Thursday, February 23, 2017

Don't Discount Millennials as a Sales Opportunity

By: Oscar Toledo, Director of Sales and Marketing
Partners Advantage Insurance Services

The early cusp of the Millennial generation is nearing 40 years of age! Millennials were originally known as the “Echo Boom” because they represent a surge in the number of births that came mainly as a result of the Baby Boomer generation having children of their own.  The Baby Boomer and Millennial generations are the two largest generations in American history.  Until the emergence of the Millennials, Baby Boomers were considered the most important demographic in commerce, marketing, and sales.

Millennials have lived for most of their youth in a time of broad economic and technological expansion.  Indeed, ease with technology and telecommunication is one of the hallmarks of Millennials, along with a sense of optimism and entitlement that comes from growing up in an “everybody wins” world that their very attentive parents (Baby Boomers) carefully structured and programmed.  

I encourage you to watch Simon Sinek’s video on YouTube titled: “Millennials in the Workplace.”  I believe you will gain good insight from this 15-minute video.

Selling Tips
  • Tell them where to research and let them educate themselves so they can decide
  • Stay in touch with and through technology
  • Be a trusted resource and be yourself
  • Don’t be pushy
  • They’ll tell you when they’re ready to buy
Don't discount Millennials as a sales opportunity. They are the youngest and largest generation in the workforce. They have adopted an understanding that they need to save for retirement. Seventy-two percent of Millennial workers have started saving at the young median age of 22-years-old.2

Request the full article entitled: "Better Understanding GENERATIONS to Enhance Sales." 

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2Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, August 23, 2016, "Retirement Insecurity: A Multi-Generational View" -, last accessed 1/17/17.

For financial professional use only. Not for use with consumers.

The information in this article is for general information only.
Always follow your firm’s policies and procedures regarding review and use of third-party templates, creation and distribution of client and prospect materials, hosting of client and prospect events, offering giveaways or prizes, and your firm’s employment process.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Don’t Miss the Sales Opportunities with Younger Generations

By: Oscar Toledo, Director of Sales and Marketing
Partners Advantage Insurance Services

It was only a few minutes before the client seminar began, and as my team prepared to present, I noticed something I had not seen in my 18 years in the business.  I have done a number of client seminars throughout the years and have experienced strong success with them.  Because where else can you get 25 clients/prospects in one place and commit to a meeting with you at the same time?  

So, what was this new vision at my event? In the door walked a young prospect, in his early 20s. When we advertised the event, we were very specific in the age demographic we targeted; it was baby boomers. But here is a 20-something walking in and sitting down.  I asked myself if he was going to be a distraction.  The answer panned out quickly, yes, he was a distraction.  

He was actually responding to the questions being asked by the speaker and I was impressed with his answers.  It turned out he was a teacher in the local school district and he was interested in life insurance.  And not just term insurance, but it was an Indexed Universal Life policy.

Selling Across Generational Divides
Generational differences are more significant in marketing and selling now than at any other time in our history.  For one thing, there are currently more generations alive and active than ever before, as modern medicine and affluence have produced a revolution in longevity.

Of course, generational biases are not ironclad, and birth date does not dictate personality. The first step in applying generational tactics in selling is to learn about the generations by becoming familiar with each one’s characteristics, likes, and dislikes.

Once we do that, we need to understand how to sell across generational divides rather than allowing these differences to short circuit that crucial connection to provide the best service to our clients.

We need to try to understand how customers’ backgrounds affect their buying preferences.  As an example, during my fact finder with a prospect, I begin with questions such as:
  • Where are you from, and what was it like growing up?
  • What did you learn about money growing up?
  • What was the hardest lesson you’ve had regarding money?
I do this because the information they will share with me during the first half of the meeting will allow me the opportunity to better understand their buying preferences, and just as important, build rapport with them.

Proper Fact Finding Creates Better Understanding and Results
Fact finding is similar to an MRI health scan. It helps you dive deep into your client's perceptions and financial make-up to better understand them, build rapport, help you understand their financial goals and start to identify how you can help them. Using a well-designed fact finder to understand your prospects and capture what is important to them is a key step in a successful sales process. 

Request the full article entitled: "Better Understanding GENERATIONS to Enhance Sales." 

Fill out my online form.

For financial professional use only. Not for use with consumers.

The information in this article is for general information only.

Always follow your firm’s policies and procedures regarding review and use of third-party templates, creation and distribution of client and prospect materials, hosting of client and prospect events, offering giveaways or prizes, and your firm’s employment process.


Thursday, February 9, 2017

The 2-2-6 Program for Effective Business Building

By: Oscar Toledo, Director of Sales and Marketing at Partners Advantage
Insurance Services

You met with the client and made the sale. 
Congratulations! You're all done and can move on to the next potential client - right? 
You might want to reconsider that!

It's important that your practice management plans recognize that many times your very best prospects are right in your current client database. Don't leave business on the table or the opportunities to continue serving the needs of the clients you already know. Put a specific plan in place to cultivate your database, produce more sales opportunities and cultivate stronger relationships.

I use a "2-2-6 Program" to serve and cultivate my database. Here's how it works. Use your Client Relationship Management (CRM) system to trigger important follow-up reminders. You can also ensure you cover these steps by entering calendar reminders in your Outlook calendar or smart phone right after you close the sale.

2-2-6 Program:
  • 2 Weeks After the Sale: Send a personal email and/or call the client to see if they have any questions that have popped up about the financial products they chose.
  • 2 Months After the Sale: Follow up in two months to ask if the client has any questions concerning their new policy and how it works.  
  • 6 Months Later: Follow up in six months to review coverage, ask if they have had any life changes that might require added coverage.
Annual Reviews:  It is important to schedule annual reviews with clients in order for them to understand the value in your recommendation.  Also keep in mind, most people don’t disclose all their assets to you during the first sale.  Go back to continue to cultivating the relationship.

Your client could have any number of issues suddenly appear in their lives. Here are just a few reasons the 2-2-6 program and annual reviews are so important:
- Death of a parent, spouse or child
- Receiving an inheritance
- Divorce
- New additions to the family via adoption or birth
- New marriage
- Seeing a friend/family member struggle with health and financial concerns related to long-term care needs
- Health change/issue

Most carriers are now paperless, so you don't receive clients' annual statements from carriers via postal mail anymore. These used to be good reminders to reach to your life and annuity clients. Now, you need to have your own system to trigger follow ups. 

You can gather this information by logging into the carrier websites to view your clients' annual statements each month. This is an important practice management task. Once you gather the updates, be sure to make the follow-up calls and you may very well uncover new needs with your clients.

If you don't have time to retrieve the annual statement information from carriers, you can choose to use a technology solution. These technology solutions are generally subscription based and they do the research for you! These systems locate all the policies you've written under your license number from all the carriers you choose. Information is provided such as, policy anniversary date, annuity in-force premium amount, if the term period still allows for conversion, etc. It feeds the information right to your inbox. It's a small investment to help you continue to mine your database and provide valuable service to your clients. Keep in mind, people like to do business with someone they have done business with in the past.

In addition to utilizing the 2-2-6 program and annual reviews, here are a few additional tips:

Relationship Building:  Your clients should not just be clients; they need to become part of your extended family.  Keep in touch with a friendly call or card. And if you’re placing your client in a position of success, why wouldn’t they inform fellow members of their church, bowling league, county club, etc., about the value that you bring to their household. Every sale and just a meeting with a new prospect warrants a thank you note. Even a “no sale” could possibly lead to a wider referral base of future sales. When you are confident you have helped the client and built an ongoing relationship, you can feel more comfortable asking if they have friends or family that might have similar needs (referrals).

Client Advisory Board: Creating a client advisory board provides valuable feedback about your practice from clients.  It's an effective and inexpensive way to learn how to improve customer service, the office experience and your overall practice.

We all know this is a relationship business. Be sure you are structuring your practice for success.

Contact the Partners Advantage Brokerage Team for additional information and complete sales assistance: 888-251-5525, Ext. 700

About the Author:
Oscar Toledo, Director of Sales and Marketing, Partners Advantage
Oscar Toledo has spent 18 years in the insurance industry as a business consultant and in personal production. He has helped hundreds of financial professionals and agencies grow their life, annuity and linked benefits business by providing innovative sales concepts, extensive product knowledge and superior support. He has also qualified for the Million Dollar Round Table for several years as a personal producer - CA License #0E38226. He can be reached via phone: 888-251-5525, ext. 124 or email at

For financial professional use only. Not for use with consumers.

The information in this article is for general information only.

Always follow your firm’s policies and procedures regarding review and use of third-party templates, creation and distribution of client and prospect materials, hosting of client and prospect events, offering giveaways or prizes, and your firm’s employment process.


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Break Through the Myths. Set the Record Straight about Long-Term Care Protection.

When it comes to long-term care (LTC), your clients might not know where the facts end and the myths begin. You can help set the record straight.
More people today will need LTC services at home, in assisted living or in a nursing home — and the cost for care is on the rise. Yet too often, they stop short of preparing for real future needs because they’re confused by the myths of LTC products and services.

Have your clients confused facts with fiction on the subject of LTC? The myths are many:
  • “A government program will take care of me.”
  • “I already have health insurance.”
  • “LTC protection is for nursing home care only.”
  • “I can’t afford LTC protection.”
  • “LTC is only for old people.”
  • “We don’t need protection — we have each other.”
  • “I can save the money I need for LTC.”
With OneAmerica® Care Solutions, we put the myths to rest with solutions your clients can use to help protect themselves, the ones they love and their retirement future.

Help your clients uncover the truth about LTC protection with OneAmerica Care Solutions. Start today with training resources and sales tools!

The Myths of LTC consumer campaign includes a variety of consumer marketing materials at your fingertips. Contact the Partners Advantage Brokerage Team for more information: 888-251-5525, Ext. 700

Not a deposit • Not FDIC or NCUSIF insured • Not guaranteed by the institution • Not insured by any federal government agency • May go down in value

OneAmerica is the marketing name for The State Life insurance Company® (State Life), offering the Care Solutions product suite.

Notes: Products are issued and underwritten by The State Life Insurance Company® (State Life), Indianapolis, IN, a OneAmerica company that offers the Care Solutions product suite. Asset-Care form numbers: L301, R501 and SA31; Annuity Care and Annuity Care II form numbers: SA34, R508; SA35; Indexed Annuity Care form numbers: SA36, R529 PPA, R529, R530 PPA and R530. Not available in all states or may vary by state. All guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability of State Life.

For use with financial professionals only. Not for public distribution.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Smoothing Out the Volatility in Your Practice with Life Insurance

By Charlie Gipple, CLU,® ChFC® , Senior VP of Sales & Marketing

Consumers also appear to disagree with what the financial “experts” like Suze Orman and Ken Fisher say about annuities.  In fact, 78% of people who own annuities are satisfied with their access to their money.1 More than 80% of fixed annuity buyers are happy with their purchase2, which is a very high happiness factor among financial products.

Even in light of the challenges we face with the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule, I am confident we will adjust and FIAs will continue to be a mainstay of our industry.  However, in the short run we will likely experience some changes with the FIA product line. For financial professionals that may have their businesses highly concentrated on FIAs, I would propose a way to “smooth out” the volatility in your practice. I propose Life Insurance!  If you don’t like underwriting, there are attractive Simplified Issue Life Insurance products.  There are also Single Premium Whole Life products and Single Premium Indexed Universal Life products, which offer an attractive alternative to FIAs, when the client doesn't need the money during their lifetime.  

I can comfortably assure you that if you know FIAs, it's not a very far leap to also learn and write IUL.  I have taken this leap myself and at the time I had less educational resources and support than what you have when you partner with a marketing organization with a strong training platform. This is what we at Partners Advantage specialize in - Education that Causes Sales. I encourage you to prepare for the future of our industry and continue to broaden your knowledge to truly serve your clients’ needs.  

Read the full article that first appeared in Retirement Advisor magazine in June 2016.
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Contact Partners Advantage for complete training and sales assistance at
888-251-5525, Ext. 700

For agent use only.  Not for use with the public.

* Guarantees are backed by the Financial Strength and claims-paying ability of issuing company. 

**Insurance and annuity products: Are not deposits. Are not guaranteed by a bank or its affiliates.  May decrease in value. Are not insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency.

1Genworth The Future of Retirement Income Study 2014
2LIMRA Study – August 2012

Annuities are designed to meet long-term needs for retirement income. They provide guarantees against the loss of premium and credited interest, and the reassurance of a death benefit for beneficiaries. 
An income rider or benefit (sometimes called Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal benefits, or GLWB) is an additional feature available with some annuities and generally optional and come with additional costs. Income benefits are designed to provide income options above and beyond the standard annuitization or free withdrawal features in annuities. 

Pursuant to IRS Circular 230, Partners Advantage Insurance Services and their representatives do not give tax or legal advice and cannot be used to avoid tax penalties or to promote, market, or recommend any tax plan or arrangement. Encourage your clients to consult their tax advisor or attorney. 

The information contained in this article is not intended to serve as tax or legal advice and is not intended to provide financial or legal advice and does not address individual circumstances.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Dispelling Myths of the “Sweet Spot” in Underwriting

By Lisa Morris, VP of Underwriting and Development at Partners Advantage

After spending 17 years working at life insurance carriers assessing large face amounts, the opportunity to move to the field presented itself and I jumped at the chance. The one observation that has been consistent can be narrowed down to one phrase: “What carrier is good at ___________”? (fill in any medical condition, avocation, aviation, etc., your choice!). My answer from both the carrier side and the field side has been the same…EVERYBODY! Everybody? Yes, everybody.

The majority of carriers use one or two of the available four reinsurance manuals. In addition, a few carriers may have some variances in which they can deviate a bit from the manual, but that happens after a carrier has shown a decline in a risk (either due to their mortality experience or new medical advancements). So if there are only a few manuals which all insurance carriers utilize, why do carriers market “sweet spots” or “niches”?

Perhaps the reason is related to how the carrier or product is positioned, perhaps how it is understood by the sales field, but whatever the reasoning, the end result is wanting to encourage you to think of their company when faced with certain underwriting issues. If you really give it some thought, you realize it is unlikely a medical condition could be a plug-in and go scenario. Why? In my 25 years of underwriting, I have never seen any two cases alike. In addition, physicians even have different interpretations or analysis of exams, conditions and treatment. Even in the case of twins with the similar DNA, they may not have the same medical condition and same treatment. So the question remains of how could a carrier indicate a sweet spot?

Individual life insurance underwriting is just that - individual. There is no cookie-cutter approach to medical conditions that can be applied to each and every applicant who has been diagnosed with that condition. No two clients are alike, so there is no set rule to evaluate their eligibility as if they are alike.

Do you have an underwriter with experience on your side? Partners Advantage can help. Read the full article which first appeared in Broker World magazine's November 2016 issue.
Fill out my online form.

Contact Partners Advantage for complete case assistance at 888-251-5525, Ext. 700.

For financial professional use only. Not for use with consumers.

Partners Advantage Insurance Services and their representatives do not give tax or legal advice. The material in this article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as tax or legal advice. Discussions of the various planning strategies and issues are based on our understanding of the applicable federal income, gift, and estate tax laws in effect at the time of publication. However, these laws are subject to interpretation and change, and there is no guarantee that the relevant tax authorities will accept Partners Advantage’s interpretations. Additionally, the information presented here does not consider the impact of applicable state laws upon clients and prospects. Guarantees and benefits are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Keep in mind that most life insurance policies require health underwriting and, in some cases, financial underwriting. Each case is individually underwritten as the severity of medical conditions varies among individuals. Formal underwriting evaluation and pricing is based on the individual characteristics of each case.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Generational Split Dollar

By: Bill Jackson J.D., CLU®

Generational split dollar consists of a trust structured for the benefit of Generation C (age 27). This trust would own life insurance on Generation B’s (age 58) life. Generation A (age 88) would enter into a non-equity collateral assignment split dollar agreement with the trust. In searching for methods of discounting the value of a wealthy client’s estate, the concept of generational split dollar should not be overlooked. This is especially the case if the client is very old or perhaps uninsurable and wants to do some later life estate planning. For example, a Generation A client (age 88) makes a personal loan of $3 million to a grantor irrevocable life insurance trust established for the benefit of Generation C (age 27). The trust purchases a life insurance policy on the life of an individual in Generation B (age 58). The client receives a note which becomes an account receivable. This account receivable is worth less than $3 million due to the restrictive right to be paid back only at a future date out of cash values or at the death of Generation B. Because of Generation B’s expected longevity, and other factors, the appraiser values the note at $750,000. The result is dramatic estate tax savings relative to an outright gift of $3 million.

A recent court case, Estate of Clara M. Morrissette - United States Tax Court, the court ruled in favor of the estate. It is important to note that all current split dollar rules were followed meticulously. The trusts involved were likewise established for valid separate purposes. Therefore, if this design is executed correctly it can transfer significant wealth and provide a dramatic estate tax reduction. Care should be taken not to sell or cancel the policy, merge the trust with another trust with the same beneficiaries, or for the donor to have access to the cash values, as this could cause the transaction to be viewed as a step transaction to avoid taxation and therefore fail.

Read the full article: "Serving Clients With Estate Planning Needs" first published in the December 2016 Broker World magazine here.
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For financial professional use only. Not for use with consumers.

Policy loans and withdrawals will reduce available cash values and death benefits, and may cause the policy to lapse or affect any guarantees against lapse. Additional premium payments may be required to keep the policy in force. In the event of a lapse, outstanding policy loans in excess of un-recovered cost basis will be subject to ordinary income tax. Tax laws are subject to change. 

Partners Advantage Insurance Services and their representatives do not give tax or legal advice.  Accordingly, any tax information provided is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. Encourage your clients to consult their tax advisor or attorney.
Income tax free distributions are achieved by withdrawing to the cost basis (premiums paid), then using policy loans.  Loans and withdrawals may generate an income tax liability, reduce available cash value, and reduce death benefit, or cause the policy to lapse.  This assumes the policy qualifies as life insurance and is not a modified endowment contract.

Both loans and withdrawals from a permanent life insurance policy may be subject to penalties and fees and, along with any accrued loan interest, will reduce the policy's account value and death benefit. Assuming a policy is not a Modified Endowment Contract (MEC), withdrawals are taxed only to the ex that they exceed the policy owner's cost basis in the policy and usually loans are free from current federal taxation. A policy loan could result in tax consequences if the policy lapses or is surrendered while a loan is outstanding. Distributions from MECs are subject to federal income tax to the extent of the gain in the policy and taxable distributions are subject to a 10% additional tax prior to age 59½, with certain exceptions.

The tax and estate planning information contained herein is general in nature, is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. Partners Advantage does not provide legal or tax advice. Partners Advantage cannot guarantee that such information is accurate, complete, or timely. Laws of a particular state or laws that may be applicable to a particular situation may have an impact on the applicability, accuracy, or completeness of such information. Federal and state laws and regulations are complex and are subject to change. Changes in such laws and regulations may have a material impact on pre- and/or after-tax investment results. Partners Advantage does not assume any obligation to inform you of any subsequent changes in the tax law or other factors that could affect the information contained herein. Partners Advantage makes no warranties with regard to such information or results obtained by its use. Partners Advantage disclaims any liability arising out of your use of, or any tax position taken in reliance on, such information. Always consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation.