LTC Bullet:  Virtual Visit to the 2014 AALTCI Long-Term Care Solutions Sales Summit in Kansas City, MO

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Seattle—

LTC Comment:  Our last LTC Bullet covered the online streaming version of the recent American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance LTC Solutions Sales Summit.  In today’s LTC Bullet we offer our coverage of the actual conference physically attended by Center for Long-Term Care Reform staff member, Damon Moses.  Read all about it after the ***news.***

*** CLTCR Premium Membership:  Center for Long-Term Care Reform premium members receive our full suite of individual membership benefits including:  our LTC Bullets and E-Alerts; access to our Members-Only Zone website and Almanac of Long-Term Care; subscription to our Clipping Service; and email/phone access to Steve Moses for 24-hour turnaround queries.  Our Premium Membership is designed to give you a competitive advantage in your long-term care profession. Your increased knowledge of the critical issues and challenges we face in the field of long-term care service delivery and financing equals improved professional success for you and better LTC services for your clients and for those who have no choice but to rely on scarce public resources.  Premium Membership is $250 per year, paid up front or monthly by automatically recurring credit card payments.  Contact Damon at 206-283-7036 / damon@centerltc.com to start your Premium Membership immediately or go directly to our secure online subscription page and sign up for as little as $21 per month. ***

*** SPOTLIGHT ON: Articles, Speeches and Reports 

Have you been reading our LTC Bullets and getting interested in our message, but want to learn more? The Articles, Speeches and Reports section of our website is a great next step. Here you’ll find articles authored by Steve Moses that have appeared in renowned publications such as McKnight's Long-Term Care News, Broker World, and The Wall Street Journal; transcripts as well as audio and video recordings from speeches, including Congressional testimony, delivered by Steve Moses; and dozens of reports authored by Steve Moses dating from 2014 back to 1985, all providing the analysis and evidence supporting positions held by your Center for Long-Term Care Reform. Whether you are new to the Center or are a seasoned LTC savant looking to refine your knowledge, you’ll find an abundance of valuable information in our Articles, Speeches and Reports. ***


LTC Bullet:  Virtual Visit to the 2014 AALTCI Long-Term Care Solutions Sales Summit in Kansas City, MO

The 2014 Long-Term Care Solutions Sales Summit, presented by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance and held May 18-20 at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City, was another outstanding industry event.  The conference website homepage states:  “Connecting with the nation’s top LTC producers, marketers and industry experts is the single best way to gain the knowledge and competitive advantages to build your LTC sales.”  The conference validated that claim by bringing together 500+ attendees (2,500+ online) and over 40 sponsors, exhibitors and supporters.  Furthermore, a broad range of nearly 50 educational sessions offered ample occasions for learning and professional development, while receptions and breaks provided many valuable opportunities for networking with a diverse range of top industry professionals. 

Changes

New this year was the ability to watch live, streaming video of selected conference sessions online for free.  What an outstanding service and resource for LTCi professionals.  Steve wasn’t able to attend the conference due to prior travel arrangements, but was still able to tune into some of the best sessions from the comfort of his accommodations in Toulouse, France.  Steve covered some of the live sessions in this LTC Bullet, so if you were not able to attend the conference or catch the online streaming, check it out.  Better yet, order the video recordings of all (35+) sessions recorded for only $29.00.   There is a lot of great content in these recordings, including Harley Gordon’s keynote address.  Steve covered this presentation in his LTC Bullet and gave it profoundly deserved praise, so I won’t repeat anything.  But allow me to say this:  Getting “yelled” at and thoroughly schooled on innovative ways to increase sales has never been so compelling, informative and entertaining.  Those who were there or saw the presentation online know what I mean.  Those who missed it should buy the recorded sessions and see for yourself.

Also new this year was a dramatically reduced registration fee of only $69 (early bird).  They were able to provide that reduced rate by removing the meals, so attendees were on their own for that.  Fortunately, there was an adjoining shopping mall with food court at the hotel.  Left to my own devices, I was quite happy to eat Kansas City BBQ for three days straight, but noticed my clothes didn’t fit as well leaving MCI Airport as they did when I arrived.

Sessions

LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE SALES AMMO: WHAT TO SAY & DO TO SECURE SALES (PT. 2)

Here was an excellent session and prime example of the caliber of LTCi professionals that attend and present at this conference.  Bill Comfort, Nancy Dykeman, and Betty Doll, all seasoned sales pros, shared their tips and advice vetted through their years of experience. 

Bill Comfort began this session by making some interesting points about confirmation bias and how to use human psychology to help clients understand the true risk and cost of long-term care, and therefore the value of protection from those risks and costs.  He advised not to dwell on statistics. Instead, use existing beliefs--such as the risk of living too long and running out of money--to connect with clients and make the sale. 

After Mr. Comfort’s psychological approach to communicating the need for long-term care financial planning, Nancy Dykeman appropriately continued this dialogue by focusing on communicating to clients the familial consequences of not having an LTC financial plan.  She recommended shifting the sales paradigm from insurance being for the insured, to insurance being for the family.  This may seem obvious to those who have experience in caregiving for a family member or loved-one, but for people who do not, it can completely change the focus of the dialogue in a meaningful and productive way.  She continued by recommending that producers validate this by asking questions that deal with some of the typical objections that break a sale, thereby compelling clients to rationally consider their objections and the resulting implications to their family and loved-ones.  What a clean, sensible and useful technique.

Betty Doll rounded out this session by focusing on listening to the client’s needs to design a policy that is affordable and appropriate for them.  This technique should allow them to be involved in the crafting of the policy, as opposed to being sold to.  She states:  “LTCi is not right for everyone, but LTC planning is.”  Absolutely.       

Establish risk, allow clients to see the consequences of their objections, offer appropriate policy options based on their individual needs and mitigate potential consequences to the family.  These three experts make it seem easy. 

THE 'GOOD-BETTER-BEST' STRATEGY TO BOOST YOUR LTC SALES

In this session Jesse Slome spoke about the LTCi industry’s depressed sales figures, what’s happening within the industry and described the best way forward.  The world is changing, so must the LTCi industry.  The terminology for this change is “reboot.” 

Americans are still impacted by the last recession and wary of investing in products they view as discretionary.  So what’s the answer?  Reboot the long-term term care insurance sales paradigm to the “good-better-best” approach.  The basic philosophy of this approach is that some coverage is better than none.  Good-better-best works by focusing on the creation of long-term care financing solutions that are accessible to, reasonable for, and desired by more clients. 

2014 PUBLIC POLICY AND LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

As the LTCi industry’s only full-time representative in Washington, D.C., Sam Morgante has a unique vantage point to view what’s happing in our nation’s capital and individual states.  Mr. Morgante spoke for one hour on many topics including: the current political climate in Washington, D.C. regarding gridlock, the effects of redistricting, what happened with the Long-Term Care Commission, allies in the Senate and healthcare policy implications for LTCi.  Near the end of his presentation he made an important point by explaining that the problem of long-term care has changed from our parents’ problem to ours and must be solved so the next generation is not burdened with it.  Mr. Morgante also rightly acknowledged that without fixing the problem, it will remain a burden on Medicaid. 

THE LTC CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO) FORUM

The panel:   

Michael Doughty, President and General Manager, John Hancock Insurance
Michael Hamilton, Vice President, Lincoln Financial Group
Tim Kneeland, President, Transamerica Long Term Care
Scott McKay, Senior Vice President, Genworth Financial
Steve Sperka, President & CEO, Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company

This year’s CEO Forum focused on “challenges, changes and strategies for continued industry growth” and did so in a manner that primarily expressed optimism and enthusiasm for many reasons:

  • Our challenging sales environment generates collective enthusiasm to produce a broad spectrum of new and innovative solutions to long-term care financial planning.  Enter the age of riders, hybrids, linked benefit and combination products. 
  • Today’s increasingly diverse array of long-term care financial products caters to the individual needs and financial circumstances of a broad range of people.  Think good-better-best approach.  
  • The need for protection against the risk and cost of long-term care is still present and increasing.  Public dialogue on this matter is intensifying and awareness is growing.
  • Regulators are expected to become more open to new products.
  • Paradigm shift:  A generation of people with personal long-term care/caregiving experience shifts the focus of LTCi as a self-protection product to a tool critical to the protection of family and loved-ones. 

Final Thoughts

What I take home from each AALTCI conference, and this is true for ILTCI conferences as well, is a renewed sense of appreciation for the LTCi industry and all the talented people in it who devote themselves to protecting others from the risk and cost of long-term care.  It’s a diverse group of attendees, but I’ve noticed what draws many to the industry (and to these conferences) are personal long-term care experiences and the resulting desire to help others plan for their long-term care needs.  Many thanks are due to Jesse Slome and Mindy Hartman and, of course, all the sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and attendees for making this event exceptional.  See you next time.