Many final expense sales agents ask me what part of the final expense presentation is the most critical. Without any doubt, an agent being able to effectively fact-find and pre-qualify is the most important skill to develop when selling final expense burial insurance.
Why is fact-finding and pre-qualifying critical to your success as a final expense agent? Because effective fact-finding and pre-qualifying literally gives the agent the ammo necessary to make the sale, and quickly and early-on establishes whether the person they are meeting with is a prospect (someone pre-qualified to buy final expense life insurance) or a suspect (someone who may have interest, but lacks in a critical component that makes the suspect incapable of buying today).
Effective fact-finding and pre-qualifying not only allows you to sell better, but it also allows you to determine what objections the client may have early on in the sales call, thus allowing the skilled salesperson the ability to address those issues early on.
How to Fact-Find for Final Expense
Fact-finding has an element of uncertainty, as what questions to ask are dictated by the concerns of the prospect; however, there are always 5 questions the final expense agent must remember to ask to determine if the lead is a prospect or a suspect:
(1) What were your thoughts and concerns when you sent this card in?
(2) What are you doing right now as far as planning for Final Expenses?
(3) What would you like a final expense burial insurance plan to do for you?
(4) Do you want to be buried and cremated, and why is that important to you?
(5) Have you ever known anybody who has died without insurance? What happened?
Notice that the questions asked are open-ended; open-ended questions allow the customer to express his experiences and emotions much better than yes/no type of questions. The detailed opinions and experiences you discover via the open-ended questions allow you to find out if a need for coverage exists, and why it is important to the lead.
It's really important that you take fact finding as something that is incredibly important and vital to your success in this business.
Pre-Qualifying Health, Bank, and Budget
After you fact-find, next comes pre-qualifying the prospect to see if he has the health to qualify, the bank account to draft premium payments, and the budget to afford what I am selling.
Remember, as a final expense agent, your time is valuable; pre-qualifying final expense prospects allows you to conserve your most precious asset and determine quickly if the odds are high or low if this lead is either a suspect or a prospect.
Pre-qualifying consists of the following:
- Asking general and specific health questions, including reviewing prescriptions,
- Finding out if the lead has an account that can be drafted electronically, and
- Determining the budget the client is completely comfortable with committing to a final expense life insurance plan.
Agents occasionally bemoan that these are the “tough questions” they want to avoid and wait until the end of the sales call to ask. My perspective is different; asking the tough questions saves the agent and the prospect time, and allows you to spend more time finding the true prospects that have the ability, need, and urgency to buy.
Lastly, after training dozens of final expense agents, I have found most severely shorten or altogether ignore this most critical part of the presentation, usually because they are afraid to ask tough questions. As mentioned above, implementing and committing to this section of the presentation will afford you more time to find the good prospects to sell to while simultaneously reducing your frustration level pitching to unqualified prospects.