Annuity sales are on fire right now. Fueled by market volatility, consumers in 2021 spent roughly $255 billion on annuities. According to LIMRA, that marks the third-highest annual total in history. All types of annuities saw increased sales last year. However, the biggest growth came from registered index-linked annuities, which jumped a record 61% in sales compared to 2020. Fixed-index annuity sales grew by 15% last year.
That momentum is not showing any signs of slowing down. An article by CNBC cites projections by LIMRA that annuity sales in 2022 will hit somewhere between $267 billion – $288 billion. This would shatter the sales record of $265 billion set in 2008. With inflation at an all-time high and the markets as unpredictable as ever, this trend could continue well into next year.
What does this mean for advisors? The answer is obvious: Strike while the iron is hot. Use these tips to help boost your annuity sales.
Watch Your Language
With the wide variety of options available, annuities can seem complex, even confusing, for many people. For those whose long-term financial well-being hinges on making the right decision, sorting through the intricacies can be overwhelming. Therefore you should choose your words carefully when educating clients and prospects. Use clear, concise language and try to put things into layman’s terms. Jargon and industry terms can be intimidating for the average consumer. At the same time, under-explaining can be just as confusing as being overly wordy. Find the middle ground between dumbing it down and going over their heads.
Seminars are ideal for reaching multiple prospects at once. Take a room full of people who walk through the door interested in annuities, add in a well-spoken expert advisor such as yourself and you have a recipe for conversion. Use the same smooth and concise delivery as you would during a one-on-one meeting, but don’t be afraid to turn up the volume a little. Keeping an audience engaged for the entire presentation can be tough if charisma is not your strong suit. Be personable, maybe even a little excited about annuities. A little humor never hurts either. When it comes time to get to the nuts and bolts of annuity products, use slideshow presentations and other visual aids to help add clarity.
Social Media and Web Content
No matter what product or service you’re offering, social media is your friend. Eye-catching ads and well-crafted posts targeted to the appropriate audience are valuable tools. Use your social platforms to pique consumer interest and drive traffic to your website. Whether you’re pushing out an educational blog post or article, a seminar registration page, or your home page, make sure your content is as flawless as possible. Even the smallest typo rarely goes unnoticed and can kill your credibility. The key here is to know the audience you’re trying to reach and post content relevant to them. You also want to be consistent across the board. If your social media post delivers one message, but the linked page says something different, the consumer will likely move on almost immediately.
Asking the right questions and being an active and engaged listener are two keys to any productive conversation. Before you even start chatting about annuities, spend some time getting to know the person sitting across from you. Without getting too personal, find out who they are and why they came to you. Ask about their career, hobbies, or interests. Be relatable. Try to find some common ground between you and the client and use that to break the ice and make them more comfortable. A smooth transition from casual conversation to annuity awareness can boost your chances for conversion.
Whether it’s a one-on-one appointment or a crowded seminar, you’re going to put forth a lot of information for the prospect(s) to take in. Chances are, you aren’t going to make the sale right then and there. Most people will want to go home, process it all, and put some dedicated thought into their final decision. However, it can be difficult for many people to retain and recall the details of your conversation. Send them home with a packet of informative materials (brochures, one-sheets, booklets, etc.). Encourage them to spend some time with the materials, take notes, and call if they have any questions. And, again, consistency is key. The information you deliver in person should match that of the reading material you hand them afterward. It might not hurt to keep a highlighter handy to mark anything that pertains directly to their situation.
If you need access to any consumer-facing annuity marketing resources, our complimentary 2022 Annuity Awareness Month Sales Kit features up-to-date and comprehensive content that has helped many a producer boost their annuity sales. The kit includes:
- Annuity slide presentation
- Shareable social posts
- 2022 Taxable Equivalent Yield Table
- Consumer-facing annuity concept pages
- Letter and email templates and more!