The High Price of a Missed Connection

What if 66% of Your Best Clients Left? 

Imagine this scenario. You’ve spent years carefully building a relationship with a local attorney. Finally, an opportunity to show your worth arises and you help the attorney out with a well-timed and perfectly orchestrated tax planning scenario using life insurance death benefit protection. Their client is elated, and your relationship with the attorney is cemented. Referrals will be going both ways now. Plus, you’ve landed a great new client.  

But wait.  

Years of cultivating relationships go into every life insurance sale. And all that time and energy invested can be tossed away if your client dies and you never met their beneficiaries. 

Odds Are, You’re Gone When the Money Comes In 

According to recent research, 66% of heirs fire their parents’ financial professional (1) after receiving an inheritance (2) and 70% of wives change their financial professional within 12 months of their spouse’s death (3). The assets you used to manage, gone. The relationships, transitioned.  

Who owns the new opportunity? Those forward-thinking financial professionals smart enough to cultivate relationships with their current clients’ beneficiaries. After all, when they’re important enough for your client to protect, they’re important enough for you to get to know. Your client’s beneficiaries are likely to become the next generation of wealthy. 

Consider the Role of Family Meetings 

Your opportunity may come in helping your client orchestrate a family meeting with their policy beneficiaries. Many clients find it uncomfortable to discuss their finances with their childrenThis can result in the lack of trust and poor communication that causes the vast majority of wealth transfer failures.(4) 

While most American families (74% of parents and 87% of adult children) know it’s critically important to talk about finances, few want to begin that conversation (11% of parents, 37% of adult children).(5) Top reasons for this avoidant behavior? Participants feel it will be awkward, stressful, and uncomfortable.(5) By learning to facilitate an effective family meeting, you can create a lifetime of good will and strengthen your ties with the next generation.  

And odds are, your clients will thank you for it, as nearly half (45%) of parents who discussed future financial plans with their children felt proud about how those conversations went.(5) If you manage to take an active role, all the better, as 55% of heirs said they would be more comfortable having financial professional present during the conversation.(5)

How Can You Run a Successful Family Meeting? 

Listen for the opportunity and consider inviting policy beneficiaries to your client’s next annual policy review. In that meeting, cover the following topics. 

One Place to Find It All 

Where can beneficiaries find all personal, family, medical, financial, insurance, and contact information for your client? Simply organizing this information in one document for your client can provide a significant value-add to them and their family.  

Help Create a Philosophy to Guide Them 

Put together an agenda to guide the family meeting. This is your opportunity to showcase your expertise to your future clients (beneficiaries) as well as provide service to your existing client. Help guide the discussion of your client’s rationale for the purchase. Together with their family, help them define a mission statement to help prevent confusion as to how your client intended the assets to be used after their passing. 

Identify Key Roles 

If your client dies or becomes incapacitated, who will do what? Help your client and their family identify key roles in handling familial wealth. Who is authorized to act as your client’s agent? Consider roles like executor of the will, trustees, and powers of attorney. What does your client want done in the event of their medical incapacity? Consider helping them record a Living Will to document these decisions. If there are minor children, also consider the role of guardians. 

Uncomfortable Facilitating? Bring in a Pro! 

Family meetings can get sticky, fast. Consider bringing in a financial therapist to help facilitate the conversation about money, wealth, and its purpose in your client’s family’s lives. A skilled facilitator will be adept in conflict resolution, negotiation, and problem-solving. They may also be able to handle those complex or contentious family conversations that are beyond your skills. Look for professionals with accreditations in financial counseling or coaching, like from the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE). You can learn more about the accreditation and find accredited financial counselors at   

Call out 

Tips for Connecting to the Next Generation 

  1. Involve the Whole Family—For new clients, set expectation of meeting with spouse and children at least once a year encouraging clients and their family members to think about the long-term goals for their families.  

  1. Become Technology-Savvy—Connect with social media and explore other ways to interact using SkypeTM, FaceTime, webpages, or email. While nothing beats face-to-face meeting, younger generations may place a higher preference on digital contacts than their parents. 

  1. Boost Your Transparency—Speak their language. Avoid jargon, personalize, and keep it short. Give them tools to aid transparency. Report frequently. Share information digitally. Add value, not a sales pitch.  

  1. Involve Them in the Process—Provide options, keeping in mind this generation may be more risk-averse than their parents. Give your honest assessment of gains/losses associated with each scenario and let them decide.  

  1. Offer Holistic Financial Planning—Offer advice and information, even if it doesn’t directly tie to a sale. For this skeptical generation, building the relationship is more than half the battle. Be transparent about fees, bring in experts to address topics you don’t specialize in, and reorganize around advice, not products. Build out your product offerings to be able to address more scenarios. 

Get More Strategies for Successful Policy Review 

Bringing policy beneficiaries into policy reviews can be an effective way to help families manage money across generations as well as generation-proof your business.  

Contact the Pacific Life Broad Market Sales Team at (844) 238-4872, option 3, or [email protected] to learn more. 

Ray DinstelRay Dinstel, Pacific Life

As vice president of Pacific Life’s broad market operations located in Lynchburg, VA, Ray 
Dinstel is responsible strategy, product, new business, customer service, and underwriting for Pacific Life’s efforts to expand its life insurance protection business to the middle market. He has been in the insurance industry for over 40 years, most of that time in the underwriting field. Ray believes in continuing education as demonstrated by his BS and MA from 

Baylor University and 14 insurance designations which include FALU, FLMI, CLU, and CPCU. Outside of work he has a passion for finding a cure for Alzheimer’s and served on the Alzheimer’s Association Board of the Central and Western Virginia Chapter for nine years, two of which he served as chairman. Currently, Ray serves as chair of the American Heart Association’s 2019 Lynchburg Heart Walk and is a member of the board for Amazement Square, a non-profit children’s development center. Ray Dinstel can be reached via telephone at (949) 420-7529. Email HERE. 

This article is intended for Financial Professional Use Only. If you are not a Financial Professional, please visit our public website @ 

Pacific Life is a product provider. It is not a fiduciary and therefore does not give advice or make recommendations regarding insurance or investment products.  

Life insurance is subject to underwriting and approval of the application and may incur monthly policy charges. 

Pacific Life refers to Pacific Life Insurance Company and its affiliates, including Pacific Life & Annuity Company. Insurance products are issued by Pacific Life Insurance Company in all states except New York and in New York by Pacific Life & Annuity Company. Product availability and features may vary by state. Each insurance company is solely responsible for the financial obligations accruing under the products it issues. Insurance products and their guarantees, including optional benefits and any crediting rates, are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Look to the strength of the life insurance company with regard to such guarantees as these guarantees are not backed by the broker-dealer, insurance agency, or their affiliates from which products are purchased. Neither these entities nor their representatives make any representation or assurance regarding the claims-paying ability of the life insurance company. 

Pacific Life is headquartered in Newport Beach, CA.