Depressed Economy May Be Good News For Bank Reps
The current economy may have put many financial advisors in the doldrums, but it seems to be blowing favorably toward banks, experts say.
The point for bank reps to remember is to be keenly aware of what their customers needs are, says Gregory D. Vacca, first vice president of CalFed Investments, a subsidiary of California Federal Bank, Sacramento.
For some products widely sold in banks, such as variable universal life, sales have clearly declined, Vacca notes. But reps who know who their customers are should be able to find alternatives.
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Despite the economic climate, some of the banks broker dealers did 20% to 30% better than the previous year.
By concentrating on products that are suitable to their typical customers needs, CalFed’s financial advisors have been able to keep insurance sales growing.
For investments, CalFeds typical customer is someone in his 60s. For checking, the average customer age is 46, Vacca says.
“Whatever the type of customer, were working to deliver what they tell us they want,” Vacca notes.
Among investment-oriented customers, the banks reps give long term care insurance a major marketing thrust, because there is much demand among seniors for that type of product.
But the bank has also developed sales programs aimed at boosting insurance sales to traditional checking-account customers.
CalFed platform reps recently began trying, with some success, to convince new checking-account customers to buy term policies as an add-on sale.
Platform reps emphasize to new checking customers the convenience of automatic withdrawals from their accounts to pay for the low-cost life insurance. If a customer seems interested, the rep then directs her to the banks investment desk, where a licensed rep helps make the necessary arrangements.
“This is the first move into term for CalFed,” notes Vacca.
CalFed did more than $40 million in single premium, variable and LTC insurance last year, Vacca says.