#042: Provisions Of A Voluntary Benefits Policy

Tim Martin and Steve Savant - Part 3

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I recently appeared on Steve Savant’s Money, The Name of the Game. This is episode 3 of a 5 part series regarding Voluntary Benefits. Below are excerpts from the press release announcing this episode. You can listen to the audio as a podcast or watch the video that appears at the bottom of this page.


Press Release

There is a myriad of choices for the consumer to choose from when it comes to Voluntary Benefit policies. Understanding the things to look for will help dramatically, especially at the time of claim.

Not all Voluntary Benefits policies are created equal. As consumers are becoming more aware of the need for Voluntary Benefit protection, they are often overwhelmed by the myriad of insurance policies they have to choose from.

Regardless of the insurance company, the following features are critical in evaluating whether or not to purchase a policy:

Guaranteed Renewable – An incredibly important consideration is whether or not the policy is guaranteed renewable. If it is the insurance company can’t raise your rates or drop your coverage just because you are making claims. This is unlike auto insurance where the insurance company will do just that. Most Voluntary Benefits insurance companies reserve the right to raise rates, but they must treat every customer that owns that policy equally.

Underwriting – A majority of Voluntary Benefit policies require just a few questions to determine eligibility. Very rarely do they ask for medical records or blood work. In fact, under certain circumstances, the policy may be “guaranteed issue.” In other words, regardless of medical condition, you can’t be turned down.

Portability – Most (not all) Voluntary Benefits programs are purchased through a payroll deduction. It is important to you know when you leave employment that you have the right to keep your coverage.

Exclusions & Limitation – Without exception, every insurance policy in America has certain exclusions and limitations. It is important to check that they are reasonable. What constitutes reasonable? That’s up to you. For instance, most accident policies won’t pay if you are legally drunk at the time of the accident. They also won’t cover you if you hurt yourself in the commission of a felony. For most people, those are examples of reasonable exclusions and limitations.

Look-back periods – Even though a policy might be guaranteed issue, that doesn’t mean you will necessarily be covered. A great example would be that even though you were allowed to purchase a cancer policy if you currently are battling cancer, the company won’t start paying claims on that occurrence for a period of time.

Building Benefits – Some policies have benefits that increase in value the longer you have the policy. This feature often necessitates a nominal additional cost. Most consumers agree that the cost of the building benefit is incredibly helpful.

Return of premium – One of the biggest complaints of consumers when purchasing insurance is the fact that they may never need it. With a return of premium feature, if you don’t make a claim over an extended period of time you get all of your money back when the policy terminates. This ability also usually requires an additional cost, but many consumers gladly purchase this option, knowing they are eventually going to get back every penny they paid over the lifetime of the policy.

Ability to upgrade – Your life changes. Can you change your policy to reflect that reality? Some policies have the ability to make changes to increase the benefits available. It is important to know that your policy can keep up with your life.

Consumers have more choice in Voluntary Benefits than ever before. Make sure that you make the right choice to protect your family from the devastating financial realities that often ensue following a serious accident or illness.



Thank You For Listening

I really appreciate you listening to the podcast and would love it if you would be so kind as to rate the podcast on iTunes.  To do that, all you have to do is go to http://successisvoluntary.com/iTunes and follow the instructions.  It will take you less than 30 seconds and would be a huge help to me as it will keep the podcast towards the top of the business charts in iTunes which will help new people discover it. And don’t forget to give it some digital love. Please share on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, or anywhere else you hang out in the social media universe!

I look forward to seeing you back here next week, in the meantime, don’t forget that everything you do in this business is voluntary.  Including success!!!

Can I Vent For A Second?

Most outgoing voicemail messages SUCK!

Today’s blog post may or may not help you, but I promise it will make me feel better! And it’s a lot cheaper than an appointment with my therapist.

Annoyed man on phone

You are a sales PROFESSIONAL, right? So why do so many “professionals” have horrifically bad outgoing voicemail messages? It drives me bat $#*! crazy.

If you ask anyone who has ever worked for me, they will tell you this is one of my all-time pet peeves. Perhaps I’m overreacting. But I promise, if your voicemail has any of the phrases below, you may be losing credibility with the people trying to reach you.


Tim’s Top 11 Peeves As It Pertains To Voicemail

  1. No outgoing voicemail message at all. Instead, the computerized voice that says, “You have reached 555-121-1212. Please leave your message after the beep.” – Whenever I hear this, I wonder if they are dodging creditors or they are afraid that whoever is calling will know for sure this is their phone number. C’mon, take 60 seconds and set up your voicemail already.
  2. “The voicemail box for this subscriber has not been set up.” – Seriously? I actually get this message at least once a month when calling “professionals.” Enough said.
  3. “The voicemail box belonging to Joe Agent is full and can no longer accept messages.”  – Ummmm, why? Which one is it, are you too clueless, too disorganized, or both?
  4. The voicemail that was set up from the car while driving. You know what I’m talking about. You can barely understand the message due to the background noise. I get it, you are busy but find someplace quiet to record your outgoing voicemail message. Your callers will thank you.
  5. “I’ll call you back at my earliest convenience.” – This may be the one that drives me the craziest. I’m so glad that my call was so important to you that you will make sure it doesn’t inconvenience you. Lose this phrase!
  6. “I’ll call you back as soon as possible.” – What does that mean? An hour, a day, a week? Give me a timeframe to expect your return call (by close of business, within 24 hours, etc.) and then overdeliver. I personally use 24 hours, but I usually return calls within a few hours. (Why I only return voicemail twice a day.)
  7. “So, you know what to do…” – Don’t try to be funny or glib. Remember, you are a professional, act like one.
  8. “Leave your name, number, the time you called, the reason for your call, any other pertinent information, your mother’s maiden name, your astrological sign, Social Security number, shoe size…” – Do I really need to tell you all of that to get a return call? I’m guessing my name, number and (perhaps) the reason for the call should be enough.
  9. “After the beep” – Oh, I have to wait for the beep? Weird, when did that start? If only I had known…
  10. “I’m so sorry I can’t come to the phone right now…” – Are you really sorry? It sounds disingenuous to me as I’m usually not very sorry when I can’t answer the phone.
  11. “Your call is very important to me.” – Every single call you get is important? Even the calls from telemarketers or your annoying brother-in-law? I get you want to be polite, but let’s not kid each other.

O.K. What Should I Say?

So what do I suggest instead? “Hi, this is Tim Martin with Success Is Voluntary. I’m currently unavailable. Please leave me your name and your best contact number. I’ll get back to you within 24 hours. I promise.”

How simple is that? Make sure your outgoing voicemail message, leaves a clear message: That you are a true professional.


Get Your Voicemail Messages Returned

Read How to avoid voicemail hell. 6 tips that will keep you in the game.


Your Turn

What is the most annoying thing that you’ve ever heard on an outgoing voicemail message? Amuse the SIV Tribe by leaving a comment below.

#041: The Basic Types Of Voluntary Benefits

Tim Martin and Steve Savant - Part 2

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I recently appeared on Steve Savant’s Money, The Name of the Game. This is episode 2 of a 5 part series regarding Voluntary Benefits. Below are excerpts from the press release announcing this episode. You can listen to the audio as a podcast or watch the video that appears at the bottom of this page.


Press Release

Once the consumer is ready to sit down with a Voluntary Benefits agent, they need to understand the types of policies that may be available and how they might fit their needs.

Disability – This is the easiest Voluntary Benefits policy for most people to understand. Disability pays the policyholder if they are unable to work due to an accident or illness. Most financial planners recommend that their clients protect their most important asset; their ability to earn an income.

Accident – The most popular Voluntary Benefits policy for many insurance companies is their accident plan. These programs usually cover everything from cuts that need stitches to major accidents needing an air ambulance, and everything in between. The benefits are tied directly to the seriousness of the accident.

Critical Illness – These policies are very customizable based on the client’s needs. The customer can purchase a policy that covers just one type of critical illness such as cancer. There are also critical illness policies that cover multiple serious issues such as cancer, heart attack, stroke, parallelization and other conditions.

Life Insurance – LIMRA, which is a worldwide research organization, that for 102 years has kept a pulse on the Life Insurance market, published a study in 2016 that found 56% of American households don’t have life insurance. More alarmingly over 50% of those that had life insurance recognize the need for more. Overall, 7 in 10 of all households said they would have trouble covering everyday living expenses after just a few months if the primary wage earner died.

As a consumer, you need to make sure that you protect your family from the devastating financial realities that often ensue after a serious accident or illness. To make sure your family is protected you must choose the right policies for your family.

 



Thank You For Listening

I really appreciate you listening to the podcast and would love it if you would be so kind as to rate the podcast on iTunes.  To do that, all you have to do is go to http://successisvoluntary.com/iTunes and follow the instructions.  It will take you less than 30 seconds and would be a huge help to me as it will keep the podcast towards the top of the business charts in iTunes which will help new people discover it. And don’t forget to give it some digital love. Please share on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, or anywhere else you hang out in the social media universe!

I look forward to seeing you back here next week, in the meantime, don’t forget that everything you do in this business is voluntary.  Including success!!!

Later… Liar

Do you lie every day?

I didn’t coin the phrase “Later – Liar.” It was something I heard in a speech by a senior leader of a very large Voluntary Benefits insurance carrier. I will not reveal their name to protect the innocent-ish. It took me a few days for it to really sink in, but once it did it has haunted me ever since.

Later - liar woman with pinocchio nose

I don’t know about you, but I often promise something in the moment and then forget (or choose not to make it a priority) to deliver on time.  Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, once said, “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” I can relate.


When I Say:

“I’ll get that report to you in a bit,” it really means,

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#040: The Need For Voluntary Benefits

Tim Martin and Steve Savant - Part 1

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Tim Martin and Steve Savant

I recently appeared on Steve Savant’s Money, The Name of the Game. This is episode 1 of a 5 part series regarding Voluntary Benefits. Below are excerpts from the press release announcing this episode. You can listen to the audio as a podcast or watch the video that appears at the bottom of this page.

Press Release

The true need for Voluntary Benefits hasn’t changed in the last 25 years. The perceived need is greater than ever due to the changes in major medical insurance.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and pressure on private health insurance plans have driven unprecedented change in the healthcare industry. Deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance are skyrocketing almost as fast as the rates are. Many parts of the country have seen an increase of 50% or more for major medical premiums.

A 2015 Harvard study found that the leading cause of bankruptcies (just over 60%) was due to medical expenses. The surprising finding of this study was a majority of the people that claimed medical bankruptcy had medical insurance.

Most families don’t have the savings necessary to withstand the financial chaos while facing serious medical conditions. Often there is a double loss of income as a healthy spouse stays at home to care for the injured or ill spouse. When children are involved, the family comes to a standstill, but the rent, electric bill, and car payments keep coming due.

The financial strain can also lead to emotional damage. This is why many insurance agents talk about the triple threat of serious health conditions. The disease damages the body, the finances, and the emotions. A good insurance policy can’t fix all of the emotional damage, but it can at least ease the stress of financial worries.

Voluntary Benefit companies have helped people keep their creditors at bay for over 75 years. Often the real cost of a serious illness or injury is not the medical bills. Typically, after a serious accident or illness, family expenses skyrocket and income plunges. Most families are left with devastating financial challenges.

There is a myriad of Voluntary Benefits policies offered by a few dozen insurance companies. Most often these policies are purchased through an employer via payroll deduction.

Consumers can’t always protect themselves physically from serious accidents or illness. They can make sure that their family is protected from the devastating financial realities that often ensue. Most consumers purchase Voluntary Benefit policies to make sure that after a serious incident they can keep food on the table, gas in the car and a roof over their head.



Thank You For Listening

I really appreciate you listening to the podcast and would love it if you would be so kind as to rate the podcast on iTunes.  To do that, all you have to do is go to http://successisvoluntary.com/iTunes and follow the instructions.  It will take you less than 30 seconds and would be a huge help to me as it will keep the podcast towards the top of the business charts in iTunes which will help new people discover it. And don’t forget to give it some digital love. Please share on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, or anywhere else you hang out in the social media universe!

I look forward to seeing you back here next week, in the meantime, don’t forget that everything you do in this business is voluntary.  Including success!!!

You Are Not Going To Like This

Lack of Time vs. Lack of Priorities

I don’t know if you noticed, but as Americans, we are busier than ever. More things are competing for our time. There has been an insidious spread of bringing work home via our smartphones. Constant access to email and texting has irreversibly blurred the line between work and home life.

Dr with hour glass

The fact that we take less vacation time than any other industrialized nation on the planet has been well documented. 54% of Americans end the year sacrificing multiple days of unused vacation time. What choice do we have? To stay competitive,

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#039: Gary Hoy – Jump In The Pool

The Water's Fine

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I think Gary Hoy and I are twins (fraternal) separated at birth. We live almost as far away from each other as possible and still be in the contiguous United States. He is in Buffalo, NY and I am in Phoenix, AZ.  Despite the difference in geography, we share many of the same experiences, beliefs and philosophies in sales and sales training.

Gary reached out to me last week to ask me some questions about the Success Is Voluntary website. He wanted to better serve his audience and loved what we are doing here.

The longer I talked to Gary (and it was a while… we both like to talk… lol) I felt that I had to get him in front of my SIV tribe. Gary speaks and trains sales people all over the country for fortune 500 companies and large associations. His almost singletary focus is on getting salespeople to  slay their fear of prospecting/cold calls.

I will warn you, this podcast is a little longer than usual (1 hour and 8 minutes.) Did I mention both Gary and I like to talk? I believe it is the best hour you can spend this week to build your business! As I was going through my notes, I realized that the number of topics we touched on may be a new record for the SIV podcast.

As always the notes I will share with you are quick bullet points. They will make much more sense once you have listened to the podcast. Check back here in two weeks and you will find a full transcript of our conversation.


Things Gary and I Talked About

  • Once you are in the pool your body adjusts
  • The hockey puck
  • Why Gary hates “best practices”
  • Training often becomes a sanctioned respite
  • Directions are meaningless to a parked car
  • Why people are petrified of cold calling
  • Magical scripts suck
  • You need to look where your car keys are
  • You can’t buy production
  • All growth begins with self-awareness
  • The first step is recognizing the fear
  • Why we “mother hen” our business
  • The law of detachment – The less you need something the easier it is to attain
  • We speak with words but communicate with how we feel about those words
  • In sales, failure is your friend
  • The mindsets people have to change about prospecting
  • How a spare tire overcomes call reluctance
  • If you know your why you can endure any how
  • Why “best practices” are dangerous in sales
  • Even the best tactics won’t get you started
  • You are never going to pop all the popcorn
  • Don’t play chess with your prospect
  • You must be willing to do it wrong until you get it right
  • People will come 100 miles to watch you burn
  • If a perfect script existed, there wouldn’t be turnover in sales
  • Sales people don’t ever quit because they have too many appointments
  • People who know how always work for the people who know why
  • Humility is necessary to all learning
  • The clear garden hose with red and blue marbles
  • Motivation wears off, so does a shower
  • Idea sex
  • The spectator always pays for the participant
  • Our love for

The Books We Talked About

As always, click on the cover to learn more.


Gary’s Incredibly Generous Offer For SIV Listeners

Gary has agreed (with a little coercion from yours truly) to discount his incredibly valuable training titled The 5 Phases Of Appointment Setting. The website address is http://www.appointmentu.com/ The usual price for his class is $197. Gary allowed me to go through the entire curriculum prior to his podcast appearance. I wanted to make sure it was the real deal. It is! Trust me! I have been doing this for 22+ years and a learned at Ton! As $197 it would be worth every penny. Gary slashed the price to $107 just for us! The coupon code is podcast1 (that’s the number one at the end of the coupon code.)

Just to be clear, I am NOT receiving a penny for recommending Gary’s course. I flat out believe it will help you. Gary is offering a 100%, money back, no questions asked, refund if you don’t feel the training helped you.


Thank You For Listening

I really appreciate you listening to the podcast and would love it if you would be so kind as to rate the podcast on iTunes.  To do that, all you have to do is go to http://successisvoluntary.com/iTunes and follow the instructions.  It will take you less than 30 seconds and would be a huge help to me as it will keep the podcast towards the top of the business charts in iTunes which will help new people discover it.

I look forward to seeing you back here next week, in the meantime, don’t forget that everything you do in this business is voluntary.  Including success!!!

Are You Running a Deficit? By Bryan Yager

An Article I Wish I Wrote

“The way to develop the best that is in a man (woman, child, employee, any person who is important to you) is by appreciation and encouragement.” – Charles W. Schwab

Bryan Yager sent out the following article to his tribe as part of his Monday Morning Minute series.

I  met Bryan 14 years ago while living in Boise Idaho. We hit it off immediately as we share many of the same business philosophies and beliefs. Over the last 5 years I have twice hired Bryan to work with my leadership team. Both times he absolutely crushed it! Bryan appeared on the Success Is Voluntary podcast 4 years ago (listen here) to talk about the importance of strategic planning. The comments and feedback were incredibly positive!


Are You Running A Deficit?

Sometime today, take a brief minute to reflect on the most important people in your life, both personal and professional. It is likely, even probable, that one or more of those people are discouraged by something going on in their life, right now, as you read this short commentary. Think about it, almost all

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#038: SIV Joe McCormick – Everyday Development

What are you doing to get better?

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I have been absolutely sold out to the idea of personal development for the past 25 years. My friend and mentor Les Heinsen (and two time SIV Podcast guest) told me many years ago, “All growth begins with personal growth.” I believe him.

Every now and then I meet someone that is as fanatical about personal development as I am. Joe McCormick is one of those people! Joe contacted me for the first time about two weeks ago due to a blog article I had written. We hit it off immediately and I was thrilled to get him on this week’s podcast. The more time I spend talking to Joe, the more I believe in his mission and the platform he is building. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Joe as much as I did!

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What Makes You So Special?

The Surprising Answer Of High Performers

“What makes you so special?” It’s a question that is asked of high performance sales people all the time.

Of course it never is actually asked like that. It usually sounds more like, “What is the secret to your success?” Sometimes it is asked with honest curiosity. More often though it is asked with an underlying current of jealousy. As in, “I’m smarter than you. More educated than you. Why are you more successful than I am? There has to be a reason…” But people can’t just come out and say that  of course, so they ask,

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#037: SIV Bill Cates – The Referral Coach

Introductions eat referrals for breakfast

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Bill Cates picture

A good friend of mine, Eric Silverman recently introduced me to Bill Cates. I had read Bill’s book Don’t Keep Me A Secret several years ago so I was thrilled when Bill agreed to come on the podcast.

Bill has revolutionized the way sales professionals acquire ideal clients by adopting a proven process to generate personal introductions and communicate a more compelling value proposition. Bill is the author of three best-selling books: Get More Referrals Now, Don’t Keep Me a Secret, and Beyond Referrals. His newest book,

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