Roger Edwards, proposition director, Bright Grey and Scottish Provident, delves deep into cyberspace and plucks out three protection sales techniques - one an oldie-but-goodie, one from the US and one for the future.
Thanks to Twitter I recently rediscovered an old protection sales idea, discovered a great idea used by US advisers and stumbled upon the spark of an idea that can be used to create another.
This protection sales idea was known as "The Polo Principle" back in the early 2000s when I first used it. Simply draw a Polo Mint (i.e. a small circle within a large circle), and divide the Polo into 4 quarters. These represent the four key components of financial planning.
• The Mortgage
• The Pension
• Savings and Investments
• Life insurance
The Polo Principle states that as there is a "hole" in the mint - there is a hole in these financial plans. What happens if you become ill and cannot earn your income? All these other plans become under threat. If you can't pay the mortgage your house might get repossessed.
Stopping contributing to a pension might mean you retire on a much lower income that you were planning to.
Savings and investments might help prop things up during a time of crisis - but they won't last forever - and how annoying to have to use them to pay for everyday expenses rather than the "goal" you really had in mind for them.
Life assurance won't help because you are still alive. And cancelling the life assurance to free up a few quid would not only leave you unprotected, but as an impaired life you might not be able to buy any more in future.
The solution to the Polo Principle is to "plug the hole". And the plug is made of critical illness cover and income protection.
I forgot about the Polo Principle until a provider ran an online competition for sales ideas and the winning entry, whilst not a Polo Mint, was very similar. Great ideas never disappear they just get reinvented for more people to benefit from.
The US Idea
I clicked on a link in a retweet and found this idea from a US financial advisers website - Playing the What If Game. It's very simple and I quote:
The "what if?" game is a scary game to play, but it's an important one.
What if I lose my job?
What if I get seriously ill?
What if I pass away suddenly?
What if one of my children has a condition that requires constant care?
What if my spouse suddenly passes away?
There was a time not too long ago in my life where I dreaded the "what if?" game. I basically avoided thinking about these types of questions, choosing instead to believe that my life was completely safe and nothing like that would ever happen.
The New Idea
Again as my eyes skimmed over my twitter feed I spotted an announcement from someone who had decided, "To buy that car and book that holiday any way #IMightBeDeadTomorrow".
It was of course the Hash Tag that caught my attention and began to spark some ideas. "I might be dead tomorrow". Clicking on the hashtag immediately revealed hundreds of tweets from similar minded individuals.
"Going to blow my salary on a party #IMightBeDeadTomorrow"
"Hitting on Jayne in the pub tonight #IMightBeDeadTomorrow"
Even though I scanned maybe one hundred of these related tweets I didn't find one that said, "Must take out life assurance to protect my family #IMightBeDeadTomorrow".
Ideas in the clouds
That's just three ideas I found on the internet that could help to put across to our customers the importance of protection. The Polo Principle, The What If Game and #IMightBeDeadTomorrow all demonstrate the potential consequences of being unprotected and the importance of getting financial advice in order to put protection in place.
Ironically I also found out from the Internet that Polo Mints are called "Life Savers" in the States and I think that The Life Saver Principle sums up the sentiment of these great ideas.
Read the Playing the What If Game article here:
Smoking biggest culprit; obesity second
Average earner will gain £840 in 2018
Will also move heritage items
Responding to letter from Treasury Committee chair Nicky Morgan