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How to increase our income?

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Income = value x time x scalability

Indeed, in September 2012, I learned from an Australian mentor with numerous patents (KS) that scalability and low cost enable easy commercialization.

How much are you worth currently?
Your hourly current value = monthly income / hours worked per month

To create more value to our company and our clients, we must keep upgrading our knowledge, skills, intellectual capital.

We must constantly install new software into our mind in order to be able to create more value.

It is not one’s age, experience, or academic qualifications, but how much value one can create for his company / clients that matters and translates into different levels of income.

It is about "WHAT CAN YOU DO?"

Let us compare 2 insurance advisers.

Insurance adviser A, age 33, monthly income $3,000.
Waits for leads.
Follows up on leads.
Give adequate presentation on products / services

Closes the sale.
Never follows up with the client thereafter.
Closes monthly premium of $7,000.

Insurance adviser B, age 33, monthly income $20,000
Sets specific monthly sales target.
Actively generates leads from all source.

Creates partnership with other companies.
Ensures a minimum of 2 appointments for consultations / day.
Gives seminars on financial planning.
Writes and publishes a book on financial planning.
Does a a detailed needs and outcome analysis for potential clients.

Presents a highly beneficial and value-added plan for the client.
Helps the clients save money and identify important needs client may have overlooked (i.e. corporate insurance, estate planning, asset protection).
Follows up every 3 months to ensure client’s emotional and financial needs are met.
Sends a quarterly e-newsletter to his customers packed with tips on money management and investments.
Able to generate even more referrals from powerful services.
Helps recruit and train more sales people for the company.

Closes monthly premium of $50,000.

Now, let us compare 2 teachers.

Teacher A, age 42, monthly income $4,000
Has worked for 12 years.
Teaches the curriculum.
Gives and marks homework.
Gives tests and mark papers.

Fulfills minimum extra curricular duties.

Teacher B, age 34, monthly income $9,800
Has worked for 4 years.
Teaches the curriculum.
Able to motivate and inspire even the weakest and most unmotivated students.

Innovates / develops new curriculum / teaching methods.
Writes systems of best practices.
Trains new teachers.
Produces innovative marketing ideas to enroll more students.
Develops strong rapport with parents and provides additional family counseling.

Innovates ideas to increase department productivity, reduce expenses.
Has written 6 textbooks, assessment books that are sold locally and over the internet.
Uses accelerated teaching methods to boost grades.
Conducts seminars / workshops on weekends for parents on how to motivate their children.

Conducts seminars for students on exam skills.
Consultant to private tuition centers.

Things to increase in order to increase income:
1. leads
2. conversion rate
3. repeat business
4. average dollar purchase
5. net profit margin

In more details …

LEADS
learn how to create more effective advertisements (stronger headlines, more persuasive copy, i.e. text)
TV, radio, newspaper advertising
industry newsletter advertising
internet / email advertising
magazine advertising
outdoor advertising
flyers
promotion / sale
ask for referrals
member get member scheme
offer free gift
insert into other company’s invoice
letterbox flyers
sales teams
telemarketing / make more cold calls
buying / swapping database
seminars, events, roadshows
attractive window display / video
posters, large signage

CONVERSION RATE
define our unique selling proposition
set sales target
excellent customer service
introduce myself
survey our past customers
sell key benefits (not features) passionately
high quality in store posters / brochures
in-store sales scripts
be a consultant / problem solver
give a money back guarantee
benefits, testimonials list
give free bonuses that increase value
great prospects and use their name
learn closing techniques
ask for the sale more than once
personal grooming, high dress standards
video in store displays
leave price to last
study and prepare for objections
specialized knowledge about our products and industry
focus on client’s needs and emphasize benefits
convenient payment scheme (credit cards, nets)
offer installment schemes with 0 interest
allow mail order / home delivery
address concerns / possible objections upfront
sell on value not price
use NLP to build strong rapport with clients
follow up with prospects regularly
improve our presentation skills

REPEAT BUSINESS
direct mail offers of the months
keep in touch every 3 months
inform clients of our entire range of services
target likely repeat customers
send special occassion cards
make customers feel special (super experience)
build a close relationship / friendship
create a loyalty program
exceed customers expectations
discount voucher off the next purchase

AVERAGE DOLLAR PURCHASE
focus on a higher income target market
use a shopping list
sell add-ons/up sizes
make sure our client knows our full range of services
suggest most expensive first
create value packages / bundle several products in a package
buy 3 get 1 free deals
ask people to buy some more
increase prices by 10%
arrange easy finance and payment
free gift / lucky draw with $xx purchase
ask customers to buy more (e.g. McDonalds, do you want to have a combo meal? do you want to upsize? do you want to have a dessert? do you want toy?)
up sell
cross sell
do a complete needs-analysis to find out how we can add even more value to customers

NET PROFIT MARGINS
increase prices
sell on value / service than price / discounts
set monthly budget targets
track costs weekly and aim to reduce by 10%
stop running ads that do not work
sell more higher margin items / sell higher margin products 1st
source for cheaper suppliers which are just as good
bargain hard with existing suppliers
increase working efficiency

Written by blueroselady

September 24, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Entrepreneur: Merry Riana

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Recently, I met up with a two friends who were from Indonesia and studied in Singapore. They are lovely oung couple in love, L and S.

S adores Merry Riana so much, she wants to be like her, young, beautiful, successful, rich, famous, and is supported by a loving husband.
Like S, Merry Riana is Indonesian who came to Singapore for her university education. Both of them struggled financially, worked part time while coping with demanding courseworks.

I agree with S that the following qualities of Merry Riana is worth emulating:
1. determination. Merry Riana is a sales agent for Prudential insurance who has won many awards. She earns her first S$1 million at the age of 26.
2. discipline.
3. faith. Like S, Merry Riana is Catholic. I think having a belief helps one to overcome many challenges and turbulations in life.

L mentions that he does have some things that he dislikes about Merry Riana.
1. Her "rags to riches" story is not entirely believable. In her childhood, Merry and her family went to Australia, so Merry was actually living a good life. Most Indonesians have not been overseas. Both L and S had never went overseas for holiday until they finished their university education and started working.
2. To appeal to Indonesians, Merry said that she wanted to study in a university in Jakarta but was forced to move to Singapore by chance instead of choice, because of the financial crisis and riot in 1998. L and S admit that many Indonesian students want to go overseas, e.g. Singapore because of the perceived better quality of education. To apply for an admission in universities in Singapore, Indonesian students have to sit for tests that was held more than half a year before the end of high school, so Merry seemed to choose to come to Singapore, instead of being forced as what she said.
3. In L’s opinion, Merry’s motivation contents are more about herself, about dreams and money, instead of concrete tips for others to follow and realize their dreams.

I feel sympathetic to S, because S looks up to Merry, while L is not so supportive of her role model.
We grow up reading biographies of inpiring people, and it hurts when our partner told us that our heroes and heroines are otherwise.
Well, while people need heroes and heroines. It is disappointing when our heroes and heroines are not as perfect as we expect, but they are also human beings.

Personality aside, I learn about the following things that I want to pursue further:

PERSONAL MASTERY

Define what courage really means to you and putting that definition to work on your own life
Understanding the Real YOU !
Re-connect with your inner life & re-charge your energy
Learning how to trust your inner self
Overcome conflicts between caring for your loved one and managing your career
Build lasting passionate relationships with your significant other
Discover your inner strengths and master the art of self-appreciation

IMAGE MASTERY

The importance of image to your professional success
Your self-image and your external image
How your professional image influences your performance and the way others respond to you
How to recognise your body shape. Understanding your body shape is the first important step, in learning what style of clothes will best suit you.
How to Determine your face shape, and most importantly how to choose the right hair style for your face shape.
How to camouflage your worst bits and highlight your best features.
Understand the fashion do’s and don’ts for each body shape. How to look thinner, How to balance big shoulders, how to cover up a big butt, how to make your legs look longer.

Merry Riana loves to share about her success, her story, about the importance of having dreams, but I do not find tangible things from her sharing (apart from vision, action, passion, get the right associates), that you and I can emulate to be as successful as her.

Since Merry Riana achieved her success by selling insurance products, I want to find out which insurance products bring success to the insurance agents. After all, not all products are created equally. As a consumer, I am also highly interested on which insurance products that provide the highest coverage per dollar that I spend.

About Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT)

From the MDRT website "The Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), The Premier Association of Financial Professionals, is an international, independent association of more than 31,500 members, or less than 1 percent, of the world’s life insurance and financial services professionals from 464 companies in more than 80 nations and territories. MDRT members demonstrate exceptional professional knowledge, strict ethical conduct and outstanding client service. MDRT membership is recognized internationally as the standard of sales excellence in the life insurance and financial services business."

In summary, that members of MDRT demonstrate exceptional (1) professional knowledge (2) strict ethical conduct (3) outstanding client service.

But in order to qualify for MDRT, one only has to qualify for the minimum production (sales) requirements either in first year commissions or first year premiums.
For year 2011, the qualifying commissions that a Singapore adviser must earn in order to be a member of the MDRT should be at least S$103,000 to qualify for the MDRT. This is based on first-year commissions. Note that many life insurance products pay commissions over a few years. The qualifying commissions are even higher for Court of the Table (COT) and Top of the Table (TOT).

According to Wilfred Ling, the parts on "strict ethical conduct" and "outstanding client service" are outsourced to other parties.

Insurance agents are often rewarded with overseas incentive trips.

She has been to many overseas incentive places, including:
China (HK)
Korea
US (San Francisco, East Coast)
Europe (France)
… and many others.

Written by blueroselady

September 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm

How to achieve financial stability, security, freedom, abundance?

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Criteria of financial stability:
1. liquid assets to cover a min of 6 months of current expenses.
2. have insurance (life, hospitalization).

To calculate expenses, see a previous post on how to make personal income statement.

Let say in 2012 (based on an estimate for the 1st 8 months), my monthly expense is $2,700.
Therefore, I need to keep a liquid asset of ~ $16,000 in my bank account.
Stocks are also considered as liquid asset, but to be conservative and safe, I only consider cash in my calculation.

Tips:
1. Get a term insurance with a much cheaper premium than a whole life insurance. Understand that term insurances are often up to only certain age, e.g. 65 and its purpose is to protect your family (not your retirement).
2. If you want to also get a whole life insurance, try to buy it at younger age and to finish paying the entire premium early. Unlike long-term housing mortgage, which can be protected with mortgage insurance, I hear many cases of people failing to pay for the expensive premium of the whole life insurance hence their policy lapses.

Financial SECURITY means your passive income can cover your BASIC expenses.
Financial FREEDOM means your passive income can cover your CURRENT expenses.
Financial ABUNDANCE means your passive income can cover your DESIRED expenses.

Criteria for basic expenses:
1. housing mortgage, utilities.
2. public transport.
3. food (inclusive for my children) / groceries.
4. all interest payments for debts.
5. all insurance premiums (life, hospitalization, fire).

Let say in 2012, my basic expense is $1,500.
To achieve FINANCIAL SECURITY, I must have passive income of $1,500 per month.

I realize that these components (a) gifts / donations, (b) insurance premiums, (c) dining out, contribute to my non-basic expense in descending order, but I want to keep on giving and enjoying the fruit of my labor, so let us set our target higher.
To achieve FINANCIAL FREEDOM, I must have passive income of $2,700 per month.

To calculate my desired lifestyle, for now I only add 2 items (but the list may grow over time).
I want to be able to give meaningfully and travel the world.
To achieve FINANCIAL ABUNDANCE, I must have passive income of at least $5,000 per month.

I am working smart and hard to have more passive income. Keep on the spirit!

Written by blueroselady

September 18, 2012 at 9:10 am

Should I buy an insurance plan for my pregnancy?

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Questions to ask the salesperson:
@~@ What is the earliest expectant mother’s purchase a pregnancy insurance plan and when does coverage start?
@~@ Does the plan offer a savings component?
@~@ Does the plan cover hospitalization costs for both mother and baby?
@~@ What are the pregnancy complications that are covered for the insured expectant mothers?
@~@ What are the congenital illnesses covered by the plan?
@~@ Does the plan allow the option of transferring the policy to the child’s name?

Written by blueroselady

August 20, 2012 at 5:58 am

On life and health insurances

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My priorities on wealth protection
(1) Hospital and surgical (H and S)
(2) Critical illness (CI) + women-related illness
(3) Personal accident
(4) Total permanent disability
(5) death

Hospitalization and Surgical (H and S)plans are term protection plans where there is no cash value. Premiums are not guaranteed to stay level, and are typically adjusted upwards based on five-year age bands. On top of that, the insurer may, due to adverse claims experience, raise premium rates for everyone on the plan at 30 days’ notice.

It is important that we carry out financial review and risk profiling at least 1x a year.

Past performance figures shown are not indicative of future performance.

What is underwriting? You’ll need to make a health declaration to qualify. Any pre-existing conditions will be excluded.

Angioplasty? Angioplasty is the technique of mechanically widening a narrowed or obstructed blood vessel; typically as a result of atherosclerosis. An empty and collapsed balloon on a guide wire, known as a balloon catheter, is passed into the narrowed locations and then inflated to a fixed size using water pressures some 75 to 500 times normal blood pressure (6 to 20 atmospheres). The balloon crushes the fatty deposits, so opening up the blood vessel to improved flow, and the balloon is then collapsed and withdrawn.

Ischaemic?
Ischaemic heart disease
Ischemia is a restriction in blood supply, generally due to factors in the blood vessels, with resultant damage or dysfunction of tissue.
Rather than hypoxia (a more general term denoting a shortage of oxygen, usually a result of lack of oxygen in the air being breathed), ischemia is an absolute or relative shortage of the blood supply to an organ, i.e. a shortage of oxygen, glucose and other blood-borne fuels. A relative shortage means the mismatch of blood supply (oxygen/fuel delivery) and blood request for adequate metabolism of tissue. Ischemia results in tissue damage because of a lack of oxygen and nutrients. Ultimately, this can cause severe damage because of the potential for a build-up of metabolic wastes.

Ischemia can also be described as an inadequate flow of blood to a part of the body, caused by constriction or blockage of the blood vessels supplying it. Ischemia of heart muscle produces angina pectoris.

Neurosis? Neurosis is a class of functional mental disorders involving distress but neither delusions nor hallucinations, whereby behavior is not outside socially acceptable norms.

Jaundice? Jaundice is a yellowish discoloration of the skin, the conjunctival membranes over the sclerae (whites of the eyes), and other mucous membranes caused by hyperbilirubinemia (increased levels of bilirubin in the blood). Jaundice seen in the newborn, known as neonatal jaundice, is common, occurring in almost every newborn as hepatic machinery for the conjugation and excretion of bilirubin does not fully mature until approximately two weeks of age. In extreme cases, a brain-damaging condition known as kernicterus can occur, leading to significant lifelong disability; there are concerns that this condition has been rising in recent years due to inadequate detection and treatment of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. A Bili light is often the tool used for early treatment, which often consists of exposing the baby to intensive phototherapy. Bilirubin count is lowered through bowel movements and urination so regular and proper feedings are especially important. Jaundice itself is not a disease, but rather a sign of one of many possible underlying pathological processes that occur at some point along the normal physiological pathway of the metabolism of bilirubin.

By-pass surgery? This is a type of heart surgery. It’s sometimes called CABG (“cabbage”). The surgery reroutes, or “bypasses,” blood around clogged arteries to improve blood flow and oxygen to the heart. The arteries that bring blood to the heart muscle (coronary arteries) can become clogged by plaque (a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances). This can slow or stop blood flow through the heart’s blood vessels, leading to chest pain or a heart attack. Increasing blood flow to the heart muscle can relieve chest pain and reduce the risk of heart attack. Ref: http://www.americanheart.org

Cysts? Once formed, a cyst could go away on its own or may have to be removed through surgery.

Granulomas? Granuloma is a medical term for a ball-like collection of immune cells which forms when the immune system attempts to wall off substances that it perceives as foreign but is unable to eliminate. Such substances include infectious organisms such as bacteria and fungi as well as other materials such as keratin, suture fragments and vegetable particles.


Vascular malformations
? Vascular malformation is a general term used to refer to blood vessel abnormalities. There are many types, but the most common is arteriovenous malformation (usually congenital).

Haematomas? A hematoma, or haematoma, is a collection of blood outside the blood vessels, generally the result of hemorrhage, or more specifically, internal bleeding. It is commonly called a bruise.

This is from an oncologist:
If one is diagnosed with end-stage cancer, you have the choice (1) not taking any treatment and will die in 6 months, OR (2) take treatment and will die 2 years later, but have the chance to enjoy less symptomps during the initial few months (can be up to 1 year 11 months – because the treatment is suppressing the cancer cells), eventually die when the drug-resistant cancer cells manifest. Which one would we choose?
This also highlights the importance of having financial ability to afford the treatment. Would we want to suffer 6 months or 1/2 months before death? Furthermore, the extension of 1 year 11 months will enable us to do things that we would love to do: spend more time with the loved ones, see the corners of the world we dream of.

K.O. told me that “all insurance plans are good”, my correction “all insurance plans are good for the right people bought at the right time for the right purpose”.

@~@
From the book: insurance for dummies
Residual disability usually means proportionate coverage when we’re unable to work full time (from a back injury to a heart attack), and usually resulting in an income loss of at least 20%.

Make sure that the residual benefit period isn’t limited. If your disability coverage goes to age 65, so should the residual coverage (Many benefits last only 6 months!).

BENEFICIARY: is the person / organization to whom life insurance proceeds are payable at the death of the person insured. It could be a spouse, children, a sibling, or a favorite charity.

OWNER: The owner of a life insurance policy may / may not be the person whose life is insured. The owner is the person / organization who controls the policy, pays the bills, chooses the beneficiary, and so on.
Here are some examples of when the owner would be different from the person insured:
(1) A corporation owner insuring the life of a key scientist whose talents are vital to the company’s survival
(2) A family trst owner insuring an aging parent in order to pay estate taxes due at death.
(3) A parent insuring the life of a child to cover final expenses.

Stay with insurance companies rate A or better by http://www.ambest.com

Written by blueroselady

April 2, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Posted in finance, health

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