Annuities and life insurance are just tools. Tools are not inherently bad or good. It’s how people use them that matters. It’s time to work together to restore confidence and respect to our products and our industry.
Opening the minds of some prospects — and the public in general — to the advantages of annuities and permanent life insurance as a foundational element of an effective financial plan can be an uphill battle. The energy required to overcome the inertia of today’s financial “conventional wisdom” can be enough to beat down the most resilient of us. Countering the flow of misinformation from popular financial entertainers and the deeply entrenched “financial industrial complex” is a lot like drinking from a fire hose.
How does the average safe money advocate stand a chance against such odds? How on Earth can we get our message in the hands of those who need it most when our entire culture seems to be against us?
The answer is simple. You do it the same way you eat an elephant: one bite at a time.
Knowledge is power. The more you know, the better you can articulate your position and persuade others to listen to what you have to say. Trying to be everything to everyone is a recipe for failure, but commit yourself to becoming an expert at something. Set a realistic goal like one hour per day reading something from your desired area of expertise. (Make it valuable information, though. Garbage in, garbage out.)
Keep an open mind
If you really want people to listen to you, you have to be willing to try to understand all sides of an argument. Just taking an uneducated position on something and digging in for all it’s worth will label you as another stubborn blowhard. You must actually listen to objections and others’ opinions. Don’t just wait to talk. Know the difference between fact, assumption and opinion. Most people are more receptive to your opinion when you’re honest about sharing it.
Do the right thing
Of course, the right thing is often open to argument, but keep it simple for yourself. Would you recommend this course of action to your grandmother? Do you own these products yourself? Right or wrong, our industry has acquired a reputation for selling what’s best for the agent first. The sad truth is, sometimes it happens. You know it; I know it. Don’t be that guy. Think long-term. Build trust. Don’t give the other guys more ammunition. Help yourself and our industry rebuild our reputation.