Q: Convincing prospects to buy long-term care insurance requires explaining a lot of important information. In what order should the information be presented?
A: Your goal during the appointment is to provide enough generic education to convince the prospect of the need, while avoiding information overload. I prefer the traditional method of presenting, where you have a track to run on. Even if the client asks questions, which is your goal, and you get off on a tangent, you return to your track and cover the rest of the important information before the close. Sharing this approach is Brian Johnson, director of business development at National Long-Term Care Brokers in Albany, N.Y. He uses what he calls the "Six Phases."
Phase 1: Asking questions
The goal is to get the clients talking. Your questions should help them discover why they need the insurance and the implications of not having a solution. Our job then becomes to show them that LTC protection is the best solution for them.
Phase 2: What is LTC?
I suggest using both a traditional definition and a practical one. Example--to better understand LTC, think of the activities you performed when you woke up this morning: climbed out of bed, walked to the bathroom, used the toilet, bathed or showered, dressed and ate breakfast.
Phase 3: Why plan for LTC?
Costs--discuss the national averages and the local costs for home health care, assisted living and nursing homes. Then briefly discuss Medicare, Medicaid, using your own assets and LTCI. Explain why the insurance is the best answer.
Phase 4: Benefit options
Provide guidelines for selecting the most appropriate benefit period, daily benefit, elimination and inflation protection.
Phase 5: Asking for the sale and closing
The question changes from, "Will you buy?" to, "What plan do you feel works best for you and your family?"
Phase 6: Selecting the plan
Complete the application and explain the underwriting process. They have to medically qualify.
When discussing plan design with prospects, show them good, better and best plans. That way, they can decide what plan is most appropriate for their budgets and objectives.