How do we feel about buying financial or insurance products over the phone?

Aug 2, 2016Blog

Senior Citizens are often sold something that they don’t understand—even from a reputable source like the Life Insurance Industry…

“Sell More Final Expense Life Insurance by using an easy-to-follow system of selling life insurance over the phone.” This was the headline in an email I received last week.
Is it illegal to sell insurance over the phone?
No, it’s not. Is it effective? I’m guessing that it is, or this advertisement would not have been sent to me as a “prospective over the phone insurance salesman”.
I wonder how this might play out—this selling Life Insurance over the phone…
“Hi, this is Gary Smith calling from WealthSmith Financial Planning, LLC. I would like to talk to you about your life insurance, do you have a minute to talk?”
“No, Gary, I just got home from work, and I have to get supper ready for the kids, and I already have an agent.
……click…dial tone……annoying busy signal beeping in my ear.

Ok, so I guess I should stay away from working people who just got home from work. Next!

“Hi, this is Gary Smith calling from WealthSmith Financial Planning, LLC. I would like to talk to you about your life insurance, do you have a minute?”
“I’m sorry Mr. Smith, but Mr. Jones is in a meeting. I’m his assistant; can I take a message?”
“Sure, please tell him Gary Smith called.” I’m pretty sure that I won’t receive a return call from Mr. Jones.
OK, so I guess I should also stay away from people who are at work. I wouldn’t want to be bothered at work by someone trying to sell me life insurance over the phone either. Next!
“Hi, is this Carl? Carl, this is Gary Smith calling from WealthSmith Financial Planning, LLC. I would like to talk to you about your life insurance.”
“Who is this? I don’t hear so well.”
“This is Gary, I’m calling about your life insurance.”
“Oh, ok, go head young fellah.” (Hmmm, seems like I’ve got a live one.)
“Well Carl, do you remember how much life insurance you have?”
“Oh, I don’t know. My wife used to handle that, and she passed away a few years ago. We were married for 45 years!”
“Wow, Carl, 45 years is a long time! Well, I can tell you that the cost of funerals has gone up since your wife passed away, and I bet you don’t want to be a burden to your kids, do you?”
“Gosh no! My kids have so much on their plates…I don’t want to be a burden to them at all!”
“Well, I’ve got the answer for you, Carl. Would you like to take care of this so that you are not a burden to your kids?”
“Well, I guess so… much is it going to cost?”
“Well, you’re in luck, Carl. It’s going to cost you less than a cup of Starbucks coffee a day. Do you have a credit card, Carl?”
“Ok, Carl, get that credit card out, and let’s protect your kids from high funeral bills!”
What do we know about our elderly parents?
Well, I can tell you this…when the phone rings, my 78-year old father picks it up. He lost my mother a few years ago, and when he is home alone, he hopes the person calling is someone friendly to talk to.
Is dying something that our elderly parents think about?
Yes, in fact, reading the obituaries is as much a part of my father’s daily routine as waking up in the morning… he knows who passed away, why, and when… and he reports this news to me on a weekly basis.
Do our elder parents worry about becoming a burden on their family?
Absolutely! This is something that is really going to resonate with my father… the last thing he wants to do is become a burden to his three sons.
It’s important to realize that caring for your elderly parents starts way before they are frail or sick.
Today, everywhere you look, there’s a scam, and the elderly make an easy target. You might have even received one of these calls yourself:

  • “This is the IRS, and you owe us money, so you better get out your credit card or you’re going to jail!”
  •  “This is the deputy sheriff, and you have outstanding warrants for your arrest. To avoid being prosecuted further, we are going to need a credit card payment over the phone!”
  •  “This is the American Consulate, and your grandson is in a Mexican prison. If you don’t send $200.00 right away through Western Union, your grandson will be staying in jail for a long time!”

Life insurance sales over the phone is not a scam, but the way that it is communicated can be misleading if it’s not handled with care and patience.
That’s why WealthSmith Financial Planning doesn’t do financial planning over the phone.

We meet with clients one on one, regardless of their age. We also welcome family meetings where multiple generations are present so they can participate too.
Please contact Gary Smith at WealthSmith Financial Planning, LLC so we can show you how to protect your elder parents while ensuring that your financial plan stays intact as well.
WealthSmith Financial Planning, LLC. Providing a better way forward.


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