A few months into my career in selling life insurance policies door to door, I had to deliver my first death claim check. My client said something to me that changed my life forever: “Thank you for allowing me to keep my dignity.” It was from that point on that I understood the importance of what we do in the insurance profession.
We don’t just sell life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability insurance, health insurance, auto insurance, home insurance or even financial services. What we do is provide people with dignity when it matters most. As I help my clients understand the difference between financial planning and quality of life planning, I focus on dignity, not insurance.
Quality Of Life Planning
if I live? What if I linger? What if I leave? What is my legacy? Guide your clients through these four key components of quality of life planning that take the “if” out of life so that they can live.
“What if I live?” refers to longevity planning and having the money you need to live with dignity until the day you die. “What if I linger?” is about having proper coverage if you become sick, hurt or disabled. Can you get the quality of care you desire to keep your dignity? Asking
“What if I leave?” compels you to reflect on death and divorce. Will your assets transfer as you desire to those you care about? Will you be able to retain your dignity, even after you die?
Finally, we all leave a legacy by default or design. “What is my legacy?” is necessary to ask in order to understand how you would like to leave yours. Will you leave money to your children, grandchildren or charities, or will you create a foundation to be remembered?
Set Yourself Apart
Quality of life planning is more than just financial planning; it brings in a comprehensive and holistic approach, needs-based conversations, storytelling and resources. We bring value-added services to clients by focusing on quality of life planning.
For example, we give our clients an emergency kit that allows them to keep all their medical information in one place in the event of an emergency. We give them medical information cards to keep in the car so first responders will have access to their medical background in an emergency. We provide them online storage files for archiving photos, legal documents and meaningful memories. We help them write “family love letters” with meaning and purpose to leave for those they love.
We also help our clients create a lifelong legacy to be remembered by both family and the community through planned giving and lifelong checks. When you begin to provide dignity and stop selling products, people will refer family and friends to you, which is inherent to your success.
Words matter, and rephrasing “financial planning” to “dignity planning” has a stronger impact on clients. It’s important to incorporate dignity into each of your conversations. For example, instead of asking, “What do you want to do when you retire?” I now ask, “What do you want to do when you no longer want or need to work every day?” Leading clients to envision their ideal scenario is much more impactful than simply asking about retirement.
Additionally, consider asking, “What does dignity mean to you?” instead of “Why do you want to invest for retirement?” We say “protection against the unexpected” instead of “insurance.” These questions and attention to detail in the words we use will give insight into how clients feel about money and saving for themselves. People don’t always remember what you say, but they remember how your words made them feel.
Root Your ‘Why’ In Dignity
Ask yourself why you believe in this profession. Why should someone do business with you? What drives you every day? My “why” is to provide dignity, not just insurance or investments.
My passion for providing dignity brings people to me as they relate to my “why.” By focusing on quality of life planning and dignity as opposed to selling products, you can understand your clients’ needs and set your services apart from those of others.