Ala Awad was born and raised in a small town by Nazareth in the Holy Land and graduated high school from the Orthodox Arab College in Haifa in 1992. That same year, he traveled to England and attended the Law Faculty at Essex University where he earned his law degree in 1997. He practiced law in Israel for four years before coming to the United States to work with his cousins at Strings Italian Cafe in Sacramento, California. In 2005, he fell in love with and got engaged to his wife, Ayah Sayyed, who was born and raised in North Richland Hills, Texas. He joined American Income Life in September of 2007.
Q: Describe the difference between a salesman and an insurance agent.
Salesmen typically worry about only numbers, but an insurance agent is someone who worries first about the protection of his clients and then numbers will naturally come.
Q: What do you think goes into making a great life insurance agent?
Good Communication Skills, people person, honesty and professionalism.
Q: Being an agent that also handles sales comes with a lot of rejection. How do you handle your rejections?
Simply by being a very good listener, and this ties very well with being a caring agent and not a typical salesman. Listening is the hardest thing to teach a salesman!
Q: How do you approach your clients? What style or strategies do you use to build rapport and demonstrate the value of the product?
I am naturally an outgoing person and by being so, I just go in with a big smile, try to carry a normal conversation, and see what they really are proud in doing the most. I listen very well and give them that genuine complement by showing them how amazed I am of their accomplishments; basically, get them to brag. 😊 Another important key is asking them questions about their brothers and sisters, and how everybody is doing. In brief, where I focus and expand more is on the ones that have had death experiences or health issues as these triggers the need for life insurance.
Q: Tell us about a visit that has stuck with you where you were able to protect a working family.
Absolutely! The latest one was in January of 2015. I helped cover a 74-year-old retired Teamster (Local 767) member, and he died in October of that same year. His wife was very thankful to have purchased life insurance to cover her husband.
Q: Tell us about a time that upset or disappointed you (family didn’t qualify), and how you handled it.
I have those times where one family member does not qualify, so I stay positive and simply cover the other spouse while I tell the one that is declined that there is a little waiting period. Often, once two years have passed, we can go back and add them. [This is usually in the case of recent cancer treatment or heart problems.]
Q: Who do you feel needs life insurance the most, and why?
Everyone develops the need for life insurance from the moment they’re born as everyone is going to die. The need is 100% there. Plus, after two years typically Whole Life Insurance with AIL builds up cash value where clients can use that money at emergency times.
Q: What do you like best about your job?
Helping different people every day. We have proven buyers, so there is no need to do any cold calling, door-to-door or business-to-business. Instead, we have our clients requesting our services. We have hot leads which makes our job way easier, not to mention the aggressive compensations and the residual income AIL offers!
Q: What advice do you have for a new agent entering the industry with the Jennings Agency?
Follow the system, stay on script, listen to your manager, and ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS WHILE WORKING.