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. Continuing on from last week’s five, here are three more strategic suggestions to help get you where you want to go.
- Offer free beneficiary reviews. To open a dialogue with clients and prospects, Kauffman suggests that advisors offer a no-charge review of any beneficiary designations.” They could need updating or have been done incorrectly,” he explains, “in which case you might catch a problem, and in doing so, create an opportunity to expose a need for a product like an annuity.”
- Suggest a hybrid. The reality is, many seniors for whom long-term care insurance makes sense as an asset-protection tool may not want, qualify for or have the means to afford a stand-alone LTCI policy. In those cases, one of a new breed of combination or hybrid annuity contracts with a long-term care living benefit rider can make sense; some coverage is better than none. What’s more, underwriting isn’t usually an issue. And funds drawn from one of these hybrid contracts to cover long-term care costs get favorable tax treatment.
- Show seminar savvy. Seminars remain a viable prospecting tool for annuity producers, as long as they’re done right. The key, says Kauffman, is providing people with a service–solid, actionable advice and information–minus the sales pressure. Advisors who pick compelling topics and execute their events skillfully are apt to get consistently good yield from their seminar investment.
- Leverage the Social Security issue. One of the hottest seminar topics today, Kauffman says, is Social Security–chiefly, how individuals and couples can maximize the program’s benefits. Being able to provide people with situation-specific Social Security solutions “opens doors and opens the file to everything they have,” he says. “Once you’ve explained the Social Security stuff to them, the next thing you’re likely to hear is, ‘Can you also take a look at this for us…?’” Then it’s time to put that annuity product know-how to work.
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David Port is a Denver-based freelance writer and a frequent contributor to SMA. He owns and operates his own writing and editing business, Southpaw Print/Net Communications.