AMEX Financial Services

The Challenge: Financial planners often find it difficult to sell life insurance to their clients. Perceived obstacles include everything from the cliched reputation of the “life insurance salesman” to the reluctance of customers and planners alike to discuss the difficult topic of death. AMEX Financial Services came to us looking to grow this essential segment of their business.

Our Findings: We discovered that pretty much everyone resists life insurance—including financial planners. But it isn’t due to the products themselves or a fear of death. Rather, it’s because the process itself is awful. Clients told us that they feel powerless, suspicious, and inadequate. Planners revealed that they felt pressure from management to meet sales quotas, which made them feel unqualified, untruthful, and incompetent.

Our Strategy: Improving outcomes required revamping the entire process. We built a new approach around three crucial principles:
— Trust is essential
— Trust and transparency come from deeper relationships
— Clients form closer relationships when they feel heard, understood and supported

The Results: We saw sales gains of 8% to 20% among salespeople who received this training. The head of the US Sales team observed, “The advisors with the best relationships with their clients do more than just help them achieve their financial objectives. They help with life planning.”