Are Annuity Sales Hard to Make?

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Be Real About Your Annuity Sales Results so Far

You lose many annuity sales and opportunities for appointments.  Most Americans, including insurance agents and financial advisors, have poor communication skills. Poor communication skills = poor sales skills.

You need to admit that you have lost more sales over time than you have closed.  At first, this may not seem accurate because your brain likes to redact history to your benefit. But if you keep accurate records for the next 60 days, you will find that of those people who are suspects, less than 50% become prospects and of those that are prospects, less than 50% become clients.   Over your career you have spoken to 3000, maybe 4000 prospects and most of them have said, “I’ll think about it" and vanished. We don’t think it needs to be that way.

Your "Me" Focus is Losing You Annuity Sales

The quality of your annuity sales efforts is gauged by results. It’s not hard to increase your financial sales batting average.  Selling financial products successfully depends on explaining the financial product from your prospect’s point of view, not your point of view. And while you may think you already do this, even some of the most tenured members of the industry are still product focused and “me” focused and don’t realize it.

Take the following example of annuity sales. When I ask financial sales professionals why prospects don’t buy annuities, they tell me, “the prospect does not want to lock their money up.”   WHAT?

Every annuity I know about is liquid; the contract owner can cash it in at any time and there is no “locked up” money.  When I make this comment, agents reply that the annuity funds are locked up during the surrender period.  That’s not true, however, as the owner can get the money anytime, it is not locked up.  Notice the truth: the money is perfectly liquid and may be withdrawn at any time.  Notice that the agents think the money is locked up. And if the prospect thinks it’s locked up, that idea got into their mind only one way–you put it there.  Only YOU view the surrender period as locking up the owner’s money and that’s what you communicate and as a result, no sale.

There are two separate issues here: whether annuities are liquid vs does the liquidity have a cost.  Have you been confusing annuity prospects with your language?  Have you failed to make this simple distinction between liquidity and the cost of liquidity?

So we see that funds in an annuity are NOT locked up; it’s an issue of the annuity prospect being sufficiently patient to benefit from what annuities offer.  In fact, we recommend you sell annuities from a different point of view.  Once you present the benefits of the annuity, tell your prospect “this opportunity is not for you unless you are a patient investor because only patient investors can get these benefits and this high-interest opportunity is not for everyone.”

Prospect: I’m a patient person--this is for me (notice how people want what is being taken away from them)
You: You better be patient because it costs you if you’re not.  Look what happens (as you show them the schedule of surrender charges which I recommend you call “impatience penalties”).  If you’re not patient and you want to take your money out in the first year, it will cost you 6% of your balance, so this is not the right opportunity for you unless you’re patient.”
Prospect: No problem, once I make a decision, I stick with it, honest.

You Have the Wrong Point of View

Now, the prospect is trying to convince you he is patient and won’t incur the “impatience penalty.”  Because you’ve been selling financial products from your point of view, you’ve been calling this a surrender charge because that’s what the insurance company told you to call it (you’ve been brainwashed to think like the financial product manufacturers tell you to think).

And, without realizing it, every time you explain surrender charges, you become apologetic and try to convince the prospect it ain’t so bad. You tell me which phrase has more meaning to the prospect: “surrender charge” or “impatience penalty.”  And which would you rather be doing–convincing prospects, as you have been, that the surrender charge is no big deal (your issue, not theirs) as you try to twist their arm to buy or have the prospect convince you that they are indeed patient enough for your financial opportunity?

It takes some quiet time thinking to determine how your prospects view the world and how you can most appropriately sell (i.e. communicate) financial products and services to them.  Without making this effort, you will continue to lose most financial sales opportunities because prospects don’t share your point of view. Re-work the quality of your presentations to the prospect's point of view and enjoy a higher sales batting average.

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