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by David Szeremet, JD, CLU, ChFC on Mar 29, 2018 9:00:00 AM

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Growing Your Business Market

These sales ideas came from David Szeremet, an industry expert who knows a thing or two about succeeding in the business-insurance market. Pay close attention to the following ideas and you will acquire more business than you ever imagined!


Growing Your Business Market By David Szeremet, JD, CLU, ChFC


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Here are two great ideas for revving up your business-insurance sales.


Stay on Target!

Some life insurance advisors new to the business market struggle because they fail to stay on target. To keep things simple, they should keep in mind that the business life insurance market consists of three targets, each of decreasing importance. These markets are: (1) protecting the operating team; (2) business succession planning; and, (3) fringe benefit planning for top employees.


Protecting the operating team is generally the most important target. It’s also the easiest to articulate. Any successful business owner should understand that key employees are, by far, a business’ most valuable asset. Just as machinery and buildings are insured, so, too, should key employees be insured. With key-person life insurance, the policy death benefit is designed to indemnify the business and buy the business time to find and train a replacement.


Once the operating team is protected, business succession planning is the next target. Buy-sell planning is a time-tested strategy. Common sense dictates that it is much easier to plan for the sale or ownership transition of a business while all interested parties are healthy and under no financial strain. Planning for transition after an owner’s death is generally the worst possible time. Due to its cost-effectiveness, predictability and tax treatment, life insurance takes center stage when it comes to funding a buy-sell agreement.

The third target, fringe benefit planning, accounts for some of the largest sales. Cash value life insurance strategies, such as executive bonus, split-dollar and supplemental executive retirement plans, are where creative life insurance advisors thrive. It’s also where you find the least competition. Top employees are looking for compensation sweeteners and business owners are looking for affordable ideas. You can deliver if you remember to stay on target!


Make the Most of Your Clients' Milestone Events-Offer to Take Their Children Out to Lunch

Life’s milestones are big moments for your clients; so, offer to take their children out to lunch when they reach a milestone event. The meeting is mostly informal. The primary goal is to get to know your guest and demonstrate that you can be an excellent listener. The meeting also serves to build trust with the next generation. Over time, these relationships will help grow your sales.


During the lunch, you can weave in a variety of relevant topics. Topics will vary by the type of milestone event you are celebrating. They include:


  • First job. Topics include the importance of setting a budget, developing healthy spending habits, and how to choose between competing wants/needs.
  • High school graduation. Topics include post-high school plans and financial "next steps."
  • College graduation. Topics include managing college debt, spring boarding a good credit rating, and protecting insurability.
  • Marriage (spouse should be in attendance). Topics include first home purchase, how to blend finances and how to constructively discuss money.
  • Birth or adoption of a child. Topics include time management skills and establishing an education fund. 


Editor’s Note: For the sales ideas in this issue, we go to David Szeremet, an industry expert who knows a thing or two about succeeding in the business-insurance market. Pay close attention to the following ideas and you will acquire more business than you ever imagined!


David Szeremet, JD, CLU, ChFC, is second vice president, Advanced Planning, at Ohio National Financial Services based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Szeremet is responsible for the Advanced Planning team that provides estate planning, executive benefits, business insurance and life insurance planning. He can be reached at david_szeremet@ohionational.com or 513.794.6389.


This article appeared in Advisor Today.


Topics: Sales