High-profile LTCI advisors Matthew Brotherton and Debra Newman share their insights about how to be successful selling long-term care insurance in today’s environment in Part II of this exclusive interview with Insurance Forums Contributing Editor Charles K. Hirsch.
In Part I, Newman and Brotherton talked about how they built their niches in the LTC market, how they prospect and how they educate clients and prospects about long-term care insurance.
Here in Part II, we’ll examine the sales approaches of these top producers, including how they match prospects with products, and will conclude with some great advice for agents looking to expand their LTC footprint.
The LTC sales approach
Our focus now turns to what does the advisor tell the prospect once the meeting begins? Is there a particular approach – statistics, a power phrase, a real-life example, etc. – that is particularly effective in commanding attention and helping him or her understand the reasons to consider long-term care?
“Statistics tend not to work,” Newman told me. “Everywhere you look, you see the same ‘70% of people over the age of 64 are expected to need LTC at some point in their lives.’ Do we know a single person that has purchased because of that? If anything, we get people thinking they are in the 30% who will never need it. Instead, we put that same information into a more ‘real’ perspective – ‘Look across the table at your husband or wife. One of you will likely need long-term care, and the other will have to provide it. What toll could that take on them? Physically? Emotionally? Financially? Long-term care insurance can give them access to resources and funds to help make that easier.’
“LTCI is still often an emotional sale. The advisor, however, does need to provide stats and info to people to justify their purchase to others. They like to be able to provide a logical explanation (risk management, asset protection, etc.) to explain an otherwise emotional decision.
• See also: No stats in LTCI presentations!
“Think about your parents and grandparents,” Newman continued. “If you’re married, think about your spouse’s parent and grandparents. Out of those 12 people, how many needed care? Who provided it? How did it affect the family?
“I had a meeting with one of my favorite financial advisors and I asked him why he was not selling much long-term care insurance, and he said he was now selling life insurance to replace what asset would have been used during the life of the insured for their long-term care. I asked him whether he thought people would remember why they had the life insurance and would be willing to spend their bank account, IRAs, and mutual funds on care, or whether they would say, ‘I can take care of my spouse, I can do it,’ and then proceed to have their health diminish faster than the person they were caring for. I told him that by having long-term care insurance it gives them permission to hire someone to come in and deliver the care so the spouse or family member can be present in their lives but not have the guilt of being the caregiver. You can remind them that they bought the long-term care insurance while they were healthy, and they gave each other permission to hire someone! The advisor said, ‘That is the first time I’ve realized how this genuinely impacts people.’ Now he is an advocate for having a long-term care plan for his clients.”
Matthew Brotherton told me that he uncovers needs with questions in his approach. “My approach has always been to ask the prospect a series of open-ended questions to learn about their situation. I have found through the years that it’s best to let them talk rather than me talk. The questions I ask focus on their experiences with long-term care, finding out why they are interested in the product, whether they plan on depending on their family for assistance, and financially if they needed care yesterday, where the money would come from to pay for that care.”
Next page: Matching prospects with products
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