Laura from St. Louis shows how simple it can be to start having discussions with clients about annuities.
She just “asks”.
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How to Get Started Asking Clients About Annuities?
90 days ago annuities were not in Laura’s portfolio of products she was educating her clients about. Said another way, she wasn’t carrying annuities in her bag while out in the field.
Today, she’s sitting on four opportunities for more than $650,000… all because “I just ask.”
It’s not quite that simple, but it’s not nearly as difficult or scary as you might think.
Laura is one of Redbird Advisors’ most consistent performers and has lunged into the world of annuities using Redbird’s Services Offered value based selling approach.
Educate Your Clients on What You Do
“I take Services Offered and go through each bullet point about what we do,” Laura said. “When I get to the retirement part this is what I get the most excited about. I love working with people getting close to retirement.”
While Laura would agree that teeing up a discussion about annuities is not as easy as falling off a log, she is finding clients are enthusiastic about a product they’ve heard about but don’t really understand.
She loves education based selling and has credited the Redbird training programs to her success.
“One client told me she already had an annuity. I asked her if it gave her a bonus when she first took it out. She said no. Then I asked what kind of interest rate she was getting. She told me 5%. I said, ‘would you be interested in an annuity where you can get a bonus and 6.5% interest?’ Of course she said yes.” This is all assuming she is okay with accessing her money at a later date to take advantage of an income rider.
While annuities that offer a bonus can seem great, they aren’t always in the best interest of the client. This is a perfect example of peaking a clients interest and then backing up and explaining to them the pros and cons.
Transparent education translates to a sustainable sales process.
Fact Finding Takes Time and Clients Appreciate It
Laura is also finding that patience is a virtue when talking to clients about their money.
Earlier this week she had an appointment to discuss a $124,000 annuity. As the discussion progressed and the client revealed more about her situation, Laura uncovered another $160,000 the client didn’t believe was working as hard for her as it should to support her earnings power.
The client wasn’t hiding it… she just didn’t put two and two together that it should be part of the discussion.
“The discussion took a little different direction now that we were talking about two different accounts,” Laura said. “The client told us more about her situation which led me to tell her that I wanted to do some research before making a recommendation for the additional $160,000.
“I left the house not getting the $123,000 sale but I have an appointment for Monday to discuss helping her with the entire $283,000.”
Learning to sell annuities take time and this is a perfect example of strong fact finding working to your advantage. Do not be afraid to reschedule because you have to do more home work.
Start Asking About Annuities
Now, getting back to “I just ask.”
“I’m not confrontational,” Laura said. “I just tell them I’d like to sit down and take a look at what they have. I tell them it’s always good to have a second set of eyes look at what they have.
“And, for clients with pensions or retirement plans, I emphasize—in a positive way—that they could be in trouble if they are depending on their company’s HR department to help them make good decisions on where to put their money.”
What’s the secret to asking clients about annuities?
“You may have to step out of your comfort zone,” Laura said. “I’m not afraid to talk to people. If I hear people in Wal-Mart talk about a 401k I’ll give them my card and ask them to call me. It doesn’t matter whether I’m at an appointment or at my kids’ sporting events. I just keep my ears open and my mouth shut.”
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