Q. I want to improve my face-to-face presentation skills. Can you provide some tips on how to accomplish that?

A. Your skill at providing an effective face-to-face presentation during the first sales meeting is an essential ingredient to selling this product. To provide some practical sales tips, I turned to two very successful people, Marc Jacobson, an agent with Prudential’s Chicagoland office and Mark Grempler, a Des Moines financial planner. Here are some of Marc
Jacobson’s suggestions:

  • During the first meeting, I always promise my client three things: (1) If you call, I’ll call you back the same day; (2) If something is not in your best interest, I’ll tell you; and (3) As good as I am in educating you, I’m ten times better when you need to file a claim.
  • Identify the few core ideas you want to communicate and stick with them. Your presentation must be short, simple and to the point.
  • I always run three illustrations and have apps and testimonials with me. Paper is cheaper than gas and time.
  • Be concrete. Give an idea that they can visualize.
  • Use stories. If a story is well told, we visualize it in our heads and better remember the information.
  • There are only two reasons to buy LTC. First, the person doesn’t want to lose his or her independence; or second, they don’t want their hard-earned estate to go to LTC bills.
  • If you make the process simple and look through the client’s eyes to see what’s important, you’ll close three times as much as you do now.
  • The single most important issue is affordability. I always provide a monthly premium amount instead of annual because it makes it sound like less money.
  • Stress that the benefit of $200 a day equals almost $75,000 a year.

More helpful suggestions come from Mark Grempler. Here is what he tells his wealthy clients who are considering self-insuring. “Do you really think Bill Gates owns LTC insurance and that he is concerned about $60,000 to $100,000 per year if he were to become ill? They say, ?Of course not.’ I say, Well, by definition he is self-insured.

However, says Grempler, most people don’t have enough money to be self-insured, and that’s why we as financial planners are obligated to at least talk to our clients about protecting their portfolio by having the proper insurance in the event of a prolonged illness or LTC need.

“Another thing I mention to clients is that I try to take a look at their portfolio as if it were my or my parent’s portfolio. If they are exposed to a LTC situation and are opposed to considering this insurance, I then say: ?I think it would be prudent to run this by your children. Kids like to protect their financial inheritance.’ They then become more open to purchasing LTCI.”

Another approach Marks uses focuses on the liability angle. “If I don’t think they have enough money to self-insure, I say ?I would like to bring to your attention, just from my own standpoint, an issue that could wipe out your long term financial future. What I want to do is have someone visit with you who is more focused in long term care, who can tell you what dollar amount you would need to protect your situation in the event something happens. This can ensure that you do not wipe out your financial security for one another or for your heirs.’”?