Who pays the bills?

Who pays the bills?

How many times have you walked into a room full of people and shied away from introducing yourself, because people may still consider you to be the “polissmous” (insurance salesman)!
So, here is my story, which I have told to many students and newcomers to our industry.

Mary and Clive have been my clients for almost 3 decades and being a prosperous business couple, they had made many influential friends in the community they served.
When Clive passed away unexpectedly, I found myself entering a room with people, who Mary had invited, because she wanted to thank us for being loyal to Clive over so many years.

I observed the following – everyone there had a vested interest:
– The bank manager – always the kingpin in Clive’s business when funding was needed and he supplied many loans and bonds at an affordable interest rate.
– The lawyer was there because he had drawn up many an agreement document and he still had to do the estate.
– The doctor was there because he had taken care of Clive’s health and attended to him when he suffered the fatal heart attack.
– The psychiatrist who helped Clive cope during difficult stressful times and was now going to council Mary through her time of bereavement.
– The owner of the car dealership had sold Clive many new vehicles and traded the old ones, surely, he would assist Mary to find a reliable personal vehicle for future use.
– The accountant was there, because the statements of the business had to be finalised and he was hoping to continue doing the books for Mary.
– The tax consultant (being a CA) was Clive and Mary’s trusted tax adviser and kept SARS at bay through all these years. He was also going to assist with winding up the estate.
– The architect who helped Mary with her dream house and had just completed the beach house project was hoping she would give him the contract for the renovations to their business premises, which Clive had initiated 2 months ago.
– The equity trader and part time fund manager who built the wealth portfolio for Clive and Mary, was already thinking he should pay Mary a visit to see what the estate has to offer, which he could invest.

All the above role players had one thing in common! Outstanding bills that still had to be paid – and where would Mary find the money to do so? The economy was not her friend and times were tough!

The only person in that room that could make a difference – was ME! Knowing that Clive had ample life assurance made me stand tall!
When I meet people and they ask me what I do I tell them: “I am a professional caretaker…and I pay bills!”

We need to master the art of persuasion and as advisers assist our clients to understand that when they die there are bills to pay. Buying life insurance is not natural behaviour, clients do not want to think about disability and dying.

In economic difficult times get yourself in front of the client and ask those disturbing and difficult questions! Then offer them the solution that creates wealth and pays the bills!

Dirk Baard

Dirk Baard

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