Objections can stop a new agent dead in his tracks, sending him retreating to the new agent handbook on overcoming objections. But many producers agree that an objection is an important part of the selling process–it gives prospects an opportunity to voice their concerns with the proposed plan of insurance.
“We should be happy when someone objects,” says Burt Meisel of The Detroit Financial Group, Farmington Hills, Mich. “Its a prime method of communication,” he says.
Meisel says that prospects object not because they dont want a product or service he is offering, but because they are trying to avoid making a decision.
Some of the more frequent objections Meisel has heard include: I can’t afford it, I dont want to leave my kids rich, I dont believe in life insurance, or Life insurance is a lousy investment.
“No one objects to life insurance when someone dies,” he says. Meisel takes the approach that for any objection he hears, the prospect should try to tell that to their beneficiaries.
“Objections wouldnt make much sense if we repeated them to those left behind after someone dies,” he explains.
One of the most common objections Lawrence Halperin hears is Let me think about it. “I tell them to go ahead and think about, then I wait,” he says.
Halperin, a registered financial consultant with Halperin and Associates in Warwick, RI, will sit and wait while his prospects think about the financial plan he presented.
“I tell them Ill give them 5 or 10 minutes to think about it, when they ask me what I mean, I tell them Were talking about survivor needs for your wife and children, is there really anything to think about?” he says.
Halperin notes that many times what people really want to think about is whether or not they can afford the insurance premiums. When the objection is a question of outlay for the coverage, Halperin will offer some alternatives. “Maybe we need to buy some term insurance to make sure we cover the need,” he says.
Frank DeFederico, owner of Financial Distributors, Inc., Toronto, Ont., also hears this objection and takes a slightly different approach.
“Some people legitimately want to think about it, but others will just try to put you off,” he says.
DeFederico explains to his clients something he learned from psychological research, “Psychologists tell us that we remember 100% of the facts when we have them in front of us, a day later we only remember 40%, and 3 days later we can only recall 5% of the facts. If youre going to make a decision, do you want to base it on 100% of the facts, or 5% of the facts?”
At this point, if DeFedericos prospect still wants to think about it, he poses the question, “Would you take it if you could get it for nothing?”
If the prospect agrees, DeFerderico concludes that the objection is not with the proposed plan of insurance, its with the cost.
“I then ask if they put away $5 a week, would it be too much? How about $100 a week?” he says.
If someone is hesitant at $100 per week then the range is somewhere between $5 and $100 per week, he says.
“The question becomes, How much can you afford?” he says.
Even after that, however, some prospects still want to think about it. DeFederico jokingly tells them that they now qualify for his special Think about it plan.
“I tell them theyve got 30 days to think about it, and while theyre thinking about it were going to do some underwriting, but while were underwriting there will be coverage in place,” he explains. “At the end of 30 days, Im going to go back to deliver the plan and explain it all over again. If at that time they dont want it, fine, but at least they were covered during that time,” he says.
Another common objection Halperin has heard is Let me get some other quotes.
Halperin responds to this with “I am a broker licensed with several different companies, how many quotes would you like?”
One of Halperins more unusual objections was, Id like to buy the life insurance for my wife and kids, but I want to buy a brand new truck, so Im going to get a new truck instead.
Halperin explains how the situation turned out, “His wife turned to him and said, Well, youd better get used to sleeping with that truck!”
In recent years, Halperin has noticed that the objections are really changing. One of the newer objections he has begun to hear involves the succession of his business. “People have said to me, Whats going to happen to me, if something happens to you?” he says.
Halperin adds that the only way to address this objection is to develop a succession plan for your own practice. “If you dont, they may go looking for a younger agent,” he says.
Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, June 10, 2002. Copyright 2002 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.