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Nipped in the bud

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As Frances Twiddy, CFP and principal at Frances E. Twiddy Associates in St. Claire Shores, Mich., points out, objections from clients “are something every advisor has to face.” Working through them, she says, often turns out to be a constructive exercise for advisor and client alike.

Still, advisors who are able to minimize the time they spend countering client objections can maximize the time they spend on other worthy pursuits. Here are some tips for staying on the same page with clients:

  • Know the client’s personality, predilections and inclinations, and make recommendations accordingly. Is he or she a saver? A spender? A risk-taker? A take-it-slow type?
  • Take a consultative approach. “It puts clients at ease when they know you don’t have a personal agenda or product biases,” says Joel Javer, CFP, of Sharkey, Howes & Javer in Denver. “They want to know you’re on the same side of the table as them.”
  • Use simple visuals — on-screen or in print — to illustrate how a product works and to educate the client about the value it can provide. “With life settlement, if you can plug in the numbers and show a person they can make $200,000 on the sale of their life insurance policy instead of $50,000 by surrendering the policy, it’s hard to deny the benefits,” explains Scott Kirby of Advanced Settlements in Orlando, Fla.
  • Echoes Twiddy: “You could talk all day and not accomplish as much as you would with a simple illustration. It’s a very effective way to express relationships between assets, and between risk and reward.”
  • Paint the full picture of a product. “Some salespeople tend to point out all the benefits of a product, but none of the warts,” observes Twiddy. “Advisors should point out both the plusses and the minuses. This is part of what distinguishes a true advisor from a simple salesperson.”


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