How to impress high-­income clients

High-­income clients are unimpressed with the tried­-and-­true — any advisor could do that for them. They’re looking for what sets you apart.

The late John O. Todd, CLU, 1951 MDRT President, found this to be true. He recalled early on in his career, “You try to make your thinking so fundamental that it would fit 75% of the circumstances you encounter, and you leave the other 25% for others to close.” High-income clients, however, have often already heard all the conventional life insurance ideas. Todd realized he’d better bring something unique to those clients, he explained at the 1948 MDRT Annual Meeting in French Lick, Indiana.

For working with those clients, Todd offered a three-­point plan called, “Probe, Disturb, Quit Orthodox Thinking.”

The late John O. Todd, CLU (second from right)

1) Probe

Search for every last detail about your clients. What are their hopes and objectives? What are their problems? Whether you obtain this information from a form or a simple conversation makes no difference, as long as it’s thorough. If they’re withholding this information, Todd explained, “chances are you won’t get anywhere with him later. In such a situation, I would rather forget the case before I have done a lot of work on it.” Sometimes these questions uncover issues unseen to the client until now.

2) Disturb

Many advisors can find solutions to a client’s problem, but an advanced advisor must disturb. They must, “recognize a problem and have the motivation to attempt to solve it,” Todd explained.

3) Quit orthodox thinking

Find ideas that are new to the client who has seen the conventional uses of life insurance. As Todd elaborated, “There is a life insurance solution to every financial problem that is better than any other method. When we discard conventional thinking and we approach the problem with conviction — give it time and bold thinking — we can find a solution with life insurance as the key.” It’s not important how much insurance clients buy but that they see life insurance in a new way.

Any competent advisor can copy a product. Find out why you should offer a unique selling point in the brief video “Why Should a Client Choose Me?” from Top of the Table qualifier Sanjay Tolani, Ph.D., MBA, of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.


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