How To Sell Annuities to Prospects Who Say They Don't Want Them
Investors seeking to invest money usually don’t look for an annuity. What investors want are the benefits that the annuity delivers. Similarly, people don’t walk around wanting a root canal. What they do want is relief from tooth pain. This most important distinction between the product and its benefits means that if you start talking to people about annuities rather than the benefit of annuities, you will forfeit a lot of sales.
As marketers, we have been dismayed that financial professionals only want leads of prospects seeking information on the products and services sold by the financial professional. In other words, the average annuity agent only wants us to match him with prospects that have expressed interest in annuities (annuity leads), people who can be an annuity sale. Other prospect types have interest in financial planning, mutual fund investments, life insurance, etc. yet most annuity agents are not interested in these other prospects. This is frankly not very smart.
Investors frequently don’t want the securities they buy; what they truly desire are the benefits of their choices. No one goes looking for life insurance, annuities, root canal, brain surgery, etc. What these buyers desire are the benefits of these necessary evils. People with money desire to minimize taxes and secure their principal (benefits provided by a fixed annuity), financial protection for their family (benefits provided by life insurance), teeth that don’t hurt (benefits provided by a root canal) and to remain alive (benefits provided by brain surgery). If anyone went to the physician and the physician said “I sell brain surgery–let me tell you about it,” people would run away, fast. But that’s exactly what you and other annuity agents do selling annuities. So don’t be surprised when prospects don’t return your calls.
Think Like Marketer, Not Like Sales Person
Sales people have a focus on how to sell their products - the features, the benefits and the sales pitch. Marketers have an interest in what prospects want to buy.
Successful annuity agents have an interest in these prospect types I mentioned above, those prospects that have interest in their finances (e.g. financial planning, mutual funds, tax reduction) but have not expressed any interest in annuities. The rich agents know that people buy annuities who started off saying they did not want an annuity (because they had no idea what it was). Here’s the logic of the rich annuity agents in cultivating and selling to a wider group of prospects:
1. When people express interest in a financial product or service, it does not mean that they will buy that particular product or service and it does not matter. The rich agent merely wants an appointment to explore the motivations of a prospect who takes initiative and determine if the prospect’s desires fit with the products/service the agent offers.
2. A prospect who takes initiative (e.g. completes a form on the Internet with all of their contact information) means that the prospect is motivated to seek a solution. That’s the important part–talking to a prospect who takes initiative and action.
The rich annuity agent wants to speak to any motivated viable prospect and has sufficient confidence that if an annuity will help the prospect achieve his goals, the agent will have a sale. And that agent is also okay finding out that there may not be a fit with the prospect and ends the meeting in 5 minutes. The end result is:
- meeting more people with motivation
- selling more annuities
- getting more referrals
How many clients have you lost because you have failed to cultivate a general interest from a motivated prospect desiring to take financial action?
Thanks for a few ways to illustrate the concept Larry.
Product agnostic and acting in the client's best interest-what a concept!
I volunteer to act as a partner/resource for fixed only annuity producers in Illinois who don't want or can't do the securities, life, ltc, planning their annuity clients need and will get elsewhere. I won't steal the annuity business like 'elsewhere' might.