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Taking Orders Or Giving Solutions - Oct. 2020

October 20th, 2020

6 questions that sell final expense insurance

Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM) has come to an end and, as you can imagine, it was a busy month for me and many agents.  I utilized LIAM as an opportunity to give you some insight on different scenarios/cases I oversee on a daily basis.  A common theme for those webinars was to ‘dig deeper’ by asking more questions of your clients when proposing life insurance.  It is easy advice to provide but harder to put into practice.

Believe it or not, I find myself sitting the same seat as agents when discussing a simple quote request.  Both of us have the dilemma of whether or not to be an order-taker or a problem-


Scott Gilpin

Life Marketing Manager

solver.  An order-taker is fairly easy and doesn’t take much time or thought; a problem-solver is more difficult to explain and overall more time-consuming.  The dirty little secret that both myself and agents share, whether we want to admit it or not, is sometimes it simply depends on how busy we are that specific day which dictates the route we take with clients.  We know there are a few more questions to be asked of the client, or we could run a couple more quote options. However, we become super busy and simply give the client their exact request and then cross our fingers they say “yes.”  If we want to build an agency, retain clients, and obtain future referrals, we know what we must do for our clients.  And yes, I meant to say “we”.  We are in this together and while the consumer is your client, YOU are our client. 

Here is another little secret that I’ll share Becoming a problem-solver is often not as hard and time consuming as you might think

Most of the time, all it takes is asking a few more questions to your client and discussing one or two different illustration options with them.  It shouldn’t be surprising that your clients might not know exactly what they need or what life insurance options are available.  As you have heard me say many times, life insurance these days can do more than just provide a death benefit.  It is our job to not only determine the best policy for the client, but to also to show them many options to fit their specific needs. 

Does your client know that there are term plans that go beyond 30 years?  Does your client know that a Universal Life policy can provide coverage to age 100 or beyond, on a guaranteed basis (assuming all premiums are paid on time and no cash is taken out)?  Does your client know that an Indexed Universal Life can provide the same guaranteed protection to age 100 or beyond, for only a small increase in premium, while also providing impressive cash accumulation?  Does your client know that they can add a chronic illness rider that can provide them a monthly benefit if they become chronically ill?  Does your client know that they can add a rider to their policy that can provide them a guaranteed income stream later in life, for protection against outliving their other retirement assets?  I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.  Life insurance can do a lot. It is our job to determine which of those needs and wants are most important to your client.

Please do not misunderstand to think it’s a good idea to just throw three to five illustrations at every client and hope one sticks.  It is important to determine a path with your client based on their answers.  It illustrates to them you are listening and taking their specific needs into consideration.  Digging and asking important questions starts with you.  If you can get the information, we can work together to put construct a perfect plan that provides options. 

I am going to give you a shortlist of questions that you can ask with any potential client.  With some clients, you might want to ask all of these questions. With others, you might only need to ask a few.  T

These will help start a deeper conversation and give you good information to work with when providing options.   

  • What is the purpose of the insurance? Business or personal?
  • Who needs the death benefit when the insured passes? Who will be the beneficiary?
  • How long do you want/need the coverage?
  • What amount of insurance/debt do you want/need to cover?
  • Is cash accumulation a concern/desire?
  • Do you have any existing life insurance? If so, what is the face amount and type of plan?  Do you intend on replacing that coverage?  If that coverage is a universal or whole life, what is the current cash value and surrender value?
  • Do you have any long-term care protection, or would you be interested in protection if you became sick in the future?
  • Do you have any concerns about outliving your retirement assets?
  • Do you have any other concerns?

You will notice I left off the questions about health and underwriting, simply because those are questions you would need to ask any client, by default. 

As I said, these are starter questions you can custom to grow a conversation or help you dig just a bit deeper with every client.  I believe if we become problem-solvers, instead of order-takers, we all win!  I look forward to working with you on your next case.