What can happen to a business if a key executive is forced to resign without warning due to a serious illness or injury? The implications can be horrendous - from liquidity problems, maintaining momentum, leadership issues and customer confidence, not to mention the disabled executive's personal and financial well-being.
The stats show that 1 in 4 of working age Americans will become disabled for at least a year before they reach the normal retirement age. Furthermore, the top two causes for long-term disability are musculoskeletal disorders and cancer.
Armed with stats, charts and graphs might seem like the most effective approach to close a sale with an entrepreneur or executive, however, these individuals are hugely successful because of their grit, confidence and invincibility mind-set. A study of 200 successful entrepreneurs by the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University, found that entrepreneurs can be characterized as:
- Healthy: They are used to working long hours and if they get sick, recover quickly
- Control: They want to be in charge and are willing to take responsibility
- Unusual awareness: They grasp situations completely and recognize all the implications in a decision
- Conceptual ability: Problems & chaos don't bother them because they can quickly position solutions.
- Emotional stability: They can handle stress in business and in their personal lives. Setbacks are challenges, not defeats.
- Challenges: Welcome challenges, but not risks. It may appear they are taking high risks, but in reality, they assess risks thoroughly.
- The numbers: They understand their financial position at all times.
Attempting entrepreneurs and executives to do something that runs contrary to the way they view themselves may be little more than an exercise in futility - and that includes purchasing disability insurance.
A more productive strategy may be to start the conversation with "You may never be disabled." However, disability insurance preserves what entrepreneurs and executives value the most and why they're in business: control - control of one's destiny, control of the business and control of the future. Taking a chance on becoming disabled is something the entrepreneur or executive can handle, but the possibility of losing control may be a far greater threat.
If you couple the lost of control with the fact that the largest asset most entrepreneurs and executives have is their future income, you will be closer to making the sale.