Add life to your life insurance presentations

By Jim Ruta | February 24 2015 09:00AM
What can I do to build desire and enthusiasm for buying when I make my life insurance sales presentations?

You might be inadvertently taking the life out of your life insurance presentations. If you are, you are making the business a lot harder than necessary. You’re also not getting the sales you want either. “Life-less” sales presentations don’t build enthusiasm or attract many sales.

I sat in on a role-play of a life insurance sales presentation recently. I’m guessing that it was well coordinated by the compliance department and must have checked all the required legal boxes. It was filled with ledger sheets (on PPT mind you) and complicated technical language that explained everything about the policy in minute detail. I guess it was technically perfect.

I couldn’t help but think it would also put a prospect right to sleep. No desire or enthusiasm built up there. It was a feature-filled presentation that would likely mean nothing to most people. It was “life-less”. There were no stories to which people could relate. No analogies in prospect language were offered to help increase understanding and make deciding easier. There were no helpful graphic illustrations to bring the numbers to life. There were just dead facts. All right, but all wrong at the same time.

Prospects don’t need volumes of technical jargon and columns of numbers to make a decision. Yes, numbers are important and necessary, just not at the beginning. Of course, your presentation must be based in fact and completely defensible in the situation. An advisor’s job is to provide a prospect with the information they require to make the decisions they need to make to get the results they want from their insurance or investment portfolio.

But, prospects need interpretation, not just information. They want to know what the illustration means to them, not just the details. They want context, not just content. They need to know how that information applies to them in their circumstances, not just the general meaning. They want your wisdom, not a data-dump. They expect you to distill the facts and give them the essence that matters to them so they can use it.

That’s what adds life to a life insurance presentation…Life-like stories. Tell interesting background information. Provide real-life explanations of the product benefits in action. Show examples of how your recommendations can work for them. Share anonymous stories of similar situations that put the purchase into proper perspective. That will enliven any presentation.

Whether you do a written presentation or an oral one, prospects are looking for the executive summary of the situation. They don’t necessarily need to know all the intricate details. They don’t need to know enough to be a pricing actuary. They just need to know that YOU KNOW all the intricate details. Your job is to summarize competently – to make the complicated simple so they know enough to buy.

Make the complicated simple. When anyone can understand, anyone can buy. As Einstein said: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t know it well enough.” Stay simple and add life to your life insurance presentations. That will improve your sales results and persistency too.

I’m not very comfortable starting a life insurance conversation with prospects. What can I say to get into the discussion effectively?

You aren’t alone. At one time, all we did was start the life insurance discussion. Today, it’s pretty much the last thing any financial advisor talks about. A recent study reported that 56% of financial advisors wouldn’t talk about life insurance – even if the client brings it up. So, if you want to stand out, ask your prospects and clients about their life insurance.

Compelling questions have developed as a smart way to get people to think about life insurance as a sensible idea for them and their situation. The idea is that the right question gets people thinking properly. If they ask a question or make a comment about it, you’re into the discussion. Your job is to carry the discussion from their answer. It starts with the question.

Here are a few easy ways to start the life insurance discussion. You can get my complete list and explanation at

1. Do you like life insurance? No one does… but do you have any idea of what good it can do for you?

2. There are five ways to fund your will. Which one have you chosen? Life insurance is the easiest.

3. Does the nobility in your family have to start with you? You can be a great ancestor with a small investment in life insurance.

4. How long could you afford to live on your savings? Sadly, that’s the deal you’re leaving your family if you have no or little life insurance?

5. How important is it that your family continue to live in the world you created for them even if you weren’t here? What matters to you most?

6. Would you rather your family had too much life insurance or too little – if they needed it?

7. Do you know the determining factor whether you can buy life insurance? – Your health buys it. Money only pays for it.

8. What do you want your life insurance to do for you? Is yours doing it?

9. Have you outlived your temporary life insurance solutions yet? Do you know if your life insurance will last as long as you will?

10. Do you buy your life insurance from associations, credit cards, television, creditors or your employer? Why not own it personally?

11. Is life insurance on your Christmas list? Probably not, do you think it could guarantee Christmases if the worst happened?

12. Have you insured your most valuable asset for your family? Your earning power is your most valuable asset.

13. Do you know anyone who can’t buy life insurance? Do you know why? How do they feel about it?

14. Have you ever heard of a widow being insurance poor?

15. Is your family’s lifestyle important to you? Would insuring it make sense then?

Life insurance is one of only a few products you can only buy when you don’t need it. It’s like a parachute that way. If you need a parachute and you don’t have a parachute – you’ll never need it again. Start the life discussion every day with someone new.