Selling annuities is about understanding how a prospect feels. Once you understand how a prospect feels you can then decide if your annuity products can provide the desired benefits.
Fact finding is a science but the implementation of it is an art. It is not the facts of a prospects life that is important but rather how the prospect feels about it that is important.
Asking quality feeling questions is really about being a good listener.
Selling is not as much about selling as it is about listening.
If you listen carefully you will be able to position the “Power” question to gain the desired results. The question which converts answers to feeling answers is simple and can be adapted to almost any statement made by the prospect.
Here is an example:
“Mrs. Jones, you said you had an IRA with Johnston Brokerage,
What is the purpose of the IRA (or insert topic) and what would you like it to accomplish? ”
That is the most powerful question you can ask anyone. The reason? The answer will always be a feeling answer. She will tell you if the money is important and for a purpose (which allows you to suggest the benefits of our products) or if it is warehoused money (which allows you to suggest the benefits of our products). Either way you will be in a position to explain how an annuity might be a good solution.
Here is an example: Let's say Mrs. Jones says that her IRA is there for use later in her life. The benefits of an annuity might be a response such as this.
“Mrs. Jones, since your IRA is important to you as future income, did you know you can guarantee a future income without any exposure to market volatility or losses?”
How about if the IRA has no planned use? Then there could be this answer.
“Mrs. Jones, did you know that the IRS will allow you to change your IRA so at some future date your heirs will inherit it completely tax free? And at the same time you could put in place guarantees that insulate your money from market volatility and losses. ”
Once you learn the “Art” of fact finding it will become second nature. The feeling questions will give way to actual question (“Mrs. Jones, what is the value of your IRA today?”) The actual questions allow you to tailor make a recommendation using annuity products.
I am often asked for a copy of my fact finder and frankly anything can be used or note taking once you have a little experience. Occidentally I use a legal pad or anything handy.