Health Expectancy: A Sales Tool Whose Time Has Come
By John M. Bragg
Health expectancy is a brand new sales tool with many applications. Its different. It deserves attention.
Health expectancy gives our customers a way to fight their negative expectations. Thats whats new and different about it.
What is it? Health expectancy tells how long a person will be well. Everyone is eager to know that. Its optimistic. In many ways its the opposite of life expectancy, which is of much less interest today.
Heres another amazing thing about health expectancy: The “well” periods are nearly always far longer than expected. Negative expectations of imminent poor health are instantly overcome.
Chart 1 shows health expectancy for an actual 84-year-old nonsmoking male who is in good health–for his age. It shows he will be well for seven years, a fact that has amazed him. It also shows he will eventually need 0.7 years of assisted living and 1.2 years of skilled nursing care. (Health expectancy is, of course, a statistical average and not an exact prediction.)
Consumers can easily understand the division of a persons eventual “sick” period into two pieces–the “assisted living” period and the “skilled nursing” period. (Chart 2 describes those terms.)
The meaning for individuals might be translated this way: A reasonably normal life can be carried on during the “assisted living” period, thus extending the already long “well” period. Also, it is common for people to recover from skilled nursing and go into assisted living, and later go back to skilled nursing.
Another thing to keep in mind: Health expectancy is something that can be run on people who already have ailments or supposed ailments.
Thats important to know, because there are many common ailments–controlled diabetes, mild arthritis and high blood pressure, for example–that convince people they will soon become invalids for life. Customized health expectancy runs prove the opposite.