Insurance Passion Creates Buyer Urgency

par Jim Ruta | August 18 2014 09:00AM
How can I make life insurance more interesting to consumers?

No one wants to buy or even talk about life insurance any more,” according to financial advisors who don’t sell much of it. To them, it’s a “last century” product that doesn’t capture the imagination of today’s consumer. Today’s business is about money management, technical investing and elaborate tax-assisted schemes to build wealth. Insurance is out.Don’t listen to them. Just because sales are down, doesn’t mean interest has waned. Life insurance products are as interesting to consumers as they are interesting to the people who sell them. When advisors lose interest in the products, don’t expect consumers to remind them of the value.

An advisor once complained about this lack of consumer interest and urgency. He was surprised that when he mentioned life insurance, people didn’t jump at it. His approach was almost like… “You don’t want to buy any life insurance do you?” No one has to wonder why he got a poor reaction.

You have to be the interest and urgency you want in an interview. If you are not deeply interested in life insurance product, don’t expect your prospect to be. Prospect interest is a reflection of your passion for the product.

Think of it this way: Client Interest = Client Needs x Advisor Passion. It takes a lot of heat from you to warm up a client. If you’re just lukewarm about it, they will be downright cold. But, if you’re hot on the idea, you have a chance to get interest. Product passion is catchy. Be a passion “carrier”.

The best way to make life insurance products interesting to consumers is to develop your personal interest. The more interest you have and demonstrate, the more interest you’ll experience from consumers. They reflect your personal product passion. Here are just three ways you can develop a demonstrable passion:

Own as much life insurance product as you need. A substantial portfolio and even making it your showroom can be very compelling. Own critical recover insurance. If you qualify, buy business overhead expense insurance with return of premium and have a tax-deductible premium story to tell. You have to own it to sell it. You will sell about as much insurance each month as you own.

Build and practice your repertoire of power phrases that reveal your passion and sell needs, like: “Life insurance is a character product – if you have some, you buy some.” “No obligation you create during life should last longer than you do.” “Life insurance is one of the few products you can only buy when you don’t need it because when you need it, you can’t buy it.” Speak with passion and authority about life insurance.

Make lifestyle and legacy guarantee discussions a prominent and urgent part of every new prospect introduction and client portfolio review. Give these needs priority to demonstrate passion and reveal interest.

Creating client interest in life insurance product is relatively easy – because it starts with you and yours. Develop your own interest and you’ll magically discover consumers are a lot more interested too.

Why is it important to specialize in or focus on life insurance to be effective?

I had a telling talk with a multi-decade MDRT Top of the Table qualifier recently. He was concerned that even though he built his business entirely on using life insurance effectively, that he might not be keeping up to all the industry nuances. He said, “There is so much to know and the landscape changes every day. I can’t imagine how some advisors keep up with insurance and investments.”

Contrast this professional concern with the idea today that life insurance is a financial planning afterthought. Advisors do a full financial plan and then ask if they want to increase their term coverage. It’s a “by the way” sort of question. Likely, it’s the easiest way for life insurance averse advisors to bring up the topic and “check the life insurance box”. It’s also wrong.

Here are a few important considerations, specialists understand that help consumers and advisors:

With Medical Information Bureau reporting, clients declined by one firm may not be able to buy life insurance from another. Specialists know there is likely a right and a wrong insurance company for a client’s business, hobbies, health, lifestyle and family medical history. Choosing the “wrong” one first can have a negative impact on future purchases.

Low insurance prices can be a bad deal if an insurer fails, is sold or suffers challenging financial times and there is a claim. Compromised companies consider claims cautiously and carefully. Sometimes low price is like “danger pay” to buy from potentially at risk companies. Your client may not want the risk.

Buying the wrong amount, at any price, means paying too much or getting too little. It’s serious. Whatever a client buys, it’s the wrong amount. If they buy what they need in 20 years and die next week, they’ll likely have too much. If they buy today’s minimum and don’t die for 20 years, their family will probably be short. Specialists help consumers be “wrong” so their beneficiaries win, not so that they lose.

Being unprepared for medicals can make a prospect’s health look bad even when it’s good. Specialists help clients legitimately “test” as good as possible when they take a life insurance medical.

Bad paperwork can prevent getting life insurance or getting a claim paid. Specialists minimize application and underwriting mistakes that go undetected until a claim is made – the worst possible time. That’s too late to make a correction.

If it takes too long to issue a policy, clients may not “qualify” to keep it. Specialists know that the longer this process takes, the more likely it is that something could have affected insurability, preventing the policy from going into force. They get cases issued expeditiously so policies are “in force” and “in effect”.

Consumers expect professional advisors to be experts. Either be an insurance specialist or use “Team Selling” to get prospects the right help. You’ll be more effective and productive in the business. [For my “12 Considerations on Buying Life insurance” client piece, send me an email.]