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When teaching clients, repetition and questions are key

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Repetition is one of the most important skills to learn to use if you want to become a successful insurance and financial professional. In my speeches, I often joke that the best way to “train” spouses, children, insurance agents, prospects and clients is repetition, repetition, repetition.

Repetition is part of the science that advertisers use to sell products, ideas and political candidates. If we hear something repeatedly, we start to think it is true, even if it is not.

As advocates and advisors, we make the terrible mistake of assuming our ideas and information are so powerful that our prospects and clients cannot possibly resist taking immediate action. But the truth is that in most cases, they do not understand what we are talking about; and, in some cases, do not even believe what we are telling them.

When your prospects and clients hear over and over that cash value life insurance is not a good investment, or that they should buy term insurance and invest the difference, or that no person can time the market so they must lose 30, 50 or even 70 percent of their money if they want to make money in the long term, they start to believe it.

Then you show up and tell them something once or twice that is totally different than what they have heard a thousand times before. Who do you think they believe?

The expert use of questions is the only way to counteract the science of repetition. Questions help our prospects and clients recalibrate what they perceive to be conventional wisdom. Ask your client if the conventional wisdom could prevent them from achieving success or even be harmful to them.

This builds on the discussion from January’s column. I am more convinced than ever we are about to experience one of the greatest economic disasters in history.

It is almost here. It will severely impact our country and its markets. Stocks, bonds, real estate and commodities will all experience negative results in the months and years ahead.

The governments of the world, including our own, have thrown their people under the bus. They have used negative interest rates and quantitative easing and outright money printing to delay the inevitable. But they did not fix anything, and they have actually made the coming crisis much worse.

I have been predicting this would happen, in this column and elsewhere, for over two years. So far, I have been wrong. Why aren’t my prospects and clients furious with me? Why are you still reading my columns?

Because I never tell my prospects and clients what’s going to happen. After all, I don’t what’s going to happen and neither do our governments. My opinion doesn’t matter. Instead, I ask my prospects and clients a series of questions about what they think will happen, and then I help them plan accordingly.

As I have explained before, Americans are much more afraid of losses than they are of missing out on gains. Ask your prospects and clients whether they would be more angry with themselves if they missed out on 10 percent in gains in the market or more upset if they saw losses of 30, 50 or even 70 percent of their investment.

They’ll tell you how they want you to proceed. But you are one of the only people who can help them reason it out. Once they do, they will be emotionally invested in the decision they made. In this manner, you will be of real service to the people you call upon. 

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