By ADAM SOLANO
Each week MDRT and AdvisorNews bring readers advice on topics encompassing the financial services industry including case studies, practice management, tips for success and much more.
Annuities are complex, which can make them more challenging to sell than other products. The technical terminology can be confusing to clients and the benefits of an annuity can be lost in translation. There are a few ideas I’ve used which can help ensure you’re able to easily communicate annuity planning and processes to your clients.
Break It Down
Simplify your language and remove industry jargon to engage your client with relatable examples and anecdotes. Instead of asking them if they want a “legacy benefit,” tell stories about how your other clients have benefited from annuities. Use real-world examples such as social security or a teacher’s pension to help them understand that annuities can provide a steady stream of lifetime income during retirement. Clients need to grasp both the concept and benefits before they can make the investment.
I see many advisors give their clients a variety of options, but that usually creates unnecessary confusion. Instead, do your homework and come ready with what you believe to be the best option to meet their specific needs. This will not only ease the process, it will also help you cultivate client trust.
Over the years, I’ve created an Idea Book, and I bring it to every client meeting. The book contains illustrations, infographics, graphs and other assets to share innovative ideas I’ve gained from other industry professionals and organizations, such as MDRT. When I feel I am not verbalizing ideas well, I’ll flip to one of the illustrations or graphs; a simple visual can oftentimes help your client grasp complex topics easily.
Surround Yourself With Qualified Professionals
If you find a good product wholesaler, keep them. They’re worth their weight in gold. You know they’re a worthwhile wholesaler if they tell you a product is not a good fit for a particular client. You need a wholesaler who is honest with you, invests in your business and has your best interest in mind.
If you want some of the best people in the industry to help you problem-solve a case, join a professional organization like NAIFA or MDRT. Belonging to an organization that allows you to both network with other professionals as well as work through ideas together is absolutely invaluable to your growth and client service. And, if you are just beginning your practice, connect with someone more experienced in your firm or industry that you can work with jointly or rely on for assistance with case preparation.
Bridge The Gap
The decisions we help clients make can oftentimes be emotional, and drowning your client in jargon only serves to further overwhelm. Top performers bridge the gap between board rooms and kitchen tables; they understand the terminology of complex sales meetings while also realizing how to make those products relatable to a client. If you learn to bridge that gap, you’ll not only get the sale, you’ll promote your client towards a successful future.
Adam Solano is a financial advisor with Lakeside Financial Group in Grayslake, Ill. He was a main platform speaker at the 2015 MDRT Annual Meeting and was recognized by the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors as one of its “4 Under 40” award recipients in 2009. Adam may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.