There are many things an agent can do to grow in their career in life insurance sales but on today’s show, we talk about a key daily activity that will surely increase your sales. On this episode, we dive into the importance of knowing your numbers, what numbers to track, and how to decipher them so you can grow your business. We also give an overview of an agent resource that will help you in this practice that you can download for free by filling out the download form below.
Why Numbers are Interesting & Engaging?
For those that aren’t numbers people like Chris (not really) or Zach (really), numbers often feel boring unless you’re watching the Matrix.
Numbers Tell You the Truth
Many agents in the life insurance sales industry experience the emotions of high highs when sales are good and low lows when sales are bad. Your numbers can serve as a compass and reference point to measure where you truly are. Agents can sometimes romanticize the idea of being your own boss and the idea can come crashing down when you hit multiple no’s in a row. However, if you look at your numbers – you can see how you’re really doing and that things aren’t that bad or there’s still work to be done.
Selling is a Numbers Game
Over 46 years ago, Simon & Schuster published a book called How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger. Formerly a MLB player, Frank got into the industry business but almost quit. As he went to secretly pack up his desk, the president of the company called an impromptu meeting and shared his story: “Gentleman, after all, this business of selling narrows down to just one thing… seeing the people! Show me any man of ordinary ability who will go out and earnestly tell his story to four or five people every day, and I will show you a man who just can’t help making good!” It was at this moment that Bettger realized he didn’t need emotional wins or losses but rather put his focus on telling his story 4 – 5 times per day. This changed everything for him.
The Practical Results of Knowing Your Numbers
By knowing your numbers, you can:
- Know areas of improvement
- Know how much money you need to earn to either sustain or grow your lifestyle
- Spend more time at home with your family or spend more time in the field to make more money.
The main number most people look at is the money but you also have to know all of the other numbers that get you to the point of making good money. When people start, they are typically sensitive and get excited with their first app and begin to calculate the amount of money that will hit their bank account. However, as soon as a policy cancels, the agent flips to feeling ready to quit and wants to go back to a low-paying job with strict schedules. The reason is because they don’t understand or trust the numbers.
The numbers that make the difference are ones that nobody sees like the presentations you do at home to practice and the books you read to sharpen your mind. It’s the smaller numbers that affect the larger numbers like your activity, the number of times you get into a home, the number of phone calls you make to set an appointment, and the number of no’s you get in the home.
Tracking Your Numbers
Utilizing a tool like an activity sheet keeps yourself accountable so that you can develop consistency and continue to learn and grow. You can learn what you’re missing from your sales process and what your areas of improvement are. Alternatively, managers can use activity sheets to diagnose problems when they want to help out team members without having to ride with them or sit with them in a home.
The Numbers You Should Track
Time of First Door Knock & Time of Market Exit: Track when you’re working and the amount of true activity you’re putting in. If you notice that you’re having problems getting in front of people, maybe you should adjust your times to start and end.
Door Knocks and Cloverleafs: How many people did you attempt to see and how many doors did you knock on? Are you putting in the effort to see people? Are you trying to make the most of every opportunity by knocking on neighbors doors next to and across from your lead’s home?
Phone Calls: If you’re not door knocking or can’t get a hold of them, are you calling to set an appointment or schedule a phone sit?
Appointments: How many opportunities are you creating to sit with a family?
Meetings or Face-to-Face Interactions: How often are you getting in front of and speaking to the person on the lead form?
Sits and Presentations: How many sales presentations do you go through with the prospective client?
Applications: How many apps did you sell off of your leads?
Leads Retired: How many confirmed “No’s” did you get (not objections)
Referrals: How many people did your lead or client refer you to? Are you asking for referrals?
Apps from Referrals: How many referrals did you convert to a sale?
Total Annualized Premium: How much did you sell?
For each of these categories, you should set a daily goal. We discuss great starting numbers for each of these categories in Episode 1: Can I Really Make $100,000?
In order to get the most value out of your numbers, you need to track them daily. Add a tally mark throughout the day as you perform each activity and then total your tallies at the end of each day and week.
Deciphering the Numbers
Tracking these daily activities can tell you a lot about where your strengths and weaknesses are. Here’s a few examples of what certain numbers can tell you:
If you’re not having very many sits but you have a high number of face-to-face, then we can deduce there is an issue at the door with the doorknock or with appointment setting. You should work on getting in the door to have a sit with the family.
If you’re sitting with 10-15 families a week but you’re only selling 2-3 apps, then we know there’s something in the home that’s creating an issue like a lack of trust-building, CORE, or addressing the 5 Real Reason’s Why People Don’t Buy. It’s more than likely something to do with the presentation or how you’re presenting.
If your door knock numbers are low, there’s an issue with activity so you could look at what time you’re getting into the field, your lead flow, your confidence, or your desire to sell. You need to make sure your activity lines up with your goals.
The agent activity tracker also keeps track of your lead count. Are you giving yourself enough opportunity to hit your goal?
Finally, the sheet has a place to add up your annualized premium. One number that you should also pay attention to is your average AP. The industry average is $59 a month or $700-720 per year. Some apps will be higher and some will be lower (especially if you’re adding children’s apps). If your average AP is lower than this, you have an opportunity to grow in building value, finding the client’s real need, or adjusting your pricing strategy.
Having a Numbers Mindset & Other Pro-Tips
The value in tracking your numbers is figuring out the story they tell about you personally. We’ve seen many agents that start out in the industry like a rocket and then burn out. These agents didn’t track their numbers and so they didn’t know what was making them succeed and what was making them fail. Oftentimes, it’s their enthusiasm that launches them and then fizzles out and they have no data to figure out what they need to do next. Numbers help you figure out what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong.
Another thing we see is that agents take their foot off the gas after a good run which kills momentum and produces a “sophomore slump.” Your numbers can pull you out of this but only if you track and review them.
One way to get more accurate data is to not count guaranteed issue or as-earned business in your numbers. Rather, treat these apps as bonus.
Zach utilizes a mindset of “I’m unemployed until my next app.” It doesn’t matter what you did last week – you’re starting the week in the negative due to lead costs, hotel expenses, food, gas, etc. You’re investing in yourself and betting on yourself and you need to turn a profit. A great example of this mindset comes from an interview of Kobe Bryant after winning a close game in the finals. To summarize the interview, he says there’s nothing to celebrate until the job is finished. One week of production isn’t the national championship of the year. The key is to keep your activity up and have the numbers to prove it.
Sometimes agents feel like their AP is low but when you look at the numbers, it’s often the same or higher. Keeping track of your numbers protects you from yourself and your emotions. Good producers track their numbers, review them, and keep charging forward.
You have to take responsibility for your issues and not blame it on Adele or your leads. You can look at your numbers to determine your true issues. We’ve had agents come to us disappointed about their production being low and when we look at the numbers, we can see a direct correlation of production dropping when they decreased their lead order by 5 a week which is 20 opportunities less per month. As we’ve said, it’s a numbers game with leads so increase the number of opportunities.
Another big reason to know your numbers is because even if you have a perfect plan, unexpected variables pop-up and can mess up your plan when you minimize your investment. People get sick, tires get flat, family members need help, bad weather washes out roads. Give yourself enough opportunity to work to hit your goals.
Review Your Numbers Regularly
Track your numbers daily and review them every week, month, quarter, and year to ensure they align with your goals for your business. If you’re doing everything right and have high activity and are tracking your numbers and improving in opportunity areas, you won’t have a bad month, quarter, or year. We will all have bad weeks from time to time due to the uncontrollable variables. Don’t ruminate on the bad – look at the numbers, develop a game plan, and move forward.
Also, when you review your monthly numbers, pay attention to the Issued Paid numbers because those are the sales that have the true impact on both the family you protected and your bank account. If your issued paid numbers are low to your submitted numbers, then you know you have an opportunity to grow in your trust building, cool down activities to make sure the client is comfortable with the premium, or working on your pricing strategy. This will help with both your placement and persistency.
Take the Next Step
Get started and track your numbers. Utilize our Agent Activity Tracker by filling out the form to receive the download link. Remember – the only way this sheet doesn’t work is if you don’t use it and if you’re not honest with yourself when you use it. Track your numbers in the good weeks and the bad weeks. Then review, revise, press on!