Jesse Slome is on a mission to raise awareness about long term care insurance. And in doing so, he is more concerned with educating advisors who are in position to recommend and sell LTCI about the most effective strategies for pitching the product to potential policyholders than he is about bolstering the general public’s LTCI IQ.
Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance in Los Angeles, says the more comfortable and knowledgeable advisors and agents are about the best ways to position the product to clients, the more likely they will be to actually initiate thoughtful discussions about it. And those discussions in turn should raise overall public awareness of a product that, he says, advisors tend to avoid because they lack the confidence, patience and proper approach necessary to nurture a sale. As a result, many are comfortable leaving the LTCI market to people who specialize in it when in reality, with a little more knowledge of the product and what it takes to convince clients of the need for it, they could be selling policies themselves – and diversifying their practices in the process.
Slome is out to help more advisors find their LTCI comfort zone. To do so he’s taking the AALTCI’s awareness campaign on the road, with a series of workshops designed specifically to teach advisors how to speak to clients about the product and how to integrate long term care solutions into their practices. “There are probably 20,000 to 30,000 of what I call ‘incidental’ long term care insurance producers out there,” he explains. “These are people who could be selling policies but for whatever reason aren’t. We want to make them more comfortable with the industry and the business. Our target is to get 10,000 producers who have never sold a long term care insurance policy to at least start conversations with their clients.”
The process is already underway, with the association having held eight workshops in six states this spring. Slome says he is optimistic the AALTCI awareness crusade and the educational efforts of others in the industry will bear fruit – and soon. “We’re predicting a 15 percent growth rate for the industry this year.”