Insurance Agents and Financial Advisors – Are You Feeling Frustrated Even Violated?

When you spoke with the recruiter and then the sales manager you were told you’d get all the training you needed to succeed. Now that you’ve been in the business nearing two years do you look back and realize that you aren’t even close to knowing how to do what you need to do to succeed? You’re pay structure is coming to an end, it would take a miracle to meet the demands you have for expected sales, and you have no idea what to do. You aren’t alone and this is exactly why fewer than 5% of the people who enter the insurance and investments industries are still around after 5 years.

You have every reason to feel frustrated, violated even angry as heck. You’ve been mislead and cheated. You did everything they told you to do that they “said” would work, and all those things you tried blew up in your face more often than not. You’ve cashed in on every personal connection you have, and you have no where else to turn. What do you do? What can you do? The only thing you can do is take complete responsibility for your own success.

Start succeeding by placing your focus on the right end of the business. You think you’re in the insurance and investments business. You’re really in the marketing business. You have to learn how to market yourself so you can fill your appointment calendar with people who want to meet you. You have to fill your appointment calendar with people that mutually understand the purpose of the appointment is determining if you can do business together. Your instinct is to focus on more product knowledge and the production side of your business, but there is no production until you’re able to generate leads entering your sales funnel through your marketing.

So, you have an appointment now what? You know the way you were shown how to hold an appointment feels awkward and pushy, and doesn’t result in a high percentage of the people you set appointments with doing business with you. So learn how to sell a service. Seek first to understand so you can help your prospects discover why they want to buy. And by being a good listener you’ll help them to discover why they want to buy now. The sales process you have now isn’t working, so learn one that does.

No referrals or no good referrals? Here again the high-pressure tactics you’ve been told to use to get referrals just don’t work. You can’t expect to get a bunch of referrals from a client when the ink isn’t even dry on the paper. You earn referrals through the quality of service you provide, by really connecting with your clients and expanding on the relationship, and by providing them with examples of how you’ve helped people that will trigger their memory. Only you can help yourself succeed, and to do so you’re going to need to look outside your industry for real help that will get you real results.

Pre-Closing Steps to Create a Great Residential Investment

An investor can easily step back after placing a project under contract and feel that until closing that there is little or nothing to do. Unfortunately, this is a critical mistake. Nothing could be further from the truth. Investors have to look beyond the closing activity and focus on their reports, market studies, and other information to develop plans, budgets, capital improvements, schedules, staffing and service additions to boost earnings, reduce costs, and otherwise secure the investment.

Sometimes thousands of dollars per month can be cut with a program of leak repairs.

Developing plans to place units on individual meters can net $30 to $60 per unit in additional profitability.

Examining the current management’s operation and developing techniques to add value that converts to higher rents or higher occupancy can net huge results. In one case I’ve seen effective occupancy was 84%. By changing office hours effective occupancy increased 10% and increased the property value by more than 50% because of the marginal effect on profits.

Creating plans to accelerate changes to the property to reposition or to turn over underpaying residents can create huge increases in revenue, profitability and value. Couple this with a plan to sell the property quickly after taking over and very large gains can be netted to the investors in a very short period of time.

In another instance the property had several undeveloped unoccupied plots. Keeping these off the note actually increases the value of the property because in general value is based upon profitability for the rented units. In turn, the buyer can turn around and potentially sell plots to achieve an immediate gain.

Ideas like these are found by walking through the historical expenses, old utility statements, the appraisal, the engineering report and surveys. Next, you should examine the properties zoning and see what opportunities this may offer.

The thorough buyer will spend days investigating competing properties management and marketing. Often times, there are differences that can be exploited for real gains.

Finally, traffic studies should be reviewed and frontage compared. If a property can be acquired with strong traffic seeking signage permits often can creates significant revenue for investors.

In short, the pre-closing period is an opportunity to examine your asset and with imagination, dedication, study, and intense review profits can be increased, risks can be reduced, plans to make early gains developed and the general asset value heightened to the advantage of you and your investors. Good luck and great investing!

Buying Platinum Jewelry As an Investment

Investing in a precious metal like platinum can be a good long-term hedge against the volatility of the stock market, and there are many ways to invest in it. One of the best ways is to buy jewelry made from pure platinum. This allows you to hold a valuable commodity as well as wear a beautiful piece of jewelry – sort of like having your cake and eating it too!

Here are some great reasons to buy platinum jewelry as an investment:

  • The strength of platinum allows jewelers to make quite intricate, yet extremely durable, pieces without mixing in other metals. Thus, you can have a piece that is practical both as jewelry and as a bullion-type investment.
  • Platinum is about 30 times more rare than gold, yet is usually valued in the same general price range. Since it is so rare and so useful, many people believe that platinum could drastically increase in value in the coming years.
  • Platinum is stronger and more durable than either silver or white gold, and is impervious to rust or tarnish, and so is a great alternative to these metals as jewelry.
  • Platinum is important in the auto industry, for use in anti-pollution devices. As environmental regulations get stricter over the years, the value of platinum should continue to rise. And as emerging markets like China and India continue their explosive growth (car sales in China grew by more than 50% in 2009), the demand for platinum will continue to grow as well. All these factors point to a steady increase in the value of platinum jewelry in the coming years.