I have been spending some time recently meeting up with old clients of mine. As time goes on, the costs involved with funerals continue to go up. I like to keep my clients up to date on what the current costs of funerals are and also what the costs of funerals are predicted to go up to in the future based on inflation. I never replace their existing coverage, but I will write an additional policy to see to assure their amount of coverage will be sufficient for today and also for in the future. I have always preferred just dropping by and not calling to set up appointments. With my list of old policyholders, I add the addresses into my GPS, put my route together and head out for the day.
I dropped by one of my clients homes a few weeks ago and it appeared as though nobody was home. Just as I was about to walk back to my car, a car pulled into the driveway. The woman rolled down her window and asked what I was doing there. I told her who I was there to see, and she informed me that this person moved away about 3 years ago. I told her that this person was a very good client of mine and that he had had insurance with me for a very long time. I asked her if she knew how I may be able to reach my client, but she didn’t. I then let her know what I do, and that part of my job is to do free insurance policy reviews. I mentioned how there are many insurance plans that people apply for through the mail where the fine print is overlooked and that they can be somewhat misleading. I asked her if she had any coverage and she said that she did. I told her I would be happy to take a look at what she had and that I would be honest and if everything she had looked good, I would assure her that she was pretty well set, but if there was anything in her policies that were concerning to me, I would let her know and we would talk about it. I told her it would only take about five minutes and she said, “Come on in!”
The woman handed me two policies: The first policy, her premiums increased every five years and when she turned 80 years old, the policy would expire. The other policy was a term policy that she could keep after she turned 75 years old, but the premiums would increase each year. I asked her if she planned on living a long life and she said, “Yes”. I let her know that if she made it to the age of 85, her premium payment would be over $600 a month at that time. She said that there was no way that she would be able to afford that. I let her know that that is how a lot of insurance companies make their money. The company is hoping it will get to the point where the insured can no longer afford to keep the policy and are forced to cancel. Being that they are term policies, they build no cash value and nothing will have to be paid back to the insured if they cancel. The company is then also off the hook with never having to pay a death claim.
I explained to the woman that she would be much better off with a permanent whole life plan where the rates would never go up and where she would never get cancelled as long as she kept up with her payments. She agreed and I wrote her a new policy with Security national Life. I also asked for some referrals and she told me that I needed to go talk to her sister who I also wrote a policy for.
What I am trying to get to with all of this is that IT DOESN’T HURT TO ASK! When the woman told me that my client no longer lived there, I could’ve just left it at that. I could’ve just went on my way and moved on to my next stop. But what did I have to lose by asking her about her current situation and trying to see what I could do to help her? What’s the worst thing that could happen? She tells me “NO”? Big deal. I can then move on to the next. But what happens when she says “Yes”?
While working in this business for many years, what I’ve learned is that the agents who are the most successful have a strong work ethic. They aren’t afraid to do the things that other agents may not be willing to do. We talk about how for some new agents who don’t have money for leads, it’s a good idea to knock doors. Well, for agents who do have money for leads, what’s wrong with knocking on a few doors around your leads? Give your 30 second commercial at the door and try to make a few extra sales. If you write one additional application each week from doing this, that’s additional business for you that adds up over time.
Go out there and set goals, do that little extra, and most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask!