"Eye opening sales ideas for 2016"10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1…HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Another year in the books and we find ourselves back to square one. Hopefully 2015 was a successful year and you have your goals set and a plan to get there for 2016.

So it wouldn’t disappoint us, our industry once again presented us with some challenges. It is still uncertain as to where the DOL Fiduciary rules will take us and it seems that the attack on cash value build up has been shelved for the time being. We did however see a number of carriers raise their COI charges on Universal Life products and that is likely to continue in 2016. On the bright side, we have seen a lot of opportunities arise as well. There have been many product improvements and innovations that have given us more products and services to present to our clients.

To start the year off right, here are a few sales ideas to get you going…

Low-Interest Rate – Income Alternative – Many clients are still experiencing very low yields on fixed money instruments. Don’t forget the power of Single Premium Deferred Annuities (SPIAs) as a part of a portfolio. SPIAs can provide significant, measurable guaranteed income that can greatly enhance the income bottom line. Utilizing SPIAs properly can not only provide modest returns to the recipient but can also be used to purchase life insurance in addition to or in place of income. This will depend on a number of factors that will vary from client to client, but if you’re not looking at SPIAs as a planning tool, you should.

Guaranteed Premium Refunds – We have all come across that cynical client that won’t buy life insurance because “there’s nothing in it for him.” By utilizing Guaranteed Refund Options, that client, at defined window periods, can receive all their premium payments back with no questions asked regardless of the cash value build up in the contract. Basically, it’s a contractual guarantee by the insurance carrier. This is also helpful when there are insurance needs today that may not be there down the road. It offers a unique planning option that would not ordinarily be available.

Matrimonial Attorneys – In most divorce decrees, there are provisions providing for life insurance for the ex-spouse and usually term insurance is used. You should be talking to Matrimonial Attorneys about adding Long Term Care language into their documents. After all, if a couple applies for LTC together, they receive a large premium discount. This is because the healthy spouse, upon claim, becomes the primary caregiver to the stricken spouse. Using that logic, wouldn’t it make sense to have Long Term Care language placed into a divorce decree? After all, through a divorce they are losing their primary care provider. They are quick to add life insurance, but the likelihood of death is less likely than an LTC event. Life Insurance with Long Term Care Riders can then be used to fund the provision. In most cases, this also leads to an individual sale to the spouse(s) for their individual LTC needs.

Longevity Protection – Outliving money is a common concern of most people. Unlike Long Term Riders that will provide access to your death benefit after a health trigger, there is also a way to access that same death benefit as if it were cash WITHOUT a health trigger. This becomes extremely helpful and creates a guaranteed pool of money as a hedge against longevity. If you live too long, you can start accessing your death benefit as cash. In short, someone buys a Life Insurance contract today and provides their families with the needed protection in case they die prematurely. If they don’t and the need for the life insurance is no longer there, the same policy can become extremely useful as a means of providing additional income when they need it most and can lessen the fear of outliving their retirement funds.

As you can see from the sales ideas above, Living Benefits are becoming a more integral part of the planning process and gives us, the insurance professionals, so much more to talk about. These sales ideas are just the tip of the iceberg of what’s available to you. Our industry will always have turmoil and uncertainty but it is our job to not get caught in trap of negativity and focus on what the positive aspects of the business are.

Again, I hope you’re 2015 was everything you wanted it to be but I am sure that with the tools available to you that 2016 can be your most successful year ever.

Happy New Year and Happy Selling!