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Its tough being an annuity agent today; the economy has made things tough on everyones financial situation so finding customers has become more difficult than ever. It seems like no one wants to part with their money; not even to invest it. So what is the modern annuity agent to do? One would think the answer would be to ask for help. The thing is, there are a lot of opportunistic parties out there that would love to help. Unfortunately, the thing most of them would like to help with is to part you with your money for not much in return. One of the more popular ways out there is to use annuity appointments.
Annuity appointments are exactly what they sound like: a one-on-one appointment with a prospective customer, ostensibly to sell an annuity (or two). Annuity appointments sound perfect for an annuity agent in need of clients, and that is precisely what the companies that use this practice are counting on to draw in desperate annuity agents. The annuity appointment process generally gets started when a postcard gets sent to a prospective customer. The customer then returns the included reply card which is the cue for the companys telemarketer who will try to set up an annuity appointment. This doesnt sound too bad for the agent except for the fact that the resulting appointments almost never pan out because the overwhelming majority of customers contacted in this way are expecting to be given free information instead of a sales meeting which is what they are actually getting. Its not at all unusual for 50 percent or more of these contacts to cancel their annuity appointments after they realize what the appointments really are. Even 40 to 50 percent wouldnt be so bad, except that the remaining customers who keep their appointments are very suspicious and tough if not impossible to sell to. The potential customers will often turn out to be the elderly or people who are still working and have no need or desire to buy. In short, the annuity appointments are an easy way for annuity agents to do a lot of work for little to no reward at all. Worse yet, the agent will usually have to shell out hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to the marketing companies to set up the appointments. So in the end, the agent loses both time and money and the companies get everything.
One more important note is that the companies behind this wonderful bit of subterfuge promise their clients a wide range of guarantees, such as a minimum number of appointments per day and a minimum percentage of them will be sales. They may also offer personalized attention or supervision to ensure your satisfaction. Do not be taken in. A simple Google search reveals countless horror stories from annuity agents who have learned the hard way that when it comes to annuity selling, it is best to do your own legwork which will help to ensure that YOUR annuity appointments actually pay off.