Selling DI To The Middle Market

Selling DI To The Middle Market

The Middle Market for disability insurance is untapped and fun. Untapped because they typically have not addressed disability insurance ever in their career, and fun because they are so interesting as far as career choices go and the passion they have about what they do. This market niche is nicheless. Each day brings new information that I find curious and fresh.

My entire career has been disability insurance. I started as an agent for Northwestern Mutual and have done disability wholesaling, home office executive stints and the last two years I’m back at personal production where I began and where I wanted to finish. I came into this business while a junior at BYU, on scholarship for Leadership and planning on Law School. I became acquainted with an insurance legend named Grant Taggert while creating an insurance scholarship in his name for the school. I was touched by his humility. He would ride horseback to sell policies and spoke at industry meetings about providing for widows and orphans. Something resonated. I signed up as a college agent, then went full time in Seattle and never regretted my path.

I am also an introvert.

I sell IDI and life via the internet in all 50 states. The leads come in and I try to craft words that will resonate with them. Words can be very powerful when chosen well. I am trying to “connect” even though we will never meet. I am competing with you as the local agent that they can trust face to face. We both are on equal ground because insurance company rates are filed with the states and we both share the same rates. People come to me via the internet because they think they are saving some money by bypassing you. That is not true. Some people come to me because they are introverts too and just need a calming voice to help them understand the definitions. It is never about price comparison. I only show them one quote. I usually do two quotes and decide which one to show them. Since I compete with you and other internet sites, I try to show them something they have not seen.

For those occupations that have never seen disability insurance before, I start with a two year benefit period and let them know that this is a basic plan per occurrence and point them to the page with all the other benefit period options. So far I have written over a thousand personal emails. Each one is written personally to them as I try to picture talking to them from across the table in their home. I am a storyteller and each story is as unique as they are.

I like the two year benefit period. You have to be comfortable with that to sell it with confidence. Confidence is the belief you have that can be transferred for them to feel. I believe that two years (per occurrence) is the amount of time a person needs to adjust to the new normal that a disability tilted their world to. You never recover from disability, you just adjust to the new normal. Disability changes your perspective on all aspects of life. What was once important may not be a priority anymore, and what was once taken for granted may regain the importance it deserved—because of disability.

I talk about that as I sell with words written of the occasional voice.

I talk about this insurance as an invisible layer surrounding them. This invisible layer is unfelt until needed. I tell them that they will forget me, and this monthly premium, and this layer, and never need to worry about protecting their future income again. They laugh when I say that this is the only way to forget about me.

It is a pure joy when they trust me and apply for disability insurance. The same thing I felt when I read about Grant Taggert 39 years ago.

The two companies I quote each have features that I feel are important. I like one because of the Family Care feature. I believe this is three times more likely to be needed because of the three groups of people it cares about—parents, spouse and children.

I like the second company because of their return of premium at age 67—100 percent of the premium is returned if there is no disabling event. I call that “no disability.” I say to each prospect that this company has all the definitions you want and also defines “no disability” with all your premium back at age 67. No other company does that. I believe in that because most people are not going to be disabled. I used to tell people who bought another company’s products from me years ago that they would never be disabled because they were offered a policy and the underwriting process only made offers on people they knew would never get disabled. The client would laugh as I also did, but I knew it was true. I was always glad to provide that invisible layer of protection back then on the people I easily cared about, but this now preferred company allows me to not only provide good definitions of disability, they also provide for “no disability.”

The middle market is really the entire market. You start in the middle and expand in both directions as you encounter all walks of life needing individual disability insurance.

I think I am in the business for the many and not limited to just the few.

Two years of providing commission income has taught me the value of each sale, each conversation, each lead and each product out there trying to underwrite the future based on the past. I love this business. Thank you Grant Taggert.

Steve Brady has dedicated his entire 38+ year insurance career working in disability insurance. He started as an agent for Northwestern Mutual and has worked in disability wholesaling, as a home office executive and, for the last two years, is back in personal production, where he began and where he wanted to finish. Today he sells IDI and life insurance via the internet in all 50 states.

Brady was honored as the 2011 recipient of the W. Harold Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award by the association board and members of the International DI Society (IDIS) at their annual conference. The DI industry and IDIS’s most prestigious award was created to honor an individual who has demonstrated dedication to the field of expertise in disability insurance, exhibits leadership in his or her professional life and, most important, has made a distinctive contribution to the disability insurance industry while practicing their profession with the highest ethical standards attainable.

Brady can be reached by telephone at: 971-277-0724. Email: