Start a Conversation: A five-step guide for Disability Insurance Awareness Month
Sean Hanson
April 2017

As the media landscape continues to evolve, consumers receive an ever more overwhelming amount of information. Getting their attention can be difficult. We know from countless industry studies, including our own, that the typical working consumer is more focused on the messy reality of life than on their insurance needs. Yet this simply underscores the importance of protecting their income, and that’s why a timely and relevant communication from a trusted advisor can help them make sense of what they need.

Disability Insurance Awareness Month (DIAM) isn’t likely to be top of mind for most working consumers, but it is a different opportunity to start a conversation about the risk of being away from work and the importance of income protection as part of a sound financial plan.

If you’re not sure where to start, or if you’re looking for new ideas, follow these simple steps to get your DIAM plans moving.

Get your content ready
As you think about how to leverage DIAM to re-engage with clients and prospects about income protection, it’s helpful to build a collection of useful content. Fortunately, there’s plenty available. Here at The Council for Disability Awareness, we’re always looking for new ways to speak about income protection, and each year we create a toolkit full of content you can use in your communications. This year, The CDA has created three new infographics to help you get clients and prospects thinking about the risk of being away from work due to illness or injury. Each is tailored to a specific audience and can be used as a conversation starter.

This is also a good time to fine tune your own expertise. There are some great learning resources out there – from carriers, experienced DI brokers and industry groups like the International DI Society. The more you know, the more you’ll be able to answer questions, overcome objections and help clients make good decisions.

Give your website a check-up
Do you have content about disability insurance on your website? If not, that’s a great place to start. Carriers and DI specialists can offer great suggestions about what basic disability insurance content to include on your site, and you can then enhance it with your own knowledge and personality. You can also include links to third-party educational tools like our consumer blog. Don’t forget to make sure your contact information is up-to-date and easy to find.

Personalize your approach
We find people pay more attention when they can relate to the information being provided. Our new infographics are a great example of adjusting the message to fit the needs of the intended audience. You can use what you know about your clients and prospects to determine the right content to share with them. Are they getting married or expecting a child? Have they recently bought a home, changed jobs, or been promoted? Those life events are important milestones for an individual to reconsider their financial plan—and a good opportunity for you to check in with them. Here at The CDA, our focus is on millennials. Our DIAM toolkit includes lots of information about the economic outlook for these younger working adults. You can use it to help tailor your communications with clients at different points on their life and career path.

Use social media
If you need social media content, there’s plenty available. Carriers are more active on social media than ever before, as are industry groups like The CDA and Life Happens. A good rule of thumb for social media is to share other people’s content more than you talk about your brand. This helps you position yourself as a helpful expert rather than appearing to be overly self-promoting. The good news is that it’s easy to find useful content to share—especially during DIAM. Start by following disability insurers’ social media accounts—you can find a handy list of them in our DIAM toolkit, as well as ready-to-use content that you can easily share through your own social media profiles. And make sure your website and contact information are listed. Millennials are especially likely to check you out online before making contact, and any missing or confusing information can easily cause them to move along.

Be the local expert
The CDA and other industry groups maintain a national focus, but you can position yourself as the local expert. Consider offering to speak to local associations and networking groups, and connecting with local media organizations to offer your insights on the need for income protection. DIAM is a great time to try these approaches out. They’re a great way to gain exposure for your agency and will nicely complement your web, email and social media marketing efforts.

Disability Insurance Awareness Month is simply an opportunity to start a conversation. From there, it’s all about using the same methods that succeed at any other time of year—building trust, showing up at the right time, asking the right questions, and having sound answers.

All CDA resources referenced in the above can be found at www.disabilitycanhappen.org/diam.

Check also: The International DI Society: www.internationaldisociety.com and Life Happens: www.lifehappens.org.

Author's Bio
Sean Hanson
is the director of operations for the Council for Disability Awareness. His primary responsibilities are marketing, communications and administration, including coordinating the CDA's Disability Insurance Awareness Month activities. Prior to joining the CDA in 2012, Hanson previously worked in other nonprofit marketing and communications roles, and for the last two years has served on the organizing committee for the American Marketing Association's annual Nonprofit Marketing Conference. He has also spent time in human resources and international student recruitment. Hanson can be reached at the Council for Disability Awareness, 75 Pearl St., Suite 205, Portland, ME 04101. Telephone: 207-774-2633. Email: seanhanson@disabilitycouncil.org.















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