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7 easy ways to talk to clients


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Ideas and tips for successful conversations with clients and prospects
Itemize clients’ spending
Sometimes clients are reluctant to move cash savings to investments. Let’s say a client has $100,000 in cash. If you ask them how much they want to leave in cash, they’ll always answer on the high side. To get more out of the cash, ask them what they are going to spend during the next five years. There are five categories: health, house, holidays, car and children. Ask them what they plan to spend in these areas, and put an amount next to each of them. Add that up and add a little bit more for a rainy day just in case the washing machine breaks down. Let’s say that figure comes to $35,000. They’ve now given you permission to move $65,000, which you can invest for them.

Gary Metcalf, Dip PFS, West Midlands, England, 4-year member

Two questions I ask every client:
  1. Do you have a home loan, and if so, would you like your home paid off if you died tonight?
  2. Do you have a 401(k)from a previous employer, and if so, when was the last time your advisor sat down with you and went over it?
Richard P. Hackwell, LUTCF, Price, Utah, 17-year member

Fall in love with your clients, not your products, because when you fall in love with the client, you’ll start to understand their problems.
Charles Hollander Jr., 2016 Top of the Table Annual Meeting speaker

Borrow, don’t cancel
If a client has financial struggles and wants to surrender their policy, show them the advantage of taking a loan from the policy rather than canceling it. Tell them that if they cancel, buying in the future will be more expensive due to age and health issues that could complicate the underwriting process.

Dorin Roxana Israelian, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 17-year member

Move it to the tax-free bucket
I draw three buckets on a piece of paper:
  1. The taxable bucket (income, savings accounts, inheritance)
  2. Tax-deferred bucket (retirement accounts, real estate)
  3. Tax-free bucket (Roth IRA, life insurance)
Then I go over each of the client’s assets and determine which bucket it goes into. I work with my clients to ask, “Where are your assets?” What we find often is that a large percent will be in the taxable bucket or the tax-deferred bucket, but almost nothing is in the tax-free bucket. Our goal is to get more assets in that bucket. It’s a wonderful concept that gets people thinking about how their assets are labeled and how they can be more beneficial.

Walton W. Rogers, CLU, ChFC, Annapolis, Maryland, 43-year member and 2009 MDRT President

Get to know the beneficiaries
Here’s an easy way for you to increase your appointments. Any time I write any product (IRA, 401(k), life insurance, etc.), I ask who the client is going to name as their beneficiary. I always stop and tell them right there, “In case something happens to you, I want your beneficiaries to get to know me. So would you please call them now and let them know I’ll be calling them?” I then introduce myself to the beneficiary and invite them to come to my office to get to know me. This always gets me two or three appointments right after I write one application. The clients appreciate it too.

Jamshid Hoorfar, CLU, ChFC, Lees Summit, Missouri, 24-year member

All in one place
When we do our estate plan legal documents, we give our clients a USB drive card with all the data on it. When they travel, they have copies of all their legal documents on this convenient card, which has our picture and contact information on it. We also give clients extras to give to their children so they have copies of their parents’ legal documents. Their children then know who we are so if they need anything down the line, they can come to us with any questions.

Craig L. Kirsner, MBA, Coconut Creek, Florida, 1-year member


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