3 steps to building an annuity practice

By Luke Britt

The Insurance Group


If you already have a vision, are you intentional about that vision and have you identified the means to accomplish the vision? This process is more important to your future than products.

Building an annuity practice should be the constant stream throughout the whole of an annuity producer’s thoughts and behaviors. In order to build a sustainable annuity practice, you must have the right pattern to follow.

Dallas Willard, professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California, says there are three crucial aspects to personal transformation: vision, intention and means. These three aspects of personal change are easily transferred into the business of fixed index annuities.

Vision

All successful people men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose.
– Brian Tracy

Vision is crucial to any successful business. For annuity producers, the vision is of the producer’s business and all that entails. This vision needs to be very specific and detailed. Things like income level, time off, number of employees, lead generation systems, types of products sold, FMO relationships, etc., should be well thought out and written down.

The goal of vision is to paint a picture of where the producer wants to be in every aspect of his business life, as well as how that affects his personal life.

Intention

Above all be of single aim; have a legitimate and useful purpose, and devote yourself unreservedly to it.
– James Allen

Intention simply means that you intend to do it. Many producers have a goal in mind, but never truthfully press toward that goal with robust intention. Or the producer intends for a moment, but then gives up on their vision for their practice.

One of my mentors in the annuity business repeatedly told me when I started, “This is either for you or it’s not.”

This communicates the reality that it takes a certain type of person not to give up on their vision and not to settle for good enough. Many people across the country are content with working a desk job for an average salary. And that’s fine.
You, however, are a unique person who is after more than average; to be exceptional. This is not only applicable to income, but also the desire to help people maintain their lifestyle and sleep better at night knowing their nest egg is here to stay.

Means

Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.
– Jack Welch

Six years ago, I was introduced to the practice of reverse engineering. This is the practice of setting goals and working your way back to where you are today. This is an excellent practice in developing a plan to accomplish your goals.

For example, your vision is to create $500,000 in annual commissions. This would allow for time off for family and charitable work, as well as a sustainable and flourishing annuity practice.

What are the means to reach the vision?

This is somewhat relative to the producer. An agent selling exclusively fixed indexed annuities would require sales of roughly $7 million of indexed annuity premium to generate $500,000 in commissions. What are the means to reach $7 million in sales?

From here, a producer can determine what types of marketing are best suited to reach this premium goal, while spending the least amount of time to do so. For example, if referrals from CPAs or elder law attorneys generate larger case sizes than a direct mail campaign, then that producer may prefer to spend their time nurturing relationships with these professionals to generate a consistent stream of activity.

Other producers may not want to depend on other professionals to generate activity (we all know how inactive some lawyers can be) so direct mail, seminars or other lead systems may be preferable to networking. In my opinion, it takes all of these to generate the level of activity this producer requires to fulfill their vision.

Summary

Develop a vision. Start today. If you already have a vision, are you intentional about that vision and have you identified the means to accomplish the vision?

This process is more important to your future than products. We will always have something to sell that has guarantees that appeal to the public. But if we have all the products in the world, yet do not have a vision, intention or means, we will be stuck in an endless rut. Here's to helping each other get better.

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