Scott Olson has specialized in long-term care insurance since 1995, and is licensed to sell the product in over 40 states. Part of his talent comes from personal experience: Scott was a caregiver for a close relative for almost two years, an experience which has made him acutely aware of how to design a long-term care policy that will serve his clients well at the time of claim. George Mellendorf, principal of LTC Solutions in Cape Coral, Fla. says, “Our office has worked with Scott for many years. We have watched him become more and more knowledgeable as time has gone on, and we consider him to be one of the leading specialists in the long-term care insurance market. His professional and personal experiences allow him to be both an informative advocate for his clients and a mentor to the producers that he advises.”

Q: How many phone calls do you make a week to set appointments?

SO: Zero. I don’t set appointments. I know that most agents set appointments and make presentations either face-to-face or via “webinar-like” software. I don’t make presentations. I think that the LTCI buying process is too complex to be squeezed into a presentation. By definition, a planned presentation is impersonal.

I employ a more personal approach, providing each client with just the right information that they need right now, based upon where they are in the LTCI buying process.

The root cause of our industry’s anemic sales is that our sales trainers are always talking about the LTCI sales process. We should be focusing on the LTCI buying process. There’s a big difference.

Q: How old were you when you bought your own LTCI?

SO: I think I was 36 when I bought my first policy. I bought a second policy at age 44 to supplement it. I’m 46 now.

Q: What’s YOUR LTC plan?

SO: It’s never going to happen to me, right? I’m kidding. If it does, my wife should put me in a nice assisted living facility and just go and enjoy life. I’ll spend my days praying.

Q: What LTCI policy do you sell the most these days and why?

SO: I’m asked that question a lot by both my clients and insurance agents. The answer is, “It depends!” It depends upon each client’s health history, policy design, marital status and even their state of residence. I’m licensed in 43 states and some policies are better than others in certain states. In the last 18 months, I’ve placed business with about 10 different LTC insurers in 41 different states. I don’t win any trips because I don’t place enough business with any particular insurer. But, I think I do what is best for each client.

Q: How many claims have you seen?

SO: The first five years I was in this business I didn’t have any claims. I was glad. I could say, “Buy LTCI from me and you’ll never need it (wink wink).”

Over the past several years, I’ve been getting claims phone calls consistently about every two or three months.

Q: Think back to when you graduated; what did you plan to be then?

SO: Rich. (I’m still working on it.)

Q: What hobby do you most enjoy or would you like to try next?

SO: I enjoy running and listening to audiobooks (particularly on American History). I do yoga, too. Yoga’s not for sissies. It’s tough. The stretching and strength building is a good compliment to the running.

Q: What is your favorite drink?

SO: It’s a toss-up between water with no ice, very strong coffee or petite syrah from Lodi, California.

Q: What makes you happy?

SO: I have the wife of every man’s dreams. What more is there to say?

Q: Can you share a resource, service, program, software, etc. or two that has been critical to your success?

SO: In the past 10 years I’ve taken a lot of software training courses (some as long as five straight days and costing as much as $3,000). The most valuable courses were those that dealt with website publishing and contact management software. The tools are there. But most agents aren’t willing to invest the time or money to get the training needed to take full advantage of today’s technologies. The single most important tool for my business is Salesforce.com.

Q: iPhone, Blackberry or other?

SO: Droid. But, I plan on upgrading to iPhone9 as soon as it comes out, which, at Apple’s current rate of innovation, should be sometime next week. I think we all should support Apple as much as possible because eventually Apple will bail out the federal government.

Q: How many more years do you see yourself doing this?

SO: 12 years, 8 months, 24 days (give or take).

Marilee Driscoll is a speaker, writer, consultant and creator of the Driscoll Drip ghostwritten LTCI article program. She can be reached at web@marileedriscoll.com.

For more exclusive LTCI coverage, visit ASJ’s LTCI Resource Center.

Past LTCI stories from ASJ:

1. The Anatomy of the LTCI Sale

2. 12 Questions for 1 Successful LTCI Agent: Gerard Goulet

3. Long-Term Care Awareness Month: 2 Tasks, 2 Hours, 2 Projects

4. Start Planning Now for Long-Term Care Awareness Month

5. Life Insurance: The New Long-Term Care