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Life Health > Long-Term Care Planning

Why quality beats quantity, every single time

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What a great question! I can identify with your appointment-keeping struggles from early on in my career. A few thoughts that may help:
Now that you have survived three years in the business, it says a lot about you as a producer. You are here to stay. I have to say, five appointments per day is a very lofty goal. If it is a pace you can maintain, then more power to you. I would have to question how you are able to prepare for your appointments. The late Arthur Ashe said “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”  
I encourage you to focus more on having quality appointments than quantity. You may now be at the point in your career where you can stop and reflect on the type of clients you want to do business with and how you want to spend your time. You can now afford to be a bit more selective and not have to chase every possible sale. Your time and expertise are your most valuable assets, and I would encourage you to be selective in how you choose to spend both. 
Perhaps you can have your team “pre-screen” some of the appointments to make sure they meet your “Ideal Client Profile” (or whatever you want to call it). I am part of Dan Sullivan’s Strategic Coach Program, where he emphasizes the Entrepreneurial Time system of having Focus Days™ (your appointment and income earning days), Buffer Days™ (days spent preparing for appointments and honing your skills) and Free Days™ (days spent not working, doing things you enjoy). Scheduling a “Buffer Day” might allow you to:

Personally write a hand-written note to your upcoming appointments letting them know you are looking forward to seeing them. You can also let them know that although you are not charging for the initial consultation, your time is valuable and you would appreciate knowing at least one day in advance if they cannot attend a meeting.

Use Outlook Calendar Invites to confirm appointments. With technology and smartphones, this works best for my firm.

The night before your next day’s appointments, have one of your team (or you) call to confirm the appointment.

If you have more time to plan out your appointments (i.e. Buffer Days™), it may lead to further cross-selling opportunities (long-term care insurance, disability, life, investments, annuities, etc.) which may allow you to have greater wallet share with your clients and reduce the number of appointments you need to meet your goals. For a week, try scheduling six appointments, four days a week, and not scheduling appointments one day a week. Use either Monday or Friday as your Buffer Day™ to prepare for and confirm your appointments.
These clients are fortunate to work with an advisor like you. Position yourself and your time with confidence, and prepare for your appointments so you can maximize their outcomes. Have your team pre-screen the appointments as much as possible to make sure they are worth your time. At the end of the day, if a client cancels on you without respecting your time (i.e. without a good excuse or letting you know in advance and rescheduling), then think of that as a blessing in disguise. If they aren’t keeping appointments with a professional like yourself, then they won’t make for good clients.
In terms of promoting products (LTD, DI, etc.), I always assume that my younger prospects have a disability income protection plan in place and that older prospects have a long-term care plan in place. If they don’t, I act surprised (and I truly am surprised). Disability income protection is the foundation of our business. Unless someone is independently wealthy, their most significant asset is their ability to wake up in the morning and earn a living. If they don’t have a plan in place to protect that asset or, worse, don’t see the importance of having disability insurance, they may not be a good fit for your Ideal Client Profile. 
Long-term care is as much about telling stories and asking questions as anything. You need to have a story of your own – a family member or loved one that was devastated by a long-term care event. If you don’t have one, borrow one! Ask your clients if they have a family member that has experienced a long-term care event. If they have, sit silent as they tell you their story. If you can reach their heart strings, you aren’t “selling” anymore but simply putting in place a long-term care protection plan to help them maintain their dignity. 
Set your standards on how you prepare for and manage client relationships. Make sure you are meeting with prospects that meet those standards. If you stick to that formula, you will find tremendous success.


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