Insurance agent coach Wendy Swanson has found even though annuity sales hit an eight-year low in the second quarter of 2010, many agents are reporting growth in FA sales. Here are five rules to follow when meeting with clients:

1. Understand their income flow. How can you recommend moving money into an annuity if you don’t understand their finances? Find out not only where their retirement money is but also what that money needs to do to ensure their income needs are met.

2. Understand their dreams. Take notes and ask your clients to share their dreams for their retirement, their legacy and what they want to do with their nest egg. Let them share their goals and dreams, so nothing is left out. This information allows you to do the best job possible in choosing the right products and solutions.

3. Understand their emotions. Clients’ decisions about their hard-earned money are intertwined with emotion. By understanding how your client feels about their money, you’ll understand what solutions make sense for them and also respect the emotional aspect.

4. Don’t jump the gun. Use the first appointment for fact finding. Find out income needs, where their money is, what they want the money to do and what emotions are attached to the money. It’s natural to gravitate toward the same solutions time and again. But even if you’ve seen a situation a thousand times and know the answer, don’t mention any one solution at a fact-finding meeting. Imagine a doctor giving you a diagnosis before even discussing why you are there. You would probably leave that office running.

5. It’s a family affair. Don’t assume your client is the only decision maker. Some might want or need family members or friends to help them in the process. Ask if they would like their children or other family members to come to meetings. You want to have all decision makers on board with any changes being proposed to their nest egg.

Sign up for The Lead and get a new tip in your inbox every day!

More tips:

Wendy Swanson has been working with and coaching insurance agents and advisors for nearly 15 years. As a marketing coordinator for Senior Market Sales, Inc., she coaches advisors on practical marketing tips and sales approaches for annuities and life insurance. Swanson can be reached at wendy@seniormarketsales.com.