We often hear that long-term care insurance (LTCI) is a tough sell. Well, LTCI isn’t bought — it must be sold! It isn’t a product like homeowner’s insurance or car insurance that almost everyone who owns a home or car must have. But it doesn’t have to be such a tough sale if you understand the basics of the market, the products, and the people you will serve. This is why we believe education is the key to ongoing LTCI sales success.

How can you acquire this much-needed education? It’s available from many sources, and for the most part, it’s free or very low cost. For example, in addition to what most top-rated carriers offer, the AALTCI, National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), and America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) furnish valuable information about LTCI and the huge and ever-growing LTCI marketplace.

Many LTCI marketing organizations offer educational courses (including online), seminars and many other services, such as advertising and technological assistance, proven sales presentations and techniques for overcoming objections, and continuing advice/counsel on building a book of LTCI business that will lead to a welcome new flow of commission and renewal income.

In addition, long-term care and LTCI are getting a lot more play both in the insurance/financial services and consumer press. Also, LTC books, videos, and seminars are advertised on a continuing basis in the trade press.

Agents should take full advantage of all of these sources of help and information if they truly wish to be successful selling LTCI. It’s obvious to us that those who are having difficulty breaking into the LTCI field either don’t know about these sources or don’t use them. Knowledge is power, so it’s important to continue to keep up with trends and changes in long-term care and LTCI so you can make necessary adjustments in the LTCI presentation, answer questions and overcome objections.

Whether an agent is already active in the insurance business or is only starting to sell LTCI, the first step is prospecting. Look no further than your front door, or prospect/client file. Given the magnitude of the LTC marketplace, virtually everyone is a prospect, except those who are disabled, very wealthy or unable to afford the coverage.

LTCI is sold on an individual basis, to groups, in seminars and at the work site. Seminars and work-site marketing are especially productive for us. They put you in front of many potential prospects at the same time and that conserves your time and expense. By carefully qualifying those who attend our seminars, we have kept our closing ratio at a consistent 40%.

Regardless of the mode of sale, a strong LTCI presentation, which should contain both verbal and visual material, is essential if one is going to adequately explain the need and solution, overcome objections, and close the sale.

Editor’s note: The preceding is an excerpt from “Putting the Pieces Together for More LTCI Sales,” by John Wane and Lenny Anderson, which originally appeared in the January 2008 issue of Life Insurance Selling. Click here to read the entire article.

To read last week’s Words from the Wise, click here.

For more LTCI tips, see:

Ten Reasons You Should Sell LTC Insurance

Selling LTCI: Lay the foundation by understanding the motivation to buy

Selling LTCI to Senior Clients