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So Difficult About Selling Life Insurance?
Article # 1
Written by By John Lensi, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, CMFC, LLIF
Charlotte, North Carolina
Marketing Life Insurance and financial related services? Why should it be so difficult? Learn about the dark secrets on how the the life insurance sales process should be evaluated.
Most experienced financial professionals would agree that marketing life
insurance and related financial services products is not all that
today… in fact most would probably admit it never has
been all that
Now this does not mean the sale of life insurance and financial services products is an easy profession. Before I raise the hair of those in this business who know how difficult it really is to be successful as a professional insurance agent, who is marketing life insurance, let me get to the heart of the matter.
Most financial professionals are pretty darn good at this aspect of
their profession and find selling product
solutions to client problems very enjoyable and not all that
difficult task of marketing life insurance occurs at the front end of the
Before a sale is consummated, a favorable face-to-face appointment must first be arranged. Easier said than done. For it is the ability to successfully prospect for qualified clients, followed by the skill of scheduling a sufficient number of new business appointments week in and week out that separates the MDRT level producer, from those who achieve meritocracy in the life insurance sales business. Not everything has changed.
Yet the one
thing that has remained fairly constant is how consumers purchase life
insurance. Even with the advent of lower-cost
term insurance and use of the internet, life insurance is still [for the
most part] a consumer product that must be sold face to
face; as opposed to being a
consumer demand product. Consumers in
general, lack understanding and
appreciation for the value of life insurance and generally do not
initiate the purchase
of life insurance.
If not approached by a financial professional to buy life insurance, most consumers will simply avoid the purchase. In fact, in the months following the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001, a survey of consumers by LIMRA International showed consumer receptiveness to proactively purchasing life insurance had little to no change.
When it comes to marketing life insurance, there is no substitute product that can transfer the financial risk of an unexpected death to an insurance company and receive in return a guaranteed financial payment to a loved one at an insured’s death. It’s been long said that life insurance is not for those for die, but for those who go on living. This being said, one might ask themselves why there seems to be a resistance to buying life insurance?
There are a number of reasons people don’t initiate the purchase of
life insurance. Much can be attributed to the avoidance of people
wanting to think of
the reality of premature death and the possibility of this occurring to
them or a
member of their family.
For others, avoidance to buying life insurance is
with their lack of understanding of how a life insurance contract
‘works’ and how much
protection they need and what it costs.
Closely associated with these reasons is the consumer fear of making a “mistake” in buying the wrong type of policy, or a policy in their
mind, simply wasn’t needed.
finding process must precede any
recommendation for a specific purchase of life insurance.
Stemming from this fact-finding process is yet another aspect for consumer’s failure to purchase sufficient life insurance to meet their financial protection needs. Many consumers are fearful of being recognized – exposed if you will – as being financially “irresponsible” for not having sufficient life insurance protection and for not having achieved overall personal or business “financial success” during this fact-gathering process.
As a result, many consumers fall into another group that avoids purchasing life insurance simply because they have to open their financial ‘picture’ to someone they don’t know all that well.
In addition to the aforementioned, there are two other significant reasons in my opinion.
First, resistance which is an outcome of our country’s educational system relative to insurance.
second, the industry’s
long-term failure to
create and sustain a unified positive ‘culture’ for its unique
one would be hard pressed to find a high school devoting more than
a glancing blow to the understanding and value of owning life
as a cornerstone of financial security protection.
Even for the roughly 25% of our population that moves forward and graduates college, the gap in insurance education continues to exist.
As a result of any formal insurance or risk management education, the majority of adults are left to fend for themselves about learning and developing an understanding and appreciation for the unique financial product life insurance is. Understanding and receptiveness to buying life insurance for most consumers is a result of informal discussions with friends and family.
Written By John Lensi, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, CMFC, LLIF
About - John Lensi, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, CMFC, LLIF-
John has over 30 years of field management & home office executive experience in the life insurance and financial services industry across several distribution channels.
He has been a company officer for several prominent life insurance companies during his career. Along with his professional designations/education, he is a marketing and business administration graduate of Central Connecticut State University – New Britain, CT. Lensi was selected to the International Who’s Who of Professionals in 1995 and has served as industry chairperson for LIMRA International’s Agent & Management Training & Development Committee.
He has a built a number of professional development platforms for insurance professionals which has led to the development of numerous MDRT qualifiers. John has been a speaker at numerous industry and company sales meetings on the topic addressed in this paper.
John next article in this series will discuss ---> Examining the core skills needed to become successful when marketing and selling life insurance.
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