The Wedge November 2018

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THEWEDGE REPORT

NOVEMBER 2018

Consider your future. Have you set goals for the years ahead? Do you have an action plan to achieve those goals? Imagine you have three kids, and they’re still young. When you look into their futures, you can see future expenses. Maybe it’s cars when they each turn 16, college when they turn 18, or marriages when they’re in their 20s. Then you have your own expenses and goals, including retirement. You envision a day when you’re financially free. Of course, that kind of freedom costs money, but you have control over it when you sit down and plan. Everything from buying a first car to retiring is an expected life event. These life events are predictable, and you can use that to your advantage by planning out 30 or more years in advance. When it comes to goal-setting, looking ahead 30 years is the new way of thinking. It’s looking at your goals in terms of your life as a whole — not just your work. The old way of goal-setting is more impersonal and often revolves around a one-year action plan. Sure, with some goals, it makes sense to have a one-year plan. But when you’re considering your life and career, a one-year plan is very shortsighted. This approach doesn’t connect your work with the rest SET GOALS FOR THE FUTURE YOU WANT

of your life, which includes your home life, your family, and your future.

When you’re this connected to your long- term personal goals and you put together a game plan to bring in the income you need year after year, you can work with purpose. You’re not earning money for your boss or the guy above you; you’re doing it for yourself and your family. Here’s the thing: Great goal-setting provides a huge motivator. When someone is motivated and has their sights set on the future, they can perform better. Lousy goal- setting is just going to get you lousy results. It closes the door on high performance. When you know what you want, you can go get it. And yes, the iWin Agency Growth System can help you visualize all of this and get your long-term goals rolling. To learn more, go to TheWedge.net/novindepth/ .

In short, the old way of goal-setting lacks the “why” — why you do what you do. It’s more intellectual, rather than emotional. Your life and the lives of your family members will continue after that one-year mark. So shouldn’t your planning? Planning for 30 years down the road may sound intimidating, but it can be very manageable. You can, at the very least, plan for every major event you predict will happen in the next 30 years. You can estimate the dates when certain expenses will arise and figure out roughly how much money you’ll need for that expense. Even better — you can factor in interest rates, how much you have now, and how much money you need to earn (per month and year) and save until that later date. Sending your son or daughter off to college is a great example of this. You know that they’ll go to college when they’re about 18, and you can plan accordingly. If they don’t end up attending college for whatever reason, you can easily repurpose the money.

– Randy Schwantz

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A HISTORIC VETERANS DAY COMMEMORATING THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE END OF WORLD WAR I

This year, Veterans Day takes on particular historic significance: Nov. 11, 2018, marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. Countries around the world will commemorate the signing of this peace agreement with moments of silence, centennial ceremonies, and historical exhibits. Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day is a celebration of life. It’s a day to honor the power of peace and the living veterans across the globe who have served their countries. This November, take a moment to remember the war that helped shape the international community’s dedication to peace and thank the individuals who served to defend it.

Empire by a Serbian nationalist provided the spark that would eventually burn down much of Europe. A chain reaction of land disputes, pre-emptive attacks, and strategic alliances brought over 30 countries into World War I. The Great War that ravaged Europe resulted in a devastating loss of life, but from those ashes rose a renewed appreciation for the importance of peace and a global effort to ensure its place in the future. In 1918, Germany surrendered unconditionally, and the armistice ended the fighting at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, though the war did not officially end until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles the following July. An estimated 16 million soldiers and civilians died in just four years, making it one of the deadliest conflicts in modern history. The Restoration of Peace

Veterans Day

Originally called Armistice Day, Veterans Day was first observed on Nov. 11, 1919, to honor the one-year anniversary of the armistice, and it became a U.S. holiday in 1938. Today, Veterans Day celebrates veterans who served their country honorably. The U.K., France, Australia, and Canada also commemorate their veterans in November. If you know a veteran, thank them for their service this month.

The Great War

By 1914, a world war had been years in the making, but the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of the Austro-Hungarian

IS HIRING NEW AND GOOD PRODUCERS A NUMBERS GAME?

How many new producers do you have to hire to find one or two who will not only make it in the industry but will produce large books of business? Research on the matter says that really good agencies will get 5 or 6 great producers out of 10 hires. The really ineffective agencies will get about 1 out of every 10. Everyone else fits in the middle. Is it a numbers game? Can hiring be improved? One of the best ratios I’ve experienced is 29 out of 34. Basically, 34 producers were hired, and 29 of them were still producing for us after a 10-year period. These hires produced annually renewable revenue of $17.5 million by the end of that decade. Now, that’s a pretty big number.

think that estimate is high, but considering the hard and soft costs, the numbers really add up. I’ll give you a few more numbers to consider. You need to interview someone at least four times to get a real picture of who they are. Also, a producer needs to rank at least a seven, eight, or nine on drive, or you’re hiring an account manager. Plus, a producer needs to complete at least three homework assignments for you to determine their work ethic.

4. The ability to be book and street coachable (or they won’t learn from mistakes)

5. Economic drive (or they will quit when they make more than they spend)

In addition, a producer needs to exhibit all five of these characteristics:

When you look at the big picture, hiring new producers is a numbers game, but not in the way you might think. It shouldn’t be a high- risk adventure; it should be a predictable process. For more information, go to TheWedge.net/novGRIT .

1. The ability to deal with rejection

2. The ability to build relationships

Here’s another big number: A failed hire will cost on average about $250,000. You might

3. Intelligence

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STOP SELLING, AND START WINNING!

BOOK REVIEW: ‘THE WEDGE’

Go to Amazon.com and do a quick search for sales books. You’ll get over 100,000 to choose from. With that being the case, why would you want to read “The Wedge”?

the prospect to discover they are being underserved by the incumbent agent without you ever having to say anything bad about them. And, simultaneously, the prospect discovers how good you are without you having to tell them. This psychological formula has been proven to work thousands and thousands of times over the past 21 years to help you Win — not sell, not quote. None of those 100,000 books on Amazon.com show you how to deal with the Power of the Incumbent Agent — ZERO. It takes the burden off trying to sell “better price” and “better coverage” (something the incumbent agent can easily match when they get the last look …) and puts the burden on your “proactive” service as the primary differentiation. If you are tired of your buyer telling you, “I like what you brought me, but there just wasn’t enough difference to justify making this change. Get back with us next year …”

If you want to improve your ability to find pain outside of price and coverage gaps ...

If you are tired of the incumbent agent getting the last look and matching your price …

Get “The Wedge: How to Stop Selling and Start Winning.”

The answer is simple.

It will change how you sell.

Those books will teach you how to sell. They’ll teach you how to build relationships, how to ask probing questions, and how to qualify your prospect. But, they don’t teach you how to WIN. They don’t teach you how to Drive a Wedge between your Prospect and the Incumbent Agent. Here’s a simple truth: In the insurance business, there is always an incumbent agent. And, for you to get hired, you have to get the incumbent agent fired. The buyer of insurance doesn’t need two agents. For you to Win, the incumbent must lose.

It will change how you get paid for the rest of your life.

To learn more about “The Wedge: How to Stop Selling and Start Winning” and to get your own copy (or a copy for someone else who can benefit from its insight), go to TheWedge.net/books .

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If you want to improve your ability to Win business, not just quote it …

“The Wedge” takes you through a psychological formula, a way to ask questions that gets

ATTENTION AGENCY OWNERS!

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INSIDE How to Get the Future You Really Want A Historic Veterans Day The Numbers of Hiring Good Producers Are You Ready to Win? Upcoming Events What to Talk About This Thanksgiving

DODGING THANKSGIVING AWKWARDNESS CONVERSATIONS APPROPRIATE FOR THE DINNER TABLE

Thanksgiving conversation is often a minefield of topics: political divides, your English degree, and Aunt Marjory’s insistence that you meet her neighbor’s cousin's dog walker’s uncle’s son who’s a fantastic up-and-coming podiatrist. Between constantly passing the potatoes and dodging your relatives’ questions, Thanksgiving can be an exhausting holiday. But it’s a day to be grateful for what and whom you have in your life, so why do so many people leave their annual gatherings feeling overwhelmed and misunderstood? This year, when the conversation begins steering in an awkward direction, try these conversation starters for a more relaxing and fulfilling holiday. 1. What’s your pet been up to? Maybe Fluffy learned a new trick or Oscar is undergoing some intensive grooming next week. Whatever the case may be, people love to talk about their pets. 2. What Thanksgiving dish can you not live without? Without going culinary critic on your grandma’s meal, gush about your favorite dish. Just like with pets, people love discussing foods and recipes. You may start a fun debate or a recipe swap with this question.

3. Dad did what as a kid? Getting to know your relatives, friends, and significant others better will only strengthen those bonds. You’ll likely hear some interesting stories you can share with others and forge a stronger connection with your relatives. 4. Stupid human tricks, anyone? Let’s see those double joints! This one might not be for the squeamish at the dinner table, but it’s a fun, goofy activity that’s best shared over a glass of after-dinner wine. 5. How about we get coffee? Sometimes part of the stress of answering your relatives’ questions stems from holiday pressures. It may force you to address your bank account, love life, and general life choices. If you really do want to talk about your job or your love life with relatives, suggest meeting up again without the holiday atmosphere. While you’re all in one place trying to enjoy a piece of pie, plan a family winery tour, beach day, or camping trip. Family situations will always be a little stressful, but without the pressure of the holidays, you might feel more relaxed.

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