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Talk of a possible sale of Aviva USA gives advisors an opportunity to review retirement plans with the clients.

In April, the Financial Times reported that Aviva PLC was mulling the sale of its U.S. unit. Although the U.S. is on a list of 12 countries identified by Aviva as “core,” the division is under pressure as it specializes in selling fixed indexed annuities, which are policies that offer savers guaranteed returns, but which require the group to set aside large amounts of capital.

What it means for advisors

What does all this mean for advisors and agents who offer Aviva products? How can they address these issues with clients?

Advisors can be proactive by conducting an annual review with their clients. Policyholders have the security of their annuity contracts and the features that will provide the stated benefits. The question of what will happen with Aviva does not risk the contractual arrangement your client has with Aviva. This is not an issue similar to AIG back in 2008; this is a proactive business decision that, if reports are true, is merely being discussed.

There is an old saying in sales–success is when opportunity and preparedness meet. If anything this provides you an opportunity to show your value to your client by contacting them, performing an annual review and helping them draw up a game plan when their current contract matures. Help your customers be prepared for the next decision they may need to make in managing their assets and fulfilling their financial goals.

Features vs. Benefits

If you have been selling for a very long time, you have heard about the concept of “features versus benefits.”

Features are what the product has or does.

Benefits are why your prospect would want those features.

In other words, features are about the product, benefits are about the user. What will the product do for them?

For example, if you have something that is metal instead of plastic, metal might be a feature. But the benefit might be that it is more durable, longer-lasting or unbreakable.

So when you meet with your client to discuss their current situation:

  1. Review their current contract
  2. Review their current financial plan
  3. List the gaps and/or risk
  4. Develop a risk strategy
  5. Implement the strategy on or before the maturity date of their contract

Remember, success is when opportunity and preparedness meet.

The question of what will happen with Aviva does not risk the contractual arrangement your client has with Aviva.

Lloyd Lofton, CSA, LUTCF, is the vice president and COO for American Eagle Financial Services, Inc., a national marketing organization. He is a GA DOI approved CE instructor in annuities and speaks at industry-related events and conducts training across the country. He can be reached at lloyd@americaneaglefinancial services.com or through www.linkedin.com/in/lloydlofton.