Using Why to Start the LTD Convo and Why Curiosity Kills Cats but Saves LTD Chats

May 21, 2022 | Written by Samuel Newland, CFP.

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Sometimes it can be a struggle just to start the disability conversation. Oftentimes there can be a gut feeling that it is a simple waste of time because people have said no so many times in the past or the client has said things or fit a profile that makes you feel like they do not want disability insurance.

The first way to combat this is to start conversations with curiosity to understand your client rather than like you are a gladiator entering the arena to convince and defeat your opponent. Being curious about how your client feels about disability and exploring their reasons for and against puts everyone at ease and makes it a normal, relaxed conversation. People think significantly better when relaxed than when negative or stressed. Both you and your client will be able to have a clear head and your client will feel respected. Simply put, having a curious conversation is a risk-free way to have potentially contentious conversations. How could one get upset at someone asking genuinely curious questions?

The second way to manage the issue of starting the conversation with someone is by having a structure to the conversation that works. Combining this script with curiosity will create winning results. For what it is worth, this conversation combines techniques from Dan Pink (from 1 to 10) and Chris Voss (asking in the negative).

For example, here is how the conversation could look:

CFP: Out of curiosity, from 1-to-10, how against long-term disability are you?

Client: I would say I am an 8-out-of-10.

CFP: Okay. Interesting. What are all the reasons that it is so high?

Client: Well, it just does not seem like it is going to happen to me. It seems super unlikely. It also seems like a whole lot of time and money for nothing.

CFP: Okay. So, it sounds like you do not feel like you will ever be disabled. And as a result, it seems like a complete waste of time and money to you.

Client: Yes. That’s right.

CFP: Okay. Great. Glad I understand. Given that it appears like it is a waste of time and money, why aren’t you simply a 10? Why just an 8?

Client: Interesting. Well, I guess in the off chance I become disabled I guess it would be terrible.

CFP: Got it. On the off chance something bad happens, would you find it useful to have a payment to protect you from losing everything you have worked hard to build, save, and invest in?

Client: Yes. That’s right.

CFP: You had mentioned an off chance. It sounds like you feel like the chances are low.

Client: Yes. I have just never met anyone who is or has become disabled.

CFP: Since you don’t know anyone, you feel like it’s not likely to happen to you.

Client: Exactly.

CFP: Got it. Makes sense. And, briefly changing subjects, how do you feel about having life insurance?

Client: Feels like a reasonable thing to have to protect loved ones.

CFP: I agree. If I told you a study found that amongst home foreclosures, nearly 50% were caused by disability and only about 2% from premature deaths, how would you feel about the importance of disability insurance as compared to life insurance?*

Client: Well, it would seem like it would be just as important as life insurance or even more important.

CFP: Agreed. Would it be a bad idea to look into life and disability options and/or connect you with my life and disability experts so that you get the best deal on the market?

Client: No. Not at all.

CFP: Great. I will make the connection later today.

Just like that, you can flip a client who would have never looked at a disability policy into looking into it by being curious by how your client feels about disability. This sample dialogue utilizes phrases such as paraphrasing and asking in the negative that slowly bring the client to an emotional space that opens them to looking into a disability policy. We will analyze this dialogue and cover those techniques in future articles.

The use of the word “why” with regards to “Why aren’t you a 10? Why just an 8?” is very strategic. People are conditioned not to like the word why. Think of your parents correcting or critiquing you when saying why are you doing that? Or maybe a child is always asking why? But why? Why is an uncomfortable word that instinctively puts people on the defensive and forces them to defend their position. In this case, it forces them to acknowledge the benefits of a disability policy. By doing this, you get their reason for why there is value to a disability policy.

This is the information and perspective you should focus on because it is what matters to them. You may think it should matter to them to protect their children’s education fund and not their home. But if they say they value disability policy to protect their mortgage, then your focus should be on protecting their mortgage and not the education fund. Using why here gives you the golden information for what matters to them. When you focus on what matters to them, they will feel empathy and understand that you care about them and open themselves up because they feel respected and understood.

When your client feels understood and respected, you can get them protected.

*Health Affairs, the Policy Journal of the Health Sphere, 2 February 2005

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  • Have any specific questions about the concepts or ideas in this article series or do not think it would be a bad idea to learn more about how to have better conversations
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