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What Makes the Successful Agent Different?

I’ve been in the life insurance brokerage business for over 20 years.

I’ve seen and dealt with almost every type of person holding an insurance license  –  from the full-time career agent to the person who works for the Auto Club.

And that includes the ultra-successful producer and the producer who doesn’t have two nickels to rub together if he doesn't make his next sale.

The difference between the last two life insurance producers is that ultra-successful ones have several characteristics in common that not only lead to their success but also leave the others behind.

Frankly, if you don’t have most of these same characteristics or cannot incorporate them into your practice, you may be making a living, but you more than likely will not flourish.

Here are the most important characteristics you need to develop.

Belief in the concept

It is one thing to believe that insurance can help the client and it is another thing to believe that it can help you.

The successful producer will have a lot of coverage on his own life, and more often than not, it is permanent insurance.

Their conviction as to how they’re protecting their own family and their own future with the product they are selling comes across loud and clear in the sale.


Even if you are a “believer,” you have to prove it at point-of-sale.

Top performers are naturally invested in what they do and their enthusiasm can be infectious.

It’s difficult to fake true enthusiasm, but when it is there, it can be a powerful sales tool.


The life of any person in sales is largely unstructured.

To bring structure to each day, highly successful life agents are seen to be very goal-oriented and incorporate discipline as their key to success.

They set their own benchmarks and are driven by the pursuit of achieving these goals. They also often measure their performance with respect to these achievements.


The drive to make money, and a lot of it, is one of the primary goals that successful producers set for themselves.

They do not settle for just supporting themselves. Rather, they want to make as much as they can and they do not apologize for this goal.

Studies within the life insurance industry have shown that, indeed, those who are motivated primarily by money have the tendency to do better than those driven by non-monetary goals and benchmarks.

To learn the secrets to securing your first big policy in 5 simple steps, click here.

Clear and concise communicators

Let’s face it: You’re trying to sell an intangible and somewhat abstract product.

And, often times, you’re trying to sell it to a person who will never see the physical payoff.

For the successful producer, this is usually not a problem in that they pride themselves on their ability to explain in simple terms complicated coverage in an understandable and concrete manner.

Thick skin

Selling anything includes stress and adversity for the salesperson.

Selling life insurance is no different  –  and maybe worse.

Those who thrive in our business have a unique ability to cope with this stress and adversity and are rarely, if ever, deterred by rejection.

Ability to control the sales interview

There is a fine balance between talking too much and not talking enough to persuade someone to “buy.”

Talking too much or going off on tangents is a great way to lose the sale.

Top-level producers have a keen sense of knowing when to speak, when to listen and how to help the client understand their options.

The bottom line?  

It does not matter what type of agent you are.

But if you want to be ultra-successful and make a lot of money, then you have to do the things the average agent doesn’t do.

You can start by being a believer!

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