I am going to share what I have learned from attending MDRT Annual Meetings during the last 30 years. These ideas can change the way you engage with your clients and the experience they have with you during your conversations.
You can immediately start trying these ideas, concepts and questions. Furthermore, the concepts can be used by every financial advisor regardless of age, experience or client base.
The slab concept
As part of your financial planning process, lay the insurance slab first. Then, add structures to stand on that slab, such as superannuation or pensions, wealth creation concepts and mortgages. By getting the slab process right, if an ill wind blows for the client — such as sickness, accident, disability or death — then the investment structures will stay standing and will not fall over. We need to review the size of the slab every year to ensure it is still suitable for the client’s current situation. This highlights the importance of the review meeting.
I ask the question, “What is your current Plan B?” I follow it with this:
“Mr./Mrs. Prospect, what is your current Plan B to replace your income if you could not work due to sickness or an accident? You are doing a great job working on your Plan A, so I want to provide the backup option. I want to make sure that all the work you have done to advance your career and provide a lifestyle for your family has a fence around it to protect all you have built.”
I also use the Plan B approach when clients contact me and say they no longer need their current insurance. I ensure that the clients remember why we put the coverage in place and discuss the Plan B concept with them again. If they still say they don’t need the coverage anymore, I ask them this question, “So what is your new Plan B? I need to write it in my records to ensure I can explain your new Plan B to you and your family if you ever get sick or injured and can no longer fund your Plan A.” Sit with pen poised, be quiet and wait for the client’s response.
I then deal with whatever response the client provides. Quite often, we simply reorganize the insurance, as it was a cost issue, not a lack of need issue.
Ask the right questions!
The three checks concept
I have been using this for 20 years at least once a week.
Check 1: Final costs (funeral and final costs)
Check 2: Pay the bank (No debt should last longer than the person who created it.)
Check 3: Lifestyle (the last check you will leave your family)
Try these questions with clients:
- How much are you currently contributing to superannuation (retirement fund) to provide an income in retirement?
- How much are you investing now to protect your current income?
- Which income is more important to you and your family today? Your current income or your retirement income?
Then say, “Let me show you some ideas where we can protect your current income and still fund your retirement income as well.”
Ross Hultgren is a Top of the Table member and a 24-year MDRT member from Geelong West, Victoria, Australia.
Ideas to be more persuasive with prospects and clients: