Going at it alone may not be the best strategy for maximizing on your long term care sales. By networking with other professionals, you can find a more steady stream of clients ready for a discussion on their future care.
Everyone faces constraints on time and resources, but alliances with other professionals can leverage your efforts.
Gavin Walker, LUTCF, is a John Hancock agent with American National Insurance in Henderson, Nev. He’s been selling LTCI for five years and estimates that 75 percent of his new business comes from other professionals.
Walker works closely with about a dozen professionals, including property and casualty agents, financial planners, CPAs and estate planning attorneys. He has used his involvement with the local chapter of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors to raise his local profile. He’s been on the group’s board of trustees and currently serves as president. “Acting as the president has helped me build trust with these other individuals,” he says. “I have developed a relationship with them because of my involvement within the industry, and they know that I’m here.”
Alliances build focus
These alliances allow Walker to focus his efforts on high-quality prospects and avoid direct mailings or cold calls. As an example, a property and casualty agent might work with 500 clients. Walker and the agent identify 10 to 20 of those clients who fit the profile for LTCI without wasting time on unqualified prospects. “If you multiply that by 10 agents, that’s 100 prospects, and that keeps me very, very active and busy,” says Walker.
Annette Fadness, MBA, CLTC, is a principal with Northwood Long-Term Care Partners in Irvine, Calif. She’s been selling LTCI for three years and estimates that one-third of her referrals come from other professionals.
Allign through events
Fadness’s most productive method for meeting prospective allies is to attend networking events like Financial Planning Association and NAIFA meetings and continuing education classes. “It’s just really great to meet someone in person,” she says. “So phase two is I exchange cards with that person, and then I will make an appointment and meet them in person.”
Prospective referral sources frequently complain that they are bombarded with requests for meetings from LTCI agents, but Fadness says she has no problem scheduling appointments. She suspects that part of her success comes from screening the other person when they first meet. “If I’m sitting down next to someone at a luncheon or a CE course, it’s pretty clear in a quick five minutes of conversation whether there’s any real potential there,” she says.