*This agent has chosen to remain anonymous.*
When I see an agent doing over $11 million in annuity production in a year, I get curious. How are they doing it? What's the secret?
I was nosy for all of us and got the details – here's how one agent is crushing it in annuity sales while also helping hundreds of retirees in the process.
You probably saw this coming, but this agent tells me that there really is no secret.
"There's nothing new or fancy or special or rare that I'm doing," he says. Believe it or not, avoiding typical sales tactics is his main approach.
His goal is to lead with education first where he builds trust and credibility with his clients.
Behind the Scenes of a Typical Appointment
The most common scenario is he meets with someone turning 65 or someone getting ready to retire, most commonly around age 67.
During his first appointment with them, he gives a full education on all things Medicare.
He sees it as a discovery appointment, and oftentimes, he doesn't sell anything. His goal is to gather information and give the client a solid education.
"I encourage them to be a sponge, and I see them take a deep breath and sit back. Their posture changes. They realize I'm not going to try to sell them something, and there is truly zero pressure," he says.
The no-pressure approach helps the clients be more open-minded, because they're not guarding themselves against any oncoming slick sales pitches.
"That makes a difference," he says. "And people want to do business with someone that doesn't pressure them into buying something. Now, they're more likely to refer you."
He says it's the opposite of what everyone would teach you in typical sales training, but he approaches people the way that he would want to be approached.
Retirement Account Rollovers
The most common annuity sale for this agent is a retirement account rollover.
"Clients are relieved that I can also help with their 401(k) or other retirement account rollover," he says. "They don't have to find somebody else, and I'm there at the perfect time to help them figure out what to do next."
These clients who are preparing to retire have been contributing to their account, most commonly a 401(k), for years, and now, they're not really sure what to do with it.
During the discussion, the agent covers the following:
- Significance of timing: when the client and their employer are no longer contributing to the account, it's the perfect time to do a rollover.
- Collecting a client profile: to find the right product for the client, he's collecting information like their age, when they plan to use the money, and how much they plan to use.
- Taxes: many clients are afraid of taxes, so out of fear, they don't do anything. This agent proactively airs out the truth surrounding taxes and a rollover – it's nothing to be afraid of!
Learn about annuities and taxes in this article (it's objection #9): The Ultimate Guide to Selling Annuities In the Senior Market
- Answering frequently asked questions before they're asked (avoiding objections): the agent recalled a quote that perfectly describes his approach during this appointment:
"If you have a long hallway with a bunch of doors along the way, my job is to shut all those doors so the client doesn’t get derailed and exit before we get to the end of the hallway."
Finding the Right Product Fit
After the education and discussion with the client, it's time to determine which type of annuity is the best fit.
MYGA vs FIA
This agent sells both MYGAs and FIAs, though his production leans heavily toward FIAs.
He explains, "With an FIA, you can choose between fixed, indexed, or a combination of both. You just have more options under an FIA."
He does admit that FIAs are more complex than MYGAs, which is why he mostly sold MYGAs for many years.
"It's intimidating to start selling FIAs. I'd recommend other agents start with MYGAs and graduate to FIAs when they're more comfortable," he says.
This agent offers many different annuity carriers, but most of his sales these days are with SILAC.
"It's going to sound like I work for SILAC," he laughs, "but I love their Inner Circle program, their service, and their consistency over time."
The Inner Circle is a program based on production. If you reach the threshold, you unlock benefits that get you the best possible service, such as a special hotline that only those top producers can use.
As for their consistency over time, this agent has witnessed their renewal rates and prefers their stability over other carriers.
"A lot of times, you have companies that throw in hot rates for a short time, and it doesn’t last. SILAC has been rocking and rolling for a while now," he shares.
SILAC offers both MYGAs and FIAs.
The Process Over Time
This agent's production continues to rise year-over-year, so I asked if anything about his process has changed.
His answer? The only difference is his comfort level and the confidence to carry the conversation. He says that can only be achieved through practice and time.
In the past, he'd say something like, "Hey, I can help with your retirement needs if you'd like me to..." But now, he brings it up with confidence and has a much better dialogue.
Goals are a hot topic, especially at the top of the year.
The agent says he self-admittedly doesn't really do a whole lot with goal setting. His main goal is to hit a higher number than the year prior.
"I guess I should do something more concrete, like trying to get 10 or 20% more production than the previous year, but I don't. I just try to do better," he says.
He typically picks a number that sounds fitting based on the prior year's production. For example, if he had 1.5 million production points, he might reach for an even 2 million the next year.
Carriers like SILAC also help with goal setting, such as trying to hit the production tiers in their Inner Circle program.
I wish there was some magic line or tactic that I could give you, but like most things in life, this agent sees success by being consistent and bringing up the conversation.
"When you see big production numbers, people think you’re good at closing sales," he says. "I’m the farthest thing from that."
By simply asking questions, uncovering the needs of his clients, and educating them, this agent has been able to reach numbers beyond his wildest dreams.
His final thoughts: "Every year, I’m like, I don’t know how in the world it’ll keep going up like this. But it does."