Live Insurance News

Sales Tip #1: The One-Question Cross-Sell Opportunity

By Pat Sheridan
Associate Director of Life Insurance, Senior Market Sales

If you're selling in the senior market, you could be missing out on $16,000 a month in additional income just because you're not asking one simple question:

"If you died tomorrow, how would your family handle the funeral expenses?"

This one question will help you identify money that could better serve your clients in a Funeral Trust policy. The best thing is, your clients want to have this conversation!

90% of your clients think it's a good idea to pre-fund their funeral expenses?

71% of them want to handle this matter with their trusted advisor?

A Funeral Trust is different from standard life insurance because it protects funds from creditors, nursing homes, probate and even Medicaid. And the proceeds of the policy are paid the next business day to any funeral home in the country without a death certificate.

National Guardian's Funeral Trust is guarantee issue up to age 99 in policy amounts ranging from $500 up to $50,000. The average case size is $12,000, with an average commission of $2,000.

Sales Tip #2 - NGL Top Opportunities to Grow Final Expense Sales

Successful Final Expense agents continually strive to grow their client base. Here are some of the top sales opportunities seized by some of our most successful producing agents:

Existing Clients-Many agents selling Final Expense have an existing client base to which they have sold insurance policies in the past. Visit these existing clients to do an annual review of their insurance needs. This will allow you to determine which options may best fit their current needs.

Elder Law Attorney- Establish a relationship with an Elder Law Attorney in your area who may be willing to send you referrals from their client base. Visit with them to explain what you offer and how working with one another can benefit both of you. Many agents utilize Elder Law Attorneys for client referrals. Elder Law Attorneys typically advise senior clients wishing to take the necessary steps to protect the assets they have accumulated over a lifetime. Final Expense Planning will be very beneficial to such clients.

Senior Carnivals- Many successful agents will become involved in Senior Carnivals. This type of event allows an agent to brief seniors on the benefits of planning ahead. Often, successful agents will work alongside another entity, such as an assisted living facility, to promote the event and to get potential senior clients to attend. A Senior Carnival is a great way to promote Final Expense Planning and to expand your client base.

Involvement with Senior Community Groups- Typically, Senior Community Groups have regular meetings to socialize and discuss everyday topics. Final Expense Planning is a topic which most seniors have considered and are willing to discuss further. Presenting Final Expense Planning to Senior Community Groups is a great opportunity to grow your client base.

VFW Seminars- Some of our most successful agents have a local community connection to the VFW. These agents will speak in front of veterans who may or may not understand what is and is not provided to them as a veteran at the time of passing. Typically a veteran will have limited death benefits paid by the U.S. Government. However, presenting to a group of veterans is a great opportunity to discuss what additional Final Expense Planning elements each individual veteran may wish to consider.

The Single-Premium Life Wealth Transfer Cross-Sell

By Pat Sheridan, Director of Life Sales

It is estimated that the Baby Boomers will pass more than $40 trillion in accumulated assets on to their heirs by the year 2052. Welcome to the next great frontier in the financial services industry: Wealth Transfer.

Tapping this trillion-dollar market is easier than you might think. In fact, it can be done without even prospecting for new clients. Look no further than your existing Medicare Supplement clients for the perfect "lead program" for identifying suitable candidates for wealth transfer products, particularly Single-Premium Whole Life insurance. With only a few minutes and a few questions on your next MedSupp appointment, you could lay the groundwork for a Single-Premium sale worth thousands in commission.

Building the Sale

When you're on a Medicare Supplement appointment, the path to a Single-Premium cross-sell starts with getting a "Thumbnail Sketch" of your client's financial situation. This can be touchy, but there are ways to do it without the client feeling like you're invading their privacy, or like you're just setting them up for something.

Simply tell the client that you won't work with anyone unless you can do a thumbnail financial analysis because you want to know that if you talk about a product it's suitable for them. Then, pull out your Thumbnail Financial Sketch Worksheet and tell them you’re going to ask them some easy questions that they'll know the answers to immediately.

The worksheet will help you identify whether the client has assets stashed in CDs, Annuities, Money Market accounts, etc. You're looking for liquid assets.

Even though you're just asking them 'yes' or 'no' questions, the person will likely volunteer more details and, by the time you’re finished, you’ll have a solid idea where their assets are and how much they have there. Then, you simply put your worksheet away and proceed with your Medicare Supplement sale.

The Ultimate Question

Now that you've laid the groundwork, the actual cross-sell does not come until you visit the client again to deliver their Medicare Supplement policy in person. The decision to wait is important because it gives you time to build a relationship with the client and gain their trust. So, when you're all done explaining the Med Supp policy and the sale seems to be all but over, you pull out the Thumbnail Financial Analysis that you completed with them on your previous visit, only this time you ask the one question you didn't ask before: "What is this money for?"

The answers to this question will usually fall into two categories:

  1. We need that money for _______ (could be living expenses after they retire).
  2. We want to leave that money to________ (kids, grandchildren, charity).

No. 1 is an annuity sale.

No. 2 is a Single-Premium life insurance sale.

The Close

Let's say they have $50,000 sitting in a money market account that they want to leave to their children. The money has no other purpose, they don’t need it for medical expenses or traveling or anything; it's for their children. At this point you don’t have to sell them anything, because a SPWL policy is the right product for their situation. All you have to do is explain the virtues of Single-Premium life insurance:

  • Immediate estate increase
  • Guaranteed death benefit
  • Transfer wealth to heirs tax-free
  • Safety from market volatility

If I could get someone to listen to this presentation, I would close about 50% of those sales. And best of all, it's the right product for your client.

So what does it take to change a $100 MedSupp commission to a $5,000 life insurance commission? You have to take an interest in your client’s situation; ask the right questions and listen to their answers; and never make assumptions. You never know who might have $50,000 or $100,000 just waiting to be put toward the right product.