“Preparation is the key to success” – Alexander Graham Bell
Many of you probably remember the "good old days", when submitting annuity business was as simple as a one-page application and a check. Unfortunately, those days have passed us by. Today’s annuity sales require product training, anti-money laundering training, suitability profiles, product disclosures, riders, and other assorted forms depending on the transaction or the Annuity company you are writing the business through. There may be a lot more paperwork, but on the flip side, today's products are superior to the products you once sold.
I've reviewed and managed well over a billion dollars in annuity business in my 13 years as a Case Manager with DMI. It is my responsibility to make sure that applications submitted through DMI are complete and accurate before they are received at the Annuity companies, I then manage the application process until the policy is issued. One thing I have learned during my career is the more time that is put in before the client meeting, the better the result. I often sit with local agents who come into the office or talk on the phone with agents in other states, about carrier specific paperwork before they meet with their client.
For sales involving a transfer from another insurance carrier or brokerage house, one suggestion I advise our agents to do is to call the transferring company with your client to verify if that carrier requires their own transfer paperwork, or if a Signature Guarantee is needed. Getting this information BEFORE the application is submitted will avoid any delays in the transfer process and save you a trip back to the client for additional paperwork or signatures.
I’ve worked with hundreds of agents, but as the saying goes "nobody is perfect". Much is expected of the agent at the point of sale. Having the most up to date paperwork and understanding how to complete it correctly is crucial, but knowing what is required by the carrier to ensure that specific transactions involved in funding the annuity is seamless are just as important.
Doing your due diligence and submitting complete accurate paperwork will prevent unnecessary delays, which will, in turn, get your client’s annuity application issued quickly, and allow you time to look forward to your next sale.
Speaking of sales, download our Retirement Income Gap worksheet to create a customized income strategy to help meet your clients' individual needs and ensure their income will last for their entire life.