Take the 90-Day DI Challenge
is your own book
Joseph Russo is an Underwriter
and Account Executive at Petersen
International Underwriters. With
over 15 years in the financial services
industry, Russo is a “specialty
market” life and disability insurance
expert, as well as the Editor-In-Chief
of Petersen International’s weekly
publication, The Communicator.
Joe can be reached at [email protected]
Spurred-on by social media and business marketing platforms, personal-growth “challenges”
are all the craze in recent years. Examples like the “ice bucket challenge” that successfully
raised public awareness for ALS foundations as well as individual fitness and weight-loss
challenges that have helped private boot camps and gyms bolster membership numbers.
These highly-publicized self-help programs have proven to be effective marketing strategies
that aim to influence paying demographics and expand societal awareness.
Petersen International Underwriters has jumped on that bandwagon and has decreed a
“90-Day DI Challenge” to all licensed life and health insurance agents across the country in
hopes of raising awareness of the great American disability insurance industry in association
with Disability Insurance Awareness Month. Beginning May 1st, 2019, we challenge you to
challenge yourself to sell 15 new, non-renewal DI policies over the next three months. The
placements can come from either or both personal and business coverage. That is only five
policies a month which will assist you in expanding your product portfolio and protect the
most important of assets of your clientele — their ability to earn a paycheck.
Below are several strategies and marketing guidelines to help create success in this
challenge and future DI sales.
Check your client files
Cold-calling and even reaching out on so-called “hot” leads can be daunting and an
unfortunate uphill battle for the most confident of sales professionals. Better yet is word-of-
mouth advertising and business referrals that come directly from trusted clients. But in your
client files dwell the real advantages to making more DI sales.
Your greatest marketing resource is your own book of business. Your current and previous
clients trust you as you have worked diligently in the past to protect their financial interests
through advisement and worthwhile product sales. Experience has shown they will be open
to new, fresh ideas that you bring to protect their families from financial ruin in the way of
disability insurance. Contact your life clients. Call your annuity clients. If they are working
professionals, earning regular paychecks, they need disability insurance and appropriate levels
of coverage at that.
Opening doors for cross-selling
After you have run through their personal disability options, turn your attention to their
businesses. Another great DI sales strategy is to use business coverage to open the doors to
further cross-selling opportunities.
Those of your clients that are business owners of any corporate structure and size face
greater loss potential than most, considering their assets and the responsibilities and liabilities
that come with owning and running companies with multiple employees. Business owners not
only need personal disability insurance for themselves and their employees, but also for the
continuity of their corporate entities.
Products like key person insurance, business overhead expense coverage, buy/sell platforms
as well as business loan indemnification are all quite important protection facets when it
comes to the prosperity of a corporation and its employees that rely on the success and
continuation of such a business.
Having the magic number
In addition to business insurances, don’t hesitate to upsell your clients on additional personal
disability coverage. Most Americans that have some form of income protection insurance don’t
usually have sufficient levels as suggested by disability experts across the country. Sixty-five
percent is the magic number. If a client isn’t covered to sixty-five percent of their income by
some responsible form of personal disability insurance, that client is simply underinsured.
The remedy to such a grievous problem is to prescribe additional layers or tiers of income
protection by way of group long-term disability, individual DI as well as excess, high-limit DI.
You may also want to turn your attention to the DI industry’s hottest commodity — multi-life
guaranteed-issue (GSI) coverage. This product line in general provides excess disability
insurance with substantial discounts on a guaranteed-issue basis (no exams or labs
or lengthy applications), and can be acquired on groups with minimal participation
requirements. GSI has become quite a lucrative tool and the new standard among
agents focused on the medical, accounting and legal profession marketplaces.
If a client isn’t covered to
65% of their income by
some responsible form
of personal disability
insurance, that client is
The previously suggested strategies, your own lifetime of experience as well as your
usual sales repertoire should make the “90-Day DI Challenge” an easily surmountable
opportunity that will help raise disability insurance awareness throughout the industry,
as well as to prospects that are probably naïve to the real and formidable economic
disasters brought about by one’s unforeseen disablement. Millions of Americans
become disabled every year due to accident or illness, and they all need to be properly
protected with multiple, high levels of disability insurance. Take part in this year’s important
challenge not only for the commissions, but also to provide your clientele with peace of mind
and financial assurances into the future.
Can you project your
commissions for next month?
How about next year?
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