Advising and selling protection plans to clients does involve a fair bit of persuasion and influencing to ensure your client gets the coverage they need. And one day may thank for arranging it.
Subtle influencing is the key, coaching is the method and getting their commitment at every step is paramount. Gone are the days of 1990's sales techniques – don't even go there.
One of the most challenging pushbacks from clients is the cost or, more importantly, the problem because they haven't budgeted or even thought about how much it'll cost.
Good mortgage advisers get around this problem by introducing the concept of an overall budget very early on in the process. A package concept or full-service package to ensure the mortgage is affordable and includes the protection elements that are so essential.
Many then go on to sow the seed further and ask them to bring along details of the benefits-in-kind they receive from work and other information on existing plans and policies. They then combine the mortgage factfind and the protection factfinding into one meeting. The advice comprises all aspects of the loan and protection.
This is not always possible. We'd be naïve to think it was. One of my coaching adviser clients works in the new homes marketplace. She has numerous meetings per day, several qualifying Zooms and plenty of calls. Her builder introducers just want the agreement in principle confirmed so they can shift the new home. She is left with little time or motivation to introduce protection at the early stage. So she comes back to it later; when the rush is over, the client has calmed down and has more time to spend on the topic.
She then factfinds the protection need helping the client realise their need and seek a solution. But no budget has been discussed. She operates sweet spot pricing cleverly.
Once the "need" has been established and quantified, my adviser knows precisely what cover is necessary, the sum assured amount, etc. She then creates three options for her client. Skiing downhill, so to speak, she starts with the platinum option. A complete suite of products to suit all the client's protection needs with cover set at desired levels. Naturally, this is the highest cost.
Then she presents the gold level. Solid cover, generous sums assured, some features stripped out to conserve cost and presented as an affordable solution.
Then comes silver. Budget cover at a budget cost but still some protection to ensure the mortgage is protected on death and some income paid on illness.
The client invariably chooses the middle option because they didn't have a budget in mind beforehand.
Ultimately we must ensure our client is protected adequately, but affordability does come into the equation. If it's too expensive, they will struggle to pay and have direct debit shock later. This will cause them to cancel and upset all sorts of KPIs monitoring the adviser's performance.
That's the real world; welcome to it.