Like many firms, Algren’s internal systems track our productivity as a staff. How many quotes were requested, how many illustrations were created, how many phone calls made, how long since we have looked at certain cases, how often we speak to advisors, and much more.
Since our dealings are tracked by advisor as well, we can extrapolate a good deal of information on advisor activity too.
Historically, if an advisor asked for anything, it was their closing ratio. We can figure that out quickly and are happy to oblige. Recently we received a few in-depth requests (I blame it on sabermetrics). While the process is far more intensive – to get stats like “Illustrations per sale” – it is interesting to see what we come up with.
One of the most obvious findings was, the less illustrations run, the higher the placement ratio. We have all heard of “paralysis by analysis”. It was almost comical how strong it applied across the seven advisors we researched.
The advisor with the least amount of illustrations per sale had an average 4.9 (including revised illustrations) over 17 cases the last 6 months. His closing ratio was second highest at 88.2% (15 of the 17 placed). Most impressive (in my opinion) is that 5 cases came back “worse than applied for” and he placed all 5.
The advisor that requested the most illustrations per sale had an average of 13.3 over 24 cases the last 6 months. His closing ratio was the worst, at 71% (17 of the 24 placed). He placed 2 of the 6 cases that came back worse than applied for.
This is powerful even though it is a very small sample size. While discussing this with a colleague of mine who works on the competition team at a carrier, we came to the agreement that it is not just paralysis by analysis of the client and the advisor, it is also lack of conviction. When we must go through a dozen different illustrations for different products and different carriers, the planning process takes a back seat and even the smallest discrepancy between two perfectly appropriate and acceptable products can cast a shadow on them. This leads the advisor to question internally the solutions and ultimately lacks the conviction to make the sale to the client.
Inevitably, we end up hearing that the client purchased another product from another advisor. While I have no data on this, I feel very confident that the advisor that did make the sale, went in with only a few solutions.
I implore you, if you want to improve your business, do not ask for a million illustrations. Instead, present us with the specific plan you and your client discussed. We are very familiar with the competitive landscape and will make sure your client is presented with the right solution and explain to you why we presented it as such.