How Are Your Annuities Doing?
This is the easiest way to bring up the subject of annuities with clients, family members, referrals, and basically anyone you want to become a client. I see articles, and training videos, webinar, etc. trying to help agents with conversation starters and “ice breakers”. Instead, try this simple question, which is super easy to work into conversation.
Here’s an example …
So, have you lived in California for long?
About 23 years. We moved here for work, then decided to retire here because our grandkids are all here.
Oh, you’re retired…how’s that going?
Pretty good. Seem to be busier than when I was working. Never seems to be a free moment.
Well, at least you’re not bored. (laughs)
No. That’s true. (laughing)
How are your annuities doing?
What? My annuities?
Yeah…I work with retirees, and just wondered how your annuities are doing.
At this point it can go a few different ways
1. “I don’t have any annuities”. For this response, you simply act surprised and explain that nearly every retired person you know—and ALL of the ones you work with—own at least ONE index annuity. “In fact”—you can add—“the older the retirees are, the more money they have in annuities. The younger ones still like to live a bit dangerously.”
2. “My annuities are doing well”. When this is the response, you can offer that many people do not know they can “trade-up to better annuities”—sometimes just a couple of years into their annuity policy period. They will invariably ask you to explain what “trade up” means. Then you can explain that often people don’t buy the very best annuity on the market, or the market changes and new annuities are released—like new models of cars. And you can add that some retirees like to trade up to new annuities every few years, the way some people like to lease a brand new car every few years. When they ask for more explanation, you can explain that crediting methods are ALWAYS improving, new benefits like Long Term Care are added, and higher guaranteed lifetime income payouts are offered. Ultimately—however this conversation goes—you get around to gently offering to take a look at the annuities they own, and offer to run a market wide comparison to show what improvements are available. No pressure. No charge.
3. “I would NEVER buy an annuity”! This response is a cry for help. Just reply, “You would be surprised at how many of my annuity clients told me the same thing.” Then it’s fun just to watch the wheels turn in their brains while they try to figure out what to say or ask next. They usually answer one of a few ways; either they will say something about fees and low returns, or how the insurance company keeps your money if you die. It is ALWAYS some sort of “fact” that they are dead wrong about. You just ease into how 9 out of 10 of your clients that felt that way ended up going with an annuity after doing a comparison of every financial asset available. And, share that a lot of your annuity clients had the same misconceptions about annuities, and that none of your clients have EVER had to pay any fees…passed on MORE money when they died…and never lost a penny due to market crashes…AND often received DOUBLE-DIGIT RETURNS.
So just remember to ask, “How are your annuities doing?”
For more ideas and tips, just give us a call!
~ Greg Skogsberg