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The importance of family when selling insurance

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Plus using a family record worksheet and making the family your client

By Bryce Sanders

No matter what our cultural backgrounds are, we carry with us a story of family, traditions
and val
ues. Where, however, do those values fit when we’re discussing insurance with clients, including while we’re conducting fact-finding and needs analysis?

  1. Family values. Regardless of culture, everyone wants to provide their children with the best opportunities. Education has been the historic path to upward mobility. Remember when everyone wanted their children to either become doctors and lawyers or marry one? People will save and sacrifice to give their children the best education. Do they know what it’s going to cost them and how they’ll save for it? They need savings vehicles.
  2. Care for the elderly. Your clients will age. Years ago, having a large family was how retirement planning worked. Multiple generations lived in one household. Grandparents were built-in babysitters. Children cared for their parents. Today, families are dispersed geographically. Parents don’t want to be a financial burden to their children. Retirement planning offers income in retirement. Guaranteed lifetime income was something defined benefit plans used to provide. Sadly, those plans are rare now. You can provide an alternative as well as long-term care insurance.
  3. Enter the death benefit. Years ago, the person bringing home the salary was called the breadwinner. They provided for their family. What happens if the breadwinner isn’t in the picture any longer? The family still has needs. These might be living or education expenses. Agents can explain how
    a lump sum death benefit can fill this need in case the worst happens.
  4. The family legacy. No one wants to see their family’s accumulated wealth disappear. Although it sounds crass, heirs expect to inherit something. People who invest wisely, own a business or own hard assets such as property can be in a difficult situation if they have a large estate tax bill. It’s better and easier to address estate planning early. This is another area where advisors can do their part in ensuring there are assets to distribute to family members.

Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides high-net-worth client acquisition training for financial services professionals. Contact him at

How a family record worksheet leads to business

By Venkatesh Kalyanam, BA, CFP

By doing a family record worksheet with my clients, I’ve had a lot of clients and their family members become interested in creating their will, trust, and other financial and legal arrangements to make sure everything is in place.

This worksheet is a personal inventory of all my clients’ family members. It contains details regarding health care, lawyers, doctors and specialists. They also fill out information on their insurance, from life insurance to disability to car insurance.

Another area of the worksheet covers current sources of income, their retirement plans, their employer’s name, and even the name of their supervisor or personal assistant. That way, if anything happens to them, the family will know who to contact.

What else does this worksheet contain?

  • Checking and savings account information
  • Additional financial accounts
  • All information regarding their home, including home repairs
  • Credit card information for each card
  • Wills and estate documents
  • Advance medical directives
  • All passwords for their accounts, cell phones, computers and anything else
  • Information on funeral preferences and any existing arrangements

I also created a video about how they could create a time capsule as a family. They could write about what to expect five years from now, including what they’ve learned from this COVID-19 time period. When they open it in five years, they can see what they thought things would look like and what they were experiencing. These little things we do let our clients know we want to engage them in more ways.

Venkatesh Kalyanam is a 26-year MDRT member from Singapore. Contact him at

Making the family your client

By Monroe M. Diefendorf Jr., CLU, CIMA

A critical aspect of building strong family roots is renewing focus on intangible assets what we refer to as the “more than money” legacy. We have incorporated “more than money” advising alongside our traditional money advising. Here are the elements that go into the mix:

  • A shift in focus from the individual as the client to the family as the client
  • Incorporating multiple generations of the family into the planning process (yielding to a more successful succession plan)
  • Incorporating multiple generations of the advisory practice into the planning processes (yielding to a more likely successful succession plan)
  • Using digital technology (the next generation’s preferred mode of information processing) to connect the advisor with the family and the members of the family to one another
  • Separating the “more than money” family office practice from the money practice. This will keep the advisor from falling back into the traditional transaction trap.

Monroe Diefendorf Jr. is a 42-year MDRT member from Locust Valley, New York. Contact him at

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