Nearly 20 years ago, I stood up at a conference and launched the
"Mortgage Protection Domination Campaign".
After the speech, I was pleased with the feedback from the
"I thought it was going to be a product push," said one of the
advisers who stayed behind to chat. "But all you did was give us
ideas for how to increase mortgage protection sales. I feel
motivated to go and talk about protection to my mortgage
The company I worked for was quite new to protection having
launched the first "menu" based product a few years earlier. And
they were delighted with the explosion of sales resulting from the
Back then most protection sales were mortgage related. But
advisers still had to work hard to convince their clients to spend
the extra money on a life insurance policy, or even more on one
with critical illness cover. Typical client objection included the
belief, "it won't happen to me". Or the State would provide. Or
family would help bail them out of financial difficulty. Some
thought that protection was too expensive and others felt insurance
companies would try hard to avoid paying claims.
The "Domination Campaign" helped advisers tackle those
objections using stories and real life case studies. It wasn't a
product push. It gave advisers ideas and tools to help people
understand the need for mortgage protection.
Now two decades later if you surveyed the public about why they
don't consider buying protection insurance, whether it's to cover a
mortgage or not, it's likely you'd end up with the exact same list
of objections. We still hear "it won't happen to me", "it's too
expensive", and "companies won't pay".
The old campaign happened before the internet took off. We
travelled the UK talking to advisers in hotel conference rooms,
using 35mm slides, and handing out piles of A4 "sales aids" with
all the ideas printed on them. It took a long time to deliver the
message to the market. I spent over a month on the road. But
investing the time paid off because sales of mortgage protection
Advisers still must work hard to overcome these objections, and
as the mortgage application process post MMR is longer, more
detailed and rigorous, they have less time to discuss protection
Thanks to digital technology, today we can deliver such messages
much quicker by video, social media or webinar. But in 2017 time is
an issue for everyone. It's not just about helping with ideas, it's
about helping advisers find the time to talk about them.
iPipeline's recent protection widget, "Life Genie", is an
interesting use of technology that uses the information advisers
collect during the mortgage fact find to "prompt" the need for
protection later in the interview.
The change to mortgage demographics since the campaign is people
are older when they take out mortgages, and younger people are
renting accommodation for longer, the so called "generation rent".
They have similar protection needs to mortgagees but as an industry
we do tend to ignore them, even though their reasons for not buying
are likely to be the same.
Digital technology means every protection provider and adviser
can put together stories and ideas, on video, audio or the written
word and get those messages out to targeted groups of clients
quicker than ever before. Although the mortgage application process
is longer, communications efficiencies can help reclaim some of the
It might mean we must talk to potential clients on Twitter or
Facebook messenger, because that's where they hang out. But
communication can be swift and successful if planned and executed
The tactics of delivering messages changes with technology. But
often the messages themselves remain unchanged. The main barriers
to people taking out protection are the same as they were 20 years
ago. In 20 more years, they'll still be the same messages with yet
another delivery mechanism. Beaming messages directly into our
client's brains perhaps?
The good news for advisers is today's delivery mechanism for the
messages our clients need to hear is fast. Just like in the long
gone "Domination Campaign" product providers need to help advisers
overcome the barriers preventing clients buying protection, but
also help them speed up what has become a long drawn out
The theme of overcoming client objections, and indeed client
perceptions of the protection industry is a theme that's come up at
the last couple of Protection Review Summits. These events in
London are free for advisers to attend and we'll be running a
debate about mortgage protection and generation rent soon. We'd
welcome your thoughts and feedback on this article. If you have
story to tell related to this issue we'd like to talk to you about
speaking at a future Protection Review Summit.
Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Roger Edwards, Marketing Director at Protection