Financial Uncertainty Makes This the “Greatest Time Ever to Sell Life Insurance”

September 22nd, 2016, Comments Off on Financial Uncertainty Makes This the “Greatest Time Ever to Sell Life Insurance”.

web_0009_muellerThere is a financial crisis coming in the United States, and it is going to be a big one, Van Mueller told attendees at NAIFA’s Performance + Purpose conference.

While that prognostication may sound bleak, the truth is, “it’s the greatest time ever to sell life insurance,” Mueller said.

The government and Wall Street say we are in a recovery, but the Federal Reserve is afraid to raise short-term interest rates. “Does that sound like a recovery?” Mueller asked. Insurance and financial advisors must take advantage of the inherent uncertainty, and by using it in their sales efforts, their clients will benefit.

“You are the only hope for the American people,” he said. “It’s your time.”

Advisors often make a mistake by trying to tell clients and prospects that they know what is going to happen. A better approach is to emphasize that no one knows what is going to happen. The presidential race, the Federal Reserve, SEC regulations and myriad other things all create uncertainty. Life insurance, on the other hand, provides security and liquidity, as well as the opportunity to access credit, which will dry up in a full-blown crisis.

The majority of clients and prospects would rather have a guarantee that they will never be poor than an opportunity to be rich. Surveys show that Americans are much more concerned about losing what they have than about missing out on a potential gain.

Advisors need to change their messages, accordingly. Don’t tell people you are going to make them a lot of money, Mueller said, explain how you can help them protect what they already have with life insurance.

Mueller says that in one of his typical elevators speeches, he asks, “Is there someone at the IRS or local nursing home you are so in love with that you want to leave all of your money to them?” He then explains how life insurance provides tax advantages and can mitigate retirement and long-term care expenses.

In another, he says, “We’re afraid there’s going to be a major economic disaster and we don’t understand why people let it happen to them, because it doesn’t happen to any of our people.”  The point is to grab a prospect’s attention and open the door to a discussion about the security life insurance provides.

Overwhelming a client or prospect with “fabulous information” will not resonate with them. To be successful, advisors must have conversations, ask questions and build relationships.

Addressing the Talent Gap

September 18th, 2016, Comments Off on Addressing the Talent Gap.

web_0006_branch web_0007_reddBy 2018, a quarter of the current professionals in the insurance and financial services industry will retire, including half of the senior leaders at some companies. More than 400,000 insurance industry positions will need to be filled by 2020.

Where will these new professionals come from? This is the question explored by Margaret Redd, Ken Branch, and Quincy Branch of the National African American Insurance Association and the attendees of their workshop, “The Impending Talent Gap,” at NAIFA’s Performance + Purpose conference.

Insurance industry recruiters face a challenge because the prevailing image of what an insurance advisor looks like – an older, white male – does not necessarily match the demographics of those now entering the workforce. Complicating the recruiters’ task is the fact that many millennials do not view insurance as a viable career. They underappreciate and misunderstand what insurance and financial advisors do. They also shy away from the industry as a career choice because they hear that the first few years can be very challenging.

To overcome the talent gap, it is vital to change the way the public in general, which includes those who will become the next generation of advisors, views insurance professionals.

“How many times has someone asked you what you do for a living,” Redd asked the workshop attendees, “and you replied, simply, ‘I’m in insurance’?” Instead, she suggests saying, “I help small businesses succeed,” or “I help people going through tough times in their lives and avoid financial hardship.”

Changing the way insurance professionals are viewed requires telling stories that resonate and explain why the industry matters and how it impacts communities as well as the lives of those we are asking to choose to be financial professionals.

Established advisors can encourage a new generation of professionals by providing them with mentoring and presenting a picture what successful advisors looks like, even when that picture may not match the traditional image of an insurance agent.