Margie Barrie, a veteran long-term care insurance (LTCI) agent, marketer and educator, has been writing articles about long-term care (LTC) planning and related issues for several years.

Here, she takes a question about ways to overcome consumers’ reluctance to think about LTC planning during the holiday season.

Q. I’m having trouble setting appointments. It’s the holiday season, and few prospects want to meet to discuss LTC insurance. How can I overcome that objection?

A. This can be a frustrating time of year to sell. Many of the people I’m contacting — both direct mail leads and referrals — are saying they want to wait until next year.

I received a list of very helpful holiday phoning tips compiled by Stana Martin, the Midwest regional sales leader at ACSIA Partners. Here are seven suggestions provided by her team of agents.

See also: Turkey time: 4 year-end review strategies

Ornament

1. Change your greeting to ‘happy holidays.’

“Then pick up the regular script: ‘This is Terry Anderson, and I’m calling about the card you sent in. Is this the first time you’re looking into long-term care?’ Tone and pace are especially critical at this time of year. Be sure you don’t sound desperate to set an appointment.” – Terry Anderson

See also: How you present yourself matters

Family

 

2. When you hear the objection ‘We have family in town, call me back after the first of the year,’ have something to say.

“One possible response: ‘Now is the perfect time to address this, because your family will be with you. If your children are here during the holidays, you can share this with them too. This is a family issue.’” - Laura Brukwicki

See also: Put a ritual on it

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3. Keep dialing!

“There are excuses for every time of year. Don’t let them get in your way.” – Larry Heinert

See also: Mining your most valuable asset

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4. Remember that people have time off during the holidays.

“You can set appointments out a little further because they have some vacation time. Assume that you will set the appointment, and you will.” – Janine Tate

See also: How to network at a holiday party

A couple

5. Think about what a good season this is to talk about long-term care planning.

“‘This is a family issue, not just an individual issue. You do this type of planning for your family, not just for you. I’m happy to take time from my schedule to share this with you. Is Tuesday at 10 a.m. a good time or is Wednesday at 1 p.m. better?’” – John Frederick

See also: What I learned at the makeup counter

money

6. Know that the appointments that you set this time of year are more likely to close.

“Prospects willing to take time from their vacation or from family visits are serious about long-term care planning. Expect to close and begin closing as soon as you walk in the door, and you will walk out with an application and check.” – Cheri Davis

See also: The end is near!

To do list

7. When a client says “I’m too busy, call me after the holidays,” agree with them and say, “I know exactly what you mean. I don’t even have my shopping done yet!”

“Or say, ‘For people like you who have busy schedules during the holidays, I keep special times. This is my busiest time of the year, too! I can fit you in on Tuesday at 9:20 a.m., or would Thursday at 4:45 p.m. work for you?’” – Bob Staerk

Here are two additional suggestions that I also plan to use:

  • “I understand. That’s why I have extended my schedule to include evenings and weekends to accommodate everyone during this holiday season. Does Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. work or… “
  • Most people feel that same way … until I tell them that, “There may be tax advantages which may benefit you before the year ends. You may be able to deduct this off your income tax…”

See also: 20 ideas for holiday marketing