A large part of our job is providing clients tailored product recommendations based on their needs and on market trends. However, the various complexities that go into more specific insurance policies — such as disability, critical illness or long-term care — can deter clients from purchasing them.
Although these policies are just as crucial as life insurance, many consider them an extra expense, which often makes clients reluctant to purchase them. By equipping clients with a personalized, in-depth understanding of the policies early in the purchasing process, you can help to win them over and ultimately set them up for long-term financial security.
Breaking it down
The key is to make sure your clients understand what the policy is about, and why you’re recommending it. When working with clients who have doubts about locking in certain insurance policies, try providing them with a precise, easily digestible definition of the policy first. For example, you could define long-term care insurance as the policy that aids further asset protection, as it is used to protect their other assets from being used up on long-term care costs.
Then share more in-depth background information about the policy they’re unsure about, and why you’re recommending it. Describing the policy in depth will shed light on what benefits and protections they can receive from it. Try making the information you provide engaging and relevant to their lives. The more they can connect the dots between their own lives and the policy you recommend, the more they will understand the basis of your recommendation.
Educating clients on the policy that you’re recommending will also reassure them that you’re making this recommendation on behalf of their best interests.
A good time to bring this up is when you first meet to discuss a financial plan, or during their annual review. For example, I always speak to my new clients about disability income insurance and long-term care insurance — and the importance of each with regard to their future. Bringing these policies up during initial client meetings can help to showcase the relevance of the policy and why it’s urgent for them to consider it.
Making it relevant
The likelihood of needing certain policies can seem far off to many clients, especially to younger ones. It’s important to help your clients see that their future selves are more likely than not to need these policies. I like to showcase scenarios where disability insurance may be needed by reminding my clients that anyone who has an income they’re dependent upon is reliant on disability policies. You can help clients better visualize the situation by asking questions like, “Imagine if you had no money coming in — how would you pay for all your expenses?” This will make the gravity of the situation more apparent.
Another way to help clients relate the recommended policies to their needs is to walk them through past client examples. Let’s say you had a client who acquired a disability at an early age but didn’t have the proper policies in place to support them after they could no longer work. Without a consistent stream of income, they potentially could be unable to afford their necessities. They would be reliant on a disability policy to support them, although they don’t have access to one.
Those lived experiences become a reality check for most clients. Offering a real-life example that they can relate to will help them come to terms with what they may need in the future.
Stay up to date
Your clients rely on you to steer them in the right direction and provide them the most accurate recommendations. To give them the most accurate, beneficial advice, it’s important to stay up to date on all aspects of what you’re recommending and how it works. And to best help your clients navigate more complex policies, you should always educate yourself as best as you possibly can or lean on other experts within that area to help you.
One of the best resources I’ve found has been fellow professionals at MDRT. MDRT has connected me with fellow members who I can call and ask questions of to further my own understanding about evolving policies and meeting client needs. When you have a network to support you, and you take the time to learn as much as possible, you will strengthen your financial advice.
Keep in mind, after all is said and done, we provide these recommendations to our clients because we care about them and their financial security. Stand by your recommendations to provide your clients with best-in-class, tailor-made advice — even if they’re initially a little reluctant to pull the trigger on a policy. Reassure them that you know that this is the best plan for them long term, and that they’ll see the value of it later in life. This sense of security can help you cultivate more long-term, trusting relationships — and keep your clients secure for years to come, no matter what life throws at them.