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The Key to Selling Annuities--Understand Your Annuity Prospect

Published on February 27, 2009 in selling annuities by Bob Richards

The absolute worst thing you can do when selling annuities is to use a “one size fits all” sales process, marketing annuities in the same way to each of your annuity prospects.  Think about it – just like no single pair of pants really fits everyone in the world, every one of your prospects will respond differently to the many emotions and motivations involved in the annuity buying process.  For example, one buyer may be swayed by the security offered from the guaranteed payments of an income annuity, while another may respond more to tax-deferred benefits of fixed and variable annuities.  It’s up to you as the agent to understand your prospect’s specific goals and needs to have success at annuity selling.

But how do you begin the process of understanding your annuity prospect?  You can’t really ask, flat out, “Tell me about your secret motivations.”  At best, your comfortable will feel uncomfortable and move on to another agent, while at worst, your meaning could be misconstrued, leaving you in an uncomfortable situation!  Fortunately, there are a few conclusions you can draw from the basic information your client provides as part of the initial consultation.  For example:

• How old is your annuity prospect?

The age of your client should be one of the key factors in determining how you market annuities to him or her.  Elderly clients have different concerns than young couples or families. For instance, they may not respond as strongly to the idea of their investment growing over time compared to the benefit of a guaranteed regular payout.  So if you stress the right benefit to the right age group, your annuity selling is more successful.

• Is he or she married, and if so, are there children in the family?

Parents typically have a vested interest in providing for their children’s future, whether through savings for college education or a sizable nest egg that will be their legacy once they’ve passed.  You can use this desire for stability and security to your advantage in the annuity sales process, with projections of future annuity value.  Such projections would have little impact on someone single and age 80.

In addition to this basic information, you need to pick up on the subtle clues that your annuity prospect is dropping throughout your meetings.  One great place to start is with the question, “Tell me about your financial history.”  Of course, all agents use this question to get a feel for the size of their clients’ wallets, but we’re going to extend it further to uncover some of the more hidden motivations.  Instead of just breezing through their responses, ask them to reflect on the financial decisions they’ve made.

If, for example, your prospect lost $50,000 on a failed small business start-up, ask how they felt afterwards.  If your client exhibits fear at the thought of losing so much money, try to market annuities that feature guaranteed returns over time.  On the other hand, if your prospect expresses frustration over what that money could have been doing over time, he or she may be more susceptible to pitches that revolve around long-term gains or tax-deferred benefits.

Pay special attention to any specific statements – either yours or the prospects – that cause your client to become uncomfortable or emotional.  These statements are the key to discovering the hot-button issues that you can use to tailor your sales presentation and increase your annuity sales success.  Don’t think you can get away with repeating the same tired message over and over again – by learning to understand your annuity prospect and implementing a customized sales message, you’ll dramatically increase your annuity sales and make customers for life.

18 thoughts on “The Key to Selling Annuities--Understand Your Annuity Prospect

  1. Drug Rehabs says:

    Yeahh.. it is right. As the agent we need to understand our prospect’s specific goals and need to have success at annuity selling. So Happy Selling...

  2. shredder says:

    Speaking about selling annuities, it is really hard if you don't have basic selling.

  3. This is so true we have to understand the person that will be buying into the annuities, so that we know what their needs are, and what they will in the long term benefit from this.
    I would also agree with the above comment that one has to have the basics in selling otherwise this could be difficult to do.

  4. webhotel says:

    before jumping into the annuity selling one must know and understand the prospects of how the annuity selling can be, thanks for giving us the ideas about it. I liked that!

  5. Seo Outsourcing says:

    Yah! We love your article! annuities is very important. Seo Outsourcing would like to expand our deep appreciation in your triumph.

  6. chat sitesi says:

    Offline mailing campaigns would be a good destributuin methode for the monthly newsletter. Our offline response rate is amazing.

  7. This article was very informant! and i do agree, that you should know all angles of annuity before making any decisions solid, because i feel this is a huge life decision that's bound to have a huge impact on your life.

  8. James @ circle y saddles says:

    Great article - marketing is such an important aspect along with the expertise you may have in the annuity sales business. Thanks for the details!

  9. For the Monthly newsletter , offline mailing campaigns could be a good distrubuting. Nice article..

  10. Smoker says:

    before jumping into the annuity selling one must know and understand the prospects of how the annuity selling can be, thanks for giving us the ideas about it. I liked that!

  11. Kokodak says:

    Selling is allways about finding as much information about your clients as possible. Never do hard sell.

  12. Marketing is the king. No matter what business you're in. Understanding your clients is a must.

  13. Greenwood says:

    Yea i agree with you and your impressive in presenting it. It clearly depicts the importance of Annuities.

    Great thought of yours in sharing this with all!!
    Thanks!!

  14. lulu says:

    For the Monthly newsletter , offline mailing campaigns could be a good distrubuting. I like this ,very practice

  15. As an annuity-prospect, I completely agree. Meet my needs, tell me how the annuity will help me reach my goals, and I MIGHT purchase from you 🙂

    Cheers!

    Lee - The GMAT Coach

  16. Trailers and Reviews says:

    Offline newsletters always have a tremendous response, at least for my company they do

  17. Posizionamento Google says:

    For some time, sales of e-book and contents have exploded on the web, and explain how we can create automatic income from annuity prospects. Before figuring out these secrets, however, we must understand the meaning of annuitis. This article is a good source.

  18. real estate jaipur says:

    nice views and thanks to shearing us

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