26 Feb 2020
7 Ways Agents Can Help Young Families Plan Long-term Financial Security
Author: Ryan Quinn, Vice President- Private Client Life
Read Time: 5 minutes, 51 seconds
Insurance agents have chosen a noble profession that enables them to help people across generations. The fact is, there are certain professional resources everyone needs: a doctor, accountant, attorney, and a trusted financial professional.
So, how does an insurance agent become that trusted financial professional? One effective strategy is to target a particular demographic segment, specialize in solutions for that segment, and position yourself as an honest, expert partner who is well-equipped to help clients in this group meet their financial goals and needs.
Today, one of the most gratifying markets agents can target is young families. If this is your chosen market, or if you’re still choosing your specialty, these seven steps can help you optimize your results.
- Know Your Audience
Young families, especially with kids, juggle multiple commitments and conflicting priorities. As a result, many wait too long to start financial planning—and they know it.
According to a recent survey, only 10% of Millennials claim to have enough life insurance to cover their family’s needs. Survey respondents self-reported that they needed an average of $452,000, but only had an average of $100,000 of life insurance in place. That’s a gap that you can fill.
But realize many young families may not know that:
- The younger and healthier they are when they secure life insurance, the lower their premiums
- The longer their policy is in place, the greater the cash value accumulation, and
- As their income rises over time, they can increase their contributions and build more wealth.
It’s your job to make them aware of this…but never presume upfront that you know what any given family needs.
- Listen Before You Speak
Once you have a prospect’s attention, don’t talk—listen. Find out what’s important to them. Ask open-ended questions.
If you’re uncomfortable asking probing questions, try the straightforward approach: “Mr. and Mrs. Smith, to better understand your situation, I’ll need to ask some questions around your wealth, health and financial goals…is this okay?”
Then, use tools that help you profile them in terms of their family, health and financial situation. At Pan-American Life, of course, we offer training programs that help agents and brokerage partners hone these skills.
- Present the Right Product for Each Client
Once you understand your prospect’s goals, risk tolerance and time horizon, you’ll know what product to recommend.
Say a husband and wife reveal that they value:
- Long-term conservative growth of their cash value, and
- Participation in the upside of equity markets, but with downside protection
Then, you can explain how Pan-American Life’s IUL product offers access to the upside of equity indexes, while protecting their premiums with a 0% floor.
Keep in mind: many people have heard of various life products, but have an incomplete or biased view. They may be surprised by the benefits and flexibility today’s life insurance offers.
Remember to limit the use of insurance jargon, explain things in plain simple language.
- Close the Sale with Care
After hearing a life insurance proposal, it’s common for clients to say they “want to think about it.” Often, this indicates that they don’t fully understand the value proposition.
Now, it can get tricky. On the one hand, you don’t want to be overly-aggressive. On the other hand, you want the objection out in the open so you can address it.
One way to approach this is to say: “I know we covered a lot of information, and I appreciate that you want to think about it, but while I’m here, I can answer any concerns you may have—so can you share with me what is your main concern?”
Then depending on what the reply is, you can address it. If it isn’t enough, give your prospect time to think—because aggressive closings can backfire, and you don’t want to be dealing with premium lapses, free looks and policy surrenders down the road that often occur with aggressive closing tactics.
- Draw on Your Experiences
Sometimes, sharing your experiences can be an effective sales tool.
For example, when I was a financial planner, I gave a seminar on long term care insurance. As a result, I sold an older couple an LTCI policy. Less than one year later, the husband had a debilitating heart attack. Fortunately, the policy provided a daily living benefit that helped cover home care, so he could live at home without heavily burdening his wife.
At that time, I also quoted an LTCI plan for another seminar attendee. She didn’t purchase the coverage at the time. But she contacted me several months later, asking if the quotation still stood. I asked if her medical status had changed, and she confessed that she had a mild stroke. Sadly, I had to inform her that she no longer qualified.
I use this story to remind my clients the value of applying for insurance while they are healthy. We never know what the future will bring—which is a key selling point of insurance in the first place!
- Optimize Your Referrals
Referrals are one of the most effective tools in the agent’s toolbox. There are many approaches to generating referrals. I do not prescribe to the concept of requesting referrals at the point of sale. I’ve found it’s more effective to impress clients with your service and professionalism in the first 90 days after the close.
Like wet cement, clients’ impression form slowly, over time, but once it sets its permanent…good or bad! Give clients a chance to experience the benefits of working with you before requesting a referral. I recommend putting a system in place to contact your new clients 6 to 8 times in the first 90 days. This will provide you with a huge opportunity to build loyalty, cross sell and earn referrals. In addition, to generate more prospects leverage clubs and associations, social media and build out center of influences that can serve as referral sources.
- Offer Added Value
One way to enhance client loyalty is to provide solutions for building financial security that extend beyond insurance. For young families, it may mean suggesting that they:
Finally, encourage your clients to meet with you at least once a year to stay and touch and review their plan’s ongoing relevance. The best way to help a young family plan for long-term financial security isn’t simply to sell them a great policy—it’s to provide ongoing service, ensuring that the policy will serve their ongoing needs.
About the author
Ryan serves as Vice President-Asia Development where he is responsible for the continued growth and expansion of Private Client Life’s reach in the Asian Market and domestically in the U.S..
Ryan brings over 22 years of experience in the insurance and financial services sectors as well as expertise working with high net worth clientele in Asia. He has held several regional positions with AIA International Limited, serving most recently as Regional Head of Partnership Distribution.
He has a proven track record of delivering top and bottom line growth through the development of new business models and the cultivation of strong producer relationships. Ryan’s past professional experience also includes his time at AIG Asia, where he served as Regional Vice President for over nine years, and two years with AXA Asia as Regional Director of International Business.