Times have changed; the need for long-term care planning has not.

“The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”  — Simon Sinek

In 2009, Simon Sinek released the book “Start With Why” — a synopsis of the theory he has begun using to teach others how to become effective leaders and inspire change. Just recently, Simon’s thoughts and how they impact the long-term care (LTC) planning industry today were shared with our agents in the field.

Those who specialize in LTC planning understand the amount of change we have seen recently in our industry.

Change is not new and has always been part of this business. It reminded me of the movie, “Back to the Future”. The time machine was set to go from October 1985 to June 2012. Wow I thought … I wonder what was happening in long-term care in 1985, since I sure know what is happening today.  It caused me to reflect on how our business has changed and how it hasn’t.

In October of 1985, The Firemen’s Fund sold long-term care insurance (LTCI) and was one of the leaders in LTCi. So was United Equitable and Aetna.

Interesting enough, those carriers (and many others) are no longer selling LTCI. Also in 1985 the New York Times published an article about “nursing home insurance” and the changes in that industry. Quoted in that article was then ACSIA President Bob DeLue.  So, the carriers may change, but my company has been around that long, I thought.

Therefore, change is not something new.  What hasn’t changed is the fact that many agents have always been successful, and they will always be successful, because they help people deal with another thing that hasn’t changed a bit:  The need to plan for the physical, emotional and financial burdens long-term care place on family and friends.

As Simon Sinek said in his book and in his speeches we need to do business with people who believe what we believe in. Those in our business who are very successful have found ways to do just that. Some marketers, like the one I am affiliated with, invest millions in training agents and in lead generation.  These companies will continue to find the products and the ways to reach people who understand that LTC planning makes sense.

Not everyone has a lead program, so how do you as a long-term care specialist find people with that belief? I often hear from our newest recruits that buying leads is too expensive, and there is a major concern about the quality. So, if you don’t want to be part of a lead program at a career shop, what do you do?

You start with those who have already told you, “YES, I believe”. Your book of business is a great place to start. Tell them that you appreciate their trust in you for putting an affordable LTC plan in place.

Tell them you build your practice by helping people just like them. Ask them about the people they care about, family, friends, neighbors, co-works and even their adult children.  Assure them that you will assist those they refer in the same professional way you helped them. You need to ask those believers.

Find out about your clients’ employers, and the groups and associations they belong to. Ask to be a speaker so you can share with these people about the latest in LTC planning and your state’s partnership program and/or tax incentives.

Get yourself on local radio and TV as a local expert in LTC planning. Be the evangelist about the need for planning and discover those who share your belief.

Sinek reminds us that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave the ‘I have a dream’ speech, not the ‘I have a plan’ speech.”

The people who showed up on the Capitol Mall to hear King speak shared that dream.

Embrace the change, and work with an outstanding distributor business partner to help you navigate the bumps.  By being a long-term care evangelist you will take advantage of the huge opportunity that still exists in our marketplace.

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