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Preparing yourself for potential disaster

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One day, everything is fine, and the next day, you have nothing. Everything is fine, and then it rains for the next two days and floods downtown Nashville. Everything is fine, and then an oil rig explodes, threatening the entire Gulf of Mexico. Everything is fine, and then a global debt crisis causes our stock market to drop 1,000 points.

This trauma is not limited to natural or financial disasters. Everything is fine, and the next day the doctor diagnoses cancer. Everything is fine, and the next day you wake up in the hospital after a heart attack or stroke.

Insurance and financial service professionals are the most important people on the planet because we are the only ones who can ask these amazing “what if” questions and provide solutions. However, we cannot and should not assume that people are already thinking about these issues and proceed immediately to a product sale.

For example, during my speeches I often ask someone in the audience if he woke up this morning and thought about dying. The answer is always “I never think about that.” I ask another attendee if she hopes she is going to die today. I ask another if he was hoping to become totally disabled today. I ask another if she was hoping to go into a nursing home. Then, I ask a young person if he wants to waste any more time being young; wouldn’t he want to be old like me? The answer to all the questions is always “no!”
If you are an advisor and you are not thinking about these issues, why would your prospects or clients be thinking about them?

We assume, at our professional peril, that our prospects are prepared to receive our solutions. Clearly, most don’t know that they have a problem. They are more concerned with maintaining a job, putting food on the table and keeping a roof over their heads.

Tell your prospects and clients that they need to call you if:

  • They go into debt of any kind.
  • They change jobs.
  • They retire or are considering retiring.
  • They receive an inheritance.
  • Interest rates go up or down in a substantial way.
  • The stock market goes up or down in a substantial way.
  • They owe taxes on their Social Security or have to pay the Alternative Minimum Tax.
  • They get married, get divorced, have a child, buy a home, start a business or win the lottery.
  • They face a nursing home stay.
  • They face a catastrophic illness such as a heart attack, stroke or cancer.

We mistakenly assume our prospects and clients know they need us. They do not. Make sure you tell them.


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