only to wise. We need to analyze what we learnt new before going to bed everyday.

Or, imagine a situation when our customer raises doubt and we are unaware of an answer to that. We will sure get the urgency to learn.

5. Interest on Money, Reward and Growth:

People say that the heart that says ‘enough’ will make a peaceful life. In the present competitive world, we can change and say that the heart that always urges to work more without saying ‘enough’ will make a peaceful and successful life.

We would have not achieved anything significant without having a goal and strived to achieve that. This is why I mentioned that we should work harder without saying ‘enough’. Edison invented 1093 products and equipments only by working 18 hours everyday.

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There are many life insurance agents who feel achieved after doing the minimum required business

There are many life insurance agents who feel achieved after doing the minimum required business to keep their license in-force. Is there any benefit to them or the branch or the company by doing this?

Successful people don’t benefit them alone. They benefit their team and their people. As we discussed before, many people are influenced and are becoming successful by following agents like Mr. Karuppannan and Mr. Manivannan.

If we have higher goal in this profession, we will not rest and continue to meet more people and do more policies. As we discussed before, if we insure more people, that benefits our nation. Obviously, the successful agent’s family will be rich. Because of successful people, pleasure is for all.

We should have interest to make money. Do we have interest to make more money? Yes, we must have it because, this world treats richer as successful people. But the same time, we shouldn’t make money by doing an unethical selling by using his ignorance. The only factor that enables us to work without tired is the passion.

There is no point in working without a goal. We can plan only when we have a goal. We can act only when we have a plan. We can reach the top only by acting. So, the goal we have should be greater.

In my experience, no one achieved anything remarkably without having an interest in anyone of these money, reward or growth. Aimless people’s efforts will come to an end after

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achieving the minimum required business each year and after few years they will vanish from

achieving the minimum required business each year and after few years they will vanish from this business.

Only the failed people criticize about this business. As we discussed earlier, a person who know the glory of this profession would have joined as agent instead of speaking about it. I strongly say this is a Noble Profession.

In this profession, the renewal commission is paid only to the policy procured agent. To earn big money, we don’t need to take higher premium policies. Instead, we need to go for high number of policies. Your stay in this business will be concreted only by higher number of customers. The opportunity to acquire higher number of customer is high in this profession unlike any other profession. The top performing agents of all the companies are visiting foreign countries frequently without spending from their pocket.

6. Self confidence and Perseverance:

Self confidence and perseverance (trying hard with firmness) is very basic requirement of success. For this profession, we need little more than it required for other business. The reason is we are selling plans and the benefits are enjoyed by the customers after a long time.

We need to continue to try with confidence till our customer makes a favorable decision after getting the confidence on us and our plan. While he transforms to make a favorable decision, there are many chances that can influence his decision and we should be always prepared to face them with

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self confidence and perseverance.

self confidence and perseverance. a customer. He met the customer few times before for business discussion.

a customer. He met the

customer few times before for business discussion. Though it

was a hot call, the sales completion was taking time.

Once, my agent took me to

I discussed with the prospect and found that we have a good opportunity to get big premium from him. Who will leave if an opportunity is explored? I continued to follow him for business. But after few discussions, my agent left the hope and left following him. But, without my agent, I directly followed the prospect.

From the first discussion, we took 45 days to complete the sale and I got a good premium and gifted to my agent who introduced him. The sum assured under that policy was 1.25 crores. By taking this business, I learnt a valuable lesson that is ‘Self Confidence and Perseverance’.

Some occasions, we have got positive replay after 6 months from the prospects. Remember the delay will bring better favor to you. It is worth to wait long because we are going to get a long term business and personal relationship with each customer.

7. Nature of Loving Customers:

By believing us, our customers are giving us the responsibility of protecting their family’s financial need and his future financial requirements.

The benefit from a customer will not end with single

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policy. Once he is satisfied, he will recommend us to all his known people whenever

policy. Once he is satisfied, he will recommend us to all his known people whenever they think about an insurance, savings or investments. What else you want from a satisfied customer? If one is becoming two and then multiples? Just think about the manifold benefit.

All customers are expecting transparency and truth from us. By being transparent and truthful, we can win the confidence of them and become a top performer.

Once, my agent got a bigger amount as single premium from a customer. In the year 2008 the share market was going down. On that occasion, the customer tried to contact the agent and get the information on the stock market and fund switching. To escape from that, the agent informed the customer not to worry. He told him that the market would improve.

But, the market continued to fall down. The customer was frustrated and again tried to contact the agent. The agent failed to pick the call. Finally the customer found my visiting card and called me once the market actually touched the bottom end. I was getting updates from the investment experts and I was little aware of the situation already. With that little knowledge, I gave confidence to the customer with adequate proofs and asked him to wait. The customer told me that he was not angry with the initial wrong suggestion given by the agent but he was upset really by the negligence of the agent.

I believe it is our basic responsibility to answer the call of our customer unless if we are indisposition to receive the call. Even if we are missing the call, we need to call them back once

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we come out of that situation.

we come out of that situation. We miss the call from only unwanted and irritating people.

We miss the call from only unwanted and irritating people. Can we consider our customers as unwanted and irritating? If we behave like this, how blunder it will be? Misusing a technology will be as good as insulting the invention itself.

We can attract the customer by offering other help and suggestions. There are many business giants are made by a simple philosophy of less margin and high turnover. So, give first priority to your customer’s benefit. We need to take care of our customers with higher level of responsibility.

Why we need to be so caring? You will understand this once you continue to read. Once, from an unknown mobile number, one lady called me with tensed voice. After few seconds, I understood that she is my customer’s wife. I made her to relax and discussed with her. When she called me, she was in Bangalore and I was in Trichy.

She told me that her husband was brutally attacked by unknown gang and admitted in hospital in a serious condition. He was in coma and after few hours of treatment, he came to conscious for few minutes and asked his wife to contact me and again went unconscious. He is a smart and responsible family man and it was really shocking news to me.

He was in a very critical condition that time and I was unable to go there due to my official appointments. I asked his wife to go to her home and takeout all the policy documents and call me. I got all the policy numbers and enquired with all

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companies that he had policies and found he took no medical insurance policy. I felt

companies that he had policies and found he took no medical insurance policy. I felt bad and I became normal after he spoke to me in his recovered health condition.

But, still I am not convinced about my part played as a financial advisor that I could have insisted him to go for a medical insurance policy when I took business from him. Please understand from this situation to what extend we are important to each customer.

8. Being ready to serve always.

Do we have any particular time for this profession? Can we allot any specific time to this business like other profession? If we have a full fledged office and wait there for the customer to come, can we get any business? What time is suitable to this job? Is it morning or evening? Working days? Holidays? In fact there is no specific time for this business.

Life Insurance plans are very important to all. How many know this fact? Have you ever heard a customer have walked into life insurance offices and took policies? Even if it had happened, that would be rare and would be for a different purpose.

Once I was discussing with my friend in Life Insurance Corporation. That time, one gentleman approached my friend and asked for a life insurance policy. I was shocked and I was happy that people started realizing the importance of life insurance. I thought that the forthcoming days would bring glory to all agents and sales people of life insurance.

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Curiously I asked that gentleman for the reason he wanted a life insurance policy. His

Curiously I asked that gentleman for the reason he wanted a life insurance policy. His answer demolished my one minute happiness. To get an address proof to apply for a driving license he proposed that policy. This happened in the year 2006. I was very sure that policy would have been discontinued. We can not run any business by taking the reference of occasional events.

We need to do this business only when our prospects are free and in a place that is convenient to them. So, we don’t have any specific time to do this business. If we observe the great people, either their body or mind will be working always.

We need to meet some people in some specific time and there are times when we shouldn’t meet them too. For an example, we need to meet the office goers in the morning before 7.30 am or after 7 pm or on holidays. On holidays, after 9 a.m. and before the lunch time and after 6 pm are the right time to meet them.

We should not meet the medical practitioners (doctors) during their consulting time. Either before their consulting time or after they complete their work, we should meet them.

We should not meet the business people and traders between 9 am and 2 pm. Because, this is the time they are normally busy with their banking activities and other follow up activities. Meeting them in this time frame, will be disturbing them and they may not listen to you.

In general, the successful sales presentation happens

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during prospect’s free time and particularly in their home. We have observed that the presentations

during prospect’s free time and particularly in their home. We have observed that the presentations made between 7 am to 8.30 am have given us 1 sale out of 3 presentations within a month.

Like this, we are supposed to meet different types of prospects in different time and we should be ready to work at any time round the clock.

In Trichy, we got an appointment to meet a customer at 10.30 pm. We were there in his home by 10.30 pm. When we started the discussion, it was 11.30 pm. That was a pleasant discussion and we were able to convince him. Finally he gave us

a

premium of Rs.25,000 at 12 pm. The specialty of that premium

is

that was the first policy of a private life insurance company’s

Trichy branch when I was responsible of installing that branch’s operation.

For back office staffs the work time is between 9 am and 6 pm. But for a sales man, the time is when the opportunity is there. Luck is nothing but a point where the opportunity meets the alertness.

What we have seen so far are the characteristics that we need the most to do this business successfully. Anything is missing from this will disturb the business to a greater extent. Small things together make Perfection but Perfection is not a small thing.

As I am insisting on so many points, please don’t feel that this profession is a tough one. If we are cautious on small points,

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this profession is like a gold mine.

this profession is like a gold mine. Nature never likes the delay. Nature throws the opportunities

Nature never likes the delay. Nature throws the opportunities before us and it is our responsibility to catch them. If we miss, it will go to someone.

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This is the first step of sales process. What we have seen before are the

This is the first step of sales process. What we have seen before are the pre-sales preparations. Now, we are on the job. Things we are discussing after this are very important practical procedures. These are learnt from different occasions. This will change from person to person depending on the situation and need. For an example, we don’t need to use the sales techniques like a professional sales man with our well known people. Artificial behaviors with our close one may give a negative result.

So, use these techniques depending on the situation and people. But, the methods discussed here are proved successful. By following them, you can avoid negative results and mistakes.

Approaching is the primary step of a sales process. The mistake we make here will spoil or disconnect the further proceedings. Approaching should create a good impression with our customers. Before we see the approaching methods, we will understand the importance of approaching.

By introducing or remembering us with our prospect, getting the time for business discussion is called approaching. By approaching, we can get the time to meet the prospect at his convenient place.

If we meet the prospect without getting a proper appointment, we may start our discussion without knowing his comfort and work load. By discussing like this, we may not get

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the attention of the prospect. We will be wasting the time of us and our

the attention of the prospect. We will be wasting the time of us and our prospect and finally we may create a bad impression about us.

We can save time by approaching. By getting a proper appointment by approaching, we are assured of meeting the prospect in a convenient time and place. Sometime, our prospect may not keep his words and may ask us to come back after some time. We can be benefited by this because a thin layer of kindness will be created in his mind if we are patiently accepting to meet him again.

On the other hand, if we meet a prospect without a proper appointment. He may not discuss with us if he is busy and the time and money taken to travel there will be a waste. People started this business without approaching, have wandered and ran out of this business with frustration in few months. The reason here is not the toughness of this profession. It is because of our mistake of doing this without proper practices. Moreover we will gain someone’s anger if we meet him without his permission.

Approaching is the first event. Is it important to create a good initial impression or not? First impression is always should be the best impression.

Few agents may say that even the well known people are not picking the call if we ask time to discuss about life insurance and the best way is to just meet them at their place. This is also a true statement. But it will be a costly trial if we meet someone without proper appointment. The rate of error will be minimized

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if we follow the successful strategies.

if we follow the successful strategies. “Never believe that all the approached prospects will give appointment

“Never believe that all the approached prospects will give appointment to meet and discuss.”

Approaching is calling the prospect through mobile phone or landline and asking a right time and place to discuss about our plans.

Why we need to ask for appointment through mobile or landline? Can’t we go directly and ask the permission? Going directly to a prospect’s place will involve cost and time. The process of approaching is only to reduce them. Often the travel gives no result, the frustration mounts.

Another benefit of approaching is getting the opportunity of discussing with the prospect with his acceptance and involvement. If the discussion happen with participation of prospect, that will be lively and give a good start to the sales process.

While approaching our voice should be clear and kind. Since we are contacting through phone, our voice should be with modulation and audible.

Things we need to conform while approaching:

1. While approaching, keep yourself in a calm place. Then only

the conversation will be clear and without disturbance and our

mission also will be fulfilled.

2. If you are calling from your mobile phone, call from a place

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where there is a clear signal. Ensure the discussion is not disturbed for any reason.

where there is a clear signal. Ensure the discussion is not disturbed for any reason.

3. While calling, if the prospect is busy or not in a mood to speak, softly tell him that you will call latter. Don’t try to explain anything then.

4. When there is a favorable situation, ensure that you are speaking with the right person initially. Introduce yourself and enquire his well being. Ask his permission to meet and discuss about the plans. It is better to make the approaching dialogues as short and sweet. For an example, “good morning sir, I am John on line, may I speak to Mr. David?” (On the other end, if David is there, he will say ‘yes’ otherwise you will get the information of when can you contact Mr. David.) (If Mr. David is on the other end ask him like) “Sir, I would like to meet you and discuss about a saving and investment plans we have. Shall I meet you today evening Sir?” (If he says ‘yes’, ask for the time and place to meet him) If he says not in the evening, ask for tomorrow morning Or tomorrow Afternoon and ensure the meeting happens as soon as possible. Often you may get answers like, ‘I am not interested’, and ‘I already invested enough and call me after two months’.

Remember once again, if all the approaches are getting converted as appointments, all life insurance agents and sales people will be millionaires by this time.

While getting negative replays, you need to be more confidently continue the conversation and you should ensure that you are not irritating him. As a final tool you can say him that you will not force him to buy a policy and you will leave the

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purchase at his decision. Tell him that you need time only to explain the plans

purchase at his decision. Tell him that you need time only to explain the plans and their benefits.

We can say to the prospect that he can invest if he is interested or he can call us whenever he likes to take a plan. You need not exactly follow the words I have given here. Most of the sales training programs will guide you to follow the script. But, I would recommend you to be as you are and speak without slipping from your nature. If your way of speaking is not polite and pleasant, you must correct that immediately. Don’t let your conversation to look artificial and never force the prospect to favor you.

Speaking through phone is an art. While we speak before a person, both of us can see each other and see the expressions. But, through phone, both of you are not seeing each other and your emotions can be conveyed only through the voice modulations. In how many ways we can express the statement, ‘I want a cup of water’?

Good orators have gone to top most positions than people who are expert in action. For example, great leaders have attracted mass crowd of people only by their speeches and won their confidence.

sell

approaching is to get appointment and not to sell.

Never

try

to

while

approaching.

Your

aim

of

While approaching, sit in a place comfortably and keep your pen and diary ready. After calling don’t search for pen or paper. That may disturb your prospect. Clearly note the time and

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place with exact address while fixing the appointment. If your prospect asks to meet him

place with exact address while fixing the appointment. If your prospect asks to meet him in a place after one week or so, call him a day before the meeting and conform the time and place again because in one week many things can change.

Please note:

Our biggest enemy in our life is our hesitation. Don’t leave anyone without approaching them and never forget that by giving a life insurance plan, you are helping him and his dependants.

Hesitation is our greatest weakness. If we are not asking, someone in this world will ask him. Never miss any opportunity that is seen.

One of my relative got a good job. He is my close relative and he likes me very much. Somehow I didn’t discuss with him about life insurance plans. After few months only he came to know that I work for a life insurance company. Once I was in his home and I found a policy document of my company there. I came to know that he took a policy with the same company I work through some other agent for a sizable premium.

To become an expert in approaching, you must approach minimum 15 prospects everyday. This experience will teach many things that we left to see here.

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Now, we have approached and got appointment to present our plans to our prospect. Will

Now, we have approached and got appointment to present our plans to our prospect. Will we directly to and meet the prospect? While you are going for an exam, will you directly go and write the exam? Or will you do preparation before the exam?

Meeting in person is also like an exam. This is the occasion to score good marks by using your knowledge and skills. You need to prepare before this most awaited and important occasion.

How a surgeon is preparing before a surgery? How the pilots and airport officials are preparing before the takeoff? How a candidate is preparing before an interview? Like this, we need to prepare before each presentation.

There are few steps involved in preparing. We will see them one by one here.

1. Gathering Information: To know all important details about our prospect in advance is must. To the maximum possible extent we need to collect the information about the prospect. If we have required information about our prospect, we can run a trial presentation in our mind before the actual presentation. Practice is an important confidence boosting exercise. Prospect’s age, family member’s details, job or profession, income, likes and

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dislikes and anything that can help us are the information we need to collect. These

dislikes and anything that can help us are the information we need to collect. These information will help us to avoid mistakes and target his needs and interests. Any small information can help us to a greater extent.

2. Choosing a correct plan and collecting proofs and documents:

Since we have information about the prospect before the presentation, we can choose the most suitable plans and study them once again. We can collect the proof and documents that can support the sales and keep them ready in our bag before we start. By doing this, you can optimally use the given time. The time given is short. We can expect favorable results only by using the given time effectively. If you are not confident in choosing

the right plans, you can very well take the help of your higher officials. Present plans that can satisfy your prospect. Many successful agents often design combo plans with few existing plans on their own. These plans look like excusive plans that are designed for prospect. For an example, we can design a combo plan with ULIP or Money Back along with a medical insurance plan.

3. Appearance is Important: We need to attract our prospect in

the first second of the meeting. Irrespective of your experience and knowledge, your appearance will get you the first 10% of marks. The dress you wear should be in suitable color and it should not irritate the prospect. Like dress, the things you keep with you also will reflect you. Keep a good looking bag, pen and keep your hair well combed. Keep your eyes on things that can create a good impression. Don’t carry or keep anything that can irritate your prospect.

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4. Remembering the same type of customers: Right examples always help the sale. But there

4. Remembering the same type of customers: Right examples

always help the sale. But there must be truth in our statements. Highlighting the customers alike to the prospects or highlighting the satisfied existing customers from his place or relative will help the sale by enhancing the confidence. Sometime, the wrong examples have destroyed the sale also. So, we need to remember the right examples ready and use them in the appropriate time. For an example, keeping the fund statement of a profitable policy holder’s will help the sale. Only our experience will teach us the art of choosing and using the right examples.

5. Few seconds before the meet: We must be there in the

meeting point at least 10 minutes before the given time. This will reduce your last minute tension. The mental tension will reduce the efficacy of our skills to a greater extent. As you are in the prospect’s place, you need to do the following things. Keep the things ready and keep them in your hand. Don’t search for things after sitting in front of the prospect. Instead taking your visiting card from purse or pocket before him, keep it ready in your hand. “You are in his place and spending his time. So, ensure you are not doing anything that disturbs him”.

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Fact finding is observing and collecting the required details and information about the prospect. This

Fact finding is observing and collecting the required details and information about the prospect. This is in addition to the topic we saw “collecting information”. These data are the data which can support or disturb the sale. For example, prospect’s current financial status, health condition, his existing insurance policy details, current commitments and so on.

We may not get correct information before we meet. But, while presenting we can gather these information. We can clearly know about prospect’s present needs, future needs and his capacity. With the help of these information only we can suggest correct plans to the prospect and make a meaningful presentation.

While discussing, the prospect will give clue to many of these information. By a close observation we can get enough information. Concentration and presence of mind are very critical for an insurance agent. For an example, a prospect may look like wealthy. But he may actually be in a situation of crisis or low inflow of money. This can be observed only when we converse. Without knowing the fact, our speech will be useless. Sometime, presenting without knowing the fact may lead to a low premium policy than the prospect’s actual capacity.

There are two types of fact finding. 1. Finding the fact through others and 2. Finding the fact during the presentation.

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With the first method we can know the prospect’s financial status, family members, his interest

With the first method we can know the prospect’s financial status, family members, his interest on saving and insurance plans, his health status and the people whom he consult before taking a decision. These information are not important for all types of prospects. But, if we know them we can make a better selection of plans and present them. Through the second type, we can know his interests, his mind status and expectations. For an example, if a prospect is already invested more in bank deposits, we may guess that he is more particular about safety aspects.

So far we have seen in fact finding are to help us to select the right plan. We need to observe his answers and objections carefully to know whether they are sincere objections or insincere objections. Only by a close observation we can know this.

Observe Carefully: A proper sales presentation is making the prospect also to participate in the discussion. Only by the conversation of both, the fact will come out. Then only we can understand the correct situation. After few months of starting this business, maximum presentations will happen only with the referred prospects. On this situation, we may fully depend on the information given by the person who introduced the prospect. If the fact is different, we may not attract the prospect.

For an example, in Chennai I went with my agent to present to his prospect. As per the statement of my agent, that prospect would be earning around Rs.30,000 and he is already paying a home loan emi. So we decided that he would not be

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interested in paying higher premium. When we met the prospect also he looked like that.

interested in paying higher premium. When we met the prospect also he looked like that.

But, after few minutes of discussion, the fact was entirely different. He was actually earning around 10 lakhs per annum and but for a small home loan he was not having any commitment on saving plans or insurance plans. He had a plan to go for another house after the pre-closure of the existing one.

After knowing this, I recommended a plan with 2 lakhs of annual premium to be paid for 10 years. The maturity after 10 years would help his daughter’s higher study. I explained about the insurance cover in that plan and benefit also. I recommended another plan to protect the existing home loan.

He gave us the cheque for both the policies without any further discussion. But, my agent was approaching him to take a plan with the premium of Rs.15000 per year and he was explaining the benefits of that plan. Since this customer was in higher income group, the plan of paying Rs.15000 per year didn’t attract him and that could be the major reason for the delay. As I mentioned in approaching, it is wrong to explain the plan while approaching.

What we understand from the above case study?

1. Collect the correct information before presenting.

2. Make the prospect to participate in the discussion.

3. Don’t sell while approaching.

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Questioning Disciplines: You may think what discipline need to follow in asking questions. In general

Questioning Disciplines: You may think what discipline need to follow in asking questions. In general people don’t like to be questioned. But to get the details we must ask questions. So, we need to ask questions in a gentle way. There are two types of questions direct and indirect questions.

It is better to explain the customer in advance why you are asking these questions and how that can help you to design a better plan. For an example, “Sir, I need some information about you to design a plan that exactly suit you and that can give you the maximum benefit. May I get those details Sir?”

While asking questions, we must use appropriate polite voice modulation and ask them clearly. After getting each answer, you need to note them in your writing pad or note book. This indicates that these information are important and you are trying to do something with those information. The prospect will involve in the discussion and we can easily read his interest in his face and from his answers. If he cooperates ask further questions politely and if not don’t compel him.

Methods of asking direct questions: Some common information can be asked through direct questions. For an example, date of birth, parent’s age and other family member’s date of birth can be asked through direct questions. Instead of asking questions continuously, after each answer render some thanks or appreciations and continue to ask further questions.

For an example, once I was presenting to a top business man along with my agent and sales manager. As mentioned above, I collected the information. When I asked his only

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daughter’s name, he told as “Rhythm Sri”. Immediately I told him that there is a

daughter’s name, he told as “Rhythm Sri”. Immediately I told him that there is a special thing in this name. He got surprised and asked me that. I told him that Rhythm is the English world without vowels and that is the longest word without vowels in English. You can imagine the result of that presentation. This should come naturally. Once you seem to be artificial, the customer tends to repel you.

While

asking

questions,

look

at

his

face

and

simultaneously

write

the

answers

in

your

note

book.

Any

information that is not sensitive can be obtained by direct questions.

Methods of asking indirect questions: Any sensitive information can be obtained by indirect questions. Information regarding debts, own house or rented house, health status and income level can be obtained by indirect questions.

For an example, to know whether his parents are alive or not, you shouldn’t ask directly. Instead, you can ask “Sir, what is your father’s age now?” and “Hope he would be healthy now”. For these questions, the customer himself will say dead if not alive.

Instead asking the customer whether he is having any disease, you can ask “Sir, are you going for any regular medical check up now?” Moreover if any one else there in the place of discussion, make your questions more gentle and polite.

Questions must be asked with presence of mind.

Collect maximum information before the meeting. After

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few months from the inception, we will be meeting more of referred customers. So, we

few months from the inception, we will be meeting more of referred customers. So, we must collect as many information as possible before we meet. If your customer knows that you are aware of information about him, he would appreciate your involvement on the discussion.

In this competitive world, the respect is given only to the smart people. Smart people always keep themselves ready before doing anything.

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Now you are before the prospect. Means you are in the exam hall. The question
Now you are before the prospect. Means you are in the exam hall. The question

Now you are before the prospect. Means you are in the exam hall. The question and answer sheet is before you. What you need to do now? You need to use each second to score.

The beginning: As you have got prior appoint, don’t think that the prospect will be readily waiting to discuss with you. Introduce you once again. Give your visiting card by both hands. If you are before a well known person, spend some time personally. Then, slowly ask his acceptance to discuss. Starting your sales speech immediately after entering is not recommended. If the prospect is referred by someone, speak something about the person referred him and state your relationship with him. This will create a favorable atmosphere for sales presentation. Shortly tell him the purpose of this meeting as, “Sir, I would like to discuss with you regarding the best plans available with us. Shall I continue sir?”

Get his acceptance and then continue the discussion. Doing this will get the attention of the prospect. If the prospect allows you to speak and doing something else, wait till he pays attention. Whatever you speak without prospect’s attention will go waste.

Few prospects may insist you to speak while they do something else. That time politely tell him that, “Sir, I hope you are busy now. Shall I wait for few more minutes?”

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Presenting: Now we are in an important and most awaited moment. First, brief about your

Presenting: Now we are in an important and most awaited moment. First, brief about your company. Then explaining about the plan directly is one method of presenting. But, I would like to recommend a different approach. By practice you can master this approach and do better. We need to bring life into our speech. Both need to participate in the discussion. If you alone speak, it will not be a conversation and it will be like a stage presentation.

Our responsibility is to design a plan that can help our prospect to provide financial solutions for his responsibilities and dreams and not dumping a plan we choose. A life insurance plan is like a raw material. Believe we can shape that in the way we want. For an example, if a married man is having one daughter, he may need a plan that provides finance for three of his responsibilities. One is for his daughter’s higher education, another is for her marriage and yet another is for his and his wife’s retirement. In case of any unexpected death to the prospect, our plan should provide money for these entire three basic requirements. Instead of doing like this, explaining the plans entry age, minimum premium, name of the plan will bring no meaning to the discussion. Remember that you have not gone there to take product training to your prospect.

your prospect is not

participating, your effort will go waste. Discussing like this will

bring the attention of the prospect.

As

we

discussed

earlier,

if

So, make the prospect to participate in the discussion. While presenting, get his acceptance after each step and go to

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the next one. Ask his opinion about each recommendation. Doing this will bring his involvement

the next one. Ask his opinion about each recommendation. Doing this will bring his involvement and make the presentation alive.

Ask for the information by using the questioning techniques we saw earlier. Questioning should not be like enquiry. Instead of asking the age, ask the date of birth of each family member. There is a meaning for doing such. Information is the real strength.

Once I went with my agent to meet a business man. We collected the required data including his entire family member’s date of birth. We found the next day was his son’s birthday. After our presentation we concluded with the next appointment of meeting him after one week. But, we went to his home the very next day with a good birthday gift to his son by 7 am. It was a surprise for him that we were there early in the morning with a birthday present. He asked me how we knew that. We told the truth and wished his son with the very first gift on his birthday. They treated us well and I slowly asked him to gift a plan to his son for his higher study on his birthday. Smilingly he gave us a very good premium.

Small key opens bigger lock

The details of prospect’s income, his asset and liabilities are to be asked with gentle questions. Now we have his full details. We can design a plan that perfectly suits him and addresses his needs and future requirements. Why we should design a plan instead of explaining a plan already we have?

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Life insurance plans must fulfill customer’s needs. Our existing plan or combination of few plans

Life insurance plans must fulfill customer’s needs. Our existing plan or combination of few plans of our company can fulfill the needs. For an example, designing life insurance plan is like constructing a house to live. In a 1000 square foot land, different types of houses can be built according to the status, need and number of people in the family. But, a rich man’s plan will not be affordable by a middle class man and a middle class man’s plan will not be liked by a rich man.

How can we design plans based on the information we got? Here we can see some examples.

Type of customer

Need

Plan

Newly

job

going

Long

term

savings

Plan

with

lower

youth

and insurance

premium

and

 

longer term

Newly married

 

Insurance

and

Term Plan with ULIP or traditional with 15 th year maturity

 

savings

Married with a child

Insurance, savings

Term plan with ULIP or traditional + child plan

and

child’s

higher

education plan

35 -45 age salaried

Insurance, savings, investments, education plan and pension plans

A pension plan added with Term, ULIP or traditional and child plan

Business man

 

Insurance

and

ULIP,

Term

and

 

investment

pension

People

with

short

Limited

premium

ULIPs

and

limited

term income

policies

 

premium policies

Age between 45-60

Insurance,

 

Limited

premium

investment,pension

policies

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Aged above 60 and retired

Pension

and

short

Single Premium plan and immediate annuity plans

 

term maturity

People taken home loan

can provide insurance equal to loan

Plans that

Loan

protector

policies

or

term

 

plan

Working couple

Equal insurance and saving plans

ULIP, term or Joint life plans

This is only a reference. We have to decide the plans according to our customer’s need. With the help of seniors, we can create many more tables like this.

Shall we design a sample plan here?

Prospect’s information: Age 37, married and having two children. His wife is a house wife and the first child is son aged 6 and the second one is a daughter aged 4. Monthly income Rs.30,000/-, home loan capital outstanding Rs.7,00,000/-. Total savings Rs.1,25,000/- current worth of the house is Rs.10,00,000/-. Monthly maintenance expense Rs.12,000, for education Rs.3000/- medicines and entertainment Rs.3000/- and for parents Rs.4000/-. He is already covered for Rs.2 lakhs through a life insurance plan.

Now we will design a suitable plan for him. To explain him the life’s need in each stage we need to draw the life chart as mentioned below.

Age 37 49 son’s 51 daughter’s 57 daughter’s retirement higher study higher study marriage
Age 37
49 son’s
51 daughter’s
57 daughter’s
retirement
higher study
higher study
marriage

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Future requirements:

Future requirements: Son’s higher education 18-6(current age) 12 years to go Daughter’s higher education 18-4 14

Son’s higher education 18-6(current age) 12 years to go

Daughter’s higher education 18-4

14 years to go

Daughter’s marriage

24-4

20 years to go

Retirement age 60-37

23 years to go

5 lakhs each for children’s education, for daughter’s marriage 10 lakhs and for retirement 25 lakhs need to be provided. So, on 12 th and 14 th year 5 lakhs each and on 20 th year 10 lakhs and 23 rd year 25 lakhs need to come to him. How can we design a plan for all these needs and what are all the other factors we need to consider?

First we calculated his financial needs. Based on the above derivations we need to provide him a policy or a combo policy that can give him maturity on the said years and the said amount. The combo plan may contain two child higher education plans, one endowment or ULIP plan and one pension plan. But our duty is not over here. We need to ensure all these expenses are met even if the prospect meets with an unforeseen event like death. Now let us calculate his insurance requirement.

We need to calculate the present value of money. This means how much is required to get a maturity of some money in the required year even if it is kept in bank deposit. Let us assume the interest rate is just 8%.

In compound interest, with the help of the number 72,

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we can calculate in how many years the deposit will be doubled. For an example,

we can calculate in how many years the deposit will be doubled. For an example, if the rate of interest is 8%, by dividing 72 by 8, we can calculate in how many years the deposit will be doubled. The answer is 9 years here.

So, with the effect of the compound interest to get 5 lakhs after 12 years, now we need Rs.2,14,000 approximately. If we want Rs.10,000 per month for running expenses, we need to keep Rs.15 lakhs in the bank now. Let us calculate the present value of all his needs as per the below table.

Need

In how many years

Present value

500000

12

years

214000

500000

14

years

184000

1000000

20

years

232000

2500000

23

years

460000

Monthly 10000

Now

1500000

So, he needs a life cover of Rs.25 lakhs now to meet all the future requirements. To protect his home loan, he needs 7 more lakhs (outstanding home loan amount). As per the underwriting rules, we can give 15 times of his annual income as sum assured. As his annual income is 360000, we will not have any trouble in giving up to 4000000 of Sum Assured. Calculating this value is called as Human Life Value. The values given here are approximate.

If we are doing these many calculations by considering many points, there will be clarity in designing and recommending a plan. In child plans today, the premium waiver benefit is either optional or inbuilt now. It is a very good option and that meets the purpose of buying a life insurance plan.

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We can satisfy all these needs in a single plan also. For an example, ULIP

We can satisfy all these needs in a single plan also. For an example, ULIP plans that offer higher sum assured with flexibility like partial withdrawal and different investment options can be made to address all these needs.

We need to perform all these calculations before the prospect in few minutes. Doing in front of the prospect, you establish your interest, your skill and you attract customer’s concentration. The customer will understand the real benefit of your plan.

Now the plan is ready. Though you have calculated everything in front of him, review all the points one by one. For this example,

1. Life Insurance Cover for Rs.32 lakhs from today onwards is must.

2. Maturity on 12 th , 14 th , 20 th and 23 rd years and the amount as we discussed earlier.

3. To cover the entire family, a medical insurance plan with family floater option.

4. To avail all these benefits, an affordable regular premium. (Longer the term, lesser the premium)

Now he may raise objections or oppose. By handling them only you can succeed. Prospect’s objections and doubts need to be handled with responsibility and care.

If you know the correct answers for his questions, explain. Otherwise, with his permission contact your higher officials through your mobile and get it clarified. It is better to

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clarify there. But, if he asks for some proofs and documents which you don’t have,

clarify there. But, if he asks for some proofs and documents which you don’t have, you must get back to office and show him as early as possible to ensure the continuity.

Never hesitate to show any documents or proofs to him. You can not take a policy without fully convincing a prospect. Even if you take without convincing him, it will be a lower premium policy than his actual need or capacity.

Mostly we may have to meet the prospect repeatedly after the first presentation. It is rare to take the policy in the first discussion itself. If you happen to meet again, fix the next appointment there. Ensure the next appointment happens nearer. Taking longer time may reduce the seriousness you created and it will be tough to create again.

Do not hesitate to meet him again and again. But, analyze is there any true reason for postponing the sales completion. We can understand the fact by observing their facial reactions and body language.

The fact finding we saw earlier is about gathering true information before the presentation. The fact finding need to continue here also to avoid any mislead. Fact finding can happen in two ways now. One through his statements and another is through our observations. We may not get the correct replay for all our questions.

So, we need to compare the prospect’s statement and our observation. If you are sure that the prospect’s objections or doubts are true, you can continue to resolve them and follow

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him. Otherwise, you need to search for the true reason to avoid waste of time.

him. Otherwise, you need to search for the true reason to avoid waste of time.

Things we need to do while presenting:

1. We need to present with full attention of prospect.

2. At every stage of presentation, we need to observe the facial reaction of our prospect.

3. We need to speak by looking at his eyes.

4. We need to continue the presentation after checking the acceptance of the prospect in each step. For an example, while explaining that he may require 20 lakhs for his child’s higher education, ‘Sir, as we discussed, hope you can accept that you will need 20 lakhs for your child’s higher education. Am I right sir?’ Here he will express his acceptance or will express objection.

5. Show the required proofs and documents at appropriate time. While showing them, keep them in your hands. If you give them to the prospect, his concentration will go in to the proofs and you may get struck in your flow of presentation. But, if he insists to see the proofs, give him and help him to understand them.

6. Handle your things carefully while presenting. Ensure nothing disturbs your presentation.

7. After few steps, summarize what you have discussed. This will ensure the continuity of the discussion.

Summarizing is an important technique to be used while presenting. For an example, after explaining the importance of life insurance, savings, children education plan and pension, you

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can summarize as, ‘Sir, first we saw the importance and amount of life insurance required

can summarize as, ‘Sir, first we saw the importance and amount of life insurance required for you. Then the future expenses and savings to meet them, after that we discussed about your son/daughter’s (specifying name is preferred) higher education and its cost, and finally we discussed about the pension you require for your retirement. Am I right sir?’

Doing

this

will

ensure

the

continuity

and

make

the

prospect participative in the discussion.

Now we will discuss some more types of designing a life insurance plan.

Why we need life insurance? A person’s unexpected death should not affect his dependants financially. He need to provide a financial arrangement to enable his dependants to continue the life style he provided when he is alive and also he need to cover all the loans he took so as his dependants are not in trouble.

If this is true, do a person require life insurance if he has good asset over liabilities to maintain the life style? Not mandatory, if the asset is more than the liabilities and the excess portion is enough to give the same life style to the dependants, he may not require a life insurance cover. But, how many of us are in that situation? Only one or two out of every hundred can be financially comfortable and this percentage is negligible.

We can calculate the amount of life insurance someone need with the following information.

1. Prospect’s monthly running expense. (Amount required to run

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the family’s basic need for a month) We need to multiply this amount into 120.

the family’s basic need for a month) We need to multiply this amount into 120.

For an example, if a family’s monthly expense is Rs.15,000/-, the calculation would be 15,000 x 120 = 1800000.

The purpose of multiplying by 120 is to get the minimum required amount even if the rate of interest is 8% per annum. Here 8% of 18 lakhs is 1.44 lakhs per year and this is equal to 12000 per month.

2. Total value of liability: For an example, if a prospect has 15

lakhs of home loan, 2 lakhs car loan, 1 lakh personal loan and 35000 credit card outstanding, total value of his liability is Rs.18,35,000/-. Since we are adding all loans, we need not take his total monthly installments as liability.

3. Future financial needs: If this prospect has a son aged 5 and a

daughter aged 2, their higher education where the higher initial cost involved will start at their age 18. That is from now 13 th and 16 th year. We can predict the future value of higher education by calculating the effect of inflation. If he prefers to put them in engineering college, now the cost of an engineering course in a reputed private college is 5 lakhs.

Inflation is an average of 8%. This means in 9 years the value will be doubled. Approximately after 13 years, he may need 13,60,000 to put his son into engineering college. For his daughter after 16 years he may need 18,00,000. But, this money needs to come as maturity. The present value is still 10 lakhs only.

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His daughter’s marriage will happen at her age 24 (from now after 22 years). Now

His daughter’s marriage will happen at her age 24 (from now after 22 years). Now the cost of one average marriage is 4 lakhs and after 22 years he may need 22 lakhs. But the present value of education and daughter’s marriage is 14 lakhs only.

4. Provision for Retirement life: Let’s assume the age of the prospect is 35. His last child (daughter) will complete her study at age 22 (from now after 20 years). That time, our prospect’s age would be 57. He can plan his retirement at the age of 60 (after his daughter’s marriage). In other words, from now after 25 years, he should plan for his retirement by way of a pension plan. Now, for an aged couple the monthly expense is Rs.7000/- provided if they have own house and that is yearly 84,000/-. If we add miscellaneous expenses, approximately per year they need 1 lakh. After 25 years, the value of this 1 lakh will be around 5 lakhs. If they want to get 5 lakhs per year through the interest rate of 8%, they need to invest 62.5 lakhs. Means, the corpus amount need to be 62.5 lakhs. But today’s value of this 62.5 laksh is only 8.5 lakhs approximately.

The reason to take the corpus amount’s present value is his wife need a provision for retirement if he is not alive.

Now let us sum all the present value of his needs and loans.

Provision for monthly expenses

1800000

Total value of loans

1835000

Provision for education and marriage

1400000

Provision for pension

850000

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Total requirement is Rs. 58,85,000/-.

Total requirement is Rs. 58,85,000/-. Here, I have not added the inflation on hike in expenses

Here, I have not added the inflation on hike in expenses because, as he proceeds to repay the loans, the loan outstanding will come down and that portion of insurance cover will compensate the hike in living expenses.

If the prospect is having a plot worth 5 lakhs and other savings and investments like bank deposits, provident fund and gratuity is 8 lakhs, the total asset (leaving the home they live) is 13 lakhs. So, the net requirement of Sum Assured is 5885000 – 1300000 = Rs. 45,85,000/-.

Finally, we understand this prospect is in immediate need of 46 lakhs of life insurance cover. We need to provide maturity on above said years also. Now I will try to design a plan.

Step 1: For liabilities and monthly expenses, the required amount is 36.5 lakhs. This should not be disturbed at any situation. So I will recommend him to go for a term plan worth 40 lakhs. Approximately the premium for 40 lakhs of Life insurance cover will be Rs. 12,000/-.

Step 2: Next, I will recommend him to go for a ULIP plan with the partial withdrawal facility so as to take money on the occasion of his children’s education and marriage. The present value of these (that is 14 lakhs) will be offered as Sum Assured under this plan. Since he takes this plan for a long time, ULIP will have lesser risk and higher profit. Premium would be 60,000 per year and the sum assured that can be offered is 15 lakhs.

Step 3: Next is a pension plan with the term of 25 years and the

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sum assured will be 8.5 lakhs and the approx premium will be Rs.28000 per year.

sum assured will be 8.5 lakhs and the approx premium will be Rs.28000 per year.

Totally 3 plans and the total premium per year is 1 lakh. The monthly commitment to protect the entire family is JUST Rs. 8,330 ONLY.

If we plan like this, we can optimally compensate his requirements. In ULIP plans, longer the term lower the risk and these plans have top up facility also to increase the saving portion once the income level is increased.

Purpose of any sale is to satisfy the need of the customer. Our job is to identify a need or create a need. Without doing this, however you try you may not get a successful sales completion.

While offering long term plan, you need not worry much on market volatility. You will get longer renewal commission. But the challenge here is not many of our prospects agree for long term policies. To overcome this objection, we need to establish the increased income of him in the past 10 years. It could have been multiplied by minimum 4 times as he is aged 35 now. We need to explain to him that today’s premium commitment of 1 lakh will become very much affordable after few years and if you explain the flexibility of your plans, you can easily get the sale.

Method of explaining the plans to prospects:

While you are explaining the plan as mentioned below, he can better understand. Let us see some graphical expression for the above stated prospect.

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Explaining the education and marriage need and maturity as below. (premium Rs.60000 per year and

Explaining the education and marriage need and maturity as below. (premium Rs.60000 per year and top up facility)

13 15 22 years Now 15 laks cover son’s daughter’s daughter’s education education marriage
13
15
22
years
Now
15 laks cover
son’s
daughter’s
daughter’s
education
education
marriage

To explain the pension plan, we can draw as below and explain.

F U N D Age 35 age 60
F
U
N
D
Age 35
age 60

Premium paying period

pension receiving period

In pension plans with life cover, in case of the death of the insured, the minimum guaranteed money given to nominee is insured amount (here 8.5lakhs). After starting the pension, depending on the pension plans selected at age 60, the nominee will receive benefit.

To explain the fund value growth and effect of partial withdrawal we can explain as mentioned below.

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Now 15 laks cover son’s daughter’s daughter’s education education marriage Explaining with graphs like this
Now 15 laks cover son’s daughter’s daughter’s education education marriage
Now
15 laks cover
son’s
daughter’s
daughter’s
education
education
marriage

Explaining with graphs like this has two advantages. 1. Prospects will understand easily as it is explained visually. 2. We can explain step by step without confusion.

Take a training of drawing graph like this for 15 already met prospects to become fluent and confident. Here the maturity, premium and other calculations are mentioned approximately.

You need to calculate them exactly according to the product and benefit illustration which gives maturity with 6% to 10% interest as specified by the regulator. All the above illustrations are only examples for you to understand and that will not represent actual scenario.

While presenting like this, you may come across objections and doubts. If you know the solutions and answers for them, clarify there. If you don’t have an answer or solution, with the permission of the prospect call your higher officials from there and get him the right solution.

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Now, the prospect may be in three different moods. 1. He may not be ready

Now, the prospect may be in three different moods. 1. He may not be ready to take the policy immediately for some reasons. 2. He might think to take the policy latter after consulting and analyzing. 3. He may take the policy immediately. Last two decisions are favorable to us. But, even if he takes the first decision, we need to follow. Some day he may take a favorable decision.

Proposing to complete the sale:

If the prospect expresses the interest on taking this policy, we need to gently propose for sale. First calculate the exact premium and ask him how he wants to pay (either through draft or cash). This is an important stage. We should not do any mistake here. If the prospect asks for some time, politely ask him why he needs the time. Another way of proposing for sale is to give him the proposal form and request him to help to fill that. These two steps are successful proposing methods two complete the sale.

He may immediately oppose for sale and he may ask time. The reason may be anything of time to prepare money, to take decision to buy, to consult some one or it can be anything. You can plan your next move only if you know the correct reason. While asking how he wants to pay, if he says a mode of payment as cash or draft, go to the next step of filling up the proposal form. Ask him the important details and not them in the proposal form. While filling up the proposal, if he co- operates 90% sales is completed. Only you need to collect the money and proofs. If he shows any objection or if he disagrees to

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take the plan immediately then politely ask him the reason. We can easily handle objections.

take the plan immediately then politely ask him the reason. We can easily handle objections. We will discuss about handling objections latter.

Though proposing to complete the sale is the final step to get the sale, it often helps us to know the prospect’s mind status. Many prospects tend to go to a defensive mode once we take the proposal.

But, proposing to complete the sale will give us a clear note to further actions and proceedings. So, be happy even if you get a negative reaction because you are not rejected and the sale has just postponed.

Understand there are many factors influencing a prospect to take a policy. Only he knows to give priority. In this stage, if you force the prospect to take a policy he will be irritated. Sometimes the pressure we give on prospect to take a policy will force him to disconnect us completely.

As we discussed earlier, most of the prospects will not accept for immediate sales completion. There may be any reason for repelling. The only few prospects will tell you the actual reason for not accepting or postponing. Most of the prospects will say some other reason only. These reasons for not buying or postponing are called objections. These are the expressions of prospect’s thought. We need to confidently handle these objections.

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Stages in Presentation:

Stages in Presentation: Preparing before meeting Introduction and beginning Brief about the purpose Collecting

Preparing before

meeting

Introduction and

beginning

Brief about the purpose

Collecting

Information

beginning Brief about the purpose Collecting Information Presenting Proposing for sales completion Interested

Presenting

Proposing for sales completion

Interested

Completing Sale

Proposing for sales completion Interested Completing Sale Service after sales Not interested www.verticalprogress.net

Service after sales

Not

interested

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Selling life insurance plans without handling objections will happen once in hundred occasions only. So,

Selling life insurance plans without handling objections will happen once in hundred occasions only. So, expect the objections always. Objections are of two types. 1. Sincere Objections. 2. Insincere Objections.

1. Sincere Objections: In general, these types of objections are

due to the lack of confidence about the plan or organization or want of money or even to get consultation from others. We can handle these objections by our sincere approach and with the help of our higher officials. Objections about the plan may come due to lack of some aspect which he expects or his wrong opinion about something our plan has. We can handle this objection by highlighting other strengths and clarifying his concern. Sometimes the objection can be also due to misunderstanding. Whatever it may be, handling sincere objections are very easy. We need to have patience and ability.

2. Insincere Objections: If your prospect wants to avoid us by

telling some reason which is not true is called insincere objection. The only way to handle this objection is to continuously follow him and create a good relationship with him. Insincere objections are coming because the prospect is not interested to tell you the fact. Sometimes this may happen when the prospect is not interested to hurt you also. So, we need to give due respect to any kind of prospect’s objection. Your focus should be only on to completing the sale.

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To handle objections there are many methods are available. There are Frequently Asked Questions and

To handle objections there are many methods are available. There are Frequently Asked Questions and answers for them also available with each company. Memorizing these will not practically help us in all occasions. I would like to recommend few methods by classifying the objections into few groups. By understanding and practicing these methods, we can easily handle objections. Unexpressed objections can be understood by us only by experience.

Types of objections and methods of handling them:

1. Misunderstanding: These types of objections are due to the misunderstanding of the plan or a part of a plan. It can be anything like the rules of the plan, company, safety aspects, and possibility of return and so on. To handle this, we need to show him required proofs and documents. Commonly this kind of objection is sincere objection. Meeting the prospect along with higher officials will ease the situation to handle this objection. But, the prospect may not express it sometime. To bring his objection, conversation and observation is very important.

2. Lack of confidence: This type is the suspicion or lack of confidence of the prospect about the plan, benefits, organization and safety. To handle this objection along with showing the proofs and documents, we may show the example of existing customers. The first type is misunderstanding and this one is suspecting. To handle this we need to work harder than the first one. Through regular follow up and continuously showing the proofs can erase this objection.

In the year 2004, we met a government engineer. He was

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expressing his doubt by postponing the sale. After few discussions, I understood the reason for

expressing his doubt by postponing the sale. After few discussions, I understood the reason for the postponing is lack of confidence. Then I gave my company’s web site address and web links to know more about the plan and benefits. He liked this approach but he took few days to get back to us. After a week he told me that he didn’t see that.

Then, I met him in his home with his permission and showed him all the details in his home computer itself. I showed him about IRDA and their rules and regulations also in his computer itself. After understanding them, he took four policies covering all his family members on that day. I understood after this event that I can enjoy the full benefit only if I give enough time to the prospect and prospect will not agree for sale without clearing his doubts and objections.

Prospect will agree for sale only when he is comfortable.

3. Drawback: This type is considering a feature in our plan as a drawback. For an example, mandate to continue the premium to keep the policy in force may be a drawback according to the prospect. Deducting mortality charges also can be a drawback according to the prospect. We can handle this type of objection by two ways.

If he is very strong against the drawback, we can recommend another plan without that feature or we can strongly highlight other features and benefits and request him to ignore the feature he thinks as drawback. Normally consumers are adjustable when the other benefits are really good. Even after highlighting if the prospect is not satisfied, you can recommend other plan. After expressing the

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drawback type of objection if you immediately jump into other plan, the prospect will not

drawback type of objection if you immediately jump into other plan, the prospect will not get confidence about you. So, it is better to do homework to select the best suitable plan to the prospect as we discussed before. Initially we may not have this ability. We can approach our higher officials and seniors to help us and that would be safer. Even though completing sale is our main focus, we need to do that without compromising on ethics.

But few prospects may project the drawback very strongly to avoid you (insincere objection). The only way is to follow him with patience.

4. Feeling Unwanted: In general many of us think (unlike western people) life insurance is not mandatory. We know death is certain and it is uncertain. Only very few understand that can happen even to us.

Feeling Life Insurance or our plan or some features of our plan as unwanted. This is different from drawback or lack of confidence. Drawback is lighter version of feeling unwanted. In other words, drawback means feeling that the benefit may be reduced by having a feature. Unwanted is feeling is completely rejecting the plan or feature. To handle this objection, we need to get his approval of how many other features are liked by him. If more of other features or other benefit of our plan is liked by him, we can request him to ignore this unwanted feature. For an example, if a prospect feels it is unwanted to have life insurance plan we can highlight the tax exemption on paying premium as well on maturity. The stronger we highlight these points we can close the sale. If a prospect rejects the non-guaranteed ULIPs, we can show him the past growth records, future possibilities of growth, transparency and flexibility very strongly and propose to accept.

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Though we have identified four types of objections and found the methods of handling them,

Though we have identified four types of objections and found the methods of handling them, we need use our presence of mind to handle them. Sometimes the techniques can fail as our customers are very clever. But, your perseverance and sincerity will sure get you the sales.

In general, in business we call as Sales Closing. But, I mentioned as Sales Completion often because in life insurance a new and long term relationship is beginning after the sale. Our prospect needs us very much after the sales for service. Sure this is a beginning of a long relationship.

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As we saw earlier, the prospect will take enough time to buy our plan. He
As we saw earlier, the prospect will take enough time to buy our plan. He
As we saw earlier, the prospect will take enough time to buy our plan. He
As we saw earlier, the prospect will take enough time to buy our plan. He
As we saw earlier, the prospect will take enough time to buy our plan. He

As we saw earlier, the prospect will take enough time to buy our plan. He has full rights to do so. He can take a favorable decision only if we have patience. Even after presentation and handling his entire objections the prospect may postpone the sale for many reasons. At this juncture, we need to follow him with complete tolerance and confidence. Following is not meaning that going behind him always. We need to continue to open sales calls with more prospects to be successful. We need to keep in touch with him to remind that we have proposed a plan and we are willing to serve him.

After each presentation, we need to complete the sale or to ensure the next appointment. We need to finalize what we need to do in the next presentation before closing each presentation. We need to conform to the prospect the things we need to show, things we need to clarify or things to remind after each presentation. Only by doing this we can get the benefit for our efforts.

In many occasions the prospect will simply say, ‘let us meet after sometime’. But we need to conform when, where and what details and proofs we need to bring to meet him next time. After this conformation only we can do a meaningful follow up.

Following will test your tolerance. For life insurance agent tolerance is important. The sales process was looking easy till presentation. It will now create a different mindset in you. Few prospects will cooperate with you well and give you proper further

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appointment. It may look like the prospects are purposefully delaying. In fact it is not

appointment. It may look like the prospects are purposefully delaying. In fact it is not his intension to do so. But the real fact is that he is not yet mentally prepared to buy your plan or your plan is not yet attracted him. So, following is very important stage of sales process.

Techniques of following:

1. Following through telephone: As we saw earlier, speaking through telephone is an art. Now our prospect is aware of us and our intention. So, we need to keep two things remembered always. 1. You should keep in touch with him to remember you. 2. You should look for a right opportunity while following and exactly use it.

While following, don’t hesitate to remind and to propose for sales completion. Please remember the earlier discussed things in this book regarding what time we can call a prospect and we should call them without troubling them.

If any celebration or a function comes, wish him and keep reminding him about you. By doing this, he will not forget you when he is prepared to take a life insurance plan. As we discussed earlier collect maximum information while presenting.

In his family, someone’s birthday or anniversary may come nearby. That would be the best occasion for us to concrete our relationship. While each meeting or conversation, ensure you move at least a bit close to him. You can not sell life insurance without selling you.

2. Following by meeting in person: We need to do this method carefully. We can meet the cooperating prospect with permission.

Whenever he calls you, meet him without hesitation because behind each satisfied customer, there are hundreds of customers are

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there. We need to keep in touch even with prospects not showing any interest. A

there. We need to keep in touch even with prospects not showing any interest. A real sales man will not waste any of his efforts. Meeting this type of customer in person without permission will give a negative reaction.

But you can use the opportunities of greeting him or wishing him. A small gift on important occasion will bring a change in him about you. Why we need to do all these? In life insurance sales, your face value is very critical.

3. Following through other media: We can use this method to all prospects. Importantly to keep the uninterested prospects in touch and to create a good impression about you, this method is very effective. Other media means SMS, email and letter and so on.

We may get unexpected benefit through this follow up. If we have missed to create a good impression while meeting, we can change through this type of follow up. The results are not immediate by this process. It may take a long time too. After following or reminding through this process for few times and then meeting in person will create a good environment for business discussion.

While approaching and presenting we need to follow some discipline. If he is a prospect, he is a respectful person irrespective of your relationship with him. We need to keep the decorum in our speech and action.

A suitable case study for this occasion, in the year 2003 I went to meet a prospect along with my agent. The prospect is the son of my agent’s close friend. He knows the prospect from the childhood. With the old memories of the prospect being a small boy, my agent started speaking with authority. The prospect seemed to be accepting our plan but he was brilliantly avoiding the sale. After one week, I came to know that he took a policy with our competitor through other agent for 2 www.verticalprogress.net

lakhs of premium. I didn’t share this with my agent. I didn’t get that sale

lakhs of premium. I didn’t share this with my agent. I didn’t get that sale but I got a lesson.

While approaching or presenting, behave well and follow the steps we discussed. There are many prospects have become family friends who hated their agents initially.

We must do the following as a regular duty. There is no loss or harm in following. If we miss to do a close follow up, someone else will harvest the benefit of our effort. We approached one Mr. Noordheen in Trichy during the year 2004. Somehow we didn’t get the sale. He kept postponing things and finally our sales manager and agent left asking insurance policy from him. But I continued the relationship with him and I was in close contact with him. After 6 years, in the year 2010 April, he took two policies. This business came to me only by the 6 years close contact. If we keep meeting people without following, only we waste our energy nothing else can happen.

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This is the climax of the entire show. The most anticipated event is happening now.

This is the climax of the entire show. The most anticipated event is happening now. The factors affecting a sales completion are many. For example, current financial status of prospect, expenses that are coming in near future, other people in that place, that day and his health condition and like this anything can influence the sales completion. Without loosing our heart we need to continue to get the sale.

The first sale to a prospect will take more time. But if we serve him better, further selling will happen very easily. We were waiting for this moment. Our strategies, approaches and follow ups were only towards this moment.

This is happening only after the prospect has decided to buy our product. We should be responsible now. Even a small unwanted speech can disturb or reduce the premium or even disconnect the process too. Sometime we may not understand the reason for sudden change in prospect’s move.

The reason I am mentioning this here is our prospect will be very careful now. We should also be like that. Sometime if the prospect is giving a premium that is much lesser than his capacity may behave normal and relaxed. Mostly this premium will be given for the face value of the agent or to satisfy us. In many occasions we completely satisfy the prospect after handling many objections and take a sale. Even the rich man will not invest unless he is benefited. During the sales completion, prospect’s mood will be in an elevated state than his normal.

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In the year 2004 I went for the sales completion with a business man. My

In the year 2004 I went for the sales completion with a business man. My agent accompanied one common friend of the prospect and agent. After a successful discussion, the prospect called his secretary (he called her to check the availability of cheque leafs). In that time gape, the common friend started talking about one unwanted event happened to the prospect and expressed his sympathy. The prospect started speaking about that event in an angry voice. The prospect became tensed and started blaming the people who did against him. Finally the secretary entered his cabin and he ordered four cups of tea instead our cheque.

That is why I stressed to avoid unnecessary discussions during sales completion.

Things we need to do during sales completion:

1. Keep a fresh proposal form

2. You must have the necessary stationeries. Pens 2, pencil, stapler, gum, rough sheets are some main stationeries you must always keep in your bag. Don’t ask anything from the prospect.

3. Collect necessary proofs and documents there. Delay may even spoil the sales.

4. If you need to take photo copy, you take them in nearby shops. Don’t expect your prospect to give you latter.

5. Don’t leave anything for tomorrow.

6. Try to control your speech during sales completion.

7. Don’t give too much of pressure to increase the premium. This also may spoil the sale.

8. After doing all documentations explain the prospect when will you give the receipt, when the policy document will reach him, if medical checkup is expected to come, tell him when he has to undergo medical checkup and keep your words honored.

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9. Submit the proposal form in the office as per the procedure and ensure he

9. Submit the proposal form in the office as per the procedure and ensure he gets the policy document in time.

10. After the customer receives the policy document, meet him and explain him that the features you explained are printed in the document. Again make a summary of the plan you offered. This will increase the confidence he has on you. If he is happy, he will give many references. Reference means the prospects introduced by your happy customers.

11. After explaining the policy document, ask for references without any hesitation. Only by asking references, you can reach the unknown people. If you do all these, you will sure get the references. I have personally experienced this.

In the year 2004, I met only NRI prospect along with my agent. After many discussions, he gave only Rs.5000 as premium. After experiencing our service, he was very happy with us. Within the next 8 months, we collected 8 lakhs of premium from him and from his references. Asking references is like breathing in this profession.

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Many of us are thinking that there is nothing important to do after the sale.
Many of us are thinking that there is nothing important to do after the sale.

Many of us are thinking that there is nothing important to do after the sale. This is not like other selling. A food vendor in a railway station may not have any further relationship with his customer after the sale. As I mentioned earlier, in our business, sales completion is the beginning of a long term relationship.

The Guinness record holding salesman is Mr. Girard. His success secret is called as Girard law of 250. As per this law, each of us is closely associated with minimum 250 people in our normal life. By satisfying one customer, we have all the possibility to access his 250 contacts. I strongly accept Girard law of 250.

After the sale, keep in touch with all your prospects. Do the help if you can and become a family friend. Even if he is unable to give you further business or reference, he will sure speak well about you.

Don’t dos after the sale:

1. Don’t change your mobile number often. This will make most of your prospects to go away from you. If you change, ensure all of your prospects and customers are informed. By doing this, your contacts will not be lost and you will gain good name.

2. Never miss the call of your customer. If you were unable to attend the call, call him back.

3. Don’t switch off your mobile phone frequently.

4. If your customer wants to meet you after the sale, show the same interest that you showed before the sale.

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5. If the customer is having any problem with the plan or features, don’t hide.

5. If the customer is having any problem with the plan or features, don’t hide. If you ignore or hide, the problem will be manifold. If you meet with confidence, the problem will vanish. No one can accept the irresponsibility.

6. Show the same politeness, speed and interest even after the sale. As for as this business is concerned, the customer believes you and your service. If you change your approach or behavior, it will make your customer worried or irritated. If you were honest during the sale, this problem will not happen.

The strength of life insurance business is long term earning. Good things will spread slowly. Even simple mistake will spread fast and magnified. If we want to do this business, we need to be clear and honest. Agents without these will go out of this business fast.

The information, concepts and strategies shared in this book is not my experience alone. I got them from hundreds of people by discussing with them and observing them. I strongly believe this book will be very helpful to you.

There are many agents doing a better service after sales. Their income is increasing day by day without any hassle.

I would like to take the example of one successful agent whom I know. Her name is Mrs. Umadevi Sukumar. Mr. Sukumar is her husband and they both jointly do this business in Trichy. They represent a private life insurance company since 2005.

They both do this profession as their main source of income though they have few other business and investments. They have good friends and relative circle in Trichy.

Since the time she started this business, she always speak about achieving big things in this business. In the first year they

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became Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) member by sourcing business from their friends and relatives.

became Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) member by sourcing business from their friends and relatives. They became the regional top agent of that company and they achieved MDRT in the second year also.

3 rd year, they missed this title with a small deficit in premium. But they achieved this title on their 4 th year by a clear plan and hard work. To become an MDRT, each year we need to source around 30 lakhs of regular premium.

They have done many more achievements and gone many foreign countries through company contests and reward systems. How they are able to do this top class business continuously for four years?

The answer is very simple.

1. They spend time to this business everyday.

2. With everyone they meet, they discuss that they are life insurance agent and share their achievements.

3. They keep their entire policy holder’s (customer) information ready with them.

4. They keep the list of left out people also ready with them.

5. They always keep in touch with their customers by calling and meeting them.

6. After the policy document reaches the customer, they meet them with a quality file to keep the document and explain them once again about the features and benefits.

7. They never miss any function and celebration of their customer.

8. They help their customers other than insurance also if they can.

9. They have membership in the city’s important clubs and actively participate in their activities.

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10. Every day they add new friends to them. 11. Regularly they update their customer’s

10. Every day they add new friends to them.

11. Regularly they update their customer’s fund value or bonus value in a separate diary and inform when asked by the customers.

12. Before the maturity comes, they update it with their customers and give them a good service.

13. They never miss any training program organized by the company.

14. They frequently visit the branch office and update their knowledge.

15. They give first priority to customer’s benefit and keep their benefit after that.

Once again read the above mentioned 15 points. If you follow these points, Success is Easier.

Once again read the above mentioned 15 points. If you follow these points, Success is Easier.

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