Struggling to Sell Indexed Annnuities?

One of my favorite guys in this business is Lew Nason. I have posted his articles in the past and once again I think he has hit the nail on the head with this one…would love to hear your feedback. Enjoy.
 

Why Do So Many Advisors Struggle Selling Fixed and Indexed Annuities?

written by Lew Nason-

Why Do So Many Advisors Struggle Selling Fixed and Indexed Annuities?

Would you agree that the primary advantages of a Fixed Annuity over a CD are that annuities generally provide a higher rate of return, they have better guarantees, and the interest isn’t taxed until it’s used! Then, why is it so hard to convince a CD owner to convert to a fixed annuity?

Would you also agree the primary advantages of an Indexed Annuity over Equity Investments, Managed Accounts and Mutual Funds are that the prospect has the potential to reap the upside of the stock market, without the downside risk to their investment principal. Plus, an Indexed Annuity has a minimum guaranteed interest rate and the returns aren’t taxed until the money is withdrawn. Then, why do advisors have a hard time closing sales for Index Annuities?

There are many reasons why many advisors are having trouble selling Fixed and Indexed Annuities. Part of the problem is most advisors are selling a product, instead of a solution to the prospect’s problems. They are selling features, instead of presenting benefits. Most advisors are NOT making a connection with their prospects. They are NOT building trust and rapport. They are making things too complicated. They are using technical jargon. They are in front of the wrong prospects. And unfortunately, the list goes on and on!

Here are SIX simple solutions that will help you to immediately sell more annuities!

You must make sure you are in front of the right prospects for you! Most advisors are focused on attracting high net worth prospects, which puts them in direct competition with every other advisor. Then, they wonder why these prospects want to talk to their Attorney, CPA, Stock Broker, etc. before they make a decision. There are many niches within the annuity markets. You have the low, middle and high net worth people. Within those markets you have pre-retirees and retirees. There are CD owners, mutual fund investors, stock owners, widowed women, annuity owners, tax-free bond owners, IRA owners and the list goes on and on. Each of these niches has a different concern, problem, attitude, likes and dislikes. You have to decide which of these niche markets is right for your expertise, experience, knowledge and products.

You must write and speak at a sixth grade level! Then, even the college professors can understand you! And, you must stop using technical jargon. Most advisors are confusing their prospects by being too technical and going into too much detail. If your prospects are even the slightest bit confused, then why would they want to set an appointment with you, or buy from you?

You must build trust and rapport! Whether you are conducting dinner seminars, free educational workshops or just talking to people on the phone, you must be able to demonstrate to your prospects that you truly understand their concerns and their problems. For example, the vast majority of advisors are only getting a 30% appointment rate from their educational workshops and dinner seminars. Then, only 30% of those people are actually keeping their appointments. The main reason for the low appointment rate and the cancellation of appointments is the advisor is not helping the prospect to see how what they are presenting relates to the prospects situation. Most advisors tend to lecture to the prospect. Or, they are trying to educate the prospect. They are not getting the prospect emotionally involved. The advisor is coming across as a sales person instead of an advisor. There is no trust or rapport being created.

You must help prospects to identify what their biggest concerns are for themselves! You can’t assume anything. You can’t assume they understand their real problems. You must get them to really talk about their situation and tell you how they feel about what’s happening. You must do a complete, thorough fact-finding interview to help your prospects to truly understand their problems. For example, initially many retirees will tell you that their biggest concern is outliving their money. Yet, when you do a complete, thorough fact-find you might find that they have plenty of money, based on their current life style. Their real problem is they are afraid to take the income they want each year. So, they aren’t able to do the things they really want to do! Or, maybe they are afraid they’ll need long term care and they won’t have enough money to make sure they have choices as to their care. Or, they are afraid their spouse won’t have enough money when they die, because their spouse will lose their pension and social security! Or, they want to make sure they have money to pass onto their children, or a charity.

You must really listen to what your prospect is saying! When you’re really listening to someone’s words, you become connected with that person. And, isn’t that the kind of connection that we all want? You can’t sell unless you truly understand your prospect’s problems and what they really want. You must sincerely listen to the prospect, so you can ask the right questions to clarify the prospects current situation and feelings. However, listening is less important than how you listen. By listening in a way that demonstrates understanding and respect, you build rapport with prospects, and that is the true foundation from which you can sell your prospects.

You must stay in constant contact with your prospects… and your current clients! It’s a simple rule of marketing, the more you stay in front of people who can do business with you, the more opportunities you have to earn their business. If you don’t stay in touch, you’ll be forgotten. And, if your clients, prospects, and business associates forget you, then they certainly won’t do business with you (or refer people they know to you). Staying in touch is NOT about hounding your prospects and clients until they buy from you. It’s about keeping in constant contact with them in positive, non-threatening ways. It’s letting them know what’s going on, showing them you care, sending them reminders and providing information that’s of value to them.

If you want to sell more annuities, then you must practice the above six simple solutions! These six simple solutions are what we focus on in our systems and with our coaching. It’s why the advisors we work with are able to set appointments with 70-90% of their seminar attendees. And, why these advisors are able to collect a million or more of annuity premiums every month!

By Lew Nason
‘The Nine Out Of Ten Guy’

About Jeffrey Berson

40 years in and around the industry has made Insurance a part of my DNA. I have had the pleasure of working with and for some of the greatest minds in our industry. My "Bersonal" View is an attempt to capture some of the best ideas, the best concepts and the best practices in a way that can lead to success for others. It will certainly be my point of view, so please...don't take it "Bersonal".
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