I would like to report on a couple of things I learned at a Sales Summit I attended in Santa Monica on January 27-29, 2014.

Foreign Nationals I always thought Foreign National business was writing huge amounts of life insurance on some rich industry titan from Japan or a Colombian drug lord.  Come to find out that the U.S. government assesses a 40 percent estate tax after a measly $60,000 exemption on U.S. property owned by Foreign Nationals.

Who knew that Congress would try to collect taxes for their pet projects from people who couldn’t vote them out of office?

No wonder there is such a push for immigration reform without granting citizenship.

There are pockets of Foreign Nationals in almost every city, and many own homes and other property and don’t know about the tax.  The best way to access this market is (i) ask your best producers who are active in the market, (ii) consider focusing on producers of ethnic decent, (iii) inquire about family, friend or organizational ties, (iv) many Foreign Nationals belong to a Foreign National Chamber of Commerce (AEMUSA.org is an association for Mexican Entrepreneurs for example), so find out about them in your area, and (v) approach advisors serving these groups—CPAs, attorneys, immigration attorneys, P&C agents, and real estate agents.

Lots of business is being written on Foreign Nationals.

Living Benefits Today young people are more concerned about having major health problems than dying.  Consider promoting “New Term”, which is simply term life insurance with Living Benefit coverage.

One of our companies has a special “Opportunity Program” called TOP, which allows brokers to offer their clients “New Term” without subjecting them to regular medical underwriting.  Their clients are able to qualify for up to $1 million of term insurance with Living Benefit coverage if they’ve been underwritten for life insurance in the past five years—all non-medically.

This is an easy way to increase your sales by calling on your clients to offer them “a better mousetrap.”

Final Expense  It seems like many companies are moving into this profitable area.

One of our partners decided to enter this business a couple of years ago and produced over $13 million in final expense premium in 2013!  He and his team of final expense agents did it the old fashioned way with face-to-face sales.  Some of our direct marketing partners are also having success selling final expense policies, but over the phone.

Final Thought Years ago I remember hearing Dan Sullivan, from Strategic Coach fame, talk about the futility of working on our weaknesses, as if we all wanted stronger weaknesses.  John Coyle, a 1984 U.S. Olympic Silver Medalist in Speed Skating said that instead of working to improve our weaknesses, we should design around them and focus on improving our strengths.

“Each person’s greatest room for growth is in his/her greatest strength.”

This still makes as much sense to me as it did the first time I heard it. Who wants stronger weaknesses anyway?

Good selling...

R. Jan Pinney, CLU, ChFC, CPCU