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3 tips to sell annuities in an uncertain time

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Between the agonizingly slow negotiations regarding the fiscal cliff and the gradual recovery of the American economy, annuities are in something of a strange place right now. Notably, those drafting up the fiscal cliff agreements may potentially reduce or revoke the tax-deferred status of annuities (they’re not a primary target, but everything is on the table). This news, coupled with a client base that’s seeing retiring on an annuity as an increasingly viable option, makes it paramount to address your own questions and misgivings first in order to better address those of your clients. Here are a few quick tips to keep a cool head while establishing rapport with your clients.

1. Know the news.

With the negotiations where they are, knowing what’s going on in the government is an important way of anticipating how the changes may affect you and your clients. Even if the possibilities are at a minimum, it’s important to have a game plan addressing new developments at even the slightest hint of change; both as a way of preempting any actual reforms as well as a means of showing clients with misgivings that you’re already heading any future problems off at the pass. More importantly, it allows you to look for beneficial opportunities that could turn into silver linings. 

2. Understand your client.

Knowing your client’s questions before they ask them may seem like an unreasonable expectation, but do your best to exercise your precognitive talents and draft up a few leading questions and answers. Try and tie these into what you’ve learned about the recent political climate and assess not only how your client’s annuities may be affected, but how your client may personally be affected as well.

3. Believe in what you’re doing for your client.

The most important part of any good sale is genuinely believing in the product. Knowing the ins and outs of how annuities could be affected in the future, as well as any problems they might run into, allows you to come to a firm, justifiable conclusion on what works best for your clients. While convincing them that they’re getting the best possible plan is an important part of the sale, so is believing it yourself, since it allows you to engage with them confidently, even in the face of an uncertain future.

While some of these tips may be reiterations of past strategies, right now they’re more important than ever. With the fiscal cliff coming to a close in the near future, bringing with it a promise of long-term effects on the economy, focusing on these points is essential to keeping your head above water and weathering what storms may come in the following months.

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