We’ve read it everywhere this spring. The economy is slowing down even at a point when unemployment is the lowest that it has been for a decade. When you depend on sales commissions for a living, you don’t want to hear that the economy is slow or soft or whatever fabric softener descriptor seems to apply. You want ideas for marketing that work even when you realize that some targets are people who don’t believe that an annuity is something they want or need. There are many consumers who are clenching their money tight in their fists even when they have it to spend to improve their financial outlook. Here’s what we recommend:
Go Back Through Your Last Year of Client Appointments
For every client to whom you sold an annuity, you could probably think of another prospect who said she would think about it. When things get slow at the office this summer, you should be reviewing your Microsoft Outlook or leather appointment book (old-school) and then calling or emailing those people who thought they might want to purchase an annuity. Maybe they are ready now because their financial situation has changed. Maybe they know someone who died recently and didn’t have enough investments to cover their dependents. You just never know!
Get Online and Start Networking
When you’re booked solid with appointments and follow-up paperwork, you aren’t giving enough attention to building and nurturing your online presence. If you want to sell more annuities, use the summer to update your website, blog, and social media profiles. There are probably people who have made some kind of contact with your business and want your attention. Think about those people who liked your Facebook page. Where are they now? Invite them to talk with you on the phone or make an appointment at the office. Send them a brochure via email or postal mail. Nine times out of ten, they will appreciate your follow-up because it’s personal.
Follow Up on Email Contacts
Many annuity agents use some form of email marketing, especially through a CRM solution. They may get responses from people who read marketing emails and then follow up only once with a reply. If you took the time to answer a person’s question once, then you could do it again. Couldn’t you? Send a personalized email to each contact. Ask if they have additional questions and if they have been able to find an annuity product that fits their needs. You could get some responses from people still in the market for annuities. You can also find those who might add an annuity for another family member.
Call Up Satisfied Clients and Make Friendly Conversation
There are also existing clients who will have new son-in-laws, daughter-in-laws, and grandchildren joining their families. If you can contact them through a letter or a phone call and ask how they are doing, you could find some additional business. Remind them that you take referrals from their social networks and, if applicable, are happy to provide a free consultation.
You can be more successful at selling annuities in a tight economy when you’re diligent about building your own brand. The time that you take to give each contact your personal attention goes a long way towards increasing sales. People who are clients or prospects are potential recipients of your sales pitch when the time is right. Give out information about your business without resorting to the hard-sell. You have lots of products in your annuity arsenal to benefit consumers. The magic happens when you meet consumers at the point where an annuity is something they want or need and then they spend their money and feel good about it.