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 April 2022 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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April 2022 – 7 Ideas and Views Newsletter by Van Mueller
In the last 30 days I had an epiphany! I hope when you are done reading this month’s newsletter you arrive at the same epiphany that I did. I would like to ask you all something. We receive training and coaching from some very amazing people. Here’s just a few names. I will share more later. Tom Hegna, Robert Castiglione, Don Blanton, David McKnight, Pamela Yellen, Nelson Nash, Joe Jordan, Bruce Etherington and Ed Slott, just to name a few, share their ideas and wisdom with us in many cases, literally every day. They have shared some of the greatest sales and marketing ideas ever created for our industry.
There are many more names. I just want you to get a sense of what I’m about to ask you. Do you know that in study after study it has been determined that only one person out of twenty people who want to be in our business and become agents and financial professionals even last six months? Do you also understand that according to LIMRA, the Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association the agents that do survive do not find great success. In fact, the most recent information tells us that only five percent of the agents in the United States write enough business to qualify for the Million Dollar Round Table. Less than two percent write enough business to qualify for Court of the Table and less that two tenths of one percent of agents write enough business to qualify for Top of the Table. That means that only one out of every twenty agents that survive in our business really write enough business to qualify as a moderately successful insurance and financial professional.
LIMRA also reported that close to ninety percent of agents in North America write 40 applications or less per year. Essentially three cases a month are written by most agents.
LIMRA also reported that close to ninety percent of agents in North America write 40 applications or less per year.
Most of these agents, if not all of them have had exposure to the names I listed earlier and additionally they have received training from their managers and their companies.
So, here are the questions that caused me to reconsider everything that those people and I have done wrong. The people I named earlier have some of the most brilliant minds the life insurance and financial services industry has ever seen or known and yet 95 percent of the agents in our industry are failing. How could that be? Why was that happening? And then my moment of clarity occurred.
The training was exceptional. The ideas were amazing. The knowledge being shared was the most effective and efficient information an agent would ever need to find not only success for themselves, but success for all the customers they were serving. Again, I asked myself, why wasn’t the training working?
THE TRAINING WASN’T WORKING FOR MOST, IF NOT ALL OF THE AGENTS BECAUSE WE DIDN’T TEACH THEM HOW TO LEARN AND USE THE INFORMATION!
Let me get personal for just a minute. I have been providing this newsletter for now over 16 years. That is more than 192 newsletters. I truly believe that I am sharing some of the most important and easily transferrable information in the industry. When I speak with agents who have read my newsletter for years and years and I ask them to share with me three or four of the amazing questions I have shared countless times, not once do they do it accurately. They think they are repeating my questions the way I say them and to my astonishment and consternation many times they are not even close. They are simple questions. They are designed to be said perfectly and yet I have no agents that I could verify that repeat my questions the way they are written.
When I speak with agents who have read my newsletter for years and years and I ask them to share with me three or four of the amazing questions I have shared countless times, not once do they do it accurately.
I find that to be the case with much of Tom Hegna’s magnificent information. Ed Slott is on public television telling millions and millions of viewers that the most wonderful benefit available in the entire income tax code are the benefits afforded to cash value life insurance. I am not able to find many agents who take advantage of that wonderful third-party information. Robert Castiglione created the “Lifetime Economic Acceleration Process” LEAP. He admits very few agents who use his program use it the way he designed it. Don Blanton created “Circle of Wealth.” I don’t know a lot of agents who can deliver its message the way Don does. Here’s just a couple more. My friend, David McKnight is really developing his “Power of Zero” presentation for the masses. He has books, movies, podcasts and yet very few agents can deliver the “Power of Zero” the way he teaches it. Finally, Pamela Yellen, who created “Bank on Yourself," BOY. Again, she has books, podcasts, many training opportunities and the “Bank on Yourself” presentation is only done successfully by a small number. Why? Pamela’s information is amazing and transformative. Why wouldn’t more agents be using it successfully? I didn’t realize why until I really sat down and thought about it. The reason the training doesn’t work for almost literally the entire industry is because agents do not understand how to learn the information.
WE MUST TEACH AGENTS AND FINANCIAL PROFESSINALS HOW TO LEARN. I know it seems ridiculous, but I can prove it.
Consider this! If you have children a spouse or a pet, and you teach them something one time do they learn it? If you teach them ten times, do they learn it? In many cases it can be 50 to 100 times before they truly learn what you want them to learn. Isn’t the foundation of all learning repetition? We advise agents to study rather than practice. Professionals in every walk of life, whether it be a chef or a seamstress or an athlete or a professional insurance agent must practice so they can become elite at what they do. Professionals practice way more than they study because to become elite you must be instinctive. You must be able to react and yes even act before a situation occurs, so it appears that you have been dealing with the information all of your life. You can study until forever, but if you can’t perform in a professional manner, you will ALWAYS be at a disadvantage. I could talk about this for the entire newsletter, however there is more to learning how to learn.
You can study until forever, but if you can’t perform in a professional manner, you will ALWAYS be at a disadvantage.
The attention span of a human being is approximately eight seconds, that is why commercials have been shortened to only 15 seconds. When I try to get a laugh from an audience or a customer, I explain that a goldfish had an attention span of nine seconds. I then ask the people I am speaking to if they still read books? Most of their hands go up. I then ask if they ever get to the bottom of a page and cannot remember what they have read? They nervously laugh and admit that it happens all the time This is not putting down agents. What it means is that we haven’t taught them the tools that will help them learn this information more effectively.
First of all, we read at a much slower pace than our mind can comprehend. Therefore, our mind has a tendency to wander. A word that we read can make us think of something else. A sound can divert our attention and many times we cannot find our way back to where we were diverted from. If our reading pace is slow, we can actually become bored and thus not be as attentive to the information we are trying to learn. There are several ways to overcome this obstacle. First, you can learn to read faster. I would recommend that you go to the website irisreading.com. You can learn to speed read. I learned to speed read 35 years ago. I took the Evelyn Wood Speed Reading Dynamics course. Evelyn Wood no longer exists. That is why you might want to investigate IRIS. It is a learned skill. I do not read across the page, I read down the page and at 5 or 10 times the speed that you read at with far more retention, because I am reading at a pace that engages the capacity of my mind to comprehend. I read 14 newspapers a day. It takes me less than an hour. I can read a novel literally as fast as you can turn the pages. All that is required is to learn the skill and practice it.
If you don’t wish to speed read you can learn using the skills that require repetition, practice and sound. Fifteen years ago, I was watching the program Dateline. Back then they did interviews with famous people. Today they focus on real life murder mysteries. They were interviewing the famous actor Sir Anthony Hopkins who had played the part of Hannibal Lector in the movie The Silence of the Lambs. Anthony Hopkins is usually riveting in any part that he plays. I would recommend the movie Red 2. Amazing! Anyway, the interviewer heaped enormous praise on Sir Anthony. She said he was probably one of the finest actors who had ever lived, and his performances were always amazing. He thanked her for her kind words and then added something that almost knocked her out of her chair. He added that the performances were actually easy to create. She asked how that could be. Sir Anthony Hopkins replied that every time he received a new script for a movie or a play, he said that he read his part and everyone else’s part OUT LOUD 150 times. He said, you know what happens after 150 times? I don’t have to think about what I am going to say next. I can listen to the other actors and actresses. Now, I almost fell out of my chair. Wasn’t listening my most important requirement to be an excellent insurance and financial professional? How could I listen if I was always trying to think of what I was going to say next? The reason that out loud is bold and underlined is that as you practice, hearing what you are saying helps to prevent your mind from wandering. It actually increases your attention span because you are listening to yourself.
As you practice, hearing what you are saying helps to prevent your mind from wandering. It actually increases your attention span because you are listening to yourself.
You can also learn about inflection. When you ask a question more quietly or more firmly. Softer and louder and faster and slower causes your customer to listen more intently.
Finally, you can begin your practice presentations by yourself in front of a mirror so you can see what you look like and see if you present positive body language that will inspire your customer to take action. That is only the first step. The real practice begins in front of a customer. You do not want to waste any of those opportunities. This is what I would recommend. The first 10 or 20 presentations should be made to family and friends. If you want to use one of my presentations, please go to the first few pages of the September 2021 newsletter. There are three separate sales presentations that I use on a regular basis. You explain to your friends and relatives that you have this man named Van Mueller who is requiring you to learn a presentation if he is to continue to help you to learn your profession. Tell them to look on YouTube or to Google me and they will see pages of information that I am a real person and I have no connection to you other than helping you learn your profession. They will all allow you to practice on them because they want to help you. When you go to the appointments, explain to them that when you are finished you will ask them 5 additional questions about the presentation itself. Remember, all spectacular presentations are based on questions that allow the customer to share their opinion and inspire them to take action. The five additional questions are to critique the presentation itself. Ask if you can ask them when the practice presentation is completed. Here are the 5 questions.
1. What was interesting?
2. What was boring?
3. What did you understand?
4. What didn’t you understand?
5. If you knew ahead of time that I was coming to sell you something, what information from this presentation would inspire you to take action anyway?
After you do 10 or 20 of these presentations you will be one of the most rehearsed insurance and financial professionals in the industry. I will also make you a bet. I believe you will sell two or three of the ten presentations because the people you are presenting to are open minded abut the presentation you are making.
Here’s an additional opportunity to practice. After you have practiced on your friends and relatives go a step further. Find some prospects who you believe you would have absolutely no chance of selling them anything. The way you would get appointments with them is by sharing that you have information that will change them, and their families lives, forever. And you would like their opinion about whether the information is as compelling as you think it is. Promise you won’t try to sell them anything. Imply that they will find the information at the very least interesting and at its best, absolutely compelling. Their opinion would really help you to help a lot of people.
Why should you do this? You are not wasting your improved presentations on people who you know will probably take action until the presentation has been perfected. And you will open doors to people who you would never have approached and now have a good reason to. If you understand these recommendations, aren’t you repetitive practicing, out loud, and getting immediate feedback about what works for you and what doesn’t? This can all be done in less than 30 days. It could transform your practice in a short amount of time while it increases the quality of your presentations. It’s a momentum thing. To build success you must create success and that comes easily with learning how to learn.
This can all be done in less than 30 days. It could transform your practice in a short amount of time while it increases the quality of your presentations.
If you are really going to receive full value for the time you invest in this newsletter, you must read it out loud. I now believe in my heart and in my soul that none of the subscribers of this newsletter really need the newsletter. They scan the newsletter. To receive full value, you must have a pad of paper and something to write with. You must read the newsletter out loud so your mind will not wander, and you must write down and then practice the information that you believe you can use immediately in your practice. You must do the same with your other mentors. One of my mentors, Jim Ruta has provided me with an astonishing amount of amazing written material that I have scanned rather than learned. All the other people that I previously mentioned are my mentors as well. I must do a better job of learning if I wish to see continued growth in my practice as well.
I don’t remember who said it, but it is appropriate for the times we are living in. “Even if you are on the right track, if you are not moving forward, you will get run over.” Learning how to learn the amazing information that is available to us is the key to the growth required for the success we aspire to. Practice these learning skills and you will see almost immediate results.
Learning how to learn the amazing information that is available to us is the key to the growth required for the success we aspire to.
Let’s get to our sales ideas.
Idea #1: No RMD's Until Age 75
In last month’s newsletter I shared the deception being perpetrated on the American people about RMD’s. If 93 percent of Americans, make less than $112,000 they only pay a marginal tax rate of 12 percent. They pay an effective tax rate of 8.58 percent. The government will not be able to collect the revenue they need at an effective tax rate that is less than 10 percent. They do not want husbands and wives taking RMDs. They are doing everything they can to encourage our customers to not touch that money while they are alive. They want non-spouse beneficiaries, children and grandchildren, to take the money in the best way possible for the government. For most recipients the preferred way to receive the money is as a lump sum. Then the government can collect 30, 40 or even 50 percent. You must have a conversation about this with everyone why has tax deferred qualified money.
Title: House Ready To Vote On Raising RMD Age to 75
https://www.fa-mag.com/ (Financial Advisor, March 28, 2022)
Idea #4: Not Having to Make Financial Decisions as You Age is Vital
This is a wonderful article about Moshe Milevsky, the academic and speaker from Canada who Tom Hegna quotes all the time. He declares that annuities must be the foundation of a successful retirement. Annuities allow retirement to be put on autopilot so as the clients age increases, they don’t have to make financial decisions. With an annuity they just cash the check.
Title: Milevsky: The Most Important Financial Goal in Retirement Isn’t What You Think
https://www.thinkadvisor.com/ (Think Advisor, March 18, 2022)
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