How This Rookie Got Started Selling LTC Insurance
This time of year represents my one-year anniversary as both an insurance agent and long-term care insurance specialist.
Those of you who have attempted to sell LTC insurance products, whether successful or not, may question why anyone in their right mind would consider entering an industry with the sale of such a complicated product.
Truth be told, over the past year, there have been many times when Ive asked myself that same question. Now, as I look back at what I have accomplished over the last year and as I consider the modest goals I have set for myself in the near future, I truly believe that I am in the right position at the right time.
My LTC insurance career began when I accepted a great opportunity to work as a marketing/sales representative for a nationally known brokerage agency. Although I had interest in becoming a producer, the president of our firm assured me that the marketing experience would prove very useful for my career.
Trusting his opinion, I began to prepare myself for the demanding task of servicing the many independent brokers appointed through our firm. As a recent college graduate, my mind was conditioned for the challenge of educating myself on the concepts of LTC insurance as well as the technical differences between the 25 different products offered within our firms portfolio.
After two months of listening to my associates patiently assist brokers with every possible question concerning underwriting, policy design and product selection, I decided I was ready to field my own broker calls. I soon began to understand the needs of the consumer through the requests and actions of the brokers I was servicing.
I also acquired a very clear understanding of what to do and what not to do in a LTC insurance sale. But of all the lessons I learned, three have been the most useful to me.
Commit yourself to the sale of LTC insurance. Successful producers do not “wing it.” They take the time to educate themselves thoroughly on the concept of LTC insurance and the products available to them. They do this by continuously reading specimen contracts and industry-related material in their spare time. Doing so allows them to identify the right product for their client and communicate the need for it in simple terms that neither confuses nor misleads the client.
They also partner up with a LTC insurance specialist on one or two sales. This gives them a solid grasp of the mechanics of a good LTC insurance presentation and familiarizes them with commonly discussed issues.
Do not over-complicate the sale. The successful broker only presents the product-related features and benefits that are of most importance to the consumer. Although they perform a thorough analysis of the contract language to insure that they have selected the appropriate product for their client, they avoid sharing the specific details of their analysis. Sharing too much technical information may confuse the client to the point that makes the product undesirable.
Invest for success. The successful producer understands that investing in industry tools, such as software, laptops and lead generation items will result in a substantial return. Realizing that LTC insurance sales are often fluid and built upon momentum, they understand the need to have the ability to shop various products and manipulate policy design while on-site. They also realize that investing in seminars and guaranteed lead systems allows them to work smarter instead of harder.
It wasnt until my sixth month in the industry that I felt comfortable enough to engage in a personal sale of my own. My duties as a marketer had educated me on the concepts and products, and now I was ready to partner up with one of our successful in-house producers to guide me the rest of the way. Two closed sales later, I have now become a product of a successful process I truly believe in.
Now, as I continue to enjoy a consistent growth of LTC insurance sales, I am excited about the opportunities the industry has to offer. A combination of positive synergies that includes the introduction of the new government plan and pending legislation for increased LTC insurance tax incentives appears to be adding to the popularity of this product.
For the seasoned LTC insurance veterans that have yet to find success, I would encourage you to hang in there and prepare for the wave about to arrive. Several brave souls, far more experienced than I, have borne the burden of this product for many years now, with hopes that this day would eventually come. To those visionary few, I thank you for your direction and the foundation you have built.
For everyone else, I ask that you consider this article not as an attempt to be a know-it-all solution to the LTC insurance sale, but rather, a fresh perspective from a newcomer who found success at the heels of several great pioneers.
Thomas G. Schaefer is a marketing and sales associate with Gelbwaks Insurance Services Inc., Plantation, Fla. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. This article first appeared in the October 2002 edition of LTC e-Wire, a National Underwriter Life & Health monthly e-newsletter.
Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, November 18, 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.