A Simple Formula For Helping Bank Annuity Sales To Prosper
Ever since the early 1980s, when savings and loan associations in California, Florida and Ohio began selling annuity products, annuity business in financial institutions has been growing.
Sales of fixed and variable annuities through banks, thrifts and credit unions in 2002 reached $48.9 billion, a 22.4% share of the entire individual annuity market, according to LIMRA.
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Its hard to argue with the fact that financial institutions as a whole have done a fine job of providing consumers with the benefits of annuities. Some, however, have had far greater success than others.
Why? There are a number of factors that contribute to the success or failure of a financial institutions annuity platform or investment sales program. These factors typically fall into the following broad categories:
Senior management support.This is probably the most important factor behind the success or failure of a financial institutions annuity sales. If senior management doesnt actively provide visible (not just verbal) support to the program, it will languish.
Senior managers must assist with the program launch, attend campaign rollouts and constantly communicate to all employees the importance of the sales program to the institution and to each and every employee. In many cases, senior management must also spearhead integration of the retail investment program with an existing trust department to ensure that all areas are working together to serve customer needs.
Employee selection. The platform or dedicated sales representative and the program manager must all be the right people for their jobs.
First, employees chosen to become licensed platform representatives should be those who volunteer for the role instead of being assigned to it.
Good candidates will have had prior success in promoting new bank products, will be customer-focused and will be looking for career advancement.
Dedicated investment representatives should also have some demonstrated success before being hired. If they come from outside the financial institution environment, they must be able to assimilate a new type of culture and customer base.
Dedicated investment representatives also must have good customer profiling skills and sensitivity to all regulatory and legislative compliance issues.