In this column from Insurance Journal’s archives, Jim Ruta shared his tips on how to be an effective tele-advisor. 

Question: How do I keep selling life insurance in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and the market meltdown? 

The unprecedented disruption to life and the markets brought on by COVID-19 is a gamechanger for financial advisors. Business will never be the same. But here are two reasons you need to keep selling life insurance and the one way you are going to have to learn how do it. 

This is absolutely the best time to promote and sell life insurance products. The COVID–19 situation reminds everyone of the fragility and unpredictability of life like we haven’t seen since before the discovery of penicillin. Prospecting for new business is, more obviously than ever, just offering to help in difficult times. 

The historic market volatility reminds us that a solid financial foundation is critical to long term financial security. Today, everyone has a better appreciation for the value of preparing for the unexpected and having segregated resources.

Can you still sell insurance despite the virus and the market crash? Yes, you can. Prospects and clients have never needed your financial leadership more than today, Lead them to financial security and safety with life insurance products. 

Lead by promoting insurance for two reasons: 

  • Insurance ON the person, to protect for the unexpected loss of income from sickness or death, to cover needs like paying off debts, providing survivors income, paying final expenses and paying taxes payable on death to protect a legacy. 
  • Insurance FOR the person, to protect against loss of capital due to market volatility and build a non-correlated asset for retirement. This uses the privileged nature of whole life insurance as a financial foundation to financial security and peace of mind.

Insurance ON the person is the often-complicated tax and needs based approach that gets more complicated as personal situations get more complex. But whole life insurance can also be sold FOR the person, as a foundational asset. Use it in any situation to create an asset that provides guaranteed cash for opportunities, retirement income and inflation protection. And, it stays simple regardless of the complexity of the client situation.

Take the opportunity presented by these unique circumstances to help people protect themselves in both ways for both reasons. Offer them the option to make sure they improve their peace of mind today and especially in the future when the next crisis happens… and it will happen.

Is it time to be a Tele-Advisor and practice distance selling?

The option to visit clients or have them visit you is no longer quite as obvious as it was only a short time ago. Tele-advising, working with your clients at a distance using telephone and video conferencing, will become part of a new normal starting now. This will not be as a total replacement for face-to-face meetings, but as a routine meeting option so that we can be ready as the need arises in the future. And it will. Count on it.

7 Steps to be a Tele-advisor:

  • Build a digital prospect list from LinkedIn, Facebook and personal contacts.
  • Create a 90 second – 200 word, “Prospecting Video” as a socially-distanced personal introduction to you and your business. Simply: Ask two compelling questions. Introduce yourself briefly. Answer the questions briefly. Invite people for a video appointment. 
  • Script a text or telephone approach to get a 15-minute video appointment via Make the approaches. 
  • Develop a brief 15-minute PowerPoint presentation to share on Zoom to your case. For instance:
  • “Mr. Prospect, in just 15 minutes you can decide for yourself if you want me to help you. And, in that same 15 minutes, I can decide if I can help you. With that in mind, may I get your opinion on a few questions?
  • Was it your intention to make the Canada Revenue Agency the primary beneficiary of your RRSP/RRIF rather than your kids?
  • If you were to become seriously sick or disabled would you rather lose your house or your mortgage?
  • If you or your spouse were to die unexpectedly, would you rather your kids grieve with the remaining parent, or a babysitter? 
  • If there were a way that you could be the beneficiary of your own life insurance policy while you were still alive, would you be interested?” 
  • Gets the facts you need to make the presentation to meet the needs they expressed. 
  • Then be ready with brief closing strategy including electronic application completion.
  • Prepare a compliant delivery protocol including a questionnaire to ensure that insurance policies are legally in effect and not just nominally in force.

Good tele-advisors are more concise, more prepared, more effective and more productive. These are the skills that make you a much better in person advisor. 

Take on the challenge of leading your clients in these unprecedented times with life insurance products using virtual meetings. Handling this extraordinary situation well today can set you up for your best business ever, tomorrow. 

This column by renowned advisor coach Jim Ruta was first published in the Avril 2020 edition of Insurance Journal magazine.

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Jim Ruta’s mission is simple – to preserve, promote and propel the financial advisor business. A former insurance advisor and executive manager of a 250-advisor agency, Jim is a highly regarded coach, author, podcaster and keynote speaker. He has spoken 4 times at the MDRT Annual Meeting including the Main Platform. Jim Ruta is an Executive Coach and Keynote speaker specializing in life insurance advisors and leaders. He works with top advisors around the world and re-energizes audiences with his deep insight and passion. 

If you have a question for Jim, you may send an email to [email protected]