It takes a variety of “tools” to sell disability income insurance, probably more than for any other life or health product. Unlike life insurance, where the triggering event is eventual, and health insurance, which is a certain necessity, disability insurance protects against an event that may never occur.
This article discusses the 8 steps of the disability insurance sales cycle. By mastering these, you can help your clients understand the need for disability coverage.
1. Attitude. Whoever said “Image is everything” was only partially correct. While it isnt everything, it certainly helps to have a positive attitude and to present yourself professionally. Being able to look your prospect in the eyes and speak with confidence will certainly make a good first impression.
2. Knowledge. Not only should you know your products inside and out, you should also be prepared to accurately quote contractual differences between those offered by the competition. As an independent, I usually present up to three carriers to a prospect. Which carriers I present are dictated by the prospects occupation, since different carriers may have different contracts for that occupational class.
As in life insurance, there are different disability policies, with each serving a different need. Some major types of disability insurance products designed for a specific purpose can be found in Figure 1.
3. Prospecting. This phase of the sales cycle may be the most important of all, since you cant use any of your other skills, unless you get in front of the prospect.
There are several prospecting techniques that can be employed either simultaneously or on a dedicated basis. These are: (1) cold calling, (2) direct mail, (3) telemarketing, (4) seminars; and, (5) referrals.
I prefer cold calling and seminars to the others (except for referrals, of course), since it is all too easy for a prospect to disregard your mail or telephone attempts (although there are many “catchy” phrases that can capture the prospects attention). On the other hand, some of the others can save a lot of wear and tear and allow more contacts in a shorter period of time. Try some of each and see what your comfort levels are.
4. Presentation. Some professionals have a problem with using a “canned” presentation. I follow the expression, “Why re-invent the wheel?” Theres nothing wrong using a canned sales presentation flip chart. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words! But, be sure to base your presentation on emotion. Concentrate on emotionally selling the need, rather than the logic or the dollar values of the contract.
5. Objections. Hopefully, youre skillful enough to elicit objection(s), because without them, you really have no way of continuing your presentation. When you get an objection, its a good idea to have several rebuttals for anything a prospect can throw at you. Here are few of the more commonly heard objections:
1. I can invest my own money.
2. I have a good income and money in the bank to take care of me if I become disabled.
3. Ive never been sick or hurt in my life.