Last week we shared agent coach Wendy Swanson’s first five tips to follow when meeting with clients or prospects to discuss annuities. Here are the next five.

  1. Live by the rate and bonus, die by the rate and bonus. Don’t emphasize just the interest rate or a “hot bonus.” Certainly, a bonus and a great rate is a one place to start your research, but with all the great features (death benefit guarantees, great liquidation features, income riders that guarantee income for life) available in today’s annuities, there is so much more to offer our clients, and as an agent, you should know that much more.
  2. It’s a product and a solution. At its core, an annuity is a product. However, your clients are looking for solutions. It’s more effective to say, “I have found a solution for that income gap we discovered at our last meeting,” than, “I have a product for you, Mr. and Mrs. Jones.”
  3. KISS all day, every day. “Keep it simple, Simon.” Another motto to keep in mind is: “The confused mind always says no.” Explain the solution in the most basic terms, and make sure your clients have realistic expectations of the benefits. Use simple explanations like, “A fixed indexed annuity will give you a portion of the upside opportunity of the market with none of the downside risk.” The best agents explain there can be years of no interest accrued, but nothing would be lost in those years, either.
  4. Prepare for the unforeseen. Prepare clients for what could possibly occur, like compliance calls from the carrier, and explain why these calls are a good thing. Also, prepare the client for calls from entities trying to preserve the business. Be there to hold the client’s hand and not let anything scare them out of the decision they’ve made.
  5. Don’t be a stranger. Follow up frequently and stay in contact before and after issuing the policy. This can be as simple as making phone calls or as elaborate as sending a newsletter or even using a card service to send out communications to new clients, existing clients and perspective clients on a continual basis. Many are organizing client appreciation events to stay in front of their existing clients and meet referrals.

*We’re turning it over to you to tell us what kinds of tips you would like to see in the future. What kind of industry information and advice would help you, or interests you the most? Please tell us your thoughts using the comment form below.

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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. She can be reached at wendy@seniormarketsales.com.