Overcoming The “Insurance Is Just Another Bill” Mindset
“Insurance is just another bill. Another bill is the last thing I need.”
As a financial advisor, you may have had clients who have expressed this mindset to you. At the very least, the vast majority are thinking it prior to sitting down with you.
In the last Open Office for P2P Academy members, I had a ton of questions on topics like setting goals, hiring staff, overcoming objections and more. Additionally, I received the question that’s the topic for this article: “How do you help clients understand that insurance is not just another bill?”
This can be frustrating for advisors to deal with as, from their perspective, the answer is obvious. Insurance isn’t just another bill! The premium is not the problem. It’s the solution to the problem.
However, it’s the advisors’ jobs to help their clients see it from that perspective too. And, in order to accomplish this, there are three things advisors must do.
1) Seek To Understand Their Client’s Story
First, it’s up to you to go beyond the numbers and really understand your client’s story. Too many advisors focus strictly on the financial numbers – their client’s income, assets, liabilities and insurance.
They operate in a logical business only; their questions are superficial and they form transactional relationships with their clients. In order to elevate your practice to the next level, you need to strive to develop transformational relationships. A transformational relationship has a foundation built on trust, emotional connection, understanding, partnership and caring.
The path to getting there is asking really good questions and follow up questions, being 100% present in your meetings, giving the gift of your undivided attention, and truly listening.
An example of the types of questions you can ask to build transformational relationships include:
• Are Mom and Dad still living?
• Are they retired?
• What can you tell me about their retirement?
• Are they financially secure?
• If they’re comfortable, what do you think contributed to that?
• If they’re not comfortable, why is that?
It’s these types of questions that will give you insight into your client’s story, what’s important to them, and the motivating factors behind their decision making. When it comes time to recommend or implement your financial plan, you’ll be able to connect your plan to why it’s important to them versus only explaining why YOU think it makes financial sense.
2) Address The Emotional Aspects
Once you understand your client’s story, now you need to make sure your plan connects to the emotional aspects of it. As a personal example, my parents ended up in a long-term care facility. One thing that I will never forget is the smell walking in to the facility. That alone is enough to motivate me to make sure I never end up in one.
Top advisors are able to sit down with their clients, ask the questions like the ones above, and uncover the story. Once they have that, there’s no real “selling” that needs to occur. All they would have to do is remind me of my parents’ situation and my experience visiting them.
This is exponentially more persuasive than anything that an advisor could come up with on their own. Reminding me of this experience makes it personal and real. The advisor isn’t telling me that long-term care insurance is important – they’re simply holding up a mirror that reflects back to me what I already told them was important.
3) Connect The Dots
It’s up to you to always remember to connect the dots from meeting to meeting with your clients. During my years as an advisor, my client meetings consisted of a fact finding/ data gather meeting, a planning meeting, an implementation meeting and then annual review meetings.
Clients are busy people and it’s a mistake to assume that the stories, emotions, and reasoning for financial planning will be remembered every time you meet with your clients. Most clients will not remember everything you went over from a fact-finding meeting, even if it was only a week or so ago.
That’s why I highly recommend that you start your planning and implementation meetings with a brief, executive summary of what was discussed in your prior meetings. This not only shows that you really listened to everything they told you previously, but it’s also an opportunity to bring the client back to the stories and emotions that are the motivation behind their financial plan. For more on this topic, see my article on How To Open Your Planning Meetings.
Overcoming the “Insurance Is Just A Bill” Mindset
The best way to overcome the “insurance is just another bill” mindset is to never have it come up in the first place. If the steps above are not addressed, there’s a high likelihood that clients will have some second guessing when it comes time to take action.
However, by understanding their story, connecting their emotions to the plan, and bringing them back to it in your planning, implementation and annual review meetings, clients will realize that insurance is not just another bill. They’ll come to this realization not because of your language, sales skills or persuasiveness, but because you helped them verbalize what’s important to them and uncover their truth.