My dad approaches buffets like a contestant on “Supermarket Sweep.”
He works his way methodically through the tables, filling up a plate at each. Breakfast foods, salad bar, fish table, dinner foods, dessert tray … dessert tray again. If it weren’t frowned upon in most social circles, he would happily bring in a Hefty to fill up for the road.
I had the pleasure of watching him in action this weekend, when my family met for a big Easter brunch buffet at a local steakhouse. While on his third or fourth plate, he told me, “You’ve got to eat a lot of food to get your money’s worth at these things.” And then he glanced, disappointed, at my single plate.
I’m a buffet failure in my dad’s eyes. I’m just not one for giant meals, and I’m also extraordinarily picky about what I’ll eat out of a steam tray. (Roasted potatoes? Yes. Steak? No, no, no.) For me, holiday buffets aren’t mere smorgasbords. Their value lies in the fact that no one has to cook a giant meal and clean up on their day off, everyone in our big family can find something to eat, and we never run out of food.
But for my dad, if you’re not eating your body weight (at least) in peel-your-own shrimp, scrambled eggs and prime rib at holiday buffets, then you might as well be shredding dollar bills to use as that confetti grass in your Easter baskets.
It’s the kind of thinking I hear a lot when I talk to people about life insurance. Life insurance premium dollars buy a lot of things, mostly intangible — peace of mind, future financial protection for a family. But your client will never personally receive the meat-and-potatoes of a life insurance policy — the death benefit — so, for many, it might feel a little like only getting one plate of food at a holiday buffet.
It’s crucial for agents to get around this “money’s worth” thinking. Stressing the living benefits of a life insurance policy can certainly help. The tax benefits are a major selling point, too, obviously.