Nobody you call on, veteran or otherwise, truly understands the living benefits of life insurance, so this is not unique to veterans, CPAs, attorneys or anybody else you’ll call on. The reality is most people’s experience starts and ends with their group benefits or term insurance policy.

If you want anybody to understand the living benefits of life insurance, you must first do excellent fact finding to determine what they want to do in their life and what’s important to them. It may be to supplement retirement income or it may be education funding, and usually there’s a story behind that. For example, someone may want to have enough liquidity to put her children through school because she had to work three jobs to put herself through school.

You find those things out through fact finding. Don’t lead with product, lead with questions. Understand the scope of the job as it relates to the person in front of you. What’s important to them? Who do they love? What do they care about?

Once you are clear on that, it’s really quite easy to begin connecting living benefits of insurance into that equation. Our job is to educate, and the client’s job is to make a decision, so educate them on how these tools can help them do what they said they wanted to do.

It’s important that you amplify what the product does, not what it is. You can do this by using stories, and if you don’t have a story of your own, borrow one from a mentor or friend.

One of the best ways to communicate with passion the benefits of insurance is to be sure you’re a good customer yourself. I find this is an industry where you can’t drive Fords and sell Chevys. You need to do your own planning as well.

As a veteran, you probably have several skills taught in the military that you can apply to build your insurance and advisory practice:

Leadership You no doubt had some leadership roles in the military, either in small units or large ones. When you are working with somebody on personal planning, you can use those leadership skills. They don’t know what to do, and you have to lead them through this process.

Adaptability The military teaches you to organize and improvise. Adapt your speech and language to the person sitting across from you.

Resourcefulness A lot of times in the military, you are put in a position where you have to make do with what you have. You also have to be resourceful with clients, often on the spot.

Discipline Basic training teaches you to pay attention to detail but also to know when to ask for help. After spending time in the military, you probably have confidence, but don’t make the mistake of feeling like you have to go it alone.

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