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Get clients talking about LTCI in '6 phases'

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

Phase 1: Ask questions. You should help them discover why they need long-term care insurance and the implications of not having a solution. Questions include:

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

Phase 2: Explain what LTC is. I suggest using 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, showered, dressed and ate breakfast.”

Phase 3: Explain why they should plan for LTC. 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.
  • Self funding: Does it make sense to self insure and assume 100 percent of the risk?
  • LTCI: The logical solution.

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

Phase 5: Ask for the sale and close. The question should change from: “Will you buy, Mr. and Mrs. Prospect?” to: “What plan do you feel works best for you and your family?”

Phase 6: Select the plan, complete the application and explain the underwriting process. When discussing plans with prospects, show them good, better and best plans. That way they can decide what plan is most appropriate for their budgets and objectives.

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Margie Barrie is a principal at Hagelman Barrie Training Solutions and also serves as national marketing coordinator for the LTCP designation. She is a nationally recognized expert in training agents to sell LTC and the author of “50 Ways to Boost LTCI Production.” For more information, go to http://www.hbltci.com.