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Sanjay Tolani, FLMI, MBA

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Objections are a part of the life insurance profession. Tolani explains how he addresses his most-common objections and how clients see the help he can provide. Presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting.

My topic area, which is primarily about objection handling, will be: "Talking about some of the objections that I get on a daily basis."

I'll start with the most basic one, which happened to me many years ago when I joined this profession. I was only 19 and was sitting with a client when he said, "Sanjay, I love your presentation. I love the product, and I love everything about it, but I feel you are too young to be my financial advisor."

So I asked him, "Who would you like to have as a financial advisor?" The client said, "Sanjay, I would want someone who is my age." Now, this client was about 50 years old, and I was 19 at that point.

So I told him, "Mr. Client, let's assume that you have an advisor who is 50. Thirty years from now, when your plan matures or you unfortunately pass away, which might be at about the age of 80, where do you think your financial advisor would be at the point? You see, in our business, the most important part is getting a claim paid out. I am only 19. Thirty years from now, I will be as old as you are now. I will be as experienced as you are and I will be as strong as you are, and that is the reason why you should work with someone younger than you are."

And that was the one of the first ways I handled that objection.

Now, there is problem with that, and the problem is that I am not 19 anymore; I am 33. I now have clients who are younger than I am. So the question is "Why should I work with you?"

I say, "Let me ask you this question: If you had a heart attack, would you prefer working with a student, or would you prefer working with an experienced doctor?" And you get the answer to that one.

That was one of the most basic objections I got in the first few years of my career.

Another objection I got a few years later was: "Sanjay, I am so rich. Why do I need to buy insurance?" This client was worth roughly $700 million. And he said, "Sanjay, I don't really see any need for insurance."

The only thing I had to say to him was, "Uncle, . . ." (I call him "Uncle" because he was significantly older than I am, a family friend of ours.) "Uncle, the reality is that you are what we call the Titanic, the unsinkable ship. There is no reason to sink, but if, unfortunately, you did, don't you want to have some lifeboats? You see, I am not here to teach you how to make money—you know that better than I do as you are richer than I am. But I am very good at making 'lifeboats'—that's my core expertise. So I am not here to teach you how to make money or how to build another Titanic, but I do make 'lifeboats,' and usually the bigger the ship, the more lifeboats you need."

So a simple analogy like that always helps a client understand what we do.

I had another client who asked, "Sanjay, how do I know that an insurance company will pay my claim?"

I said, "Well, how many of us drive cars? Almost all of us. We have sat in a car at least. We all have an airbag in the car. When was the last time we tested it? You see, our product, life insurance, is like an airbag. If you want to know if it will work well, learn from someone else's experience. The more important question is: Would you drive a car without an airbag or without a seatbelt or without the regular safety features that would be in a car? Would you drive a car like that? Probably not, and that is exactly what our product is. Our product is a security measure that is required for everyday people."

A lot of people tell me, "Sanjay, I have diversified, I have properties, I have investments, I have a business."

I say, "You see, Mr. Client, everyone has a Plan A in life. You invest money by putting it into the business and buying property. My job is to be the Plan B. If Plan A fails, what's your Plan B? That is my job!"

Sanjay Tolani, FLMI, MBA, is a 15-year MDRT member with two Court of the Table and 11 Top of the Table qualifications from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He works with ultra-high-net-worth clients in 53 countries and has spoken at more than 100 conferences.


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