Presented by David Corwin
I once heard a story about an annuity agent that had been in the business more than 20 years. Now this agent I’m sure cared a lot about his clients, but over the years started becoming tired of learning new things. He became stagnant and complacent; unbeknownst to him, this is the worst position to be in. I’m not sure if it was the industry constantly changing and not being able to keep up with times, or lack of support from the company he was writing through. He was in the independent agent space which means that he had several choices of carriers to write through and could offer the most competitive products to his clientele. (I personally feel that it was his responsibility to learn new things and not just try to sell his favorite annuity product.)
Let’s get to the story . . . An older man and his son met with this agent about what he should do with his windfall gain from a relative that had passed away. The agent didn’t do any fact finding on the older man due to the fact that he was a current client; he had written an annuity 10 years prior, but had little to no contact with him in those ten years. The agent took out his favorite annuity product brochure and presented it to the client. The older gentleman told the agent that he would like to take it home to review it with his son and would like to meet again and move forward. The sale was made and the client took home a brand new shiny annuity contract with a surrender period longer than 10 years. The agent didn’t at any point offer an alternative product (he didn’t know of one because of the complacency issue). This product could have been a single premium life insurance contract because, had he been asked, he would have liked to create a legacy with this money for his family. This product could have more than doubled the amount that would have passed on to his family when he died two years later. Since the son was there for all three meetings and took good notes, this agent was taken to court and ultimately lost the battle due to not having any supporting documentation.
I’m sure that all of you have heard similar stories or maybe you have some of your own. It is paramount to our business that our clients have the right insurance product based on the information that is gathered through a fact finding session and not just selling your favorite product. What’s more important is remembering why you chose this industry as your profession, recognizing the value you have to offer and never letting rejection get you down. Answer objections with facts, convey information confidently and show your determination with persistence.