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The four keys to cross-selling

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Cross-selling is one of the key ways advisors can reach their potential. According to an upcoming Senior Market Advisor article penned by David Port, “There are plenty of scenarios where annuities can open doors to other products such as life insurance, long-term care insurance (both stand-alone policies and as add-ons to annuity contracts) and more. The challenge lies in uncovering those opportunities.”

The following are four key ways Port uncovered to help you improve your skill as a cross-seller:

o Educate. “Whatever I have to do to get people to that knowledge level where they’re comfortable,” says Peter Donohoe of PRW Associates. “These products can get pretty complicated pretty quickly.”

o Mirror and match your presentation and discussion points to the client’s sophistication level. “You may not want to get too complicated with somebody who you don’t consider advanced in their knowledge of these products,” says Bryan C. Bradford of HBW Insurance & Financial Services. “On the other hand, you don’t want them to think you’re babying them or talking down to them.”

o Illustrate. Use easy-to-grasp graphics depicting what-if scenarios — what happens if the client outlives his savings, needs extended nursing home care, etc., and how a specific product or feature addresses that scenario. “You have to have the right tools to be able to do that,” says Pat Sheridan of Senior Market Sales. “Ask your FMO or IMO if they can provide them.”

o Disclose and document. Explain what’s behind those features and fees. It’s in your best interest as an advisor and to the client to make sure you are on the same page, so the client knows what he or she is getting with his or her investment.