I have been amazed by the number of emails about “new business opportunities” that I’ve received from agents and colleagues over the past couple of months – from multilevel marketing (MLM) arrangements to opening up so-called legal gambling websites and everything in between. My response has been very simple and very straightforward: Stay focused.

Health care reform is something we should embrace rather than fighting against. It’s teaching many of us the values of diversification. Unfortunately, a lot of insurance professionals put all of their eggs in one basket, and the letters they’re receiving from their current major medical companies are not making that basket any more valuable.

Let’s talk about thriving, not just surviving.

Opportunities abound

The cream of the crop rises to the top in any business, and insurance is no different. Health care reform will give you opportunities you’ve never had before. Clients will approach you in droves to purchase health insurance because of the proposed government mandates. Your health insurance compensation is already falling, so how will you survive financially? Is your plan to sell four times as many health policies? Did you have a different response to that MLM email? If you plan to stay in the insurance industry and give your clients the best possible coverage, this is the part that you need to pay attention to. It’s time to become an expert on…

  1. Critical illness
  2. Accident insurance
  3. Final expense
  4. Whole life
  5. Universal life

In other words, now is the time to become “reform ready.”

What does “reform ready” mean?

It means becoming an expert on the products that won’t be affected by the health care reform laws. It means aligning yourself with companies that have a plan for health care reform and are willing to help you succeed.

If the government mandates health insurance, you’ll really just become a health insurance enroller. You’ll spend your days enrolling your clients into different health insurance plans, and you’ll do a fraction of what you did before on each policy. And if you do what’s right for the client, you’ll end up making more money on each of those appointments than you ever did before.

It’s time for you to diversify your products and your income stream. While you’re diversifying your offering, you’re diversifying your client’s coverage.

How is it that you’ll be able to make more money enrolling your clients into health insurance plans? The simple answer is to stay focused.

An example: Cross-selling critical illness and accident insurance

We’ve all heard the terms “cross sale,” “bundle,” and “hat trick” for years. Unfortunately, life insurance agents have struggled with health insurance sales, and health insurance agents have struggled with life insurance sales. The easiest solution to this problem is to sell benefits instead of selling products.

Use the following eight questions to sell critical illness and accident insurance to your clients. After they say yes to these eight questions, you can then raise their deductible and sell them a quality health insurance plan. This is just one of several systems I developed that will give your clients more coverage than they have ever had before and create three separate income streams for you!

  1. Do you know someone who has suffered a heart attack, stroke, or cancer?
  2. Was their quality of life affected in a negative manner?
  3. If I had a product that could cover you for up to $250,000 if you suffered a covered critical illness, would you want that money?
  4. If you called me in six months after having a heart attack, stroke, or cancer, would you want a get-well card, or a check for $25,000?
  5. Has anyone in your family ever had an accident?
  6. Did they have to go to a medically qualified physician because of that accident?
  7. Did they incur out-of-pocket expenses because of that accident?
  8. If I had a plan that covered you and your whole family for $5,000 of accident protection with only a $100 deductible, would you be interested?

If they said yes to these questions, you’ve just opened the door to sell critical illness to the husband and wife, and the accident insurance to the whole family. Now it is time to sell them health insurance; raise the deductible on the health, add in critical illness and accident, and still save them money.

Stay focused

If you’re worried about health care reform or are looking into other business opportunities, I urge you to stay focused. Stay focused on why you entered the world of insurance sales to begin with. Yes, you might have entered because the business can provide a wonderful income, but the main reason is to help people.

We do this because we want to offer our clients the best plans possible at the best price. We do this because we know the risks involved in not having the right protection, and we strive to eliminate those risks for the consumer. The next time you receive an email telling you that our business is coming to an end, pull up this article and go over it line by line. If you take nothing else away from this, I urge you to stay focused.

J.R. Jordan is vice president of Colorado Bankers. He can be reached at 888-455-7462.