ISN Network – Open and Here to Help

During this time of uncertainty, ISN Network wants to let you know that our office is still open with the exception of most of our staff working remotely. We are still able to take your applications via email, fax or mail.  All of your calls can and will be answered.

The good news is ISN Network’s model has always been to provide financial planning services remotely through technology, phone consultations and “zoom” technology.   We are in the perfect position to deploy our services more than any other financial services provider and all throughout the states we are in!

More than ever, financial planning should be on everyone’s mind.  Let’s be proactive to help others preserve and protect what’s important to them through proper planning and help them achieve peace of mind.

Let us be the expert while you plant the seed and get the conversation started. We’ll take it from there as your strategic business partner and keep you in the loop, every step of the way.

 

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Nothing Stays the Same

Twenty years ago you could buy a first class stamp for 29 cents and fill your gas tank for $1.11 a gallon. Today a stamp is 49 cents and a gallon of gas here in CA is close to $4.00. What these things will cost 20 years from now is anyone’s guess. The only certainty is that prices will continue to rise. This is especially true when we look at the costs of long-term care services such as home care and nursing facilities.

Historically, the cost of long-term care services has increased approximately 5% per year. That trend is expected to continue. So, how do people who purchase a long-term care policy today ensure they will have enough coverage 20 years down the road when they will likely need the care? The answer is inflation protection.

Adding an inflation rider allows the policy benefits to increase annually to help keep pace with the rising cost of services. This rider is must on any long-term care policy that you write. The problem for most is that the rider is very costly. For this reason we suggest a thorough examination of the different riders.

We have found that the cost for the 5% inflation rider is the most expensive. In many cases we have found it is less expensive to buy more monthly benefit now with a lower inflation rider (say 3%) to accomplish the same objective. The objective is to create a pool of money for when you need it. If you need it in 20 years we can get their with either rider, the 5% or the 3%, but analyzing the cost of buying more benefit with a lower rider is a smart move.

Call us to do this work for you…because in the LTC world…nothing stays the same.

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Finding The Yes

I work with so many great Financial Reps that sometimes I like to sit back and think about what makes them so successful. They are all so different. They come from different backgrounds, different parts of the country, different training, and they all have different methods of doing business. But when I really think about their success, they all have one thing in common. They know how to get a client to say YES. And isn’t that the hardest part ?

I spent the first month of 2020 reaching out to our top reps to find out from them what their best tips might be for getting the YES. After much discussion I came up with 4 great tips that could help us all get to the next level of success.

  1. Talk About the Problems People Have – Ask questions about how and why they have have invested in the past and how those decisions have affected their life. What did they do right? What did they do wrong? What would they change if they could?
  2. Listen to Understand – Listening is a skill that all of our top reps highlighted as a key to their success. But don’t listen to respond. It is ok for them to buy for “their” reason. They don’t have to buy for your reason.
  3. Find the Benefit – Features are what a product has or does. Benefits are why someone would want those features – what is happening now that they want to change?
  4. Welcome Objections – Questions gather information, and objections disclose information by revealing what the prospect needs in order to buy today.

 

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Client Feedback? It Can Only Help

It may seem scary at first to open your practice to client feedback, and there are indeed some risks that come with it.

For one, the feedback can feel personal. Mulling over negative comments can become a time suck, so it’s important to realize that client feedback will help your business grow.

You also need the right infrastructure in place to respond to client feedback. Before opening the floodgates, make sure you’re equipped to handle this level of client interaction. If you respond slowly to feedback or not at all, that could negatively affect your business’s reputation just as much as poor client service.

Prepare yourself for client feedback by following these tips:

  • Respond quickly: Set aside time to check comments once a day, whether that’s first thing in the morning or at the end of your workday. Set a goal to respond to comments within 24-48 hours.

  • Set the right tone: Don’t meet rude with rude. If a client leaves an inappropriate or disrespectful comment, be gracious. Other clients will see how you interact, so it’s better to use a friendly tone.

  • Prioritize comments: Negative comments probably deserve a more timely response. However, you should prioritize specific feedback over vague comments. For example, if a customer says she hates your voice mail, there’s not much you can do about this. However, if another customer says she had to wait an hour on hold when calling your office, you can respond right away, quickly apologize, ask for more details, and promise to correct the problem going forward.

  • Show your appreciation: Don’t ignore positive comments. If a client has taken the time to leave praise, show them you appreciate it. That may also be a good time to ask for a testimonial or for a positive review for your website.

Client feedback can make your business better. Whether the comments are positive or negative, you should respond in a timely manner and make every effort to address the problem. Doing so will improve your business’s reputation and, more importantly, your client relationships.

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Your 2020 Tax Guide is Here

2020 is here. And so is your co-branded tax guide
Securian Financial (one of our carrier partners) has provided a tax guide for all to use. Their 2020 tax guide is now available. Download the generic version below or contact our sales team to get a co-branded one with your information and start marketing yourself in 2020.

This piece is one of our most popular value adds. Use it to help expand relationships, grow your business and position yourself as the go-to resource.

Download tax guide
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Who Is a Candidate for Premium Finance?

Not everyone is a suitable candidate for premium finance. After the need for life insurance is established, premium financing might be considered as a method for funding the life contract. But only if the client has the following general characteristics:

  • Has more than $5 million of net worth or $300,000 of income
  • Needs life coverage for estate tax, estate equalization, liquidity, or for business needs such as stock redemption
  • Seeks a high return on assets
  • Wants to minimize gift tax exposure
  • Feels comfortable using leverage

Although financing offers considerable value, agents and advisors must be careful not to over-promise. The strategy needs to be presented realistically so clients are NOT under the impression that the don’t have to “pay for life insurance”.

With any policy involving premium finance, clients need a clear understanding of how their premium financing loan will be paid off. There needs to be an exit strategy that takes in to account all possibilities. Consistent monitoring of the strategy (ie: yearly reviews and projections) are key to the strategy and provide a strong structure on which to build the concept.

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New Years Resolution – Make Phone Calls!

Yes. Make Phone calls !  The phone is still an incredibly powerful tool for communication. Believe it or not, some people still answer their phones — even in today’s age of caller ID. Once you get through to your potential client and talk in real-time, you’ll stand out and have the chance to build rapport — if you add value, that is. Even if you leave a voicemail message, they’ll hear your voice which provides a different level of connection than just an email or LinkedIn InMail.

Of course, the phone is only one method of outreach. Phone calls are powerful, and should be part of an orchestrated approach to gain access to your prospects. But you’ll need to leverage multiple vehicles of communication over time to successfully reach your prospects. Online connections such as social selling, email, and webinars should be balanced with offline (in-person) touch-points, such as trade shows and networking events. It’s important to be present and show up at the places where your clients might be. A cadence-based approach using multiple different types of touch-points help reps crush their metrics and build a strong pipeline.

Dedicate a calendar block each day, and be persistent.

Online research showed that, overall, 54% of initial meetings require more than five touch points to set up — and that 10% require 11 or more touches. The one thing that we know for sure is consistency is key in prospecting. Calendar management and calendar blocking are key to success. So, look at your calendar and block out times for calls and your other outreach, and then stick to it, each day.

One study also revealed that most people underestimate the number of touches required to get through to a prospect. At the same time, sales reps over-report the number of times they actually reach out, by about 50%. In tandem, this diminished effort will deliver diminished results.

At the end of the day, we need to realize that when we are prospecting, we’re interrupting people. We hope it’s a value-added interruption, but it’s considered an interruption nonetheless. As a sales professional, your goal is to get the prospect to engage with you, and ultimately, to buy from you. You want to meet their needs and add value to their businesses and to them personally.

So, when a rep asks, “How do I get more appointments?” I point out that they may be asking the wrong the question. I suggest they ask themselves, “Why would any prospect ever want to meet with me?” If they can find a way to add value for their prospect with insightful information about that prospect’s business or situation, they will succeed.

It all comes down to valuable content: not just information on your product or your company, but how you can help successfully solve your prospect’s current challenges.

We all probably get dozens of outreach emails or phone calls a day from sales reps. Although they’re asking for my time, very rarely is the content of those messages relevant to me. It’s usually, “Let me tell you about my company. Let me tell you what I do. Let me tell you how cool our new program is.” But this doesn’t entice me, and it usually doesn’t convince me to get back in touch with them.

You need the business acumen to confidently have a business conversation with an executive. If that’s a skill gap for you, it is something you should work on getting the training to resolve. I’m often asked, “What is the number one thing I need to do to sell to the executive level at my prospects’ companies?” Well, you need to become fluent in the language of business so that you can have a business conversation.

There are some real challenges in the prospecting world. In fact, today it is harder and harder to get meetings with prospects for a number of reasons. So, we must engage them by creating messages from their point of view. You should continually ask yourself, “What is the value we can add to that prospect?” Once you get that process down, it is much easier to create those value-added messages and become a value-added interruption. That is, once you pick up the phone.

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