OK, lately the numbers seem to reflect the fact that the long term care insurance marketplace is not immune to the downturn in the economy. This should not come as any surprise to any of us in the brokerage channel, as independent producers tend to sell products that have the least resistance connected to them. And why not? Isn't that the reason why they became independent to begin with? They did not want to be told when to go to work, what products to sell, how to sell them, who to sell them to, or even where to sell them. This is one of the main reasons fixed annuity sales recently have experienced such a dramatic increase that annuity carriers are now shutting their doors to new business, as they actually have received too much premium too fast to handle with too few places to invest all that money!
Wouldn't those of us in long term care insurance sales and marketing like that problem to deal with right now? I think some of us would, in fact, welcome a brief "rest" (especially after these last few years of working so hard without great results) while the home offices caught up to us with their underwriting, processing, the issuing of policies and the writing of huge commission checks. After all, a 50 percent to 100 percent growth in business in one year can be quite overwhelming to any product line!
Now that my Tylenol PM has worn off, my dream sequence has unfortunately ended, the morning sun has risen and a new day of reality is upon us. Now, I'm sure you are saying: "So, Peter, when are you actually going to tell us what you mean by the title that got me to read this far into your article?" OK, lighten up. If you have a long term care insurance sale to make right now, stop reading this and go make the sale. If not, give me just a few more minutes to help you make a bunch of sales.
Here are three certain concepts in these uncertain times that work, and will work for you right now:
# 1. People, especially in these uncertain times, only will buy from people they trust and who are believers in the product they are selling to them. In order for you to dramatically increase your LTCI sales this month and this year, you must become an "owner of the concept and the contract." If you are selling, or are attempting to sell long term care insurance, then go out today and purchase a policy on yourself and your significant other. Then as soon as you get it approved and issued, start telling everyone about it and, literally, start showing it to everyone you see. If you already own a traditional reimbursement contract, as most of us who do own LTCI possess, then I strongly recommend you supplement it with a cash product. This way you have either one to "show and tell" about or both, and you can explain your rationale for owning both, which will make sense to the person who already owns a reimbursement policy if you believe in it.
Keep in mind, you are buying it "wholesale" and making one "retail" sale because this will get you to more than even. All right, for those of you who are not math giants: your average premium is $2,000, your average first-year commission is $1,200, so your net cost is $800 plus the taxes you owe on the $1,200 commission earned. Let's call it a $1,000 cost to you. And the first sale you made because you convinced them you are a believer is also $2,000 premium. You earn $1,200, or about $1,000 after taxes. Guess what you just got? "Free" long term care insurance, a free marketing lead generation tool for the rest of the year and, don't forget some additional, much-needed coverage!
#2. The buzzword in the investment community this year is cash. As we all know, everyone is holding on to their cash, protecting what cash they have left and not wanting to lose any more of it. Today, cash certainly is king. That is what your clients, prospects and their trusted advisors all believe, and rightfully so. Too many of us have been burned, and therefore, are holding on to what they have left. So, why aren't you just talking their language right now? Selling cash is much simpler then selling traditional long term care coverage. After all, all the surveys of the last decade have said nonbuyers (the people keeping you from being wealthy) of LTCI say one of the main reasons they don't make the purchase is because LTCI is way too complicated. Simplify your world and their world. First buy cash on yourself to prove the point and sell them cash.
#3. Certainty equals guarantees. Buyers today only want guarantees to make them feel comfortable. How about a product that actually exists (beyond my dream sequences) that guarantees a substantial long term care benefit along with a death benefit, and, at the same time, has a forever free-look built in that will guarantee a minimum of all your premium back at anytime? No ongoing premiums involved and underwriting that will give you an answer in 7 to ten days. This is one I am buying on myself today!
One thing that is certain in these uncertain times is that if you keep doing what you have been doing in the past, you can expect much poorer results. These are times that require a very high level of flexibility and versatility. I know you have it in you, now you just need to convince yourself you do. Start by selling yourself a policy today and you will be on the right track.
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