I have good news: Talking to clients about income protection is not as difficult as you might think it is.

All of us pay for homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. We also insure our cars and other valuable assets, such as jewelry, boats and fine art.

All of these things are important, but they are not essential. The truth is that even if our home burned down, we would find a new place to live. We could certainly continue in our lifestyle if we lost our favorite ring or favorite watch. And yes, many of us love our cars — but they too are replaceable.

Your most important asset

The foundation of our financial security is our ability to earn an income. I ask my clients this question: “If you had a golden goose who laid an egg each day, would you insure the goose or the eggs?”

The answer is a no-brainer — and yet all of us are guilty of insuring the eggs and not the goose. Guess what? You and I are the geese! To illustrate this point, I even have a stuffed goose that I bring it to meetings with me.

The illustration effect

I have found that clients need to be see a visual that illustrates how important their income is, so I have several tools that I utilize when asking questions.

One of my favorite tools shows how much money a client will earn between now and retirement. When people see the huge dollar amount, the price to solve the problem begins to seem reasonable to them.

How much money will you earn if you work until age 67?

Annual salary

$25k

$35k

$50k

$60k

$100k

$125k

$150k

$200k

$250k

$500k

Current age

30

$925k

$1.295M

$1.85M

$2.22M

$3.7M

$4.625M

$5.55M

$7.4M

$9.25M

$18.5M

35

$800k

$1.12M

$1.6M

$1.92M

$3.2M

$4M

$4.8M

$7M

$8.75M

$17.5M

40

$675k

$945k

$1.35M

$1.62M

$2.7M

$3.375M

$4.05M

$5.4M

$8.1M

$13.5M

45

$550k

$770k

$1.1M

$1.32M

$2.2M

$2.75M

$3.3M

$4.4M

$5.5M

$11M

50

$425k

$595k

$850k

$1.02M

$1.7M

$2.125M

$2.55M

$3.4M

$4.25M

$8.5M

55

$300k

$420k

$600k

$720k

$1.2M

$1.5M

$1.8M

$2.4M

$3M

$6M

60

$175k

$245k

$350k

$420k

$700k

$875k

$1.05M

$1.4M

$1.75M

$6.5M

I have found that many clients know a family member or friend who has become disabled. Asking the question, “Who do you know who has become too sick or too hurt to work?” makes the need for DI real for them. If they don’t know someone, this is your opportunity to share a real life story of your own. Like many insurance products, DI is an emotional purchase. If you can connect with your client on a personal level and show them a tangible promise, you can close the sale every time.

Ann Baker Ronn is a financial advisor and team leader at the AFP Group in Houston, TX. She can be reached at ann@afpgroup.com.

For more exclusive DI coverage, visit ASJ’s Disability Insurance Resource Center.

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How to Help Clients Discover Disability

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Helping Clients Build New DI Benefits in the New Year