Six Questions Life Agents Should Ask Themselves

  • Originally published December 20, 2011 , last updated January 4, 2016
Six Questions Life Agents Should Ask Themselves

How do you build your book of life insurance business in these challenging economic times, or even in good times for that matter? Here are six questions to ask about the market you're targeting that may offer insight to help you build your sales.

1. WHY do your clients purchase life insurance?
It's worthwhile to focus on the key reasons provided by your clients, which may help you with new clients. One married couple, for example, may like that life insurance provides generally tax free income to one spouse if the other passes away. Other clients may want to pass on a legacy to heirs and see life insurance as an estate-planning tool, either to pay estate taxes directly, or to replace assets in their estate. Consider the reasons your clients purchase life insurance and leverage that information for your next sale.

2. WHO do you target for new business?
A good place to start is with clients concerned with passing on a legacy to heirs. There is great uncertainty with the federal tax rules, especially with the estate tax in 2010. Permanent life insurance may provide a certainty to the estate tax liability, which can appeal to your older-aged clients.

3. WHAT products are most appealing in today's economy?
Often a client's concerns are based on price. Consider offering a permanent, guaranteed death benefit product. These products are often cheaper than traditional permanent policies, while still providing lifetime coverage. Guaranteed death benefit universal life (UL) products are not designed to build cash value like typical UL policies, but they may offer the value and permanent coverage your clients seek. Clients who may benefit from a guaranteed UL product include those seeking a plan to help with estate planning, key-person coverage, or legacy building.

4. WHEN is the right time to recommend life insurance?
Now! With the expected changes to estate tax, income tax, and capital gains tax, it may be an ideal time for a life insurance discussion. Clients with a strong desire to pass assets on to heirs tend to respond positively to permanent life insurance discussions when it's used as a tool to manage the likelihood that tax rates may increase on all three of those fronts. The expectation is for the increases to come sooner rather than later, which will add urgency to the discussion.

5. WHERE do you find new prospects?
For established producers, some of the best places to look for new life insurance sales are with your current clients. Clients are more likely to make a referral from a trusted source than from a cold call or direct marketing. It's also worthwhile to cultivate relationships from non-professional activities. Some examples include volunteering for a charity or involvement in your children's activities.

6. HOW do you approach life insurance prospects?
Aim to educate rather than to sell. Given the aversion to hard-sell tactics, leading with a product may be a mistake. Paint a picture for your clients. Work with them and get your clients involved in the planning process. Let the product follow the planning recommendation.

It may seem counterintuitive, but curbing the urge to sell could be exactly what reinvigorates your life insurance sales! Let North American Company help. Our experienced Sales Development team is here to help you with sales ideas, running illustrations, and much more. Plus, with a comprehensive portfolio, fast turnaround times on your submitted business, and competitive compensation, we'll help you build your sales.