Joe Jordan is really good at explaining what’s right about the life insurance business.
The illustrious MetLife executive and motivational speaker, featured in this month’s cover story beginning on page 16, delivers a message that many producers — especially any who might be battling low self-esteem related to their profession — need to hear and take to heart: you are a life insurance agent, and you should be proud of it. What you do is noble and significant, and you need to believe and demonstrate that with your actions.
That’s paraphrased, but the point is that agents need to be proud of what they do and not afraid to shout it from the rooftops.
Low self-esteem among life insurance agents isn’t usually talked about, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t affecting many less-experienced agents who are struggling to find their way in this business. Most will quit, as various studies generally confirm the industry has a sorry four-year retention rate that hovers somewhere around 10%. It’s no secret the industry has an aging workforce that is declining in numbers because it has not been offset by new agents entering — and staying in — the business.
While recruiting new blood to the industry presents challenges of its own, let’s think for a minute about those already in the business who are at risk of leaving. Successful producers tend to realize the great value their work provides for society, but the image problem among less-successful (and typically less-experienced) producers undeniably persists. They don’t presently believe in what they do, and they don’t even whisper about their job from anywhere near a rooftop.
As Jordan told listeners during The American College’s “Town Hall Update” webcast back in January, your beliefs really drive your behavior. “When you have low self-esteem, you’re not going to be in the frame of mind to pick up the phone and face rejection. So one of the things you’ve got to come to grips with is that all chronic production issues are behavioral — your behavior,” Jordan said during that webcast.
He advocated creating a culture — both personal and within agencies — that celebrates the potential impact life insurance agents can have on others.
Don’t be afraid to shout about it from your rooftop.