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    Why You Aren't Selling More IUL (And What You Can Do About It)

    Posted by Lori Fogle on Wed, Apr 24, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

    Savvy financial professionals know it’s not easy to sell something “invisible” like an idea. It’s very different than selling a physical product. You’ve probably seen a lot of great sales concepts rolled out by insurance carriers and marketing organizations, but how many worked in a real-world setting?


    Your prospective clients say to you— "Sounds good, but I just don’t know."  They may be interested, but they aren’t buying.

    What’s missing?

    More than likely, they're missing something tangible, something crystal-clear, something they can see.

    If only you could provide that, they’d understand the benefits of what you are offer.

    Maybe you sell a little bit of life insurance in your practice, but you’d like to do more indexed universal life policies. However, when you present a standard carrier illustration, swimming with numbers, explain it for an hour or more-- your prospective clients tune out.

    Have you ever had an experience like this?

    It's probably made it difficult to educate anyone about why they need it. You know it should be put in layman’s terms so they can make sense of it. What you need is something more than just an illustration.

    The curse of knowledge is getting in your way

    Layman’s terms can be hard to come by because as carriers, marketing organizations, and financial professionals we have what’s called the “curse of knowledge”. The curse of knowledge is when we know a topic or idea so well that we forget what it’s like to not know. This makes it difficult to put ourselves in our prospect’s shoes and explain it to them in a way that they’ll understand as a novice.

    But the reality is– if you confuse, you lose. So, how do you present an idea like “you should buy life insurance” so that people actually want to buy?

    It helps to first understand the way people make decisions. There’s a psychology to selling so let’s break that down.

    why-you-arent-selling-more-iul-blog image

    People buy based on emotions

    A lot of sales messages focus on selling buyers based solely on facts and figures— and this can be a mistake. Case in point: the carrier illustration full of text, numbers, and graphics meant to “explain” the nuts and bolts of a product. You can’t just place a life insurance illustration in front of someone and expect them to be moved to buy. People respond to an idea with emotion first. 

    Dr. Matthew Lieberman of UCLA: "The Emotional part of the brain gets the first crack at making judgments and decisions. We count on our intuition to make initial sense of the world around us- and we tap into our analytical system only when intuition can't figure something out...Thinking wears you out. So the analytic system tends not to want to do anything unless it has to."1

    So, as salespeople, we must consider both the emotional and analytical side of the brain and recognize the importance emotions play before we proceed with any of our logical explanations.

    It’s not enough to tell a prospect you can help them avoid paying possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes during retirement so they can avoid stress and live a more fulfilling life in their golden years. You must package it in a story that puts the prospect in the experience and makes them feel something: happy, sad, afraid/surprised, curious, or angry/disgusted. When they react (a smile, a nod, a frown), you know you’ve reached them on an emotional level. You've hit on what having what you offer means to them and for them. And hopefully, it gives them a knee-jerk reaction—I want that.

    People justify their decisions based on logic

    Luckily, it’s much easier to sell something a prospective client wants than to sell them something they need. So, now that they feel like they have to have what you’re presenting, reinforce the decision they’ve already made in their minds.

    Once they’re emotionally involved, a prospect is looking for logical proof to back up what you’ve told them. They may want what you’re selling, but on the other hand, they don’t want to make a mistake. Nor, do they want to look like a fool in front of their friends and family. This is where the logical side of the brain starts processing information.

    At this point, you present your offer and support it with hard-hitting facts that reinforce the decision the emotional side of the brain has already made. Confirm what a wise decision this may be for them.

    An easily understood visual like this image taken from a sample client report can help: 


     Sample Source: Stonewood Financial*1234

    The client reports can add a whole other layer of value during the sales process. We've even spoken to agents who’ve seen an uptick in apps taken, in part, because of these. 

    People need to know WIIFM- “What’s In It For Me”

    As you’re digging into the sales process, your prospect needs to know it isn’t just about a sale for you. They want to know what benefit they’re getting if they choose to buy. They need to know how their life will be transformed for the better through what you’re offering.

    How do you provide that?

    By creating personal context for them. Describe a vision of the future that they’ve said they want. To make that future come alive, you have to make the results measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound —or S.M.A.R.T.

    People cannot be persuaded to buy

    Sorry, there is no magic phrase that will make someone buy from you. We humans love to buy stuff, but the key is to provide something we want, then we’ll spend money any day of the week.

    So, what do your prospective clients want?

    For almost anyone, they want to make money, save money, save time, or some combination of all three. If you can show them how your offer achieves one or more of these goals, you’re more likely to make the sale.

    People today are naturally skeptical

    But wait… before you become overly confident about making the sale, remember that objections are a natural part of the sales process. However, objections aren’t necessarily a rejection of what you have to offer, but an opportunity to reassure. That’s what they’re looking for— you to alleviate the doubts they have.

    With consumers having access to a ton of information and unfortunately for some, being taken advantage of in the past— it’s important to back up any claims you make with evidence. If you’re selling an index universal life policy, for example, you would want an easy-to-understand sales piece coupled with a carrier illustration like this snippet extracted from a sample hypothetical client report: 

    Potential taxes saved bar graph image

    Sample Source: Stonewood Financial1

    The future of your IUL business

    Imagine being able to share a compelling story and compare apples to apples?  What would that do for your IUL business?

    Bottom line: you need a way to grab your prospects' attention, supply logical proof, show them how they can benefit from an IUL for tax-free income in retirement— and do that in a repeatable way with all prospective clients.

    If you want to grow your IUL business easier and quicker, we’ve got the tools that could make your offer irresistible to the right client. Through a proprietary software, marketing programs, and custom client reports, you can compare the benefits of an indexed universal life policy to that of other financial products and show clients a way they may be able to lower their taxes and increase their income in retirement.

    Want to rev-up your IUL sales? This on-demand webinar can help you unlock the power of Indexed Universal Life (IUL) and position the product in a way that compels clients to take action.

    Watch the Webinar


    Tags: IUL (indexed universal life insurance), sales techniques



    This content is for informational and educational purposes only and is not designed, or intended, to be applicable to any person's individual circumstances. It should not be considered as investment advice, nor does it constitute a recommendation that anyone engage in (or refrain from) a particular course of action.

    1 Zweig, Jason, "Your Money and Your Brain," 2007

    IUL Illustrated Values: * Excerpt from prepared illustration. Values are not guaranteed and are based solely on the assumptions  and projections made in the illustration.  Actual values may be higher or lower than illustrated and are likely to vary with market fluctuations. This information is hypothetical and not intended to project or predict investment results. 1 Non-guaranteed assumed interest rate. This illustration assumes that non-guaranteed values shown continue in all years. This is not likely to occur, and actual results may be more or less favorable than illustrated. This is an average based on past performance and is not intended to predict future performance. Policy loans and withdrawals may create an adverse tax result in the event of lapse or policy surrender, and will reduce both the surrender value and death benefit. The policy design you choose may impact the tax status of your policy. If you pay too much premium your policy could become a modified endowment contract (MEC). Distributions from a MEC may be taxable and if the taxpayer is under the age of 59 ½ may also be subject to an additional 10% penalty tax. Check the attached illustration to determine if the policy illustrated is a MEC. 2 Values shown are net of all mortality and expense charges. 3 As policy loans. This applies to loans taken after the 10th policy year. See policy illustration for complete information on loan types and restrictions. 4 For complete details on death benefit, please reference the full policy illustration. 

    Potential Taxes: These materials are for informational purposes only and are not intended to provide tax, accounting or investment advice. Be sure to consult qualified professionals about your individual situation. This hypothetical example does not consider every product or feature of tax-deferred accounts  or Roth accounts and is for illustrative purposes only. It should not be deemed a representation of past or future results, and is no guarantee of return or future performance.  Your tax bracket may be lower or higher in retirement, unlike this hypothetical example. 1 Required Minimum Distributions, or RMDs, must be distributed from qualified accounts beginning at age 70 ½, according to IRS guidelines. Amount distributed annually should not be less than the RMD for that year.