There is no doubt that we are all going to die one day. That doesn’t mean that talking about death is an easy thing. However, if you sell life insurance products that offer death benefits, there will be no getting around it. You’ll have to talk about death with clients. How can you tactfully discuss death and dying in marketing materials?

Focus on the Conversation Around a Person’s Legacy

Craig Swapp explains that “It’s hard enough to handle all of the feelings that come from losing someone who is close to you. A shift in responsibilities or finances in addition to that loss may be more than you, or another loved one can handle alone.” This is why settling matters of finances before death is important—it sets up a stable financial future for loved ones left behind.

While no one wants to think about their mortality, individuals may be open to discussing what they want their legacy to be to their loved ones. In most cases, a positive legacy includes leaving money and other assets for spouses, children, and grandchildren. It could also mean leaving assets for charities or other causes that a person supports.

By having a broader conversation, a person may be more willing to listen to your sales pitch and buy your product with fewer objections.

Don’t Make Assumptions About a Person’s Life Expectancy

The actuary who you consulted prior to pitching to a customer may say that he or she has ten years left to live. However, you shouldn’t directly mention to that client that you think he or she will be dead in a decade, neither should you imply it in your pitch. Instead, you should talk about how a policy will most likely benefit a person at his or her age based on data gathered from your source.

Don’t Target a Specific Age Range

Independent Agent Magazine says that, “There’s no perfect time to buy life insurance. As people enter different stages of their lives, independent agents should be poised to highlight how life insurance should play a role. The earlier individuals purchase their policies, the earlier coverage begins—and generally the lower the premiums.”

While an older person may be more likely to pass away sooner than a younger person, this isn’t necessarily the case. For instance, a person could die in a car accident or after a fall at work. Therefore, it can be a good idea to mention that buying insurance can protect parents with young children as well as the elderly who are worried about the cost of a funeral.

Work With a Professional Ad Agency

Posting “you’re going to die” on a billboard or online banner ad can come across as either funny or uncaring depending on the tastes of the audience that sees it. If you aren’t sure how to talk about a sensitive topic like death, it may be best to outsource the task of marketing your product to an ad agency.

Talking about death can be hard even when you’re talking about a product designed to provide financial protection when it happens. By speaking in general terms to customers, it may be easier for them to be receptive to your message instead of feeling anxious about the end of their lives.


Craig Swapp and Associates


Independent Agent Magazine

Over To You

Leave a comment below, here are some thoughts we had we would like to hear your opinion on:

  1. Have you had trouble talking to your client about death, share your experience?
  2. What marketing approach have you taken with this topic?