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You Want Life Insurance With That?

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In high school, I worked as a delivery order-taker at Pizza Hut. Hungry people would call me on the phone, and I’d take their orders (or try to) using a computer system that pre-dated Pong, even though it was 2002.

It was a crappy job, made worse by the minimum-wage pay and the fact that I had to try to upsell every order. That year, Pizza Hut introduced the ridiculously named P’Zone, and we were required to ask everyone who called, “Would you like to add a P’Zone to that order?”

Despite the fact that P’Zone commercials were running on every television station 20 times an hour, I’d almost always get the question, “Um, what’s a P’Zone?” Each of our computers had an index card taped to it with talking points we were supposed to launch into.

“It’s like a pizza, folded in HALF!”

“Oh, so it’s a calzone?”

“Well, no! It’s more…it’s…um. Okay, yeah, it’s a calzone.” (I was not the greatest P’Zone advocate.)

Each P’Zone push took 10 extra minutes of explaining, which could seriously tie up the phone lines on a busy Friday night, and usually ended in a “Yeah, no. Just give me what I originally ordered.”

But once in a while, someone would actually bite, and occasionally, they’d call back the next time and order another P’Zone. And that must have happened often enough to satisfy Pizza Hut’s head honchos, because the P’Zone’s still on the menu.

I was reminded of my P’Zone-selling days last week when I spoke with Keith Gleason, a crazy-good producer I’m profiling for Life Insurance Selling’s April issue. He told me the secret to his success in selling life insurance is simple: he just asks, usually after selling a client health insurance or some other product.

What Keith already knows is that, aside from its lack of cheese and pepperoni, life insurance is kind of the P’Zone of the insurance world. Most people aren’t going to ask for it right away, at least not initially. They’re going to go for the standard medium-cheese-pizza health insurance coverage they know they need and maybe throw in a side of DI-breadsticks, just for good measure.

If you’re not bringing life insurance to clients’ attention, they’re not going to order it. Yeah, you’re going to have to spend a lot of extra time explaining the product. And a lot of your customers will listen to your spiel and then tell you, “No.”

Occasionally, though, someone’s going to say “Yes.” And maybe that person will come back to you when he or she needs more coverage or tell friends to see you when they need life insurance. Trouble is, you’ll never know if you don’t ask.

Tell me how you bring up life insurance with clients in the comments section below, or just tell me what your crappiest high school job was. Worse than touting the features of a P’Zone, you say? I’m skeptical.

Corey Dahl is life channel and social media editor for and managing editor of Life Insurance Selling.


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