I know that when I am shopping for something, for instance a car, I am very straight forward, even blunt, about what I want and how much I am willing to spend. I let the sales person know that it’s OK if they can’t meet my needs, but that changing anything I’ve told them is the end of the conversation. I have a mission and a budget and if I can’t accomplish the mission within the budget, well, I drove there in a car and I can drive home in that same car.
Sales education has always been about “the close” and how, if the sales agent can get you emotionally attached to the sale and emotionally detached from your goals, your lines in the sand, they win. I get multiple emails a day about how to sell more life insurance by purchasing this book or attending that seminar. “Become the closer you always wanted to be.” What a bunch of crap. The only reason you would have to close a sale is because you haven’t heard what your client is saying and/or you are desperate.
The five people that follow my blog know that I have been on a quest recently to determine if “becoming your own bank” or “infinite banking” through the use of dividend paying whole life insurance is viable for someone my age, 58. Not that I don’t care about younger people and whether it works for them, but I figure if it can be part of righting my ship at this point in life, then, well, that’s a pretty good test of the concept. To that end I have spent the last few months talking to different agents who are supposedly some of the best in this particular use of life insurance.
I put myself in the shoes of the life insurance consumer and went out and laid out my needs, my goals and my budget to several staunch advocates of infinite banking, the most recent being the president of Becoming Your Own Banker, David Stearns. Without fail, the commonality with every one of them was that they got that I had needs and goals, but really turned a deaf ear to my budget. With each of these insurance professionals I made it very clear that if I made certain financial moves I could free up $2000 a month, $24000 a year to put into a whole life policy. I was very clear that within that budget I wanted to accomplish as much as I could.
Frankly I started out as a skeptic, never having been a fan of whole life ever in my life, so if they could accomplish some of what my goals were, well that might be worth looking at. If they could accomplish everything, I was sold. This was all done over the phone and I could tell that they were listening, because as they wrote things down they were actually repeating them back to me for accuracy sake I assume. But with each idea, including the one from David Stearns, my budget was either immediately busted or busted within a few years. With Mr Stearns my budget was toast as soon as the policy went in force.
Whether it is life insurance for someone over 50, or term life insurance for a young family or a $100 million dollar international business life insurance, you need to expect the same thing from your life insurance agent, your financial adviser. My personal and professional recommendation if you feel you have laid out your needs, goals and budget clearly is that if they step over the line on your budget, you need to give some thought to whether you want them advising you. There are plenty of things Dave Ramsey and I agree on, and one of the most important of those is sticking to a budget.
Bottom line. Is your financial adviser listening to you? Is your life insurance agent hearing you clearly and presenting you with options that meet your needs? Let me say, just like the car salesman, if they can’t do it within your budget, that’s OK. Tell them thanks for their effort and resume your hunt. If you have any questions and especially if you have had a life insurance agent try to bust your budget, call or email me directly. Let’s talk.