“Seniors typically don’t buy life insurance because they don’t think they need it anymore,” says Jeff Leib, a life insurance specialist and co-founder of ICON Wealth and Legacy Partners in Woodland Hills, Calif.

Instead of going into the sale with the traditional mindset, Leib encourages advisors to keep solutions at the forefront: “It’s not a basic life insurance sale. It’s a problem-based sale. The advisor has to uncover the problem and show how life insurance is the best solution.”

Most of the hurdles advisors and their clients face surface in advanced-planning scenarios. Specifically, Leib cites estate planning and small-business planning: “Most of our [life insurance] sales are in the advanced-planning arena, where someone has tax issues to resolve or they are focused on leaving a legacy.”

Leib says the key to making the sale a success is to go back to the basics:

  1. Who are you targeting? Leib suggests starting with people who are looking to pass on a legacy to heirs and are concerned about upcoming changes to estate tax rules.
  2. What type of life insurance will appeal to them? Since price is a likely objection, some producers suggest term-to-age-100 policies which are generally cheaper but still provide lifetime coverage. Find the one that’s right for your customer.
  3. Where can these new prospects be found? Most producers cite referrals from current clients among their top sources, however an increasing number are relying on professional networking circles with accountants, attorneys and financial professionals.
  4. When should I approach the subject of life insurance? There’s no time like the present. This is especially prevalent for those interested in securing a legacy and those concerned about the coming flux in estate tax.
  5. Why would these prospects be interested in life insurance? To Leib, life insurance often serves as an income replacement for some seniors, replacing income from Social Security. Remember that everyone has different motivations. Take the time to find out your client’s.