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Are you prepared to ask the disturbing questions during your client interviews? How do you guide the conversation to the topics that you feel are important? You do this by asking the who, what, where, when and why questions — questions that make the clients think before they can answer.

Here are a few examples of the types of questions you should be asking.

Questions for family & life issues

-          When was the last time someone, not involved in your planning, gave you a second opinion as to whether or not you have covered all the bases?

-          What do you want to accomplish with your life? Why are you here? What is your purpose?

-          What does financial security mean to you?

-          What does financial freedom mean to you?

Questions for business issues

-          What is your exit strategy from your business?

-          If your business had to be sold after your death or disability, could it be sold for a profit?

-          Who will own your business when you retire or die?

-          Who will control your business when you retire or die?

-          Who will run your business when you retire or die?

-          Do you want your spouse to have control after your death?

Questions about life insurance

-          Most people do not seem to understand life insurance very well. Tell me, what do you know about life insurance?

-          What is your philosophy regarding life insurance?

-          What financial formula did you use to determine how much life insurance to buy?

-          What prompted your most recent purchase of life insurance?

-          How did you choose the company that you purchased life insurance from?

-          How did you select the agent?

-          What are your thoughts regarding term insurance and cash value life insurance?

-          If you were going to buy life insurance in the future, why would you buy it?

-          How do you feel about life insurance on your spouse?

-          How do you feel about life insurance on your children?

Questions about investing

-          What is your investment philosophy?

-          What is your investment strategy?

-          What results have you had with your investments over the past few years?

-          What provisions have you made to have your retirement nest egg outpace inflation?

-          What have you done to guarantee against the loss of your principal during retirement?

Questions about financial focus

-          What role does money play in your life? What’s important about money to you?

-          What are your plans regarding retirement? What are you doing to accomplish your plans?

-          What types of investments do you favor? Why?

-          What are your investment results over the past five years? Are you pleased?

-          Would you be pleased with the same results over the next five years? What would you do differently?

-          How much time do you spend selecting and managing your investments? How much is your time worth?

Questions for long-term care insurance

-          What do you think about when you hear the words long-term care? 

-          If you have concerns about long-term care, would you like to share it with me?

-          Have you had experiences with someone who became frail or needed long-term care? 

-          How concerned are you that a chronic illness will threaten your ability to continue to provide for your spouse?

Take the time to write down the questions you need to ask and make notes about the client’s response. Now both you and the client know the problems. These notes will be your guide as you develop the solutions.

 

For more from Marvin Feldman, see:

Want to Reach Young People? Embrace Social Media

Social Media: The Key to Reaching the Middle Market?

Annuities Timeline