Are you struggling to find prospects (leads) who have the money and want to buy life insurance in this economy? Have you been reading and seeing the reports about all the financial problems middle-income families are having today?
Reports have likely convinced you that no one has any money because of:
- Out-of-control consumer debt
- No savings
- Stock market losses
- Low interest rates
- Soaring federal and state taxes (income, property and sales taxes)
- Falling house prices (no home equity)
- Foreclosures (upside-down mortgages)
- Disappearing jobs (companies folding)
- Flat wages
- Increasing bankruptcies
- Unavailability of mortgages
In actuality, only a small portion of the U.S. population is affected.
Yes, all the above are serious problems; however, don't believe all the gloom and doom when it comes to your financial services business. The fact is that even with all the financial problems we hear about, there is still plenty of opportunity for you to sell life insurance and make money in this industry.
Consider this: Ninety percent of families across the nation are still employed. As of April 2009, unemployment is less than 10 percent across the United States, with even the worst areas remaining under 15 percent.
A recent survey says 43 percent of U.S. families still have equity in their homes. Even though home prices continue to drop across most of the country, the mortgage debt on only 20 percent of U.S. single-family homes exceeded the estimated current value of those properties as of Dec. 31, 2008, according to First American Core Logic, a real estate information firm based in Santa Ana, Calif. The problem is most acute in Nevada, where the percentage is 55 percent, followed by Michigan (40 percent), Arizona (32 percent), Florida (30 percent) and California (30 percent). Stripping out those five hard-hit states, the national percentage is about 14 percent. In New York State, the tally is just 4.7 percent.
Only one in every 159 U.S. households with mortgages had a foreclosure filing in the first quarter of this year, according to RealtyTrac -- that's only about 0.6 percent.
There are still plenty of mortgages available! Generally speaking, "subprime" mortgages are gone, because mortgage lenders have gone back to the lending rules of the 1980s that they should have been following all along. They are back to requiring borrowers to have good credit scores, substantial down payments and good debt-to-income ratios -- especially if the borrowers want to qualify for the best interest rates on a loan. So, while home mortgages are harder to get for people who have financial problems, they are still readily available for most of the population.
Remember: All these problems make what we as advisors and planners do even more relevant and important.
Consider, even in these troubled times, the vast majority of peoples' overall financial concerns aren't much different than at any other time in their lives. They are still concerned about meeting their financial obligations each month; making their mortgage payment; saving for their children's education; and saving for retirement. The only real difference is that during a recession, people are forced to focus their attention and deal with their financial problems right now. Most people are looking for real help and immediate solutions to their financial problems. They want to reduce or eliminate their debt, cut unnecessary expenses, reduce income taxes, revise their investment strategies and more.
And, the great part for you is they are much more willing to sit down and talk with a financial advisor, if that advisor is adept at, and focused on, helping them to solve their immediate financial problems. They are not looking for just another salesperson who wants them to spend more money.
If you want to attract and sell more life insurance prospects in one month than most advisors and planners will see in an entire year, then stop listening to all the gloom and doom. Instead, start getting your message out to your ideal prospects on how you are able to help middle-income families to live debt free and truly wealthy -- especially during this troubled economy.
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