Creative Sales Ideas Can Help

Clients and Producers Win

Wholesalers can use a lottery-style contest to attract great ideas

By Matt Roeber

Wholesalers know there is no more valuable relationship than the one they have with producers. That?s why wholesalers strive to deliver value-added service to strengthen their relationships with producers. The latter, in turn, strive to build relationships as trusted advisors to their clients.

Producers are constantly seeking new and creative sales ideas to help them succeed in selling products to their clients. It?s no surprise that producers are often the best source for these ideas because they know what works and what doesn?t in the marketplace.

But while most producers are willing to share their wisdom, some may require a little incentive to get started. I?ve used a lottery-style contest with great success. The more ideas submitted, the better the producer?s chance of winning the contest. (The prize was a golf putter.) The following sales ideas were very creative.

? Suggest that your client place excess retirement income into a cash value life insurance policy. We all know that older clients must take minimum distributions from a qualified or non-qualified plan after 70. If, however, a client doesn?t need or want the income, then suggest that the distributions be directed into a cash value life insurance policy.

The client can withdraw funds if needed. His or her family will receive the money tax-free whereas qualified plan proceeds are treated as taxable income to the beneficiary.

? Focus on benefits, not premiums. Why do we sell premiums? Premiums are associated with an expense to your clients. It may be a better idea to sell dollars instead of premiums. For example, how much would you feel comfortable setting aside each month to protect your family?

When you have a dollar amount, you then have a budget to work with. Get the application and tell your client that he or she will get the most benefit available, depending on the underwriting decision.

? Highlight the discounted cost of life insurance. Would you buy a dollar for 2.5 cents? You probably would, so why wouldn?t your clients? Buying life insurance is like buying discounted dollars?2.5 cents on the dollar.

When you are funding a buy-sell plan, doing estate planning or buying protection for your family, there can be no more cost-effective product than life insurance to accomplish these goals. Most home office sales support departments have software to help illustrate this; take advantage of all they have to offer.

? Illustrate the benefits of income tax-free retirement. One producer I spoke with illustrates increasing contributions into a variable universal life insurance policy. The presentation shows how the plan can work.

The presentation illustrates both accumulation and the tax-free income for retirement when surrendering the policy at cost, then taking out loans.

However, for this plan to work, the policyholder must have the discipline to increase premiums every few years. Since business owners lose their tax deductions after they sell the business, this is a crucial time to demonstrate the benefits of income tax-free distribution of monies.

? Discuss how life insurance changes the future tax nature of money. Finally, one idea from Raymond C. Horton Sr. of Horton Financial Services, LLC in Shreveport, La., is undeniably a very creative concept. I like to call this the “empowerment” idea, but Ray refers to it as “change the future tax nature of your money.”

Here?s the pitch: Interest in CDs and money market accounts is taxable, but there are a couple of ways you can change the future tax nature of your money. One way is to invest the money into an annuity where the growth is tax-deferred. But even better, you can place the money in a cash value life insurance policy.

For example, if a client has $150,000 in CDs, they may be eligible for $600,000 in death benefits. Not only could they withdraw money from their insurance policy tax-free, but their beneficiaries would receive $600,000 instead of $150,000.

You have changed the future tax nature of the money and empowered your valued clients to control both their taxable income and the proceeds received by their heirs.

Five creative sales ideas, and all generated from one simple contest. As a wholesaler, I?m always glad to share great ideas with my partners in the field. And when producers are willing to share ideas with each other, it?s a win-win for everyone.

Matt Roeber, FLMI, is a product marketing representative with Union Central Life Insurance Company in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can e-mail him at mroeber@unioncentral.com.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Edition, October 28, 2004. Copyright 2004 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.