We have all had those days, weeks, maybe even months where we are so busy we feel like we are drowning and don’t know where to start to make a dent in the workload.
Now imagine yourself being a consumer, swimming through the worldwide web looking for insurance when in fact, you don’t even know enough to be dangerous. Even though our clients have information at their fingertips, it does not mean they are asking the right questions to solve their problems. And even worse, some don’t know the problem they have unless we explain it to them first.
How many times have we seen in the news, on Facebook, or a GoFundMe page, how people have become disabled or passed away from an illness or accident; unprepared or not having their affairs in order? It happens more than most will admit.
Get comfortable with uncomfortable
Facing this reality starts with us. We need to get comfortable with making our clients and their families uncomfortable. What I mean is we need to shed light on the uncomfortable topics like: life insurance, long-term care insurance, and disability income protection. None of us want to feel like we should have made the time to see a client, feeling like we could have helped them in a time of need.
I recently had a meeting with an agent who wrote “ancillary products”, and for those of you not in the health side of the house, these are solutions like cancer, heart, stroke, etc… She went to speak with a client, wanting to discuss putting in a group benefit for the employees. She met with the group and got the go-ahead to put a package together and return to present to the business. Unfortunately, the agent became busy and didn’t return as timely as she hoped. Additionally, one of the staff members was a friend of the agents, and as fate would have it, her friend got breast cancer prior to the coverage being in place. Great intent; didn’t get executed.
Too close to home
Another example hits little closer to home for me. My brother is self-employed and has great health insurance through his wife’s work. He came home from watching his youngest child play his last high school football game and immediately became ill. He became septic and has been in the ICU for months. We all know too well, being self-employed means self-funded paychecks! He did not have disability income nor business overhead protection, which now adds an enormous amount of pressure on his wife who’s trying to manage his care, pay the bills, and keep her job going.
Not letting fate dictate
It’s time to switch the narrative from “as fate would have it” to “let me help you file the claim and get you some money” or “I am so sorry for your loss, I’ll file the claim”.
The only way to get there is to start with the uncomfortable conversations. Here are a few ways to broach the subject.
- For existing clients of life insurance, ask them when the last time their policy had been reviewed. Rates change, people’s health can change, and sometimes conversions are a vital part of planning.
- If a new prospect, start out explaining there are various ways to prepare for the future – explain you are in the business to make sure families don’t feel the effects of not planning. Consider sharing your own story, or my story, or any story that relates to an unexpected illness or untimely death.
- It’s just about teeing up a conversation and then listening to your client or prospect. Maybe an insurance solution isn’t the fit for that client but the education most certainly is. How does a person make an educated decision if we don’t educate them?
It can be uncomfortable to kick off this conversation, but consumers can’t buy if they are not educated on the subject. If we assume “no” then the answer is “no” but let them decide. Lifesaving is in the hearts of those that plan, so some might say “yes”. I encourage you to be the captain of your business and give your clients the lifejackets that can maintain their dignity, their lives, and their families’ financial security.