Disability Insurance Marketing Guide Personal and Business Markets

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1 Disability Resource Group, Inc. Disability Insurance Marketing Guide Personal and Business Markets For producer use only Not for use with the general public.

2 Table of Contents Disability Income Insurance for the Personal Market... 1 Introduction... 1 The Need...2 Pre-approach...6 Approach...7 The Interview...11 Designing the Solution...15 Demonstration...17 Validation...18 Negotiation...18 Close...18 Disability Income Insurance for the Business Market Introduction...20 The Market...20 Types of Business Organizations...21 Summary...23 Employee Benefit Planning for Business Owners and Key Employees...23 Salary Continuation Programs...28 Executive Bonus Programs...35 The Application/Post-Sale Process Taking the Application...39 Delivery...40 Service...41 Disability Insurance Claims Process...43 i

3 Introduction The late Dr. Solomon S. Huebner, noted insurance educator and father of the CLU movement, once stated, He who becomes a living death, totally and permanently, is just as dead economically as he who is actually dead. The difference between the living death under conditions of permanency and the actual death is only six feet of sod. And, if anything, the living death is the worst economically. These are strong words, but unfortunately, they re very true. The following are actual words from a Disability policy holder: The doctors saved my husband s life physically, but the Disability Benefits saved him financially. This eloquently sums up the essence of disability income insurance disability insurance benefits save people s lives financially. When a person becomes too sick or hurt to work, his or her role shifts from being a producer of income to being a consumer and a dependent. The loss of income due to disability can be devastating to the family structure, both economically and emotionally. When a disability strikes, the person s income stream declines or stops altogether. Yet, normal expenses, such as mortgage payments, car payments, and utility bills continue. In addition, other expenses tend to increase medical bills and additional transportation expenses. The purpose of this guide is to serve as a roadmap to helping people make intelligent decisions regarding their financial life in the event they become too sick or hurt to work. In short, this guide should help you help people set and achieve their financial goals, as they apply to disability. 1

4 Personal Market The Need Disability insurance products cover three primary needs the need for personal income, the need to pay business expenses, and the need to provide the funds to buy out a disabled business owner. In this guide, we ll look at the need to provide your prospects with an income should they become too sick or hurt to work. Many of the concepts discussed will also apply to business owners. Consider how you might use them with a business owner as you cover the material. People naturally insure their home, car and personal property, yet ironically never think of insuring the one thing that provides all of these things their income. Earnings are the foundation of an individual s financial life. The ability to earn an income provides for daily necessities, plus goals and dreams for the future. A person s income is his or her financial foundation. If this foundation is disrupted by even a short disability, goals and dreams may be jeopardized. 2

5 Personal Market Many people also kid themselves by thinking, Because I d be less active, I d have fewer expenses. Unfortunately, the reverse is more often the case. The majority of a person s living expenses continue, such as rent, car payments, insurance, food, etc. Plus, additional expenses are incurred for medical treatment and special equipment or assistance, which may be needed. Alternative Sources of Income When a person becomes disabled, what alternative income sources will he or she have? Savings. Will there be enough? What about the original plans for the money home, education, business opportunities, travel, and retirement? Could this money be accumulated again? Most people have savings to cover less than 6 months of expenses. Source: Business Almanac, 1997 Social Security. To qualify, an individual must be so severely impaired (physically or mentally) that he or she cannot perform any substantial gainful work. The impairment must be expected to last at least 12 months or result in death. And he or she must be totally disabled for five full, consecutive calendar months before benefits begin. Source: Guide to Social Security and Medicare, April Social Security initially denies about 65% of all disability claims. Source: Social Security Forum Vol. 21 No. 5 May 1999 (for fiscal year 1998). Group Long-Term Disability (LTD) Insurance. Will it be enough since the benefits are taxable? Does it have the needed features? Will the employee always stay in his or her current job? Is the policy portable? State Disability Insurance. Five states provide a short term (6-12 months) benefit. Will it be enough? What happens if the disability lasts longer than the benefits? 3

6 Personal Market Borrow. With no income and no certainty the loan could be repaid, who would loan money? Could someone disabled afford the loan repayments? Relatives, friends, charity. Can they be relied on? For how long? Workers Compensation. This only covers employees for job-related accidents or illnesses. Chance of Disability Given the alternatives, most agree there s only one choice disability income insurance. But will they need it? After all, what are the chances they ll be disabled? Most people buy life insurance because they know they re going to die. But do they realize the chance of disability before age 65 is greater than death? Age Number of Disabilities per 1000 lives Number of Deaths per 1000 lives Disability vs. Death Ratio to to to to l to l to I to 1 During the course of your career, you are three and a half times more likely to be injured and need disability insurance coverage than you are to die and need life insurance. Source: Health Insurance Association of America, What is the chance of having at least one long-term disability that lasts three months or longer before reaching age 65? Age Probability 25 44% 35 41% 45 36% 55 27% One chance in two? One in four? So maybe one in four of your prospects will get disabled. How long would that disability last? After all, a broken leg only takes 2-4 months to heal. 4

7 Personal Market Age What is the chance of being disabled for life? Average Duration of a Disability Duration years years years years years years years Age Lifetime Disability 25 25% 35 28% 45 33% 55 40% Source: Commissioner s Individual Disability Tables Role of Disability Income Insurance Disability income (DI) insurance plays an important role in your prospects financial plans. Primarily, it replaces a percentage of their income. What does that mean to them? They ll be able to live as independent a lifestyle as their disability permits, with the dignity of not being financially dependent on the kindness of friends and family. Their families won t have the double disruption of a disability and moving from the neighborhood and schools that provide them with a sense of belonging and security. They may still be able to help provide their children with a quality education, and with proper planning, retire with dignity. Why Sell DI Insurance? Imagine you re an average manager, professional or business owner... except for one thing. You just woke up in a hospital and your spouse and children are waiting in your room unaware of your awakening. You overhear the doctor say, We re just not sure how long it will take to recover. It ll be at least six months but it might take years, if ever. Your spouse sees you awake, overjoyed that you re still alive. You start to think about how you ll ever make it financially. You met with your financial representative just a few months ago. Surely, your insurance program covers this doesn t it? 5

8 Personal Market Now you re you again, safely back in your office reading this guide. That was scary. The phone rings. You pick up the phone and it s your client on the other end, asking that question, Does the insurance and investment program you set up for me cover disability? How much will I get? And when? My spouse really wants to know. Your answer? There are many reasons to sell disability income insurance: Benefits To You Peace of mind you know you ll have the right answer when the phone rings Minimize competition by meeting prospects needs, it s less likely another financial representative will replace your business Maximize compensation by cross-selling products, you ll increase your average commission per sales call Benefits To Your Prospects Peace of mind they ll have the money they need when they need it most Protect savings and investments they ll reduce the chances of being forced to sell assets in a down market Protect their insurability how many people get healthier as they get older? By purchasing disability income insurance now, they ll have coverage when they need it most Pre-approach Marketing disability income insurance isn t an event; it s a process. It starts the first time the potential client hears your name, and, if you re lucky, never ends. Marketing continues with each contact you have, whether it s to prospect, conduct a fact-finding interview, sell or service. What are you marketing? Yourself. Your product. Your expertise and professionalism. As we proceed through this marketing guide, consider how you ll address each of these factors. Write down your ideas and thoughts, names of qualified suspects, and how you might approach some of the issues raised. Who is Your Disability Income Insurance Prospect? A discussion of focus marketing is beyond the scope of this guide. However, many elements of focus marketing are key to success in marketing DI. The first one of which is fit. Your prospects must be a good fit for DI product that you are proposing profitable for you, and profitable for the insurer. If they aren t a good fit, your chances for success are remote at best. 6

9 Personal Market Find a group or segment that: You can see on a favorable basis (they ll give you the time, information and trust you need to be effective). Communicates with each other (they ll promote you among other members of the group). Has the desire and ability to purchase financial products (individuals without the resources or character to purchase insurance cannot help you or them). Provides a reasonable chance to be underwritten on a standard basis (those that present high or unreasonable medical, occupational or financial risks to the company won t be profitable for any of the parties involved). Second, you should be interested in working with the prospects. To maximize your effectiveness, you ll need to work with this group over a long period of time. If you enjoy working with the people you have as clients, you ll be more successful. Enough theory. What should you start doing? Look at your own clients and prospects. Do they fit the criteria listed? If they don t own DI yet, they re the first and best place to start. We ll discuss how later. For now, add them to your list. Where else should you look? Identify opportunities to introduce yourself to groups that fit the criteria. You may feel comfortable working the more traditional markets of accountants, attorneys, doctors and dentists. However, in some areas, these market segments may be saturated, or there may not be enough of them to constitute a viable group for you. Consider forgotten markets. Often producers look at a particular business and decide not to call on them because a number of the employees are in a lower occupation class or are uninsurable. An example might be a trucking firm (truck drivers aren t insurable). But virtually all of these businesses have middle managers, office staff and owners who are insurable, yet often overlooked. Approach The method you use for the pre-approach often dictates how you handle the approach. For example, if you do a seminar on using financial needs analysis to identify, quantify and take action on needs, showing up at the first appointment with a hot new sales concept may seriously undermine your relationship and credibility with a prospect. Conversely, if you tell the prospect you ll only take 15 minutes, spending an hour completing the Confidential Survey may be equally counterproductive. 7

10 Personal Market There are two ways to approach your prospect a sales concept approach or a needs analysis approach. We ll look at each and discuss the advantages and disadvantages. They re often most effective when used in concert doing a needs analysis followed by a sales concept to address specific sticking points. You could also use a sales concept as the approach and transition to a needs analysis if that makes sense. Sales Concepts Many feel comfortable selling disability income insurance using a sales concept approach. Simply defined, a sales concept approach assumes the prospect has a need, recognizes the need and only needs to be motivated to take action to meet the need. Generally, one need is addressed at a time. Disability income insurance often is a good door opener because: 1. Relatively few people have it. 2. Not many have ever had it explained to them. 3. Anything affecting one s earnings is important. 4. One can see a personal benefit...the protection of income. 5. Many that have incomes to protect may not have family obligations, making life insurance seem less important. Here are some examples: Earnings Exposure. What ll your prospects do if they re too sick or hurt to work? If it s hard to live within their income, how would they live without it? Your prospects most important asset is their ability to work and earn income. A potential loss of $1 million or more says a lot! By capitalizing their earnings to age 65, your prospects will get a clearer picture of the risk. What is your prospects earnings exposure? Use the following chart to determine their risk. Potential Earnings to Age 65 Annual Income Age $25,000 $50,000 $75,000 $100,000 $150,000 $200, $2,258,000 $4,516,000 $6,774,000 $7,076,000 $13,548,000 $18,064, ,661,000 3,322,000 4,983,000 6,644,000 9,966,000 13,288, ,193,000 2,386,000 3,380,000 4,773,000 7,159,000 9,545, ,000 1,653,000 2,480,000 3,307,000 4,596,000 6,613, ,000 1,079,000 1,618,000 2,158,000 3,237,000 4,316, , , ,000 1,258,000 1,887,000 2,516, , , , , ,000 1,105,000 Three Most Important Assets Question to client I m going to list three assets. You rank them in order of importance to you: Your house, your car and your ability to work and earn income. 8

11 Personal Market You can expect a response of something like, my ability to earn a living, my house and then my car. (Your client has just told you himself that his ability to earn an income is his most important asset.) Question to client Of those assets, which are fully insured? The client s response is sure to be, my house and car. (Your client has just identified a gap in his or her coverage.) Long Vacation. Are your prospects prepared to take a long vacation? Most people probably plan ahead, even for a short vacation! They know where they re going how long they ll stay, and how much money they ll spend. But, they may not have planned ahead for the unexpected vacation... a long-term disability. While medical science has made tremendous advances in treating the conditions listed below, their impact on your prospects lives could be a surprise. The good news...they re less likely to have their life shortened by one of the major killers of the past. But, the progress made in keeping them alive means accepting the bad news...they re more likely to face a long-term disability as a result of these former killers. Ask your prospects what it would be like to take an unpaid vacation for six months...or even longer? By planning ahead with disability income insurance, they won t have to worry! A New Job. A way to sell prospects on the benefits of a disability income insurance policy is to offer them a new job. To do this, a few figures are needed from your prospect: the prospect s annual income, the annual premium of the policy you re proposing, and the benefit amount of the policy expressed in annual terms. For example, assume your prospect earns $50,000 per year. You re proposing a $2,500 per month benefit for an annual premium of $1,000. From this information, you can draw the following scenario*: Annual Salary Income While Sick or Hurt Company A $50,000 $0 Company B $49,000 $30,000 *This is a hypothetical example only. Mr./Ms. Prospect, assume you decided to work for me, and I offered you a job in one of two identical companies: Company A or Company B. If you had the choice of working for one of these two companies, which would you rather work for? This simple and effective technique can be very successful when telling your prospects about the need for a quality disability income program. Try this method sometime. It works! 9

12 Personal Market Each of these sales concepts addresses the prospect s reluctance to purchase disability coverage by positioning the lack of owning disability income insurance as illogical. Many prospects are motivated by this tact. These sales concepts work best with prospects whose primary motivator is logic. Additional advantages to using a sales concept approach include: Simplicity Often visual Not time consuming easy to produce Easy to understand There are also a number of disadvantages to using a pure sales concept approach. Lack of information about the prospect s situation, including their feelings and biases, may lead you to an erroneous conclusion Lack of coordination with existing resources may cause you to overstate the need By addressing only one need, you may leave other needs uncovered, opening the door to your competition, ultimately resulting in the replacement of your business Lack of apparent willingness to invest your time in the prospect may lead to little commitment on their part to you as their financial services representative or to keeping their policy in-force For those who are more motivated by emotion, a needs analysis approach may be more effective. While logic plays an important role in the needs analysis process, the emotional commitment created by an in-depth discussion of the prospect s needs, resources and feelings are critical. Needs Analysis You haven t been feeling well lately and the doctor s appointment came just in the nick of time. Even though you had to take time out from your busy schedule, you think it should be time well spent. After all, nobody likes feeling poorly. The doctor comes into the room. Her face is unemotional. Looks like we ll have to do surgery immediately, she says. Your face betrays your puzzlement. She hasn t even examined you yet. What do you mean? you say, You don t even know what s wrong yet. All I told your nurse was that I had a pain here, you say, pointing. Aren t you going to run some tests? No time, she responds. Besides, I ve found that surgery is usually called for. So we re going to use the latest techniques in laser surgery. We ll go in, look around and I m sure we ll find something. I ll see you in O.R. in about an hour. How would you feel about your doctor after this conversation? Are you interested in getting another opinion? How does this example relate to needs analysis? Needs analysis takes a 10

13 Personal Market different approach to selling. It focuses on gathering enough facts and feelings from the prospect to make a proper diagnosis. The power of needs analysis lies in the involvement of the prospect in setting his or her financial goals. The prospect s responses to your questions provide a checklist of features to be included (or excluded) from the ultimate solution. Involving prospects in a discussion of their needs incorporates the important psychological process of visualization. By verbalizing the needs, hopes and fears they have for the future, prospects become more involved in achieving their financial goals. They see themselves at retirement; they mentally watch their children graduate from college; and in this case, they see the effects of not having income if they became too sick or hurt to work. Other advantages of needs analysis include: The opportunity to discover and meet multiple needs Adding value by explaining the prospect s other disability benefits: group LTD, Social Security, state DI Uncovering roadblocks to implementing your solution such as health conditions or lack of discretionary income Identifying potential referrals to others Positioning yourself as a professional resource for a variety of insurance products and financial services The needs analysis approach begins with the interview, which lays a foundation for a solid, longterm relationship. Then, sales concepts may be used to answer objections or questions, reinforce key points or educate the prospect. This combination appeals to both the logical and emotional sides of the prospect. Since you ll often be with more than one decision maker in the interview, a combination of needs analysis and sales concepts will help ensure you ve met the needs of both. A presentation that appeals to the widest variety of senses and buyers styles will have the best chance of being accepted if the decision makers differ in the way they reach decisions. The Interview Successful producers have long known the disability income insurance sale is made in the interview. The interview is where you: Uncover the prospect s feelings about the need for income during disability and their biases and previous experiences that may present roadblocks to implementing the solution 11

14 Personal Market Record occupational, medical, and financial information (including existing insurance coverage) that helps you accurately determine the availability, amount and occupation class, as well as prepare the prospect for potential ratings and riders Educate the prospect and elicit objections or concerns It s important to note that while you may know the prospect has a need, a sale won t be made until they know they have a need. Facts and Feelings The best way to gather the information you need is to use a financial needs analysis. This will help you compile not only the hard facts but also the prospect s feelings about the issues. The facts will determine what you show in the demonstration step. By doing a thorough job of obtaining the facts, you may uncover enough resources (sick days, savings, existing policies) to help you provide benefits that match the prospect s situation best. The feelings will help determine how you show the solution. By asking the questions on the financial needs analysis, you ll have more chances to discover what will work in the demonstration. Your prospect may have had bad experiences with insurance producers or products before. Perhaps he or she misunderstood what they were getting, or perhaps the policy just didn t perform the way it was illustrated. Conversely, they may have had good experiences with a producer who left the business or moved away. Either of these will tell you a lot about how your prospect wants to be treated. Occupational Information Prospects are classified by their occupation. The classification affects the premium, the amount of coverage available, the availability of benefit riders, and the policy available. When determining the prospect s occupation class, you should review their duties, as well as the job title. How long they ve been employed in their current occupation, combined with income history and duties, will determine the occupation class. In some cases, you may also want to determine where they do their work in the office or in the field. Refer to the carrier's Occ.Guide or call DRG for assistance. Medical Information The medical information you uncover will help both you and the prospect avoid unpleasant surprises. A history of back problems, for instance, will help you position a rider on the policy that limits benefits for the condition. Other conditions such as high blood pressure or obesity will prompt you to prepare the prospect for an extra premium. Be sure to follow-up indications of health history with questions such as: Tell me more about that. When were you last treated? Did you take any medication? 12

15 Personal Market Financial Information To avoid misunderstandings or over-insurance, a copy of your client s tax returns are required with any application. You ll need to identify earned and unearned income and significant changes in income. Earned income is key in determining the amount of coverage available. However, substantial unearned income (i.e., dividend and interest income, net rentals...) could impact this amount. Determine whether or not a track record of income exists. Fluctuations as the result of a new job or new occupation, or part-time or seasonal work, need to be documented so you can adequately prepare the case for underwriting and avoid any unpleasant surprises for you, the prospect or the underwriter. Accurate financial information helps you design a solution that meets the prospect s needs within the underwriting guidelines. Finally, you ll need to find out what other policies the prospect may already have. The elimination period, benefit period and amount, as well as whether or not the benefits are paid for by their employer (taxable) or paid personally (non-taxable). You ll also need to determine whether or not existing benefits are integrated with Social Security. Educate the Prospect During the interview, you have many opportunities to educate your prospect and build your professional credibility. Taxability, mentioned in the previous paragraph, is an example. Prospects may feel their group disability benefits are adequate. When you inform them the government will be first in line to get some of their benefits in the form of income taxes, the remaining 40-50% of what they re currently making may not be enough. Other opportunities might be explaining: how their group disability benefits work, including whether benefits increase with inflation; why Social Security or Workers Compensation may not provide the safety net the prospect anticipates; or how the taxability of benefits affects the amount of income they may need to replace. Before asking disability income insurance needs questions, start with a question that reveals the prospect s general attitudes about disability, such as, What plans have you made to replace your income if you became too sick or hurt to work? You ll often find individuals haven t made any plans! Prospects may respond to your question in several different ways. You ll need to probe their responses further. Some responses will be quite legitimate, while others will reflect a lack of information or are purely a way to avoid addressing the issue. A few of the most frequent responses are: I can use my savings to replace lost income. Restate to the prospect the amount of savings available based on information from the 13

16 Personal Market financial needs analysis. Is it sufficient? What about the plans that money was going to be used for? Even if the prospect has been saving 10% of income each year, one year of total disability could wipe out 10 years of savings! Remember, however, that you re not trying to sell at this point, only point out that their savings may need to be supplemented at a minimum. I could borrow money from family or friends. Who would lend someone money without the assurance they could pay it back? The amount of money needed may be quite substantial. Potentially, the prospect will need enough money to cover expenses five or 10 years...or even longer. (Talk about the prospect s earnings exposure, especially with younger individuals.) I could borrow money from a bank. What bank will lend money to someone unable to work? Making a request for a loan at time of disability may even cause existing loans to be called to protect the bank. I could liquidate investments. If investments were liquidated, would the prospect receive full value, especially if invested in stocks and mutual funds? Consider what could happen if the stock market is down or the real estate market is depressed when this money is needed. What if the prospect was forced to sell at a loss? What Benefits are Needed? It s important to discuss all of the disability benefits your prospect may have available including personal and group policies, salary continuation programs and sick days. Having identified these will help you design the solution that best meets their needs. It will also help you avoid surprises when you complete the application and during the underwriting process. All of the information uncovered in the interview is important to the next step designing the solution. Prospects won t agree with your recommendation until they recognize the need themselves. The answers to the questions below will get the prospect thinking about income protection and will give you the information you need to design the appropriate solution to meet their needs. 1. How long could you live off of your reserves before disability benefits begin? 2. If you were to become disabled today, how much income would you need per month before taxes? Client A: 14

17 Personal Market Client B: 3. Would it be important for your benefits to keep up with inflation? Yes No 4. Current Disability Income Insurance Policies Insured Company Group/ Personal Waiting Period Benefit Period Monthly Benefit Annual Premium Client A Client B 5. Income History Current Last Two Year Year Years Ago Client A Employment Income Client A Bonus Client B Employment Income Client B Bonus Investment Income Other Designing the Solution After completing these questions, you should be ready to design the solution. The solution should combine the facts on the prospect into a comprehensive program which best meets the prospect s needs. Designing the solution is easy; the major design factors that need to be considered are the elimination period, monthly benefit, benefit period and optional riders. Refer to the questions above to find the answers. Elimination Period Deciding on an elimination period is important since it determines when benefits become payable. Starting benefits too early (30 day elimination period instead of 90 days) means a higher premium. But beginning benefits too late may mean a serious shortage of coverage at the worst possible time. A 90-day elimination period is often suggested for two reasons. First, most prospects have adequate resources to self-insure for the first three months, for example, sick leave or shortterm disability from work, savings... In addition, the 90-day elimination period is cost effective. 15

18 Personal Market The longer the elimination period, the lower the premium. This is because the incidence of claims drops dramatically as the length of the elimination period increases. A longer elimination period will help reduce the premium when necessary, or allow a higher monthly benefit or benefit extending riders to be purchased with the premium saved. However, the decision will be based on the prospect s needs he or she will need sufficient cash or other resources to last until benefits are eligible to be paid. Maximum Monthly Benefit The maximum monthly benefit is the maximum benefit available based on the prospect s income and disability income insurance in force. The benefit may be comprised of two parts: Disability Base Benefit and a Social Insurance Substitute Benefit. The Disability Base Benefit is the benefit payable in addition to other sources of income (i.e. sick leave, Social Security, Workers Compensation...). The Social Insurance Substitute Benefit is an option that provides benefits when Social Security doesn t pay. Many people believe Social Security will pay benefits in the event of disability. Unfortunately, that s not always true. The definition of disability as used by Social Security is the inability to perform substantial gainful activity by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment which is expected to end in death or has lasted or can be expected to last for a period of not less than 12 continuous months. In addition, there s a waiting period of five full consecutive calendar months before benefits begin. These restrictions typically eliminate a large portion of potential claims. Social Security initially denies about 65 percent of all disability claims. Source: Social Security Forum, Volume 21, No. 5 May 1999 (for fiscal year 1998). When reviewing your prospect s current coverage, discuss how Social Security may not provide benefits. The SIS benefit fills gaps left when Social Security doesn t pay. Since Social Security does provide benefits in certain situations, the SIS premium is lower than the Disability Benefit premium. Benefit Period The benefit period is the maximum length of time benefits are paid for each continuous disability. If you recall, the average duration of a disability is four to six years, depending on a person s age. Unfortunately, some use this statistic to justify a five-year benefit period. However, keep in mind this statistic is an average; some disabilities may be shorter than this, while others may be much longer. Does a prospect s need for disability income protection stop after five years? For most prospects, we recommend the longest benefit period available. If cost is an issue, consider 16

19 Personal Market lengthening the elimination period. It s much easier for most people to self-fund a longer elimination period than a short benefit period. Demonstration The demonstration is a culmination of the interview, case design and preparation. If the work in these three phases is solid, the demonstration should flow well and result in a simple close. Before the demonstration appointment, review the material you ll show the prospect. Is the information correct? Do you have enough copies of the demonstration for everyone to see it easily? If you want the prospect to write or highlight as you re talking, are the pens, paper and highlighters there and in good working condition? Do you have the forms and validation material you need in the file or within easy reach? Do you have phone numbers for medical examiners so you can easily schedule an exam? You ll create your own checklist to fit your needs as you conduct a number of DI demonstrations. With everything ready, you can focus on the demonstration. Begin by asking the prospect if there have been any changes since your last meeting. You re looking for new information they may have remembered or for changes in attitudes. If there are any, you ll need to assess the effect, if any, on the material you ve prepared. If the effect is significant, suggest rescheduling the appointment so you can put together a program that best meets their needs. Often, their response will be, We discussed it after we left, and we re interested in seeing your recommendation. Having cleared the air, proceed into the demonstration by reviewing the basic information you ve used to prepare the solutions. Be sure to phrase it in terms they used. For example, When we met last time, you said you wanted to be sure you had money after your sick days and vacation ran out, which is about four months. I ve designed the policy with a 90-day elimination period, so you ll be eligible to receive your first check in about 120 days. Does that still make sense? Or, You were concerned about whether you d ever qualify for Social Security disability benefits. I ve included our Social Insurance Substitute Benefit to help be sure you have the money you need. What this means to you is if you re disabled and Social Security doesn t pay, we will. By restating the prospect s needs in their terms, it tells them you ve listened. While you review the concerns or needs the prospect expressed, you also have a chance to focus on policy benefits rather than just features. 17

20 Personal Market Validation Validation takes place throughout the demonstration, and in fact, throughout all of your meetings with the prospect. You may need to validate yourself, the need, why the solution fits or why your prospect should buy from you. Try to anticipate what the prospect s concerns might be from what you learned in the interview and prepare for them ahead of time. In fact, you may want to bring up the objection yourself. For example, you may say, In thinking through our meeting today, I thought you may be wondering, If I buy this policy, what happens if I change jobs? You can follow up by explaining the benefits of owning a policy that is non-cancelable, guaranteed renewable. Telling a prospect you ve tried to anticipate his or her needs helps validate you as a professional. Explaining the benefits validates the policy you re offering. Often, it s helpful to show the prospect where it shows the benefits you re discussing in a sample policy or illustration. Negotiation Despite your best preparation, the prospect may decide he or she can t or won t buy the policy as presented but is interested in what other options are available. In this situation, your negotiation skills will be required to find a solution both you and the prospect can feel good about. Negotiation takes many forms in the DI demonstration, from alternate premium and benefit amounts, to buying part of the needed coverage from a group disability program they re eligible for and part from you. As you did in the validation step, anticipate what issues are most likely to be negotiated and prepare some options. Close After negotiating the best solution, the next step is to close. The effort expended in the interview process is ultimately directed toward this one result. The difficult aspect is timing. A sense of proper timing comes from attentive listening and experience. Trying to close too early may cause a prospect to feel pressured. Waiting too long may result in the prospect feeling you aren t paying close enough attention. Either may result in a lost sale. Common Objections At this point, the prospect may raise additional objections: I m paying so much for insurance already, I just can t see spending any more. What does the prospect pay to insure other assets their home, cars? What are these assets worth? What are the potential earnings of the prospect? 18

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