This blog post was originally published by Jason Ferguson, CMO of New Horizons Insurance Marketing, and has been republished as a guest blog with their permission. New Horizons Insurance Marketing is a respected National Marketing Organization (NMO, also known as FMO or IMO) who believes in the power and strength of the independent insurance agent specializing in the senior market.
We’ve heard from a number of Medicare Supplement producers that they’re interested in offering annuities, but they’re intimidated, or even scared. It can be nerve-wracking to think you’re getting involved with client’s savings. We want to help our clients and not put them at any sort of risk. This fear keeps many of us from offering a great product to our clients.
What Seasoned Agents Say
We asked 5 agents “If you were just getting into annuity sales, what are the first 3 things you would do?” Here are their responses.
First of all, I would align myself with a firm like New Horizons as they have done research and have access to several carriers. Next, I would invite a seasoned agent on a few of my sales calls to learn how to be successful. Finally, I would try to learn as much as possible about the different products so I could speak intelligently about annuities.
It is important to find out your client's needs and concerns. Ask them if they are happy with their current rate of return on their CD or savings or Money market accounts. Then show them how an annuity would be another SAFE way to invest their money and make a better interest rate. " Let your money work for you!" is what I tell my clients. I own an annuity myself and I tell my clients this.
The first thing I would do is learn the process of the first appointment, and the second appointment. The process for meeting potential clients is totally different than Medicare Supplement sales. You must learn the right approach. The next thing I would do is learn 2 products very well. You have to know what product you are going to present to the potential client at the end of the first appointment. Alone time is the best time to hone your craft. You are the expert. Another way of saying this is a lot of mirror time.
You must believe in yourself before you can achieve success. You need to go to very good training sessions on annuity sales. You must find a Mentor that has proven him or herself in the annuity sales. It is not so much the proven sales, as it is the mannerism and personality. Show the clients that you care about them. Technique is very important but sharing and caring builds trust.
For one I would purchase an annuity even if it is a small one. It's a lot easier to sell if you believe in them yourself. Second I would familiarize myself with whatever annuity products that I am going to sell. Third, I would study the benefits of why I would sell one to someone, and how will it benefit them.
I would become familiar with 2 different annuity products, trying not to get overwhelmed with every annuity on the market. Then I’d watch a presentation via training videos, or shadowing someone with experience. Make it a habit of asking the question on every appointment “Are you satisfied with the rate of return on your investments?” This gets a conversation started - it’s not a sales pitch, it’s just a conversation.
Looking for more guidance on selling annuities?
New Horizons Insurance Marketing has created a handout for you to use when speaking with your clients: Client Guide to Bank CDs vs. Annuities (SPDAs). Download it for free here.
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