When we are looking for real evidence, we need to be clear as to what we are trying to prove.
Real evidence concerning whether or not a substance is actually honey requires that we taste it.
Real evidence concerning whether or not a substance is actually ammonia requires that we smell it.
Real evidence for whether or not a client’s family needs life insurance is not more product knowledge nor a better handle on its tax advantages, but rather actual stories of other families that benefited from it. The glory and exclusive wonder of life insurance is in its singular ability to positively impact lives intersected by major (and often devastating) changes.
Sharing only product performance through illustrations may only make clients believe in illustrated performance. It may not help them believe their family needs it! It is the beautiful singularity of life insurance to deliver funds when most needed that is the proper object of our conviction!
Believing that life insurance has generally great tax advantages, or a decent internal rate of return, does not translate into a belief that it can really do a client’s family any good. While educating clients regarding how life insurance products function is essential, such information is insufficient to prompt action.
Honey can be easily known through taste and ammonia can be experienced through smell.
Life insurance, properly presented, is truly only known through real stories of actual families that stayed in their homes, whose kids were able to attend college or whose comfortable retirement was made possible because the individuals supplemented their income using qualified plans and permanent life insurance.
There is a difference between intellectual knowledge and the emotional conviction that leads to action. Knowing and believing are not the same thing. Believing includes the willful embrace of what is believed. Knowledge does not necessitate action.
People do not typically relate well to life insurance. The terms we use are unusual. Paradoxically, stories of real people whose lives were improved by life insurance make it seem less foreign.
“When someone starts to describe your experience in words you have never heard, and in ways you have never understood, suddenly the strange words all sound exactly right.”*
Sharing the experience of others whose lives are similar to the clients’ lives makes the idea seem more tenable.
In 2017, we need to train independent financial professionals to transmit information and knowledge, certainly, but more important, to motivate their clients through effective stories!
The opinions and ideas expressed by Dave Murphy are his own and not necessarily those of North American Company for Life and Health Insurance® or its affiliates. North American Company for Life and Health Insurance® does not endorse or promote these opinions and ideas nor does the company or agents give tax advice.
*”A Peculiar Glory,” Dr. John Piper, Crossway, Wheaton, IL 2016