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How to sell more life insurance while income planning

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Are you looking for more opportunities to sell life insurance?

Are you currently working with baby boomers making the transition into retirement?

If so, I’ve got a simple idea that will help you grow your life insurance sales. But first, let me guess at what you are currently doing to generate income for your clients.

If you are a registered representative, you probably allocate your client’s portfolio into a mixture of equities and bonds. If you are insurance-licensed you probably reposition assets into the annuity with the highest roll-up rate on an income rider. Am I close? I speak with hundreds of agents each month who are employing those strategies.

While the average advisor is frantically trying to increase his or her assets under management, he or she often overlooks protecting the client with life insurance. One particularly bright advisor even told me recently, “I hate life insurance!”

If this advisor, who is a CFP and is extremely intelligent, hates selling life insurance, what is everyone else going to do? They probably won’t sell very much life insurance. And the statistics support that. Personally owned life insurance is at record lows. LIMRA statistics tell us that more than 52 million American adults don’t own any life insurance. 

Most agents and advisors are more focused on the hot topic in financial services, which is income planning and making sure your clients won’t outlive their assets. It’s an important issue for seniors to address because the consequences of not having enough guaranteed lifetime income could be dire. And the solution is relatively easy. Just reposition their money. The average advisor just moves money around. The above-average advisor actually adds value for their clients — whether it’s by maximizing an asset or minimizing taxes.

See also: It’s all about taxes

One way advisors are starting to add value is by incorporating Social Security planning into their practice. Did you realize that married couples have hundreds of filing combinations that could result in $100,000 or more in additional income in their pockets throughout their retirement years? Can any of your client’s afford to leave any money on the table?

How much more willing would your prospects be to reposition their assets for income planning if you could show them a better filing strategy for claiming their Social Security benefits? What if that strategy puts tens of thousands more dollars in their pocket during their retirement years? The truth is that they will be much more willing to implement your income planning recommendations.

As you look for ways to incorporate Social Security planning into your practice, you will need to become familiar with your client’s green & white statements. There is valuable information in there that you can use to make customized recommendations. It is in this statement that you will find one line item to begin the life insurance conversation with your clients. The item you are looking for is listed under the Survivor Benefit Section that reads “Your spouse or minor child may be eligible for a special one-time death benefit of $255.”

See also: Should retirement plans include Social Security benefits?

Many of you might recognize this from the typical final expense mailer. But guess what? You don’t have to limit your conversation to just final expense! Read that line back to your client and start by asking “How special does that one-time death benefit seem to you?” See how they react.

Continue to ask more questions that determine if they have a need for life insurance. The only life insurance that many people have is employer-provided. If they are transitioning into retirement, they will probably lose that benefit. If so, how much do they need? How much do they want? This is where you do your fact finding. Then keep asking questions that will help you determine if they want term or some kind of permanent coverage.

What if you use some of the extra Social Security income you find for them and use that to pay their premiums on permanent coverage? What if the Social Security strategy you recommend gives them an extra $500 per month? Say you suggest they use part of that to buy life insurance. How much coverage can be purchased now that you’ve found the premium for them?  Now that’s a powerful idea that should motivate you to have the life insurance conversation!

Keep in mind you are doing this as you’ve shown them how to put extra money (Social Security benefits) in their pocket. They are going to see you as a trusted advisor, not a product salesperson. With all the questions you are asking, you’ll be perceived as a consultant who is trying to gather all the facts to make the best  recommendation. Start doing this and your life insurance sales will soar.

For more on life insurance, see:

10 great opening lines from top producers

10 estate planning tax facts you need to know

Consumer mistrust leaves retirement planning in the dust