This column is an excerpt from Jack Marrion’s new book “Sell More Annuities: Change Buyer Behavior”
Fear is a proven marketing technique that is also used successfully by annuity providers. Today, it’d go something like: Show the stock market average in January 2008, show the stock market average in January 2009, show a white-haired, wrinkled person selecting a buffet dinner from a dumpster, reveal the current yield on the no-market-risk-to-principal fixed annuity; sign here. Fear causes consumers to make risk-averse decisions and this helps annuities, but what if the consumer is too afraid?
The headlines of late may make consumers so fearful that any decision may be viewed as too risky. Which emotions cause people to be less fearful and more risk-seeking and thus open the way for a sale? Happiness is a proven one — happy consumers are more optimistic and open to taking a chance — but it is tough to sell happiness when the TV is talking Great Depression II. However, anger is another emotion that causes people to be both risk-seeking and optimistic and may result in a decision to buy.