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Life Health > Running Your Business > Selling

Help People See the Value of Income Insurance

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What You Need to Know

  • Open-ended questions can help reveal what prospects are thinking.
  • Often, what they are thinking about is risk.
  • Insurers specialize in taking on risk.

If you are an agent or advisor, then you know that retirees typically don’t go looking for an insurance product for the spend-down phase of their lives. Many retirees might tend to avoid annuities because they have heard so much misleading or false information about the product or have been subjected to highly aggressive marketing campaigns or over-zealous agents.

While it’s true you won’t be able to address every falsehood your financial services competitors spread about insurance products, you can increase the people you serve by making a few simple tweaks to your process.

The “old-school” fact-finder is back in style, and nearly all successful advisors and agents use it.

A short but thorough fact-finder helps determine your prospect’s suitability for an insurance product and a lot more. A well-executed fact-finder exposes your prospect’s attitudes toward protecting their wealth, legacy planning, mitigating longevity risk, long-term care needs, and the desire for predictable income streams when they retire.

Ask lots of questions, then stop talking and listen.

Deciphering your prospects’ relationship with money and risk and why they may be hesitant to purchase an insurance product takes many questions and a degree of patience. Too often, however, agents seem to have responses for every concern and objection voiced by a prospect. Quick answers memorized from a sales training video are not ideal for initiating relationships with prospects.

While you don’t want too much “woo” in your interactions, there are some open-ended questions that will give you invaluable insights into a prospects’ money mindset.

For example:

  • What made you think about adding an insurance product to your portfolio?
  • If you could make a wish and have your retirement look precisely the way you want, how would it look to you?
  • Your fact-finder indicated that risk is of concern. Can you explain why avoiding risk is so important to you?
  • How do you imagine you’ll feel when you’ve added a guaranteed income stream to your portfolio?
  • You mentioned concerns about eventually needing long-term care. Can you tell me more about that?
  • Could you describe how you have gone about making decisions about money in the past?

These are just a few examples of questions that often lead to deeper, more informative conversations with prospects. The critical thing is avoiding easy, offhand responses and simple solutions. Remember to pause for a few moments before responding, and make sure your answers let the prospect know they are heard and understood.

Are you “ABLE?”

“ABLE” stands for “Always Be Learning and Educating. No matter for how long you’ve been selling insurance products, it is never wise to believe you know everything there is to know.

New products are created nearly every day, with more options and greater flexibility than ever before. It would be ideal if you continued your insurance education, staying up-to-date on new products, enhancements, and trends. Share your discoveries with your prospects and clients in the form of newsletters, white papers, videos, and other educational materials.

Summing it up: Most pre-retirees and retirees want less risk as they move into the second phase of their lives. Many also desire the peace of mind that having a guaranteed, predictable income stream can provide, along with the ability to provide a legacy for their spouse or other loved ones.

Of course, the guarantee is subject to the claims-paying ability of the underlying insurance company, but a guarantee from a highly rated insurer is something to be considered.

Prospects may not know that an insurance product can give them these things and a lot more. That’s where you, as a trusted insurance professional, can help.

Kip MendenhallKip Mendenhall is the co-founder of Park Avenue Advisors.


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