The Writing’s on the Wall if You Don’t Own What You Sell

It’s important for new agents and advisors—or actually any agent or advisor—to understand that if they’re going to sell something, they need to first own it themselves.

If you’re going to sell long-term care insurance or disability insurance, you’d better own it. The same applies to whole life policies, universal life and other products and services. Everything I present to my clients as possible solutions I own myself. I bought life insurance for my wife; I bought permanent life insurance for my children; I bought whole life policies for all of my grandchildren. I’m still paying the premiums on them as a gift to my family, but the bottom line is you have to believe in what you’re selling.

If you don’t believe in what you are selling enough to own it, and you’re planning on presenting it to a client who asks if you have it yourself, the writing’s on the wall about how that meeting will likely end.

My father, who was also in the life insurance business, invested in whole life insurance policies for me when I was very young. A few years after my wife and I got married, we decided to buy a house. I’d only been working a couple of years, fresh out of college, so while my income wasn’t great there was a source of money. That source was the cash values of my whole life policies, which I had taken over in terms of paying the premiums, and from which I borrowed to obtain the down payment on our first home.

When my children were born, my wife and I bought whole life policies for them, as did my father. When it came time for college and law school, part of the source of funding for their education came from the cash values of those policies.

As I move closer to retirement, I may use those cash values as an income supplement. It all comes full circle. The value of the investment in these policies that you make when starting your life insurance business cannot be underestimated.

Adapted from book “Man on a Mission: A Matter of Life and Death. Serving Others in the Life Insurance Based Financial Services Industry” by Marvin Feldman, CLU, ChFC, RFC.

by Marvin H. Feldman

Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC, RFC, is president of the Feldman Financial Group in Palm Harbor, Fla., and CEO emeritus of Life Happens. He is a 41-year Million Dollar Round Table member and was the 2002 president. He is a 33-year member of the MDRT Top of the Table and a past Top of the Table chairman. He also is the recipient of the 2011 John Newton Russell award, the highest honor bestowed on an individual by the insurance industry.

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