We look forward to the Van Mueller newsletter every month. It's chock-full of sound bites, sales tips, and eye-opening statistics. Here are our favorite parts of the December 2021 edition. We're sharing the full introduction, and 2 of the 7 monthly sales ideas. If you like what you read, we encourage you to click here and become a subscriber.
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December 2021 – 7 Ideas and Views Newsletter by Van Mueller
In January 2022, I will share the largest and I believe the most important newsletter of the year. It shows you how to pick up hundreds of thousands of dollars per week that you convert from ineffective and inefficient dollars to effective and efficient dollars.
The problem I have discovered as I have traveled around and talked with subscribers is that most agents scan the newsletter rather than truly read the newsletter. I am an agent. I am trying to share ideas with you that you can use to make more appointments and then ultimately more sales.
So, I would like to begin this month’s newsletter by sharing what I believe is the most effective and beneficial way to use this newsletter which will immediately increase your appointments, grow your sales, and help more people. If you have a process, the newsletter is easy to use. Every month I start with what I call a tutorial that goes into depth about an issue or a sales technique. Then I explain how to present the idea to a prospect or client.
You should see immediate results, but that will only happen if and only if you actually use the ideas. As you have heard me share many times. YOU HAVE TO PRACTICE. We can only create the comfort level necessary to appear professional to our prospects and client through repetition. We must become “conversational”, so it does not appear to be a pitch. If you learn to ask exquisite questions in a “matter-of-fact” way, your prospects and clients will answer almost anything. That comfort level will only come with practice.
You should see immediate results, but that will only happen if and only if you actually use the ideas.
When the newsletter arrives each month the first thing you or your assistant should do is get the articles. We provide hyperlinks. Click on them and they take you to the articles. Print the articles. You will then be able to use the article to support the presentations you make to prospects and clients.
Sometimes, the providers of the information close the hyperlinks before you open them. That is why we also give you the title of the article and the publication it was in. Please just Google the title of the article and you should be able to get the article. It does not take that much longer, and there is an additional benefit to doing it that way rather than using the hyperlinks. Many times, “Google” will provide similar articles, and some will be in your local newspapers or publications. That makes the information even more powerful because it comes from a source your customers are more familiar with.
Next, and this is vital, read the articles for each idea and highlight what stands out for you in each article. What you are looking for in each of the articles is a way to get your prospects and clients attention. Then you can create a question to ask them that will cause them to say, “Wow, I’ve never thought of that.” Then show them that you can keep them safe, because you provide products with guarantees that do not allow negative outcomes. Also, and you must learn to always think in this manner because it is vital to your success, show them ways that they can take advantage of things they perceive as bad news. Our customers do not buy bad news. They do buy access to opportunity. Show your customers that they can prosper if they prepare.
Our customers do not buy bad news. They do buy access to opportunity. Show your customers that they can prosper if they prepare.
Finally, after you have gotten the articles and read them, then please read my tutorial several times. Why? Because you can be distracted or your mind wanders. Every time you read the tutorial you will read something you missed the previous times you read the tutorial. I use the tutorial every month to share how I use the information to get more appointments, and how you can inspire your prospects and clients to take action.
If you do the above by yourself it should only take around two or three hours per month. If an assistant gets the articles for you it will take even less time. Over the course of a year, you will receive close to 100 ideas that you can put to use without any personal research. I believe the tutorial alone every month can add thousands to hundreds of thousands to your income. All you have to do is subscribe, get and read the articles, read the tutorial and share the ideas with your prospects and clients. It sounds simple, and it is! You must make time to do it every month and you must use the ideas with your prospects and clients.
I would like to share one other important point. When I do speeches or when I create CD’s and DVD’s and when I write articles or I write this newsletter, I implore agents and advisors to stop telling people things. Why? Because we truly do not know anything. I believe we become more powerful as insurance and financial professionals when we ask as many important questions as we can to illicit the opinions of our customers so we can help them uncover their needs and wants on their own. When they arrive at the destination on their own, they almost always take action. I have discovered that we all become more successful the more we listen, rather than speak. I receive a lot of feedback from agents and financial professionals who use these ideas that I share in the newsletter. For the most part, the feedback is very positive and the agents who use the information discover almost immediate success. However, because I press so hard about asking questions, the agents who use these ideas sometimes become so intent on the questions that they forget the reason they are asking the questions. This causes some sales presentation to go awry.
I believe we become more powerful as insurance and financial professionals when we ask as many important questions as we can to illicit the opinions of our customers.
Some agents have lost sales because they forget to listen. Let me give you an example. An agent shared this story with me. He explained that he used the questions to get the appointment. When he arrives, the prospect has five or six very good questions for the agent. However, he was so intent on asking her his questions that he completely ignored her questions and did not answer them.
When the agent arrived, she said her accountant had told her annuities were not a good idea. Her accountant told her annuities had excessive fees and they were not protected by FDIC insurance and your money was tied up excessively. He ignored her completely and began to ask if she thought taxes would be higher, benefits lower, etc. As he asked and discussed, this was very disrespectful to the customer. Obviously, he did not make a sale.
This is very important: THE ONLY REASON TO ASK QUESTIONS IS TO INSPIRE ACTION ON THE PART OF OUR PROSPECTS AND CLIENTS! Questions are a respectful methodology to find out what our customers desires are. But this prospect was ready to take action. All she wanted were satisfactory answers to her questions.
What should this agent have done? First, he should have explained that it was wonderful of the accountant to bring up those issues. He should have verified with her that it was very important to have a complete understanding of the issues that her accountant had raised. Since they are important, we should endeavor to provide you with a clear understanding of the questions right now.
Then he could ask her some questions, such as: When your accountant raised the issue of fees, what kind of annuity was he talking about? Did she realize that only variable annuities and annuities with income riders have fees? If she had a fixed interest multi-year guarantee annuity, then there would be no fees. Did she know that most fixed index annuities have no fees unless a very important income rider is attached Did you know we could recommend annuities that have no fees?
Or if the agent wanted to sell an annuity that has fees, he could ask different questions, such as: What benefits do the fees provide? If she had $100,000 in a mutual fund, lost 50 percent, and then died, how much would her heirs receive? That’s right $50,000. But did she know that the variable annuity invested in a similar fashion could prevent that from happening? If she lost $50,000 in the variable annuity and then died, her heirs would receive at least $100,000, depending on the rider used.
If she lost $50,000 in the variable annuity and then died, her heirs would receive at least $100,000, depending on the rider used.
With a variable or fixed indexed annuity, would your client’s income be impaired because of a similar loss to the asset value or in the fixed indexed annuity, to no growth. Again, the answer is no. These amazing guarantees are why a fee is required. Many other financial professionals, even accountants and attorneys, are unaware these guarantees exist. They are only aware of the fees, without knowing the guarantees they provide. With all the turmoil in the financial markets right now, isn’t it important to make sure we have the safety that comes with guarantees?
The best 5-year CD's in the country are only guaranteeing one third of a percent for 5 years. 6-month CD’s only guarantee one tenth of a percent. I have available many multi-year guarantee annuities that are paying 3 percent guaranteed for 5 years.
Ask your prospects these questions. If you could use the accounting rule of 72 and divide the CD rate into 72, it will take your money 240 years to double if it is in a 5-year CD or 720 years to double in a 6-month CD. Our annuity will double in 24 years. Which would you prefer? Do you want your money to double in your great, great, great, great, great granddaughter’s lifetime or do you want your money to double in your lifetime?
Then address the issue of access to the money. If you have a 5-year CD, then you are only allowed access to the interest each year without penalty. In other words, on a $100,000 5-year CD, you only have access to $330 per year. If you have a 6-month CD it is only $100 every 6 months. We have annuities that will allow 10 or 15 percent withdrawals every year. That allows access to $10,000 to $15,000 per year without a penalty.
We have annuities that will allow 10 or 15 percent withdrawals every year. That allows access to $10,000 to $15,000 per year without a penalty.
I saved the most important questions you should ask for last, because I wanted it to be the easiest to remember. Yes, a CD has Federal Deposit Insurance Protection up to $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank. That is a wonderful benefit. However, if you exceed the protection maximum and the bank has difficulty, then you lose your money over the protection maximum. During the great depression, over 900 banks went bankrupt. In 2007 and 2008, 450 banks went bankrupt. Meanwhile, less than 2 percent of the insurance companies’ assets were considered impaired. During the next downturn, many banks will be in trouble again.
Would you like a few more questions? Have you heard the name Ben Bernanke? For 8 years he was the chair of the Federal Reserve. He was the person who oversaw all the banks, and he was the person who was printing all the money. It could be argued that he saved our economy in 2008 and 2009. It could also be argued that Ben Bernanke is the ultimate financial insider. After all, if the person who is printing all the money does not know what is safe, then who does? Ben Bernanke has most of his money in annuities inside of insurance companies. Half of his money is in fixed interest annuities and half is in variable annuities. I wonder why he doesn’t have his money in CD’s? Mr. & Mrs. Prospect, I hope this helps you to understand why we have recommended an annuity as a wonderful way to safely guarantee growth and access to your money.
Ben Bernanke has most of his money in annuities inside of insurance companies. Half of his money is in fixed interest annuities and half is in variable annuities.
By the way, there are many more benefits:
1. Tax deferral
2. No probate with named beneficiaries
3. Incontestable and private
4. Control from the grave
5. Creditor protection
6. Medicaid versatility
That is the ability to use the spousal impoverishment rules to convert lump sum assets into an income stream, allowing a family to delay or even prevent the spending down of assets to qualify for title 19 or Medicaid.
We must use powerful and amazing questions to create wonderful opportunities to listen. Our customers will tell us what they want if we just ask them.
Before we start with the sales ideas, I would like to share five words that are the foundation for my career, and I believe should be the foundation of any successful career in our industry. I hope you will apply these words to build your career to the success level you hope to achieve. Here are the 5 words.
People, our customers love to share their opinions. Asking great questions allows us, without being an adversary, to learn the opinions of our customers about issues like taxes, lost benefits, inflation, volatility, and longevity. Agents mistakenly believe our customers are continuously thinking about the issues I just shared above, however, the opposite is the most common result. Questions help your customers organize their thinking about the issues that truly matter to them so that they can have the financial and retirement success they yearn for while at the same time using those exact same dollars to protect their families and businesses. No one likes to be told what to do. Everyone wants to share their opinion.
Isn’t it true that all professionals practice? Isn’t it repetitious practice that allows professionals to become instinctive? Aren’t instinctive professionals a step quicker? Aren’t they more conversational because they don’t have to think of what to ask next? Doesn’t it become instinctive? When you can ask questions without even thinking about it, can’t you prospect anywhere? Can’t you inspire anyone to give consideration to discovering their needs, their wants, and even their dreams? All that is required is practice.
I believe this is obvious. The less the presentation is about me and the more it is about the customer, the more sales I will make. Who is the only person the customer cares about? That’s right; it’s themselves. So, shouldn’t everything in a sales presentation be about the customer? Is it necessary to prove you have credentials? No. The quality of your questions will help your customer identify your credentials because you will be asking questions that NO ONE ELSE has ever asked them. Make everything be about your customer and your career will become more successful immediately.
The simpler your presentation, the bigger the sale you will make. Isn’t it obvious that when out customers completely understand what they are doing and why they are doing it, they will give us ALL their money. Isn’t our job proving how smart our customers are rather than proving how smart we are? Many of you make smaller sales because you are charming or good looking, etc. Customers will take a chance on a small sale even if they don’t completely understand what you are talking about because they like you. They will never give you all their money unless they completely understand all the benefits and risks. Please give consideration to simplifying everything you do in front of a customer.
If you believe you sell life insurance, annuities, mutual funds, long term care, critical illness insurance, health insurance, Medicare supplements and property and casualty, you are already out of the business. You just don’t know it yet! Wouldn’t it be more accurate, beneficial, and successful if we sold strategies, or solutions or access to opportunities that are presented to our customers? There are no products by themselves that can deal with the complex issues Americans are facing. We must be ready to offer strategies that protect our customers first and then offer access to the opportunity that economic misfortune provides.
These five words changed my career for the better. If you apply them to your career, you will see immediate results. Wouldn’t immediate results be exciting? Let’s get started with this month’s sales ideas.
Idea #1: New Longevity Assumptions
This ARTICLE PROVES THAT A MAJORITY OF Americans minimize their Social Security benefits because a majority of them live beyond the break-even age for Social Security. If you take Social Security at age 62 or maximize it and defer until age 70, if you live to age 80 you will receive the same amount in benefits. The program was designed to work that way in 1981, the last time any major adjustments were made to the program.
Life expectancies have increased quite a bit since 1981. To quote a line from the article, “A new 65-year-old retiree may live anywhere from another year to more than 40.” The hottest appointment getting question for our business is currently “What is the best age to take your Social Security.” Statistically, 93 percent take their Social Security benefit incorrectly. This article will help our customers realize that they should defer taking benefits until age 70 to maximize benefits.
Title: Are Longevity Assumptions Obsolete?
https://www.fa-mag.com/ (Financial Advisor, November 2, 2021)
Idea #2: Learning How to Use Medicaid Annuities
I believe with 140 million Americans turning 65 over the next 24 years, that long term care planning will become a number one planning priority for retirees.
This is one of the best articles I have seen in recent times that explains the process of Title 19, Medicaid. It provides you with some planning techniques that your customers will find more than intriguing, it will inspire them to take action.
I believe that this is such a good article that you will want to copy the article in it’s entirety and keep it with your presentation materials. It doesn’t hurt that the material is provided by the well-respected financial planner and commentator Michael Kitces. I think this is one of the most important articles you will ever use. It will open so many doors, you will be pleasantly surprised. Please, please study this article.
Title: Using Medicaid Annuities To Protect Retirement Assets When A Spouse Requires LongTerm Institutional Care
https://www.kitces.com/ (Kitces.com, November 17, 2021)
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