sales and marketing
| By Jack D. Campbell, CLU, ChFC
Learning From the Past
A sales script that was effective during the Great Depression can help you sell insurance during this recession.
Does history indeed repeat itself? And if so, what do we learn from it?
We do recognize that the economy
goes through good and bad periods.
The bulls and bears move in opposite
directions. Only in critical downturns do
we look for resolves, while recognizing
that recovery has always occurred. Also,
we note that some enterprising folk can
become proactive even in the darkest of
times and make lemonade out of lemons.
In 1932, in the depths of the
Depression, a 30-year-old Mass
Mutual agent became the first MDRT
qualifier from the state of Nebraska.
My father, John Campbell, was one of
121 nationally to so qualify. He combined the magic of life insurance with
the challenges of the moment.
That concept was attractive enough to
place substantial volumes of permanent
insurance at a more difficult economic time
than we now witness.
A conversation opener
Knowing many who had sufficient
income to preserve the living standards of the moment and who were
damaged only by the erosion of their
assets, the conversation went something like this:
you like to die at par? Here is what my
company can do for you. If you die
before the market recovery restores your
total estate, we will give your estate,
income-tax free, the amount of your loss
or more. And if you live to the time the
market recovers, the company will return
part or all of the money you have given
us—and maybe a little extra. Does that
Campbell: “How are things going
Client: “Not good. The market has
Campbell: “Do you think it will ever
Client: “Always has.”
Campbell: “How long do you think it
Client: “Don’t know. Maybe five, 10
or 15 years.”
That concept was attractive enough
to place substantial volumes of permanent insurance during a more difficult
economic time than we now witness.
At a time like this, our industry
is in a favorable position. We have
■ The life insurance industry has an
absolute monopoly on the sale of time.
■ A whole life contract offers guarantees of cash values—and continued
dividends in the darkest of times. (As
one advertisement suggested, “You
don’t have to look at the daily investment reports; your cash values went
provide for the return of some or all of
the premium funds paid, as does whole
life alone. None of those who purchased
permanent policies surrendered them
when the market recovered. By that time,
they had realized the basic truth: Permanent life insurance is great property. They
perceived it as the base foundation of any
estate at any time—as it still is.
An enterprising agent can use this
concept today. He may not have the
same result, but I can almost guarantee
he will have a conversation starter that
can pivot into any need uncovered.
It was effective in 1932. Try it today. ;
Jack D. Campbell, CLU, ChFC, has been a
NAIFA member for 55 years and is a life member of MDRT. He is a registered representative
of and offers securities through MML Investors
Services Inc., a MassMutual subsidiary.
Campbell: “So at some future time
your personal estate will recover. It
is only a matter of time. How would
Yes, term insurance can also offer
the sale of time. It does not, however,
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