In last month’s column, I described what I believe is the right way, certainly a more enjoyable and less stressful way, to break into long-term care insurance (LTCi) sales. I’ve gotten several calls and comments from last month’s column, so this subject is evidently relevant.
This month I’ll expand on how you can earn as you learn how to sell LTCi.
Remember the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) principle from your first sales training? It should be used for acquiring an LTCi learning curve.
To review from last month’s column, don’t put the cart before the horse by attempting to acquire encyclopedic LTCi knowledge out of the gate; this takes years. It won’t happen before you make your first LTCi sale. If this is your approach, you will starve before you make your first sale. There is no “Silver Bullet,” no magic way to learn LTCi swiftly. If it were that easy to learn LTCi, I reckon a lot more agents would be selling it.
What you can accomplish prior to making your first sale is to acquire a deep, inner passion for LTCi. Such a passion, such deep conviction, will transmit to others. Only then, will you be on your way to selling LTCi. This is exactly what I did to gain success in this market.
A colleague from Houston Association of Health Underwriters called me for advice last week. She was given some LTCi illustrations by the folks she turns to for assistance with life insurance sales. She emailed these illustrations to me. It was immediately clear to me that the quotes were done in a perfunctory fashion.
Carrier “A” was quoted with two minimal cost riders excluded. These riders would have given the policy much greater performance. When given the choice, consumers elect them. Furthermore, only two carriers were quoted.
Carrier “B” was compared in a way that did not shine a favorable light on it and made it unnecessarily expensive. Why were there no third and fourth carrier quotes? I can think of two additional carriers that would be extremely competitive for the particular prospects. It is very clear to me that the GA generating these quotes sells very little LTCi.
Once you establish your passion for LTCi you must find a GA with specific LTCi experience, not someone who dabbles in it. I’ve been informed by Claude Thau of Target Insurance, my GA, most, if not all LTCi carriers permit separate appointments for LTCi. There are good reasons for this!
Ask your prospective GA what they do to add value and help you make money.
- Can they teach you more in-depth understanding of the intricacies of policies and how they work, rather than just providing carrier quotes?
- What kind of advocacy do they offer you throughout the underwriting process?
- Will they give you a written guarantee that if you’re dissatisfied with them for any reason, they’ll release you?
A relationship with a GA can be like a marriage. Bad GA relationships may be unfruitful and hard to get out of, but the right GA can make a big difference in your success. Take the extra effort to find a GA who specializes in LTCi. If you don’t, you are far less likely to succeed with LTCi sales.
It may also be very helpful to you; in fact I cannot encourage you enough, to partner with a local, seasoned LTCi specialist. Make sure you “mesh” with this producer ethically and in the ways they interact with clients. If you choose such a person wisely, he or she will be a good reflection back on you, and your client will be grateful to you. They’ll realize that you have partnered with an expert to ensure that you act in their best interests and will respect you for your recognition that you don’t yet have all the answers. Split the business with the LTCi specialist; half a loaf of bread is better than 100% of no loaf. You bring your warm referrals to the LTCi specialist and he or she can help you acquire your learning curve. And a sale is made that might not have been made.
But you’re still not done learning! Keep current with LTCi current events and insights because this will keep you “stoked” and impassioned about its need. I have Google alerts set for LTC and get several per day. I consider my subscription to www.centerltc.org a “must”. Sites like www.aaltci.org and www.medicare.gov and www.3in4needmoreneedmore.com will get you off to a good start; then follow their links. Past columns I’ve written here can give you additional links, plus insight into the anatomy and psychology of an LTCi sale.
Only once you own LTCi and have insight into why LTCi ownership is essential to ensure dignity, financial integrity and choices up until your final days, are you on track to sell LTCi. If you want to make the sale and make sure your client gets the best available LTCi fit, you need to partner with an experienced GA and perhaps a local LTCi specialist with whom you have a strong rapport. Participate in the sale and share commissions. This will be the fastest, easiest and most pleasurable way to start selling LTCi.