Some say it’s hard to sell long term care insurance — and it is, but selling all insurance is hard. Selling LTCI is easier than selling life insurance, since policyholders get to use LTCI benefits while they are still alive.
That said, many clients still insist on bandying about such excuses as, I’ll think about it.” This used to stop me cold. I’d wonder if I’d left something out of my presentation that would have changed the outcome. That can be paralyzing, causing you to question yourself and your commitment to LTCI.
Common excuses and why it’s not your fault
Who knows why people love dwelling in denial? As advisors, all we may ever need to know about denial is that it often makes up a large part of human nature. Expect denial. Advisors need a keen sense of self-confidence to sell LTCI. Confidence comes from knowledge. To succeed, you must not permit yourself to succumb to self-doubt for too long.
Here are some common excuses I heard in the olden days of LTCI, 20 years ago:
- “My kids will take care of me.” Today, I am more likely to have my client’s kids thank me for selling their parents LTCI.
- “Medicare pays for long term care.” Thankfully, this erroneous excuse has now become mostly extinct.
But the extinction of these excuses has just led to creation of newer excuses, like, “I can’t afford it.” (A competent LTCI advisor can make LTCI affordable for almost anyone — but that’s another column.)
We still have the standby, all-time favorite excuses that seem to withstand the test of time, such as, “It won’t happen to me,” and “I’ll just self-insure.”
Advisors: It’s not you! Client excuses are most likely not the result of you omitting a vital thought or phrase from your presentation.
Twenty years of experience as an LTCI specialist have enabled me to acquire an “advanced LTCI excuse smoke screen detector.” I’ve heard every excuse in the book, and experience has given me deep conviction that the reason I didn’t get the sale is not because of me. That feels really good. I’ve also benefitted from the now-abundant caregiving and LTCI statistics that were once nearly nonexistent.
How to bypass the excuse parade
Here’s some great news: If you don’t have 20 years of experience selling LTCI, you can quickly catch up using the Internet. Not only was the Internet not available to me 20 years ago, but believe it or not, I didn’t even have my own computer back then! Even if I’d been surrounded by an office of LTCI specialists, I was isolated by today’s standards.
- Today you can interact and increase your confidence and knowledge using LTCI discussion groups on LinkedIn and other websites and social media outlets.
- The Corporation for Long-Term Care Insurance and American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance both send out excellent members-only newsletters. The Center for Long-Term Care Reform has an outstanding blog I recommend to every advisor who wants to take LTCI sales seriously.
- I’ve also set up Google Alerts for all things associated with LTCI. And, I have a file of bookmarked links to help combat client denial. I recommend LTCI advisors collect such links. Some examples include producer Phyllis Shelton’s client story and The Importance of Long Term Health Care.”
It’s not you, and there has never been a better time to sell LTCI.