It’s crucial for clients to be in the right products.

So make sure you do comprehensive needs analyses, and ask clients where they’ll be 10 years from now. Helping clients see the future they will create is a big part of the art of selling life and living benefits insurance. It also allows you to figure out the amounts they need today and in 10 years’ time.

Here’s a list of questions:

  • How old will you be in 10 years?
  • Will you be living in the same place or will you have traded up, or will you have downsized?
  • Will you have a mortgage in 10 years? If so, how much will it be?
  • Will you own property in another country?
  • Will you have children? How old will your children be 10 years from now?
  • Will your children be in school or working? Living on their own or still with you?
  • Will you have grandchildren in 10 years? How many and how old do you think they will be then?
  • Will you be working or retired in 10 years? If working, what will be the nature of your work? Will you be doing the same work as you are today? Will you be doing it on a full- or part-time basis?
  • If retired, what activities will fill your days?
  • Do you have any favorite charities or not-for-profit organizations that you will be doing volunteer work for?

A 40-year insurance veteran called his clients’ answers to the questions “an amazing insight to their thought processes. I now have an easy mechanism to start the charitable donation and insured annuity conversation as an answer to the common held objection, ‘I won’t need this much insurance when I’m retired.’ ”

Helena Smeenk Pritchard has over 36 years of experience in the insurance industry and is the Principal of Helena Smeenk Pritchard & Associates, a leader in “Insurance Know-How” training. Helena publishes a weekly free ‘Did You Know’ newsletter on her site.