The best sales answer? "It depends"Blog added by Jim Katzaman on June 16, 2014
James Katzaman

Jim Katzaman

Glen Burnie, MD

Joined: February 10, 2014

“It depends” sounds a bit wishy-washy at first. From the time we're little on up, we went to school hoping to learn all the answers from our teachers. Two plus two? Four. Who wrote “The Raven?” Edgar Allen Poe. What was Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address? 184 Main Street. (OK, not all of school was educational.)

The point is that as youngsters, we were told what was right and what was wrong with no room for discussion. Maybe by high school, probably in college and for sure by grad school, we learned the unsettling truth that there were few absolute truths. There was always an asterisk:
    *Your mileage may vary.

    *Past performance does not guarantee future results.
Many times, we found there was more than one answer. The solution for one person was different for another person, even though they were in similar situations. This is especially true in sales and particularly in insurance.

If your trainers were worth their salt, they would present scenarios for clients with different incomes, marriage status, children, debt and mortgages. At the end the trainers would ask, "How much coverage would you recommend? $100,000? $200,000? $500,000? $1 million? What type of coverage would you recommend? Term? Whole life? Universal life?"

The correct answer? With a knowing smile, the trainers invariably would — or should — say, “It depends.” One person’s budget is different than another person’s budget. One six-figure earner has a different comfort zone than another six-figure earner.

The wisdom to know and the courage to say “It depends” releases an agent from rigidity. It helps open the tool box for a wide array of solutions to meet clients’ needs, not the least of which is peace of mind.

“It depends” kicks away the crutch of sales slogans that hold you back from all the ways you can do business. In one office, I heard agents almost chant that whole life insurance was overpriced and man’s worst invention. Well, what if you have a client in bad health and who needs coverage for final expense? More often than not, insurance companies offer guaranteed-issue whole life policies for just those circumstances.

Sell only universal life? What about people who cannot afford a permanent plan today but who could pay for less expensive term policies to get their foot in the door, maybe to convert later to permanent policies?

Buy term and invest the difference? Why slam the door on insurance with cash value? Regardless of your ingrained beliefs, you owe it to yourself and your clients to draw from every available product to meet their needs. That’s why “It depends” is your most important tool for your business. More importantly, your client depends on you.
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