If your practice is anything like mine, you can divide your DI-qualified prospects into three groups:

  1. Those who are young, can’t imagine becoming disabled, and think they can’t afford disability insurance coverage.
  2. Those who are established and think they have enough wealth to cover expenses during a disability.
  3. Those sandwiched in between the first two groups who have accumulated some wealth and have the income to pay for DI, but aren’t sure they want to buy it.

It’s always tough having a conversation about DI, and each group presents its own challenges. However, every single person, regardless of their mindset, has one thing in common: a paycheck. That’s why the LIFE Foundation has chosen “Protect Your Paycheck” as the theme for this year’s Disability Insurance Awareness Month (DIAM) in May.

By choosing to speak with your clients and prospects about the idea of protecting their paychecks, instead of disability, you can turn the conversation toward something positive and relatable. No one wants to think about becoming disabled, despite the fact that on average, people have a 1 in 5 chance of becoming disabled for a year or more before turning 65, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Most people, however, would be interested to find out what they can do to protect their paycheck. It’s a concept that hits home psychologically more than DI itself does. A paycheck funds all the other things in life — from the mortgage to food to college tuition — and an illness or injury could put a stop to that paycheck.

DI, then, becomes the go-to solution to protect your clients’ paychecks. While many people have some kind of DI coverage through work, those benefits are often not sufficient to make ends meet in the event of a disability.

It becomes your job to ask probing questions that “disturb” your client or prospect such as, “What would you do if an illness or injury prevented you from working for 12 months, or 24 months, or even five years?” These types of open-ended questions can make your client aware that there is a problem — and many people don’t think there is. Once you’ve established the problem, then it’s a matter of saying, “Here’s the price tag for insuring against that problem, and it’s very cost-efficient.”

If you don’t do a lot of DI business, that shouldn’t stop you from leveraging DIAM. You don’t need to be a DI expert. Instead, your job is to act as your client’s financial quarterback. You don’t have to know the answers to every conceivable question your client may ask; you just have to know where to go to get them.

Do what I do. I reach out to another agent or wholesaler, a DI expert, to guide me through the process. Additionally, the LIFE Foundation has a wide range of DI marketing materials that you can use during DIAM and beyond to reach out to clients and prospects; access them at www.lifehappens.org/diamkit, or flip through this special bonus supplement for a sneak preview.

Take advantage of the momentum that the industry is building around DIAM this May. Make a pledge to ask each and every client, “Would you like to protect your paycheck?”

Marvin H. Feldman is president and CEO of the LIFE Foundation. He can be reached at mfeldman@lifehappens.org.

To Do: Make DIAM a Priority
  • Use the “Protect Your Paycheck” theme to get your clients thinking. While they may not be able to visualize becoming disabled, they most certainly can visualize losing their paycheck.
  • Use DIAM as a reason to ask all your clients and prospects about protecting their paycheck. If you don’t ask, you’re never going to make a DI sale.
  • Leverage LIFE’s DI marketing tools. From an online e-card that you can send to clients to a comprehensive DI brochure, these resources can be accessed at www.lifehappens.org/diamkit.
  • Piggyback on the momentum of the companies and industry associations you are involved with that are also running DIAM campaigns.