The Cross-Selling Roadmap

How to Build Your Business Using A Client Needs Assessment

Cross-Selling Roadmap

It’s simple addition, really.

If you sell one extra policy to every client, you can double your income.

If only there were an easy way to make more sales without much effort and with really clear structure…

Enter stage left → a CNA.

A Client Needs Assessment (CNA) is a 9-part questionnaire that you go through with both new and existing clients in order to pinpoint their pending insurance needs.

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CNA Template The Client Needs Assessment is your calling card for more business. When you use this questionnaire on every client, we’ve found that it can increase your product sales by up to 88%. What are you waiting for?

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Many agents already use something like this, and if that might be you, we would urge you to compare yours to this one.

Many FMOs have something very similar to this with different names for what it is, but this particular CNA is very different in that it’s not data-driven. You’ll see how as we go through the questions.

For those of you who get our weekly newsletter, you already know that this is Step 3 in the 8-Step Closing Process.

Why is this so important, and why should you care?

Two reasons:

  1. You’re better serving the client.
  2. You increase your sales.

We knew you’d want some proof to show how powerful this thing can really be, so here it is:

One of our agents has been in the business for close to 30 years. She has always been a top producer, and she has been in the top 3 in our Agent of the Year contest for the last 10 years.

We ran the numbers, and once she started using a CNA, her sales increased by 88%.

Another one of our agents saw his sales increase by 76%.

The bottom line is this roadmap makes it easy to at least double your sales.

Each question has been strategically chosen to reveal all existing needs to both you AND the client. Many clients are unaware that they’re missing a certain type of coverage.

The wording of the questions in this CNA is designed to help clients realize their coverage gaps.

So, let’s get to it.


1. Have you had any claims in the last 2 years?

Why should you ask this?

Even if a person is turning 65, they’re in open enrollment, and they can get a Med Supp and not have to pass any health questions, you still want to find out about their recent claims. It tells you what the options are for your other cross-selling products.

It just gives you a great initial snapshot of health.

What should you do with this information?

If they have Parkinson’s and you’ve just uncovered that in the first question, you know you won’t waste your time talking about the need for long-term care. They won’t qualify, so you won’t end up talking about it.

So, if they tell you that they have a condition that automatically disqualifies them for another product, you’ll know to skip some of the later questions in the CNA.


2. Which parts of Medicare do you currently have?

Why should you ask this?

You can determine when they started Medicare, whether they have a Part D plan, and so on.

This is when you can uncover if there’s an employer involved or if they’re a veteran.

What should you do with this information?

Some of this is a conversation piece. It gets the client talking. You can also determine how to move forward with the rest of your consultation based off of whether they’ve started their Part B, etc.

If they haven’t started their Part B because they’re still on their group health plan, this could be a great time to help them determine if switching to Medicare + a Med Supp could be a good option.


3. Do you carry a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage Plan?

Why should you ask this?

The answer to this will send you in very different directions. It’s important to get a snapshot of their entire portfolio.

What should you do with this information?

If they’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan, there are certain times of the year that you can drop it and switch to Original Medicare. I would build a case to switch to Original Medicare, because it’s often a better deal for the client.


4. What Plan/Company do you have?

Follow-up questions:

  1. When did you get it?
  2. Why did you decide on that plan?
  3. How much does it cost?

Why should you ask this?

You want to get the nitty gritty details of their coverage so that you can see if they’re getting a good deal.

What should you do with this information?

If you know they’re paying more than they need to, you can offer a more competitive rate for their current plan.


5. Do you have a history of cancer in your family?

Why should you ask this?

If they have a family member that’s had cancer, then they already know the costs associated with it. This question brings that to the forefront of their mind.

Note that you’re not asking, “Do you have a cancer plan?” or “Have you ever thought about getting cancer insurance?”

You’re moving the discussion from the product to the need for the product, and you’re making it personal. It’s a very psychologically charged question, and it’s the perfect way to bring up this subject so that it resonates and gets your client thinking.

What should you do with this information?

Use it to package a cancer plan with a Medicare Supplement. If they don’t need a Med Supp, simply pitch adding on a cancer plan to what they already have.


6. Have you had a family member use home health care or go into a nursing home?

Follow-up questions:

  1. How did they pay for it?
  2. How would you pay for it?

Why should you ask this?

You want to find out if the person has had first-hand experience with a loved one being in a nursing home. If they do, hopefully they have seen how much it costs.

The reason you aren’t flat-out asking if they have long-term care is because only 5% of the population does. There’s a good chance that they don’t, and the follow-up question, “How would you pay for it?” will stop you from giving an unnecessary pitch if they already have it.

This question is much more likely to get your client to talk and open up with you, and again, it’s not product-centric. It’s relationship-centric.

What should you do with this information?

If they haven’t had experience with it, you need to create the need in your presentation.

If they have, you can save your breath on the presentation and instead piggyback on their experience to sell a long-term or short-term care policy.


7. Are you currently carrying any life insurance, and are you still paying premium on it?

Follow-up questions:

  1. What is the death benefit?
  2. What is your premium?
  3. What is the cash value?
  4. What is the purpose of it?

Why should you ask this?

You have to make sure to throw in the second half of this question — “and are you still paying premium on it?”

When you ask that first half — “are you currently carrying any life insurance?” — the client is probably going to be very skeptical. They’ll say things like, “Yes… I have it, but I don’t want to talk about it, because I’m happy with it.”

But as soon as you finish off that question with “and are you still paying premium on it?” it totally changes the mood. They transition into, “Yeah, I am. Should I be?”

From there, you can ask the follow-up questions to get some more details. It seems minor, but having that last half of the question has made a big difference for a lot of our agents.

What should you do with this information?

There is a chance where perhaps they shouldn’t be paying a premium. In certain situations, you’ll be able to eliminate their premium, give them the same death benefit, and improve their situation, because they have an old policy that was based on projections and it’s just not doing as well as everyone thought it would.

If they don’t have life insurance, now you know that there’s a need to fill, and you can do a presentation.


8. Have you made any arrangements to take care of final expenses?

Why should you ask this?

Sometimes, you should skip this question. If they have life insurance and it’s between $8,000-$25,000, it’s most likely intended to take care of their burial and final expenses. In those cases, skip this.

But, if they don’t have life insurance, or they have life insurance and it’s $100,000, I now know that final expense needs to be talked about.

You will also be able to uncover this information when you ask the follow-up question: “what is the purpose of your life insurance?”

What should you do with this information?

You can tag on a final expense policy to a Medicare Supplement with ease. In any case, if they don’t have final expense insurance, you can build the need by asking this question.

You should also inform your client that the average cost for a funeral is around $15,000. If they have made arrangements, but it’s only for $5,000, you can help by adding on the appropriate amount.

If they have a pre-paid funeral in place, you shouldn’t be trying to pitch final expense insurance.


9. Are you satisfied with the present rate of return on your investments? OR Do you have a 401(k)?

Follow-up question for 401(k):

  1. Have you rolled it over?

Why should you ask this?

If you have someone that’s turning 65, I ask them if they have a 401(k).

We’ve seen tremendous traction with the follow-up question: “Have you rolled your 401(k) over?”

If you know that they’re past retirement, you should instead ask if they’re happy with their present rate of return on their investments.

Both of these questions are uncovering where their money is, and what their return is. A lot of people have no idea what their return is. This is a way for you to continue the conversation and make some recommendations.

What should you do with this information?

If your client doesn’t know what their return is, encourage them to find out. You want to determine what their risk level is compared to their return.

If their risk is high or moderate, you ought to make the pitch for having low or no-risk investments. This is how you’ll make the pitch for annuities.

If they have a 401(k), it might be advantageous to take it out and roll it into an annuity.


The Medication List

The medication list helps you by having it on record. It’ll help with future use on running Part D comparisons. You can read more about why you should do those here.

Sometimes people will say they’re healthy as a horse, and then their medication list reveals otherwise, so this is also a way to truly measure their health.


Final Thoughts

We used to go to someone’s door and see if we could sell a Medicare Supplement. We knew we had the best price in the state, and we knew we’d be competitive. As long as they were healthy or turning 65, we knew we could help.

Well, if a person didn’t need a Medicare Supplement, we were done. There was nothing else we could talk to them about, we couldn’t get in the door, and the effort was all for none.

This approach — using a CNA as a roadmap — uncovers the entire portfolio of the client. You can brag on them about the things they’ve covered already, and then you can talk about the things they need some help with.

Another huge advantage of the CNA is that it lays out all of the client’s needs right off the bat, so you don’t look like a greedy salesman when you try to sell something new each time you see them.

You’re unpacking everything from day 1, and you say upfront, “We’re going to take care of the most urgent need, and we’ll come back to everything else with time. There’s so much to digest right now, so let’s just take it one step at a time.”

That’s a heck of a foundation for your future with that client.

A few other things to be mindful of:

  • Make sure your client can see you physically filling out the form. It lets them know that you’re catering your service to their needs, and you’re not just doing some standardized pitch to every client.
  • If you find that a certain question doesn’t feel natural to your personality, tweak it! Many of our agents have tweaked parts of the CNA based off of what feels best and what has seen better results. We encourage you to experiment and let us know what’s working for you.



You can download a copy of the CNA here. We recommend that you take it with you to every appointment, and make sure to scan it into your computer so you have a digital copy to refer back to. If you have a CRM, upload the scanned copy.


We’d also love to know if you’re already doing something similar to this. If you are, let us know in the comments below.

Good selling everyone!

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