My most productive business insurance prospects are small- or medium-sized closely held corporations or partnerships, both for survivorship control insurance and key man protection. I find that in the majority of large corporations, because of the substantial financial interest involved either in stock ownership or in partnerships, some provision already has been made, either including life insurance or not.

There is no question, however, that the smaller firms in many cases have neglected to arrange in advance for disposal of the interest of a deceased member. The best approach for this type of sale is to suggest a buy-and-sell agreement between the corporation and its chief stockholders, or between partners. I have tried to sell this idea to start with, as a necessary provision, irrespective of how such an agreement is to be funded. I then bring in the question of life insurance as a funding medium.

Key man selling effort is directed to firms that would apparently suffer through the removal by death of an important executive. This applies most frequently in cases where an executive either controls the major sales of a concern, or is responsible for its business policy, or is an individual with technical knowledge that is vital to the success of the enterprise.

Editor’s note: The preceding Million Dollar Sales Idea was originally published in the January 1953 issue of Life Insurance Selling.

For more Million Dollar Sales Ideas, click here.

For more tips on small-business prospects, see:

How to prospect for new small business clients

Small-business succession planning can mean big business

Tapping an overlooked market