Sure, you might start out with dreams of six figure salaries and the perks that come along with it, but the reality is that it’s a lot more difficult to make it as an annuity agent than the hotshots let on. In fact, The Motley Fool (www.fool.com) reports that as many as 70% of annuity agents drop out of the industry within their first year. If you’re struggling to make ends meet and wondering whether or not the industry is really for you or not, read on for more advice on making it through your first year in the field.
We have a number of other posts of various methods to generate annuity leads.
If every annuity agent that got started in the industry made six figures in their first year, the world would be so full of annuity agents that there wouldn’t be enough customers left to make it worthwhile. Instead of looking at the career as a guaranteed way to earn a high-income, you need to adjust your expectations and think of your first few years as paying your dues to become established in the field. Expect the cold-calling and the annuity prospecting, and expect that you’ll earn a meager salary to do it. Eventually, business will pick up and the grunt work of your first few years will pay off.
If you have funds to invest in your business, your path to success will be much quicker as explained at the at exclusive annuity leads.
Established annuity agents are just that – established. Over their years in the business, they’ve made connections with customers and other financial professionals, and they’ve put their names out there for the entire world to see. Think of your first year or two as an annuity agent as an important opportunity for you to make connections. Join a trade organization, participate in your local Chamber of Commerce, and tell everyone you meet that you’re an annuity agent. Eventually, the name recognition you earn from these activities will pay off in terms of new clients and referrals.
If you stay on top of financial news, you probably already know that annuity brokers often get a bad rap. And sometimes, it’s for a good reason – for every honest, legitimate broker out there, it seems like there’s at least one shark in the bunch, bent on manipulating and misleading customers into annuity products that aren’t right for their situations. But here’s the thing – regulatory agencies are starting to catch up with these criminals, so if you don’t stay on the right side of the law when selling annuities, you could find yourself quickly out of business.
If you’re struggling through your first year as an annuity agent, it can be tempting to engage in shady sales tactics just to take home a decent paycheck, but consider the following statistics from CNN’s Money website as a cautionary tale:
• “Bank of America has agreed to return the money of anyone who purchased a variable annuity in 2003 and 2004 and was age 78 or older, citing high-pressure sales tactics directed toward senior citizens.”
• “Citizens Financial Group, acknowledging "'unethical or dishonest conduct," agreed to offer refunds to all its elderly customers who bought variable annuities in the last two years and will pay a $3 million fine.”
• “Waddell & Reed paid $18 million to settle charges that it pressured customers to exchange their annuities, generating commissions for its brokers.”
If you think the brokers who engaged in these practices are still employed, think again. There’s no reason to jeopardize what could be a long and rewarding career on a few unscrupulous business transactions – focus on building your business instead, and sooner or later, the clients will come much more easily.