A life insurance producer's 4-point plan of success
Life insurance producers face each new year intending to make it the best one yet, a banner year. But as we all know, it takes more than even the best intentions to be successful in our business.
Even though there is an abundance of good advice on how to pump up production, all too frequently the results at year’s end are below expectations. My job includes getting acquainted with producers and following their careers, and it’s abundantly clear that the most successful focus on a few issues. I call it, “A Life Insurance Producer’s Four-Point Plan of Success.”
1. Demonstrate the value of life insurance as an asset class
With Term Life products accounting for 80% of all life policies sold, it seems fair to conclude too many of us are order takers. We’re not selling the concept of life insurance as an asset class. As you know, a life insurance policy is also an asset, providing non-correlated returns, liquidity and tax advantages.
While some might consider the premiums an expense, life insurance is an asset that will provide cash, as promised under the contract at death to designated beneficiaries. The amount paid by the insurance company at death will not be affected by market conditions. While this isn’t a new idea to producers, it can be big news to consumers, including those who already own life insurance plans.
What most consumers seem to know about life insurance is that they must die before there’s a payout, which may help explain why what we sell has so little appeal.
We talk too much about “life insurance policies” and not enough about life insurance as an asset with an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) generating guaranteed tax-free income, a statement no other investment can make.
Since IRR can be applied to any asset class, it’s an easy and straightforward way to show clients why permanent life insurance is a sound choice. (Read also: The report that can make permanent life an attractive asset class)
2. Give clients what they want
Even though it’s sometimes easy to think otherwise, clients usually know what they want. They may not be adept at expressing themselves or feel reserved about speaking up, but they still have a picture in their minds of what they want.
More often than not, the image they have in mind is a comfortable, enjoyable lifestyle they can count on over the years. What goes with it is having the financial resources so they can educate their kids, have an adequate retirement, and afford some type of long-term care if they need it. Although it may seem otherwise at times, most people have a sensible outlook on their lives, their expectations, and the future.
Today, no one is better equipped to give clients what they want, to help them reach their objective than the life insurance producer. No one. Today’s life insurance programs are more flexible than ever.
We can customize life policies with any of a growing number of riders to meet specific client objectives, and it may surprise many consumers that they don’t need to die to take advantage of the benefits of a life insurance policy, or, as we say, living benefits.
Today’s clients are more concerned with outliving a retirement plan than they are death. With increased longevity and life expectancy, their concerns are well founded. Remember that there are 10,000 people turning 65 every day, and seven out of 10 will suffer from some sort of chronic illness at some point. This is why living benefits have so much value to consumers. We all know adults who are caring for an aged parent. These products provide solutions that help meet these challenges.
The flexibility doesn’t stop with policy riders. It goes further with the ability to “trade in” a policy for a “model” that better fits current needs. And because a life policy can have value, they can, if necessary, sell it. (Read also: Landmark Life Settlement case brings up fundamental questions for carriers, agents)
Next page: Points 3 and 4
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