I had a guy in his mid 40’s call me several months ago. His wife had broached the subject of life insurance with him, suggesting correctly that if he were to die unexpectedly she and the kids were going to have a rough time. While he was doing well in his job, his family had used that platform to jump into a large mortgage and while there was some retirement building, it wasn’t enough to pay off that mortgage or provide any meaningful income for the family. So that premature death would likely mean losing the house and down grading their dreams for the future. With no life insurance his passing would be a real game changer for the family, his wife and children, that he had taken on as his responsibility. So I provided him quotes for $1 million of life insurance whose premium barely touched his income, the premium being about 1/200th of his annual take home pay.
I stayed in touch with him for a month while he went through all of the standard excuses, busy at work, out of town, vacation, too busy taking kids to ball practice, etc. Then after he didn’t respond to my last 3 phone calls and emails I closed his file and sent him a note saying that I would love to earn his business, but I wasn’t going to do it by beating him to death with attempts to communicate. This is pretty typical for those in their 30’s and 40’s who are really healthy and, frankly, no matter how they try to make it fit into their mindset, it’s a waste because they’re immortal until it comes close to them.
He called about three weeks ago and said he wanted to get that life insurance process started so I updated his health information and sent out new quotes. He apologized for leaving me hanging and I explained that to me, in the whole scheme of things it really didn’t matter, but for the sake of his family I was glad he was back. I told him all he needed to do to get the ball rolling was to complete and submit a life insurance application request form. I’ve left a few messages since then asking if he had any questions or needed any additional information and didn’t hear from him. Having been down this road with him before I emailed and let him know I wasn’t going to bug him anymore, that when he was ready just send the form on.
He called about 10 minutes after I sent the email apologizing profusely and saying that I would have the form today. He asked a few questions and just as we were wrapping up he said, “There’s something I need to tell you. A friend of mine from work died last week of a heart attack. He was only 46 and played sports. He was healthy. Thanks for being persistent. Death at my age just didn’t seem real to me until now……”. I’ve seen all sorts of closing techniques to help people who haven’t experienced death in someone close to them. I remember 30 years ago watching a mentor as we met with a husband and wife at their home ask the husband to get up and go in the kitchen. While he was there he was asked to give some thought to what would happen to his family if it wasn’t just the kitchen, but a coffin that he was in. While he was gone my mentor asked the wife how things would change if he really was in a coffin and not the kitchen. It was effective and they bought life insurance. A year later they dropped the insurance. They got it for that instant, but in the absence of an unexpected death among their friends or family it lost its’ meaning.
Bottom line. That’s why I don’t using closing techniques with anyone. I stay in touch. I answer their questions and when they lose interest I tell them where to find me if things change. I make it easy to apply and give great customer service and in my blog I make it clear that I think anyone who has responsibilities that would cause a financial hardship for someone else if they died, should take the responsibility seriously and get life insurance. If you have questions about your mortality or your responsibilities, talk to your wife or your parents. If you have questions about the reality of what life insurance can do, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.