Tim Bennett has been in the insurance business since 1986 and started regularly using the Client Needs Assessment (CNA) in 2019.
Before he started using the CNA to uncover needs with his clients, he realized he was missing out on potential sales. "There's been more than one time that I found out people bought policies and didn't buy them from me," he explains.
By using the CNA with both existing and new clients, Bennett has not only been able to save sales, but he's been able to grow his business without spending any additional money on marketing or leads.
In fact, within a couple days of adopting the CNA, he made over $2,200 in commission that previously would've been left on the table.
Leaving Money on the Table
"I started in college," Bennett explains. "Mostly senior market. I've done some underage health insurance and employee benefits along with Med Supp, term insurance, and whole life insurance."
But like most independent agents in the senior market, his first focus is the Medicare Supplement.
Bennett would sit down with a new client, secure the Med Supp, and potentially go through some life insurance questions that would often uncover some final expense sales.
One day, he started asking some of the life insurance questions with his existing Medicare Supplement client.
Do you have life insurance?
Out of the blue, the client says, "Oh, well we bought 2 policies!"
It turns out the husband's premium was around $2,500 per year, and the wife's was $1,600 per year.
"With that kind of premium, you're talking about a lot of money that you didn't make because you didn't ask. Needless to say, that was a long drive home thinking that I'd left $4,000 in commissions on the table," he explains.
Hesitations About Using the CNA
A few years ago, Bennett was introduced to the idea of the CNA.
The concept was solid, and it sounded like a great plan. So, he started using it.
But... things got busy. He needed to get from one appointment to the next, so he started to phase out the CNA.
More time passed, and everything seemed to be going well. But at the beginning of 2019, he learned about Michael Sams' production numbers, which topped $1 million in 2018. "That's staggering. You have to listen to that kind of production."
Michael Sams is an agent trainer here at New Horizons who also maintains a large book of business. He personally saw his sales take off when he started using the CNA. "It sounds silly to say this, but when we quit trying to sell insurance and began to meet the need of the client, my sales took off," says Sams.
After hearing about Sams' production numbers and how the CNA was the "golden ticket" to achieving it, Bennett was inspired to give it another go.
"You just have to make the time to do it," says Bennett. "A lot of times, you uncover something – more often than you would expect."
What Happened After Implementing the CNA
Bennett started regularly using the CNA to guide his appointments with both new and existing clients. Within a couple days, he wrote enough business to generate over $2,200 in commission.
"If you use the CNA, you're going to sell something," he explains. "Even a bad salesmen will come up with something. You'd be amazed."
For example, he asked Question #7: Do you currently carry any life insurance?
And his client replied: I've really been thinking I needed more life insurance!
"That's not something you normally hear," he laughs.
Uncovering Expiring Term Life Insurance
There are several scenarios that Bennett ran into after using the CNA, one of which is the expiring (or expired) term life insurance policy.
"One of my clients had a term policy with Transamerica, and it just expired without him noticing," Bennett says. "He never would've known if I hadn't asked."
While he delivered the Medicare Supplement contract, he followed up on getting his life insurance coverage figured out.
"That's a good time to go over it – when you already have the first policy in place," he says.
Another recent one happened at the end of February with clients who had two 20-year terms. The couple was 68 and 69 years old, and their policies were about to run out.
Bennett saw two possibilities:
- They could decide to go permanent
- They could ride it out knowing that they'll lose their coverage
Option 2 obviously isn't appealing, because they'd be without life insurance.
Bennett finds that a lot of people are interested in single premium whole life. They want to leave something behind to their kids, grandkids, or spouse. If they have term insurance, they may not leave anything, but they're still paying for it.
"Even if they have $100,000, they may only allocate $25,000 towards a whole life policy. But that client knows someone will get paid eventually," he explains.
Ultimately, Bennett has found that the CNA opens up possibilities to help his clients and to give him more policies in the same house.
"I do believe if you have more than one policy in the household, you're more likely to keep that client for 20 years or more," Tim Bennett says.
Uncovering Short-Term Care | Recovery Care Insurance
At the end of February, Bennett wrote a short-term care policy with Aetna.
"I've been writing long-term care and nursing home policies since the 80s, you know," he recalls.
As we all know, the long-term care insurance landscape has dramatically changed, and it's difficult to know how to pivot into a new product that will offset some of the potential long-term care costs.
However, the CNA helped Bennett get into that conversation when he asked Question #6: Have you had a family member use home health care or go into a nursing home?
And then, a few follow-up questions: How did they pay for it? and How would you pay for it?
"I wouldn't have talked about short-term care if I hadn't gone through the CNA," he says.
The conversation opened up, and it turns out they had applied for a long-term care insurance policy and had been declined.
Uncovering Cancer Care Insurance
Bennett has uncovered a lot of cancer policies. "I find out a lot of people already have them," he says.
A ton of people buy these policies, and that was a bit of a surprise to Bennett.
Uncovering Final Expense Insurance
Bennett sells death benefits that range from $2,500 all the way up to $2.5 million.
"I kind of felt like I either wasn't doing them any good or I was too 'professional' to sell final expense," he explains.
However, there has been more than one time that he has found out that clients bought final expense, but they didn't buy it from him.
Bennett found that it was ultimately one of two reasons that he lost that sale:
- He didn't bring it up at the right time
- He didn't bring it up at all
The CNA has helped fix that, because he brings it up with his clients every time they meet.
Introducing the CNA to Current Clients
This is a concern for a lot of agents who are just starting to use the CNA – how do you start using this new questionnaire with existing clients?
"Sometimes, you can sense that they wonder if you're just trying to sell them something else," says Bennett.
His advice? Reframe the conversation.
He will often say something like:
We found a better situation for you with your Medicare Supplement – why wouldn't we have a better situation for you over here?
For example, they may have had a life insurance policy for 40 years, and that agent may not even be in the business anymore.
"I uncovered one that had a beneficiary that was an ex-wife. So... that's one thing that I do. I always ask about beneficiaries and things like that. That's important. If it says the ex-wife, guess who's getting the money?" he laughs.
Additionally, if you don't ask, you'll never know. "I've had situations where I thought 'these people aren't going to buy anything else' and I found out they've spent thousands on life insurance with someone else," he says.
At the end of the day, Bennett says that if you're in the business to make money, he believes you'll leave sales on the table. Or, someone else is going to sell to your clients and will ultimately poach your business.
If you're interested in trying the CNA for yourself, you can download the free questionnaire using the link below.