Convincing prospects to buy LTCI requires explaining a lot of important information.

Your goal during the appointment is to provide enough generic education to convince the prospect of the need, while avoiding information overload. Brian Johnson, director of business development at National Long-Term Care Brokers in Albany, N.Y. uses what he calls the “Six Phases.”

Phase 1: Asking Questions. The goal is to get the clients talking. Your questions should help them discover why they need the insurance and the implications of not having a solution. Our job then becomes to show them that LTC protection is the best solution for them.

Questions that are good conversation starters include:

  • Why are you interested in LTC?
  • How did you become interested in investigating LTC insurance?
  • Have you looked at other LTC plans?
  • Tell me about your family. How old are your parents? Do you have brothers and sisters? What do your kids do?
  • Has anyone in your family ever needed care?

Phase 2: What is LTC? Use both a traditional definition and a practical one. Example: To better understand long term care, think of the activities you performed when you woke up this morning: Climbed out of bed, walked to the bathroom, used the toilet, bathed or showered, dressed and ate breakfast.

Phase 3: Why plan for LTC? Discuss the national averages and the local costs for home health care, assisted living and nursing home. Explain that the real reason you need this protection is for the future. Briefly discuss Medicare, Medicaid, using your own assets and LTC insurance. Explain why the insurance is the best answer, by providing the following conclusions:

  • Medicare. If it pays anything, consider it a bonus.
  • Medicaid. Takes away choices and control over where you will age. In most states, forces you into the nursing home. Need to spend down and impoverish yourself.
  • Self-funding. Does it make sense to self insure and assume 100% of this risk?
  • LTC insurance. The logical solution.

Phase 4: Benefit options. Provide guidelines for selecting the most appropriate benefit period, daily benefit, elimination and inflation protection.

Phase 5: Asking for the sale and closing.

Phase 6: Selecting the plan, completing the application and explaining the underwriting process (have to medically qualify). When discussing plan design with prospects, show them good, better and best plans. That way they can decide what plan is most appropriate for their budgets and objectives. Also, the question changes from: “will you buy, Mr. and Mrs. Prospect?” to: “what plan do you feel works best for you and your family?”