During the past 30 years, most of the major life insurance and annuity companies, independent marketing organizations (IMOs), insurance agencies, sales trainers, sales system providers, industry support organizations, and it seems that practically everyone in the financial services industry has shifted their focus away from servicing Middle Income Families. They are now focusing the majority of their marketing efforts and training, on attracting and servicing prospects in the more affluent markets. They’ll tell you that they believe that’s where agents and advisors can make the most money, quickly and with the least amount of effort and expense. Everyone seems to want to believe that, because these people have more money and they have more discretionary dollars, they are an easier sale. If only it were true and that easy!
The Reality Of Their Decision…
To begin with, is there any question that there are a lot less prospects in the more affluent market segments? When we talk to most advisors they believe that we are talking about the top 10% -15% of the U.S. population, which if it were true, would give them an abundance of prospects to see.
However, the reality of the situation is that, only 4% of households have a million or more in assets including their homes. But, only 1 in 125 Americans have more than $1 million in financial assets such as stocks, bonds, bank accounts, real estate and businesses they own. That’s based on a study published by Capgemini and Merrill Lynch & Co. Only about 2.5 million Americans, or less than 1 percent of the population over age 15 are millionaires. The report did not factor in the value of people’s primary residences, which obviously would increase the number of millionaires. And, because many of these millionaires have their assets tied up in their businesses and real estate, there are even less of these people who have liquid assets to invest in or purchase your products.
Think about it…
With all the insurance agents and financial advisors moving into the more affluent markets and chasing the top 0.5% – 1% of the population, is it any wonder that most of these agents and advisors are struggling to make a decent living? It has gotten extremely competitive in the affluent markets. You just need to take a look in your local newspaper, on a Sunday, to get an idea of how many financial services professionals are currently offering annuity and investment seminars every month to the affluent markets! And, then to compound the problem, isn’t it where you will find the most competition from banks, attorneys, accountants, investment brokers and all the get rich quick scam artists?
When Tom Stanley and William Danko, the authors of ‘The Millionaire Next Door’, decided to investigate how people get wealthy, they found something extremely odd. They found that many of the people who live in the upscale neighborhoods and drive luxurious cars ‘do not’ have extreme wealth. They are not millionaires. Most of them are living well above their means. They are spending more money than they are making in order to maintain the appearance of being wealthy. The truth is that, like most people today, these people are struggling every month just to make ends meet.
The Capgemini/Merrill Lynch report also broke out how these very rich people allocated their assets. These millionaires put 34 percent in equities; 27 percent in fixed-income investments; 13 percent in real estate investments; 14 percent in alternative investments like hedge funds, foreign currency and commodities; and kept 12 percent in cash or deposits.
The Spectrum Group survey found that more than 35 percent of the affluent are retired and 36 percent are business owners. The overwhelming majority, 86 percent are married, and the mean age is just under 56.
According to a report from the Economic Policy Institute, The State of Working America… “64 percent of American households have stock holdings worth $5,000 or less, or own no stock at all.”
So, Where Can You Make The Most Money Selling Life Insurance?
If you want to find and make more money selling life insurance (or annuities) then you’ll want to serve Middle Income Families. We are talking about the top 50% or more of the US population, that is 50 to 100 times the amount of prospects available in the affluent markets. Obviously, that means there are a lot more prospects for you to see. And, there is a lot less competition from the other financial services professionals.
The only real problem with servicing Middle Income Families is that in order to find the money it requires you do a lot more work with the prospect. Many, if not most of these people are living beyond their means, and they are drowning in consumer debt.
At first glance it would appear, that the majority of these people do not have any discretionary money. But, in most of the cases appearances are deceiving. They do have discretionary money! You just have to learn how to help them find it! It’s about helping Middle Income Families to understand the problems they face today and then helping them to prioritize where they spend their money.
In most cases, you can help them to find the money ($3,000 to $12,000 per year) if you know where to look. And, you can do it all without taking additional money out of their pockets or changing their current life style. It’s simply a matter of helping them to re-allocate where they are spending their money unnecessarily.
Studies on the problems facing Middle American Families…
US Savings Lag – 64% of full-time U.S. workers are either behind in their retirement savings, or haven’t yet started. Widows in particular are likely to be behind – 70% are living “paycheck to paycheck.” MetLife Employee Benefits Trend Study
Americans Gripped By Fear – 95% of Americans have some financial-related concerns when it comes to retirement. 42% expressed fears related to retirement income: either that they will run out of money prematurely, or that they will have to downgrade their lifestyle in retirement. NAVA Financial Retirement Fears Study
Americans Have Wrong priorities – 70% of Americans are most concerned with short and midterm financial spending, while placing retirement savings at a distant third priority. Prudential Financial “Roadblocks to Retirement” Study
A message from Bob Kerzner, President and CEO of LIMRA International, 5/8/06.
“Retirement is more than simply income planning. People must also prepare for the potentially ‘dangerous highway ahead’ that may include outliving one’s assets, health risks and long-term care needs, inflation and other pitfalls. Most Americans have not saved enough to retire as comfortably as they would like to.”
“We need to respond to their failure to save. To point out, especially to younger consumers, that the way to a great retirement is through systematic savings, not hot investments that boom today and bust tomorrow. Companies should do more to educate consumers about retirement. They need to know the risks they face or they will not be able to create that retirement paycheck, plan for long life, or rely on their personal savings for retirement.”
“I believe those companies that start looking more at the totality of retirement are the ones that will do better. People want a lifestyle, a great retirement, not a specific product. They will buy a product only if they see how it will get them the retirement they envision.”
“Serve the classes, live with the masses.
Serve the masses, live with the classes.”
John Jacob Astor
The more you learn, the more you’ll earn!
Do you remember your Mom and Dad telling you; “Study hard and you will earn more!” It’s one of those irrefutable facts of life! Is it possible that a few simple changes in your marketing could make a major difference in your livelihood?
Think about it… If this business were really about having the best products and sales ideas, like people are telling you, then why are 90% of the new advisers failing and why is the average income for advisers only $40,000-50,000?
Don’t wait to get started, take action now! You’ll get everything we’ve promised, and much, more! Go ahead and hold our feet to the fire to provide you with cost-effective life insurance marketing, prospecting and sales training that really works – your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed.
In our Found Money Management™, Life Insurance Marketing, Prospecting, & Sales ‘Tool Kit’, With Our 3 Months of One-on-One Training & SUPPORT… you’ll find detailed explanations how to attract and sell middle income families.
Yours In Success,
Jeremy & Lew Nason
‘The Nine Out Of Ten Guys’