Overcoming objections from LTCI prospects

By Jesse Slome

American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance

Objections are an inevitable part of sales. That's especially true today with long term care insurance.

Knowing how to respond to objections will help you facilitate smoother presentations and more positive outcomes. "Many agents know how to overcome life insurance sale objections but may not have heard objections associated with long term care planning, explains Nancy Dykeman, a seasoned LTCI specialist and national trainer with her own firm, Long Term Care Planning Consultants, based in Evergreen, CO.

Dykeman, who is a member of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance's Board of Advisors, reminds agents of the need to remember that people have their reasons for posing objections. It's their experiences that drive a certain objection to planning for care. They may even have excuses -- for example, denial about ever needing care for themselves. Nothing is unreasonable, she notes. It's their own perception and you just need to provide them with more to think about and a solid answer.

One way to deal with objections is to repeat the objection in your own words to be sure you heard it right. For example, try to agree by saying, "You may be right, let's discuss this further." Or, "It could happen the way you said it, but I want to respond based on my knowledge and experience with this issue."

Ask if their statement has anything to do with a prior experience or someone they know. Here are some suggested ways to overcome typical objections likely to be posed to you.

"Just send me some information." Suggested response with the goal of setting an appointment: "Can I ask you to go to my Web site, where you'll find the same information I would mail to you. Buying long term care insurance is like buying a car. It's different for every person. You can pick blue or black by looking at a brochure, but to really help you, we need to really tailor a plan to meet your specific situation and needs."

"Long term care won't happen to me." Suggested response: "Well, maybe not, but what if it did? Long-term care happens to all ages and for you, I'm thinking a bad car accident, ski fall, or other injury, not necessarily an elderly health issue. Do you own life insurance? Whom did you buy it for? You, or to protect your family? It's the same here; long term care is about the people who love you and how to take care of you." What you are doing, Dykeman explains, is making a big shift from what do I need to what do they need to provide care for me.

"I'm not ready now, I'll just wait." Suggested response: "Waiting is an option, but do you mind if I tell you what waiting did to my friend, Katherine? (Then tell the story.)

"Premiums are based on your age now and without a crisis, you are able to make good decisions to protect your family. What's your plan if you wait any longer? Why haven't you taken care of this until now?"

"It's too expensive." Suggested response: "You're right, long term care is expensive (Note: the word insurance is not mentioned here). Covering this is not, in my opinion. You will control the coverage and cost; you control where you get the care and by whom by making the decision now. If I can find a plan specific to you and your family at an affordable cost, would you be interested?"

"I can self-insure." Suggested response: "Of course you can, and let me show you how that can happen, with the insurance assisting you. Today's costs of care are expected to triple in the next 20 years and if I can show you a way to self-insure and pass some of the risk to the carrier, would you be willing to listen?"

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