“National Tickling Month,” “Correct Posture Month,” “Revise Your Work Schedule Month,” “Impotency Awareness Month.” Not a month goes by that we aren’t encouraged to reflect on one important cause or another. Make no mistake, each of these and the many more out there are worthy in their own right. Those that have a personal connection with the affliction, phenomenon, impairment or occupation deserve a month of recognition and mindfulness. Many causes recognized by awareness month jump demographics and affect people of multiple age, race, health, sex, generation and geography. None more so than September’s “Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM).”
The question is, what good is having a whole month dedicated to your cause if it’s only for awareness? I’d be willing to bet that most Americans are already aware of life insurance. Does devoting a whole month to the institution make more Americans purchase life insurance? Based on LIMRA’s “Trends in Life Insurance ownership” study, which found that only 44 percent of U.S. households had individual life insurance in 2010 (down from 55 percent in 1992), I’d say not.
So the real question becomes, how do we take “Life Insurance Awareness Month” and turn it into “Life Insurance Action Month.” With this in mind, our firm has leveraged this amazing campaign and the resources put together by organizations like Life Happens—a nonprofit dedicated to helping Americans take personal financial responsibility through the ownership of life insurance and related products. By putting together a concrete and proven program to turn awareness into action we hope to take advantage of having a whole month of industry recognition!
The following description highlights our Four Point LIAM marketing process which is 100 percent designed to help our advisors turn Life Insurance Awareness into Life Insurance Action:
I. LIAM Blog
The best thing about blogs: They’re not emails. A blog is a great way to communicate an opinion through a non-oversaturated medium. Unlike emails, often deleted before they are opened, blogs get read. Today’s professionals seek out opinion-based information from successful sources known to have valuable insight. If an organization has credibility and consistently delivers ideas that generate revenue, save revenue or provide cutting edge strategies, blogging is one of the best ways to communicate. In the case of Life Insurance Awareness Month, waiting until September is too late. Advisors need to be thinking about leveraging the peripheral activity way before the actual month hits. A great source of content for blogs can be found at www.lifehappens.org or http://blog.lifepro.com/
II. realLIFEstories…in Real Life
What’s better than a realLIFEstories video? A Real Life Story delivered in person by the individuals who experienced firsthand the compassion of our industry. We all know why someone should have life insurance. But life insurance isn’t bought based on logic, it’s bought based on emotion. When we, as the life insurance professional, are able to experience the highs, the lows, the blood, sweat and tears of a family traumatized by an untimely death through their very own eyes, we become more in tune with what we provide. When we see with our own eyes and hear with our own ears how a family persevered because of our products, we become more effective in serving our community, our clients and our own practices. Each year at the LifePro University, which takes place not unintentionally in September, we feature one of the Life Happens realLIFEstory families. From Melissa Wandall and her daughter Madison to Melisa Knolls, very few eyes are left dry by the end of the presentation. Ironically, it is not the Washington Economist, New York Times best seller, or million-dollar sales system creator that are surrounded three people deep at the after-reception. It’s the real life consumers who openly and generously shared their story of triumph to inspire us that become the stars of the show.
III. realLIFEstories…Real Time
Unfortunately, space and geographic limitations prevent all who need to experience a live realLIFEstory from actually doing so on an annual basis. Fear not, these stories are made available on a real time basis at www.lifehappens.org. As we approach Life Insurance Awareness Month, LifePro increasingly features these videos during our daily online university webinars. Since awareness is the name of the game, it’s important to build the awareness early and ride the momentum right through the end of the year. Though we only have one Life Insurance Awareness Month a year, the reality is that we need to help advisors keep their communities completely aware of life insurance all 12 months.
IV. LIAM Turnkey Agent Action Plan
The resources are out there. With spokespeople such as singer, actor and film producer Donny Wahlberg, former NFL quarterback and current network color commentator Boomer Esiason, and fashion model and actress Leslie Bibb, Life Insurance Awareness Month commands attention in the eye of the public. The key is finding a way to harness the resources and branding in a way that generates action. Action for an advisor’s practice and action for communities that we serve. If action is the goal, then it stands to reason that a plan must be created and implemented. The pillars of the template we provide our advisors with consist of, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Life Insurance Awareness Client Based Video Marketing. This two-minute cartoon/voiceover video is designed for an advisor to email to his database or a purchased email list. After watching the video the prospect, now educated on the importance of life insurance in an engaging, entertaining and thought-provoking manner, is given the option of requesting more information. Upon doing so he becomes a very warm lead for the advisor.
2. Call Script. Once the client has engaged, it’s time to go to work. The initial conversation can be free-flowing, but there are key elements that an advisor must touch on. Thus a script is always helpful, even if it is not strictly adhered to.
3. Fact Finder. Whether building the case yourself or allowing your back office support team to do it for you, obtaining the most significant information is critical. It also allows for a more in-depth client data collection to be used in annual reviews, policy audits or even data mining efforts.
4. Client Proposal and Supporting Material. Though each element of the LIAM Action Plan is vital, leaving the client with the realization that your proposal is one of the—if not the—most crucial elements of their family’s overall financial health is arguably the most important of all the steps. For that reason we make sure our advisors are armed with highly professional and thorough presentation materials supported with graphs, statistics and carrier financials. These are designed with one thing in mind: Action!
It’s been said that the key to getting ahead is getting started. The difference between a prize-winning race horse and the rest of the pack is often no bigger than a nose. The way to gain that proverbial nose and increase your production and value to prospects and clients alike is to utilize the advantages you have at your fingertips.
Life Insurance Awareness Month is a tremendous advantage that’s been afforded to those of us who practice in this great industry. Don’t waste this advantage. Rather, embrace it, harness it and, above all, “actionize” it.
NAIFA Members Prepare For Life Insurance Awareness Month
According to LIMRA, 30 percent of U.S. households have no life insurance. To remind Americans of the critical need to include life insurance in their financial plans, Life Happens coordinates Life Insurance Awareness Month, an industry-wide campaign aimed at encouraging all Americans to take stock of their life insurance needs. The educational initiative takes place every September and is joined by more than 100 of the nation’s leading insurance companies and industry groups.
The campaign offers NAIFA members an opportunity to talk to people in their communities about their life insurance needs at a time when life insurance may already be on their minds. Life Happens offers a wide range of tools and resources to make that job easier. They include:
• Access to all LIAM materials at www.lifehappens.org/industry.
• Access to two new videos featuring former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason. Members can share a link to the following videos:
• “Undercover Boomer the Barista” video
• Boomer’s Public Service Announcement
• Additional Boomer resources are also available:
• Boomer’s Real Life Story downloadable flyer
• 5 Minutes With Boomer downloadable flyer
• Boomer’s advice to Millennials: “Taking the Next Step” downloadable flyer
• Pre-approved quotes from Boomer for social media
In addition, there’s a wide range of LIAM and general life insurance materials:
• New LIAM logo!
• Social media content, pre-written posts, graphics and statistics
• New videos:
• A new Life Insurance 101 video
• Two new “True Cost” videos showing how affordable life insurance really is
• Three new Real Life Stories 2014 videos
• Two Real Life Stories 30-second videos
New flyers available:
• Two Life Happens-themed downloadable flyers
• A Life lessons downloadable flyer
Football and Life Insurance-Themed Marketing “Giveaways”
Because Life Happens recently launched an industry-only site, NAIFA members will need to sign in to access all the content available at www.lifehappens.org/industry.
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