10 Sep 2021
3 Ways to Be a More Effective Life Insurance Ambassador
By: Bruce Parker, President - Global Life
Estimated read time: 4 minutes
As you know, September is Life Insurance Awareness Month—which make it an excellent time to reflect on this most valuable and versatile product.
Over the years, life insurance has continually evolved to meet the changing needs of those it protects. For example, an early form of it dates all the way back to ancient Rome, where people would join burial clubs to cover the cost of their final expenses. Today, life insurance still performs that essential service—and many more.
At Pan-American Life Insurance Group, we’re continually refining our portfolio of term, whole and universal life products to offer greater value—as we have for more than a century.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new relevance to your conversations with clients and prospects. The public is more aware that anyone—even the young and healthy—can die unexpectedly, potentially leaving their families without income. In addition, economic and job insecurity has led many consumers to start planning their financial future more deliberately.
During this period, our agents, brokers and employees have worked tirelessly to meet the moment, often under difficult conditions. You’ve done an outstanding job. We see you and we salute you!
That said, there are still many important conversations to be had. As you engage in discussions with current and potential clients, here are a trio of timely strategies to keep in mind.
- Sell Less and Educate More
We talk a lot about the reasons people buy life insurance—to provide for their families, plan for the future, etc. But it’s equally important to understand why people don’t buy.
According to recent LIMRA research, many consumers know they need—or need more—life insurance, but choose to live with inadequate coverage. Sometimes, the reason is financial: they don’t want to take on an added expense. Sometimes, it’s health-related: they’re afraid their health conditions will render them ineligible.
But surprisingly often, people are held back by fear of making a bad decision. They don’t understand the product very well (How much to buy? What type of policy?) and are overwhelmed by the prospect of educating themselves. (This is one reason why consumers who already have some life insurance are more open to purchasing more, as opposed to those who haven’t yet taken the plunge.)
Whatever the objection, you’re more likely to overcome it by sharing helpful, personalized information rather than simply pursuing a sale. Address their concerns directly. Help them understand their choices as simply as possible, in terms of their own situation.
It may take longer to coach a client to the point where they’re ready to complete an app—but, in the process, you are providing a valuable service as well as laying the seeds of a meaningful sale.
- Keep the Spotlight on Cash Value
Everyone understands that life insurance provides a death benefit. However, research indicates that many insurance-phobic consumers don’t understand the difference between whole life, universal life and term—particularly, the powerful benefit of accumulating cash value.
Cash value is so important to explain, especially when framed it in terms of the client’s life and goals. Yes, illustrations can be overwhelming for the uninitiated. But when you present them in the light of sending a child to college or buying that dreamhouse, suddenly, those numbers have meaning.
By all means, keep emphasizing and explaining cash value, as well as the advantages of policy loans. These are those rare benefits that almost sound too good to be true…and yet, here they are.
- Emphasize Retirement Planning
Another lesson learned from the pandemic: for many, retirement funding is largely dependent upon employment—a strategy that can backfire spectacularly when things don’t go as planned. In uncertain times, having an independent savings vehicle—there’s that cash value again!—can keep a retirement plan on track.
For example, a recent Pew Research survey found that the closer workers were to their retirement date, the more likely they were to delay retiring due to financial fallout from COVID-19. For those between the ages of 63-67, nearly three in 10 delayed their retirement.
The Pew survey also found that, of those who left the workforce just before COVID -19, nearly two in five said they did so earlier than they’d planned due to layoffs or health issues.
In short, for clients looking forward to a great retirement—and really, who isn’t?—whole or universal life insurance policies can serve as a reliable savings vehicle that isn’t dependent on the uncertainty of employment.
Of course, at Pan-American Life, every month is Life Insurance Awareness Month. So, please keep doing the remarkable and important work you’re doing.
And please take advantage of everything we offer to help you keep developing your skills and knowledge—to be the best life insurance ambassador you can be, in September and beyond.
About the Author:
Bruce leads the international life business in Latin America and the Caribbean and serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Mutual Trust Life Insurance Company. Bruce also oversees the Group’s Private Client Life businesses as Chairman of Pan-American International Insurance Corporation (PAIIC) and Pan-American Assurance Company International, Inc. (PAACII). To learn more about Bruce, click here.