Using Educational Seminars To Generate Referrals
By Jonathan Neal
According to a good number of the agents I talk to, the two biggest killers of sales in both the long term care and annuity arenas are accountants and attorneys. Having encountered my share of “advisors” that have killed sales, it finally dawned on me that rather than fighting with them, a more positive approach might be to try to convert them into referral sources. After all, there can be no denying that these “advisors” are powerful centers of influence that producers must deal with on a regular basis. Trying to dismiss them makes no more sense than ignoring them, and the last thing you want to do is to put your clients in the middle, forcing them to choose between you and their accountant or attorney.Any producer planning to work in the senior market must accept the reality that prospects have other advisors. Although these advisors may wield more influence than their knowledge of the product warrants, most often the client will follow their advice over that of the producer.
This leaves us with two positions from which to address the situation. First is to fall into the tried-and-true category of the martyr. Although firmly planted on the high ground of moral indignity, this position does little more than assure failure. The second position requires a producer to use his/her sales skills and communication abilities to enlist these advisors as allies, rather than label them as enemies. Of course, walking into this lions den is a scenario that requires a bit of courage and a dose of humility!
One approach to solving this problem lays in communicating by way of education; in short, we need to educate the advisors on the advantages of addressing the LTC and annuity issues from a “does this make sense financially” point of view. This opens their eyes to a universe of products and concepts of which they most likely are not aware.
One way to combat this state of ignorance is through continuing education seminars.
The hurdle to overcome here is ego, as many “advisors” feel that there isnt anything an agent can offer by way of education that is worth their time and that attending a course conducted by an agent is somehow beneath them. The only way to overcome these preconceived notions is through professionalism and persistence.