Home > Marketing > Agents say to do it yourself, are they wrong?

Agents say to do it yourself, are they wrong?

I'm a health and life agent. I just changed from a company that was pretty crappy to a more solid company with some name recognition. The manager at the new company was reluctant to hire me because I am still in school. He explained that he still expects to see activity close to the level of the agents that just work and nothing else.
I'm on an insurance forum and almost everyone there suggests that a new agent do his own marketing, but I really want to outsource it to my own telemarketer. I hate to go against the advice of those that have been successful for years in this business, but I honestly think they are wrong.
Part of a new insurance agent's problem is trying to stay busy. Sure, when you run out of people to go see you can pick up the phone and telemarket yourself, but IMO this sort of violates the idea of working in your core competency. I'm licensed to sell insurance, not to be a marketer. I know that its part of the business, but I really want others to work the phones while I bring in the business. I would be paying the telemarketers on the basis of APPTS KEPT and APPTS CLOSED, so its not like I'ld be shelling out money for some bs leads. The telemarketers won't get rich, but they will can possibly bring in some extra money to supplement there income. Does anyone see a problem with this? Should I just take the advice of senior agents and do marketing all on my own? - by drobs
Hi drobs, I think you raise a valid issue and it's a good question. I particularly like that you are interested in playing to your strengths, which is something that can have a tremendous impact on the success of an individual.

You might want to check out the books and philosophy of Frank Rumbauskis ("Never Cold Call"; "Selling Sucks"; "Cold Calling is a Waste of Time"). Your thoughts are exactly congruent with what he preaches.

The best to you! - by Skip Anderson
I'm on an insurance forum and almost everyone there suggests that a new agent do his own marketing, but I really want to outsource it to my own telemarketer. I hate to go against the advice of those that have been successful for years in this business, but I honestly think they are wrong.
Telemarketing is one choice in the big picture of marketing. If I was in your position I would handle my own telephone prospecting. Marketing your self in my opinion is a core competency of an outside salesperson.

You might want to check out the books and philosophy of Frank Rumbauskis ("Never Cold Call"; "Selling Sucks"; "Cold Calling is a Waste of Time"). Your thoughts are exactly congruent with what he preaches.
I've read Frank's books and didn't see any information that I hadn't already found somewhere else. I would suggest checking out "High Probability Prospecting" and "High Probability Selling" by Jacques Werth. - by Houston
I believe what you need is a marketing system that furnishes you with a steady stream of prospects day in day out. And while your system generates leads, you can work on closing the ones that are ready to buy.

I'm on an insurance forum and almost everyone there suggests that a new agent do his own marketing, but I really want to outsource it to my own telemarketer.
I think it's a good idea that you want to play to your strengths. But I have concerns about the effectiveness of dialling for dollars. We know how much people hate telemarketers.

I have no idea why so many people want to use tele-peddlers. They are cheap to hire but the results are... well...

I'm licensed to sell insurance, not to be a marketer.
As Alan Weiss says, any service professional is first in the marketing business. That makes certain that she is successful.

The telemarketers won't get rich, but they will can possibly bring in some extra money to supplement there income. Does anyone see a problem with this?
But what can we expect of cheap telemarketers? Nothing.

Should I just take the advice of senior agents and do marketing all on my own?
I would. I want people to build relationships with me, the financial expert, not with someone who will be replaced in a month or two.

"I also noticed that, toward the end of the boom in the 1990s, some consulting firms abandoned their traditional pyramid approach: Instead of matching the level of the consulting practitioner to the corresponding level in the client organization, they brought in salespeople or business development specialists to go out and close business with clients. Most of these salespeople didn't grow up in the firms and didn't have the firms' culture and values. And that's dangerous."


"Few companies make building relationships with customers a top priority for the whole organization. Rather, most delegate it to the area in their organization that experiences the highest level of employee turnover—their sales force."
- by Bald Dog
First and foremost there is one thing you must get into your head;

You are in the people business, the industry you chose is insurance, that is not your profession.

I had to learn product knowledge in copiers, door viewers, mutual funds, home based businesses, direct marketing, telemarketing, advertising and sales training. But, like all master sales people I realize this is the product not my profession, it is just the industry I was in at the time.

The fact that you are licensed is just a piece of paper, no offense but it does not mean you know people. It means you know a few things about law as pertains to your industry and maybe investing or insurance, it is not a certificate that means you know how to sell.

This realization is imperative.

After that is out of the way you can begin to understand selling. And prospect is the most critical part of selling because without FUTURE CLIENTS you cannot refine any of the other selling practices. Part of prospecting, a small part, is knowing a few things about direct marketing. Another and more important part is really understanding how to generate referrals. And, lastly, the most important part is understanding the use of the holy grail of selling; the telephone.

How can we outsource telemarketing if we cannot coach the person using the phone on how we want prospects qualified? Or on what the bes General Benefit Statements are?

You may think you can only spend money for closed business but what is too often forgotten is the loss of income from not enough qualified leads. What came first, the chicken of the egg? Poor telemarekters are babes, not mother hens , they lay no eggs and you, the licensed insurance agent, you need eggs to survive. Weigh this cost heavily in your thinking, it will spin your head around on your thinking alright.

Real phone pros make $250,000 a year and up. Why? because the skill is far more intricate than getting licensed to sell insurance. Now, please, this is not a hit on insurance, I love that product. I have millions in insurance myself, life, critical illness, you name it I have it. It is very important to protect wealth & family, not to mention piece of mind.

All I am saying is - this is not the business you are in, you are in the people business. You are a professional sales person, you just happen to sell insurance.

Spend a couple of years to begin the mastery of all the sales practices, admit that you need to do this to earn the big bucks and get started now - do it right away. Take the best sales training courses in the world, study them for months afterward till you can almost teach them yourself, renew your sales skills repeatedly. Spend far more time on learning relationship building and sales skills plus personal development than you do on product knowledge, then you will be an awesome person and a huge producer.

Hire out a cheap telemarketing service and you will not learn the truth about success in business, you will chase a limited number of low quality leads, you will not begin the kind of personal development you could and you will earn less than you are worth. You will have wasted time realizing the truth I am speaking to you plainly for nothing right now.

Reality doesn't suck. Just be glad the truth was told to you this soon. Now embrace it like it is your very life and future, because ... well ... quite frankly, it really is!~

Best of luck always. - by Gold Calling
You have to ask yourself do you have time to Cold Call and if you have time then you cannot afford to be paying someone else to do it. When you get too busy...that is when you hire more peole, your ROI will be better with this plan.

If I were a telemarketer I would not allow myself to be paid by deals that close. Their job is to get someone who has some interest in knowing more in front of you....it is your job to close the deal.

Success,

Rory Wilfong
ProspectMX - by rwilfong
Rory;

Everything you say is common sense, I commend you for your clear understanding of sales, you seem to be a real master, no doubt. As a man who knows telephone prospecting and telemarketing perhaps better than anyone alive I can say;

Many that charge by the hour for telemarketing you never get an ROI on.

There are simple and complex reasons for this. But the bottom-line is most of those who telemarket are not professional prospectors. They were not trained by pros and therefore rely on scripts and cannot really interact with prospects, thus blowing many opportunities.

I would advise all sales pros to learn prospecting. Only that way can you know if the telemarketers you are hiring are capable. If you don't know then you will most likely loose money.

I can tell the story of the 75-year-old man who got a the largest account in the history of a fledgling high tech company - it was Toyota - and how that firm after having that success researched telemarketing firms hoping to speed up the process that this old-timer was accomplishing. end result? The 'old-timer' produced more than a who telemarketing team, the telemarketing contract was not repeated.

Selling, which includes prospecting and direct marketing to generate prospect, is for professionals. Become one. If that process takes 2 years it will have been the best thing you could ever do for yourself and your family. Good luck. - by Gold Calling
I do not disagree with your points and they are good ones.

You should never give up true prospecting regardless if you happen to have telemarketers on staff or not. Cold Calling is essential to the business plan as well as any other forms of marketing and lead generation. You must always evaluate profits and if telemarketing helps the bottom line....go for it.

Success,

Rory Wilfong - by rwilfong
I say diversify, I say cold call, direct mail, flyer drop, put stickers on gas pumps, and network like an animal.

You need to fill your pipeline by any means you can. If you want to try out the telemarketing and the financial hit you MAY take wont keep you from paying the bills I say do it.

Also get the word out any way you can, find a niche and exploit it, work what's working and be developing something else.

Are you sponsoring a youth sports event, are your banners up in schools? Have you stopped by your local chamber of commerce? What are you doing that others arenít?
- by Lance_Best
Lance

That is the attitude that creates success....incredible points. Do not overlook internet marketing in all your efforts.

Success,

Rory Wilfong - by rwilfong
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