Annuities can indeed add a new dimension to an advisory practice. But a robust annuity book of business isn’t handed to you. Rather, it’s built through preparation, dedication and resourcefulness. These five strategic suggestions should help get you where you want to go.
- Get educated. Advisors who do best in the annuity market know their products and their providers inside and out, says Bob Affronti, CEO of FSD Financial. “You should know which companies to go to and which products to use for each and every situation. “
- Get securities licensed. The broader the array of annuity products an advisor offers, the better positioned he or she will be to provide clients with suitable solutions. So the investment of time and money to get a Series 6 and/or Series 7 license to sell variable annuities can pay big dividends.
- Offer solutions to income and longevity concerns. “I’d say 75 to 90 percent of advisors have clients who need longevity insurance–an income that’s guaranteed to last a lifetime,” Affronti adds. A single-premium immediate annuity can be the vehicle to provide that income, as can a variable annuity or a fixed index annuity with some type of guaranteed withdrawal or guaranteed income benefit. “Given how long people are living these days, they need to continue building assets through retirement,” notes William E. Kauffman, Jr., vice president of financial products at Senior Market Sales.
- Mine your existing book of business. “Open up your file drawer,” Kauffman says, “and you will find all those clients you’ve sold health insurance or life insurance to probably need your help [with other aspects of their retirement portfolio]. They’re looking for fresh ideas, and you can be the one to supply them.”
- Dig deep to unearth cross-selling opportunities. When you’re discussing one product with a client or prospect, be alert for openings to talk about others. Cross-selling opportunities involving annuities abound. Expose or recognize them by asking the right questions. Kauffman says, “It’s often just a matter of asking a couple more questions: ‘Have you looked at what your income needs are for retirement? Do you have any low- or non-performing assets?’ Those kinds of questions.”
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David Port is a Denver-based freelance writer and a frequent contributor to Senior Market Advisor. He owns and operates his own writing and editing business, Southpaw Print/Net Communications.