While it’s true that, unless a well-known celebrity dies, very few people wake up in the morning and think “I must buy some life assurance or critical illness protection”, is it really true that protection needs the hard sell to get someone to buy it?
It clearly requires a different skill to arranging a mortgage but experience has shown that really educating a client about protection can be incredibly effective.
It is fair to say that most people know little about protection products and understand even less. Therefore, helping to close this knowledge gap can often replace the need to “sell”.
Talking from personal experience, what we have found most effective is talking to clients about protection right from the very first meeting about a mortgage. Even when doing the ESIS, flagging up that a client will need at least £50 per month on top of their mortgage sets their expectation for their outgoings.
Honesty is paramount here. It’s not saying that protection is mandatory, but it is highlighting the importance of it right from the very beginning. By talking to a client, right at the start of the mortgage process, about the benefits of taking protection and the risk of not having the protection in place, they can make their own minds up.
Once they understand the importance of protection, clients can choose their own affordability.
If a client is “sold” the most expensive product, particularly without truly understanding the worth of it, they are likely to cancel it at some point in the future and the adviser will get a commission clawback.
By creating an environment where the client is actually choosing to buy the protection because they understand the need and have set their own budget then they not only keep the policy in place, but willingly review and upgrade it as their circumstances change and their family grows.
Presenting all the facts
The key approach that we have adopted is making sure the client receives all relevant information about the type of protection and the policy they are taking, so they can never hear something about their cover elsewhere that may change their mind.
If they have all the information upfront, then they are both informed and educated. This leads to clients themselves then spreading the word to their friends and family about why they in turn should take out protection policies. In effect, an informed client does the majority of the selling for you, by talking to their contacts about why they too need protection.
This advice approach has led, not only to 98 per cent of our mortgage clients deciding to take protection policy with us, but active referrals for protection policies from the people that we have advised.
For this sort of referral system to work it’s also paramount that every person you advise absolutely has the right protection for their circumstances. When reputation counts, you need to know that that policy will absolutely pay out if the client needs to claim on it.
Just one policy not paying out will go through your referral network like wildfire.
Taking the time to really find out about a client, then to do the research so you know they absolutely have the best policy may take time that you feel you don’t have at times.
But it is time well spent when it pays dividends in terms of a client for life and a growing network of referrals.