If you’re not closing as many sales as you’d like, you need to listen to what you are saying and figure out whether even you’d buy from you. Sounding like a salesman kills many sales. How often have you heard and dismissed pitches that talk about their “24/7 service” or one of the more popular bad closes, “What would it take to get you to sign today?” And yet these worn-down lines are still used and the folks using them wonder why they aren’t selling more.

If you sound like a salesman, then you need to spend some time figuring out why people buy and not how to sell them. What it comes down to is people are ultimately motivated by hope, fear or greed, and getting the prospect to act on any one of these results in a sale. You need to determine which product features trigger which motivation and which motivations are in play with the prospect.

The benefits of tax deferral

An annuity product feature is tax deferral. What tax deferral means is you will have more interest compounding due to no current taxes paid (greed) and that means more money available for the future (hope) making it less likely you run out of money (fear). The surrender charges mean you have a reason to tell your wayward son why you can’t give him another loan because your money is all tied up and can’t be touched (I’m not sure whether this would be greed or spite). Take some time to look at the product features and see what emotional motivations they address and then create your own lines because you have to believe them.

What are your concerns about money?

Now you’re sitting across from a retired couple?what are their motivations? Outliving their money might be one; that’s fear. Earning more interest might be another; that’s greed. Having their money grow so they can pay for a grandchild’s education down the road; that’s hope. You can take a look at their age and apparent lifestyle and try to determine what might motivate them to buy. Or, you could simply ask them “What are your concerns about money?”

Instead of saying, “Here’s why you should buy an annuity,” ask them what their concerns are with their money and what they want their money to do for them. The prospects will tell you which annuity features will motivate them to buy and trigger the sale.