“Will you be there in the morning?”
That familiar question doesnt reflect only the worries of innocent damsels who are being wooed by handsome young suitors.
Weve all asked it, at one time or another, when were considering hitching up with new partners, be they mates, employers, health care providers, or financial providers. We want to be sure the other party means to “be there” in our future, to abide with us through thick and thin.
Today, with the recession officially declared to have started last March, the will-you-be-there questions have shot into high gear.
In the past few months, not a workday has gone by that I havent received calls from agents about this very trend.
Many tell me that insurance prospects have become reluctant to buy because they are afraid the proposed policy wont pay. Others are concerned the insurance company wont last, or that the coverage, service and future options will erode.
Some vendors are growing gun-shy, too, my callers say.
Some people term these will-you-be-there worries “prudent.” These individuals believe they have become older and wiser, because they “now know” what can happen. Theyll use “more caution in the future,” they add, enunciating each word very slowly.
All that sounds very rational. But it omits the obvious: Many clients are acting more from fear than anything else. It is reality-based fear, to be sure, but its still fear.
Youve heard it yourself: Buy that new LTC policy? No, Ill wait until the economy picks up. Fund a new annuity? No, its not a good time for that. Take out some disability insurance? Heck, I may not even have a job next month.
Its not that clients dont have financial product needs or the money to take care of them, I am told. The thing thats in the way, callers insist, is worry about the recession.
Heres a suggestion: If you want to free yourselfand your clients and vendors–from the proverbial rock and hard place, you need to recognize that fear is not a solution.
What is a solution? Try meeting fear with facts.
Let me illustrate with a page from the history of annuities. Back in the early 1990s, when the recession was in full swing, prospective annuity clients were singing the same blues as todays prospects. They had seen banks go down, insurance companies fold, and layoffs galore; they just didnt want to buy.