Q: I want to improve my placement rate. Can you provide suggestions to accomplish that?

A: I believe if you properly prepare for the appointment and conduct an appropriate face-to-face presentation, then you will get a high percentage of the sales and have very few policies fall off the books.

Mark Goldberg, national sales manager of Acsia Long Term Care Insurance, agrees and offered to share his “10 Commandments For Better Placement.”

Thou shall:

1. Pre-qualify for health and wealth on the phone when setting an appointment.

2. Use the carrier underwriting guides or underwriting hot lines for questionable health cases.

3. Be a field interviewer and active listener. I shall ask the client to talk about their personal experiences and the consequences on the family and finances. Gain commitment that they think that LTCI is the best solution for addressing their risk, and they understand why.

4. Qualify for health in more detail during the presentation. Have the carrier hot line number available to call or software to access on the spot if you learn more about health issues you didn’t know about before the interview.

5. Take the time to learn about your prospect’s finances in order to properly price a plan that they will think delivers good value and won’t cause “sticker shock.”

6. Establish the reasons why you’re the professional they should be doing business with.

7. Honor thy clients by involving them in their plan design. Thou shall design a program and recommend a carrier for your prospect’s specific needs and preferences for care and takes into account their finances so they agree that it’s affordable and makes good financial sense.

8. Spend meaningful time with each client after the application and paperwork have been completed to address questions or concerns, to know why the client is committed to needing a LTC policy regardless of outside factors. Explain the next steps?the phone interview, face-to-face assessment, getting doctor’s records and the process if declined.

9. Honor thy client by allowing them to provide referrals. A strong recommendation will lead to more sales and higher placement rates.

10. Send them a handwritten personal thank-you note on the same day you take the application.

And a bonus Commandment . . .

Thou shall set an appointment to deliver the policy preferably in person. Confirm they feel comfortable with their policy design, premium, mode of payment and the overall strategy of using LTCI to address this risk.