We look forward to the Van Mueller newsletter every month. It's chock-full of sound bites, sales tips, and eye-opening statistics. Here are our favorite parts of the October 2021 edition. We're sharing the full introduction, and 2 of the 7 monthly sales ideas. If you like what you read, we encourage you to click here and become a subscriber.
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October 2021 – 7 Ideas and Views Newsletter by Van Mueller
My friend and fellow insurance and financial professionals, John C. Oldham passed away September 18, 2021 from complications of COVID-19. John was 41 years old. He is survived by his wife and business partner Roxi and his two children Beau and Lexi. They also contracted COVID-19 but had lesser symptoms and they fully recovered. John, however, when he arrived at the hospital had a lung capacity of around 40 percent. Most of us have a lung capacity of around 90 to 95 percent when healthy. Damage to his brain, liver and kidneys made survival impossible. John’s wife and children were an important part of the business he was creating. The business was called “Concierge For Advisors. When John conducted meetings for agents he was recruiting to his business, his wife and children were an important part of the hospitality of the meetings. They fed us and gave us snacks and provided whatever beverages we required to be in a perfect frame of mind to learn the skills John and his organization were teaching. You were made to feel welcome. You were made to feel like part of the FAMILY! It was working. Agents were joining. He was hiring amazing staff to run the business side of this business and he was creating amazing technical and artistic contributors to build a spectacular business for the present and the future.
John C. Oldham was one of the best insurance agents in the United States. He was amazing. He was transitioning. He was learning and perfecting new skills. Seriously, John C. Oldham was going to be a very big deal to our industry.
Why am I writing about him to all of you? John could have found his amazing success much sooner than he did. He was distracted for a time by much of the nonsense that permeates our industry to its unfortunate detriment. His head was in so many places that he never focused on his primary responsibility until recently. He didn’t recognize until 2021 that his primary responsibility was to inspire prospects and clients to take action. When he focused on what his real strengths were, he made me look like I didn’t know what I was doing. He was a really powerful and wonderful salesperson who was so sidetracked by other things before this year that he didn’t achieve the success he could have if he had come to the realization sooner of his PRIMARY responsibility. That was to inspire prospects and clients to take action. I have lots of friends like that in the industry and I know multitudes of agents in our industry who suffer the same professional malady John did until this year. They say they will sell more life insurance after they study the policy well enough that they can teach prospects and clients about life insurance. I ask them this question: Have you decided you want to do this as a profession and be paid like a teacher? Teaching is not our job; it has never been our job and will never be our job. Our job is to inspire and encourage and help people use their own reasoning powers to take actions that will benefit them, their families and their businesses. I see agents who study, and study and build credentials of all sorts, yet they don’t sell any insurance, or very little.
Our job is to inspire and encourage and help people use their own reasoning powers to take actions that will benefit them, their families and their businesses.
I also find that agents involve themselves in so many other things than the very important responsibility of inspiring our customers to take action. That was John’s problem. He was involved in so many things that he literally did not have enough time to do what he did best until the year 2021. Once he focused on his primary responsibility, he was unstoppable.
I will miss him so much it hurts. The industry and this country will miss him even more because of all the people he will not get in front of and will not be there to inspire the important decisions Americans must make if they wish to protect themselves and build financial and retirement success. As skilled as John was, he could have arrived at his success much sooner.
Why did I tell you about my friend John Oldham? Let’s get real for a moment. The most difficult thing about our profession is getting enough appointments. Most people in our industry only run 2 to 5 appointments per week and only make one sale per week on average. Data from LIMRA supports this assertion. LIMRA finds the majority of agents sell between 30 and 40 applications per year.
This information is backed up by Million Dollar Round Table membership information. Only one percent of agents qualify for the Million Dollar Round Table. Even if we assume an amount equal to or more that the membership total who don’t apply for membership in MDRT, the percentage might increase to 3 percent. The other 97 percent of people who do this for a living are starving and there is only one reason. They don’t have enough appointments. I ask all of these agents and I am asking you, if you could increase your appointments to 10 or 15 per week, which is two or three per day, would it change your career?
I ask all of these agents and I am asking you, if you could increase your appointments to 10 or 15 per week, which is two or three per day, would it change your career?
The excitement created by this opportunity is palpable.
Even good agents yearn to tell their stories to more people. They have good product knowledge; they give great service. But they still struggle to book appointments.
Many agents believe they are miles away from the success they strive for when the truth is most are only inches away from the success they desire. To get to the success you desire, you must adjust your perspective in two important ways.
First, your competition is NOT other agents and advisors. There are so many Americans who are unprepared for what is coming. There are so many people who have never spoken with an insurance and financial professional, let alone one who really understands the coming financial danger. You can provide inspiration and service to each one of them, and even if every person reading this newsletter triples their appointments, we will still not be able to get in front of all the people who need to hear our message. So, change your perspective. You are working with this industry, and your real competition is government, Wall Street, the banks, nursing homes and hospitals. Will you help your clients protect their money and keep it in the family before it is eaten up by higher taxes, reduced benefits, and inflation? This will help you keep a service-oriented mindset.
Even if every person reading this newsletter triples their appointments, we will still not be able to get in front of all the people who need to hear our message.
Second, telling people how much you know is NOT effective. Your prospects and clients are smart hardworking people. They haven’t realized the magnitude of the challenges there are and will be facing in the future because they are busy or preoccupied with other issues. Your questions assist them in how much they already know and how to organize their thinking in order to take actions that are beneficial to them, their families and businesses. You can accomplish this in two ways: spaced repetition is the principle that it is easier to remember something when you hear it repeated many times spaced over a long-time span. Think of the McDonald’s commercial for Big Macs from over 40 years ago: Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun. I bet you still know every word of that commercial. To use this with prospects and clients, you cannot overwhelm them with information. I know you think it makes you look good but burying our customers in numbers does not work. Their eyes will glaze over, and they will NOT remember the information you are sharing with them. Instead, pick one clear and simple message to convey. Previous newsletters provide you with many options to choose from. After your appointment your customer will start to identify and see and hear things that reinforce that message. Every time you visit that client, repeat the message. Then, that message must be conveyed through amazing and powerful questions. This process keeps them engaged and helps your customer become emotionally invested in the answers. Review previous month’s newsletters to uncover powerful questions. Then, you must Practice, Practice, Practice. Asking questions must become second nature to you. You must know your questions instinctively and be able to ask them in a conversational manner, this is key, because otherwise you will be thinking of the next questions when you should be listening to the answers. Said another way, our listening should be with the intent to understand rather than with the intent to reply.
Here is an amazing question appropriate for the times we are living in. It always starts amazing conversations. “Do you want to be rich or would you like an absolute, positive guarantee that you will never be poor?” Almost every time they will say they want the guarantee (and if not, you have learned something important about your client.) Then ask, “If I could show you a way that even if you ran out of money, you would never run out of income, at the very least, even if you didn’t do anything, wouldn’t that be vital information for you and your family?” They Always Say YES!
Then ask, “If I could show you a way that even if you ran out of money, you would never run out of income, at the very least, even if you didn’t do anything, wouldn’t that be vital information for you and your family?” They Always Say YES!
We are the only industry that can provide the products that enable that outcome. Americans do not know we sell products like that. How do we get them to find out we have products like that? Wouldn’t it be to ask them if they would be interested in benefits like that? Asking questions of every person I come across allows me to have 30 to 50 appointments per week without spending any money to obtain those appointments., So, how can you dramatically increase your appointments? Ask great questions about issues that matter. We have an enormous number of topics to ask questions about.
There are two important points that need to be made first. This is not a job or career. To have the ultimate success we must recognize that it must be our lifestyle. It must be in us. It must be part of us. Asking questions in a conversational way creates awareness and interest. You should ask simple questions. Will the government require higher taxes to maintain Social Security benefits in the future? Could our taxes even be much higher? Here’s a question we don’t ask customers enough. Do you want to pay those taxes? If we could show you how to reduce or eliminate those taxes when would you want to know about that? This is another important point. Our opinions DO NOT MATTER. The only opinions that matter are those of our prospects and clients so wouldn’t it be more beneficial to focus on asking what they think will happen, rather than telling them what we think will happen?
Americans think that most people in our industry are boring. They think that way because all we ever want to talk about are products. Wouldn’t the best way to engage customers be by asking their opinions? Isn’t the best way to be interesting is to be interested?
Here is a very short list of concerns we should be asking our prospects and clients about:
1. Higher Taxes
2. Lower Benefits
6. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid
7. Natural Disasters and surprise “Black Swan” events
8. U.S. Increasing Debt
9. Demographics and Higher Taxes, where will the money come from?
Success in our industry comes from activity. Asking questions about these issues will create concern and interest from our prospects and clients. Then ask if they would like to create a strategy that will keep them safe and even better, what if you could build a strategy that would allow you to take advantage of every blunder the government, Wall Street and the banks make for the rest of your life?
Please plan your goals in this manner. Never plan how much you are going to sell. Rather, plan how much you are going to SHOW! Success in our business is based on the law of large numbers. Use questions to put our products in front of people and they WILL BUY!
Success in our business is based on the law of large numbers. Use questions to put our products in front of people and they WILL BUY!
One final thing before we start the sales ideas. Many, many agents have asked how our products help Americans take advantage of inflation while not being hurt by inflation. I want to answer that in this newsletter.
The first way to keep up with inflation is to never lose any money. When the crash finally happens, many Americans will lose a decade worth of returns. So, just to get back to even, they will have to have fantastic returns and they will also have to offset inflation. If you don’t lose any money you only have to catch up to inflation.
Second, what is the best time to invest in the stock market? Should you invest when it’s high or when it’s low? The easy answer is when it’s low. You then ask, when will that be exactly? They don’t know. No one knows. Isn’t that why many of us lose in the market? What if you could wait for the crash without losing any money and then wait for one more sentence from the government. We have to fix this. We’re going to print more money. Wouldn’t that be the most beneficial time to take advantage of the opportunity. Where would you get the money? From the cash value life insurance cash value. You would temporarily borrow the money using the Van Mueller rule of 12-15. The rule states you must keep the money invested for 12 months and a day to qualify for long term capital gains tax treatment and you must pay the loan back before fifteen months, so nothing happens to the policy which is the foundation of our entire strategy. Also, if you reduce or eliminate the taxation on this money, that reduces the damage inflation can cause. So, the wonderful preferential tax gains you can make easily offset inflation. There’s more. Insurance companies use new money, old money systems. If new money comes in while rates are low, they have to invest at low rates. However, when they pay claims, they will pay using new money. The opposite is true when rates are high. If current rates are higher than their old money, they will invest at higher rates and pay claims at lower rates using old money. Finally, we can use laddering techniques with life insurance and annuities to take advantage of higher or lower interest rates. There is much more. I could actually write a whole newsletter about this question. However, please sit down quietly and use your common sense to think through all the ways including even how longevity credits and leveraging can offset the negative effects of inflation.
Let’s get started with this month’s sales ideas.
Idea #2: Life Insurance! Life Insurance!
This article calls this strategy Private Placement Life Insurance, or PPLI. This is a quote from the article. “The math is simple: as long as assets are held in a PPLI policy, they escape taxes much to the horror of wealth redistributionists like Elizabeth Warren. When the holder of a PPLI policy dies, heirs inherit the PPLI’s contents tax-free, a perk which strikes at the heart of Biden’s plans to get the very wealthy to pay more taxes on their investments, especially on capital gains that currently aren’t levied if assets are held until death.” Shouldn’t all our clients be taking advantage of a massive loophole in the tax law? Ed Slott says cash value life insurance it the number one benefit in the entire tax code. This benefit is entirely legal, easy to exploit and politically very hard to close. It is the greatest time ever to sell cash value life insurance.
Title: This Is How American’s Wealthy Are Evading The Democrats’ New Taxes
https://xerohedge.com/ (Zero Hedge, September 2, 2021)
Idea #4: Annuities and Taxes
This is a wonderful and concise article about annuities. The article provides a long list of what it considers to be mistakes that agents and customers make as it relates to the use of annuities. However, it also provides a list of six ideas that could be considered annuity tax perks.
It’s nice to have a third-party article that shares balanced information about this very important product that will become more and more necessary as a tool to provide income that cannot be outlived. Learn the benefits the article shares.
Title: Understanding Annuities and Taxes: Mistakes People Make
https://finance.yahoo.com/ (Yahoo Finance, August 16, 2021)
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