As an advisor, you’re confident and skilled when it comes to selling the products that make up your core business — whether it is long-term care insurance, life insurance . individual health insurance or even retirement planning products. But you might be leaving money on the table, and exposing your clients to risk, by not selling the product that can help protect their incomes and maintain their standard of living: individual disability income (IDI) insurance.
Many agents recognize the need for their clients to buy IDI but struggle at smoothly and effectively transitioning the conversation. However, there is a natural “pivot” to IDI from just about any insurance or investment product. Good salespeople know that having an effective opening statement is a critical first step in a successful sales conversation.
This article will suggest what those opening statements might be from five core products. If you practice these conversation starters, adapt them to your style and make them a part of your client meetings, you can find many opportunities to add this important piece of protection to your clients’ portfolios. In addition, adding an IDI renewal stream to your income can help bring stability and diversity to your earnings.
Where to begin?
First, if you’re not an IDI expert, you need to learn about core product basics from one of the high-quality IDI brokerage firms in the marketplace. These firms can help you with quoting, plan design, underwriting questions and more, leaving you able to concentrate on getting your clients and prospects to see the need to apply for coverage.
Second, understand the need. Anyone who works for a living needs income protection. Is it wise to prepare your clients with other products for events such as high medical bills or a long-term-care event but leave their incomes unprotected should they become too sick or hurt to work? Further, is your own income stream unprotected? If you believe in IDI, buy your own policy. You will get to experience the application and the process firsthand and demonstrate to clients that you believe enough in the product to buy it yourself.
Third, just ask. Using pivot statements like the ones below will arm you with the confidence you need to raise the question. And be assured that while many agents are out there asking prospects about life or health insurance, very few are asking about IDI. You will have
little to no competition.
Making the transition
Here are five examples of opening statements to transition to IDI from another product. The target age for IDI prospects is from mid-20s to about 50, and even mid-50s in many cases.
Individual health insurance
“This health insurance will make sure the doctor, hospital and pharmacy get paid. But if you get seriously sick or hurt, who will make sure you get paid? Let’s talk about how to protect your income.”
“Congratulations on getting this life insurance policy in place. If you are not here to provide for your family, they will still have a source of income. However, what if you get seriously sick or injured and survive? You might not be able to work for years, if ever. Who will take care of you and your family then?”
Financial plans with periodic contributions
“The best financial plan in the world will survive only as long as your income survives. Before we part today, let’s agree on a plan to make sure your income will continue even if you cannot work. Otherwise, all this planning we just did could be for naught.”
Long-term care insurance
“It is likely that the need for long-term care will arise late in life. But what if some serious illness or accident strikes during your working years? Wouldn’t you need your income to continue?”
Group long-term disability
In this instance, consider talking with your employer-clients and discuss layering IDI on top of existing coverage they might have with you. “Group LTD is a great foundation of protection for your employees. But, as you know, the group plan is structured in a way that does not fully cover your executive team and other higher earning employees. Let’s look at filling in the gaps left by group LTD with individual disability income insurance.”
Whatever your core expertise, you deal with clients every day who need the protection and the guarantees that only IDI can provide. In some of the examples above, you are already putting your client through medical underwriting, so this is a perfect time to include IDI.
In almost any discussion involving financial services products, there is a logical path to bring up IDI. Make the effort to do so now, and someday, it might be that a client will be forever grateful that you did.