Asking question can be the most effective way to sell life insurance.
As long as they are the right questions, said Van Mueller, a Milwaukee-based insurance agent.
"This is the greatest time to be an insurance and financial professional," Mueller said. "There's never been a time like this. And it is the greatest time ever to sell cash-value life insurance."
Mueller hosted the Million Dollar Round Table session, "Cash Value Life Insurance Strategies" during the MDRT Annual Meeting, held virtually.
In his 48th year as an agent, Mueller is also a 31-year Top of the Table qualifier. He speaks frequently about his question strategies for the cold approach, especially while grocery shopping.
About two months ago, Mueller was grocery shopping when he approached a woman and asked if he could run a couple questions by her just to get her opinion.
"I said, 'Would it be more beneficial for you to take a tax deduction now on a small amount of money, when taxes are historically low, and transfer a whole bunch of money to the future when the government's going to need all kinds of revenue to take care of all the messes they're making right now?'" Mueller recalled. "'Or would it be more beneficial to pay your taxes now when there's historically low, and build a gigantic pile of money in the future that the government could never get their hands on ever again?'"
Of course, the woman picked option two as a substantially better deal. Then Mueller asked, "Then why are you doing the first one?"
"She looked at me and she said, 'Oh my god, I never realized it,'" he said. "That's what I want you all to understand. You think your customers know all this stuff. They don't know any of it. They're worried about what's going on right now. They're not thinking about deferred taxation in the future."
The postscript is the best part: the woman chased after Mueller to get his business card.
Greatest Time Ever
The answer to why now is the time for cash-value life insurance is simple, Mueller said. The pandemic fallout created an economic crisis that, combined with climate change and other impending issues like the Social Security shortage, threatens future economic stability.
"They're going to require lots of money. And where are we going to get that money?" Mueller asked. "How are we going to spend that money and who's going to come up with that money are important things for us as insurance and financial professionals to have a conversation with our customers about."
Insurance agents can help protect clients and enable them to weather than storm by growing their money in tax-deferred accounts.
"We're going to have to find ways to offset much higher income taxation, and pennies that buy dollars is going to be one of the most amazing tools that we'll be able to use to help the American people do that," Mueller said.
The key is being able to sell, and being able to effectively close, so you can match your leads and potential customers with the policies they don't even know they need, Mueller said. One way to do that is to develop a half dozen questions and practice them over and over, he said.
One question Mueller frequently asks a prospect is, "Would you be interested in learning how you can be the beneficiary of your life insurance while you are still alive?"
Advisors should not be afraid to approach people and ask them about life insurance and other financial issues, he said. Doing so could double or triple your appointments, Mueller told the MDRT audience.
"Our mission, our responsibility, our goal is to inspire people to take action," he said. "And the only way to do that is by asking them questions."
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @INNJohnH.
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