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I Object!

Wondering what to do when your client says no?

By Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC

Many books have been written about how to overcome objections, but I don’t have the space to deal with them here. So let me tell you what to do when your prospects start throwing out objections at you.

First, what are the basic objections? No need, no money, no time, no hurry, no confidence. Everything else is a variation of these.


Let’s start with the no-need objection. While many feel they do not need life insurance, they do need what life insurance creates. They do need money, certainty, dignity, peace of mind. If the client has the time, he may be able to earn the cash that is required, but if he does not have the time and ends up dying too soon, the insurance will create the cash, and it’s the only product guaranteed to create the cash when the family or company needs it the most.

The next is the no-money objection. “I can’t afford the premium,” many of your prospects will tell you. But if they can’t pay the premium, which is just pennies on the dollar, how can the family or company solve the problem? They will need dollars, and those dollars may cost more than a dollar when taxes and other costs are factored in.

There may be assets that can be liquidated, but at what cost? If a business rival knows that the prospect needs to sell an asset, and is interested in buying this asset, he will want to negotiate the lowest price possible, and this may be less than the current market value. With life insurance, the beneficiaries know with certainty what they will receive.

No time to wait
“I would like to wait” is another common objection. To respond to this, you should say: “Why? What will change between now and next week? I appreciate your wanting to take the time to make an informed decision, but while you are thinking it over, let’s find out if you qualify for the coverage. There is a cost for everything, including waiting. The longer you wait, the more the insurance costs. Let’s at least guarantee your insurability to buy you the time to make this decision.”

A story worth sharing
Let me share with you a story of a client who almost waited too long. Each year for 10 years, I met with my client to do his insurance review. Each year I tried to convince him of the wisdom of completing his estate planning and purchasing insurance to provide for estate liquidity. Each year he said no. Then one day he asked me to meet him at his home to talk about the insurance I had been proposing for the past 10 years.

My first question to him was what had changed to make him reconsider the insurance. He told me had just been diagnosed with a terminal disease and now realized he needed to complete the financial planning he had neglected. And now he wants to buy insurance!

Finding out you are uninsurable does expedite the decision-making process. Fortunately, we were able to underwrite a second-to-die policy at a reasonable rate with his wife who was a preferred risk, but he almost waited too long.

Sometimes the objection from the prospect is nothing more than a polite way of saying that he has no confidence in your suggestions. Perhaps you didn’t take enough time to properly determine the true problems the prospect had before you made a sales suggestion. The prospect must be disturbed by a problem before action can be taken. Perhaps your suggestions did not quite fit what the prospect was looking for in a financial solution.

Remember that you must determine your prospect’s wants, needs and desires, and each of these may require a different solution. It’s your job to ask the disturbing questions to encourage the prospects to discuss what problems are of most concern to them today. Then you can make appropriate recommendations to solve the problems in order of priority. You must earn your prospects’ trust and confidence by doing what is right for them.

Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC, served as the 2002 president of MDRT and has been chairman of the Top of the Table. A member of MDRT since 1975 and of NAIFA since 1967, he is the recipient of the MDRT Foundation’s Circle of Life award. A member of Mahoning Valley AIFA, his address is The Feldman Agency, Fremar Building, P.O. Box 30, East Liverpool, OH 43920.


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