My Best Ideas for Selling Annuities
Annuities do not sell themselves. Selling them requires effort. An experienced advisor shares five tips to increase your sales rate.
My Best Ideas for Selling Annuities By Frank Medina
These five suggestions from an industry veteran will go a long way in boosting your annuity sales.
If you don’t know how to take active control of your sales strategy and have no intention of learning, then the business of selling annuities is probably not for you. It’s a competitive industry and you need to be at your best if you want to succeed. Although the sales of fixed annuity increased by 14 percent in 2016 to reach $117.45 billion, there are indications the coming years might be tougher on the sector.
Upping Your Game
So how can you up your sales game and ensure your sales continue to grow in this very dynamic industry? Here are a few tips to help you do things a lot better.
Have an in-depth understanding of your products.
You need to become a specialist in the types of annuities you are dealing with. This is best done by availing yourself of any opportunity in continuing education, so you can learn about new features, industry shifts and any future forecasts. This in-depth knowledge is not only necessary for you, it is important for your clients too. For example, if understanding your products helps you find a fixed index annuity (FIA) with a roll-up rate of 10% as opposed to an 8% FIA, your client would be incredibly pleased with the extra 2%. A happy client translates into lead generation for you, since a happy client might recommend you to others.
Patiently nurture a great relationship with your clients.
Speaking of recommendations, you should prioritize relationships with your clients as this can lead to referrals. Building great rapport with your clients is not an immediate process, however; you need to make a conscious effort to make the client comfortable with your skills and approach and get to really know him. When you and your client and are comfortable with each other, the client can easily hand you more business through intra-family referrals.
Leverage current events in your sales pitch.
Make sure you understand what is going on in today’s economy and its effects on the security of alternative investments such as annuities in light of future uncertainties. This might be the trigger you need to push potential clients to make a purchase decision so as to ensure that their future is secure. If you stay up-to-date on the potential effects of any new government policy, stock market plunges, etc., you would come across as thoughtful, current and relevant to your client, and not just as another annuity salesperson pitching the same old same old.
Sell solutions, not products.
Whenever you prioritize selling products over selling solutions to problems, you come across as pushy. When you’re pitching to the client, speak of the product in the context of it being a solution to a specific need. One way to understand the client’s needs is to attempt to capture their imagination by asking them about their goals for retirement, investment, charitable donations, etc. Once you know this, you can show them an annuity with a guaranteed income to meet their needs.
Go with the times.
Your sales strategy should be dictated by what works and not "how it’s done." This means that you may need to ditch traditional methods of sales if they are not working for you. In fact, even if they are working, you should try something new to give yourself multiple sales opportunities. For instance, take active lead generation. Word of mouth is great (and you should never ignore it), but also try non-traditional methods like technology services that deliver qualified leads in short periods of time. Lead-generation companies, SEO, and social media all fall under this category.
Annuities do not sell themselves as you know too well. Selling them requires effort. And even though the tips I have shared in this article are sure to increase your sales rate, never forget that the three key ingredients are diligence, hard work and prioritizing relationships.