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5 points of interest from Advisor Network Summit speakers

Brian Anderson

The inaugural Advisor Network Summit wrapped up its three-day run at the Venetian in Las Vegas last Friday. The event featured 18 different educational sessions, including individual speakers and roundtable discussions.

While highlights included keynote speeches from former NFL player and coach and current NFL analyst Herm Edwards and super producer Van Mueller, plenty of featured speakers rolled out tidbits of interest to life and annuity producers. Here are a few of them:

1. In 4 years, only 13 of 100 agents who start in the business this year will still be in the industry, said Advisor Network Summit speaker Patrick Leary of LIMRA, referring to the industry’s dismal four-year retention rate of 13%. Leary said a lack of sales capacity continues to plague the industry. “There are not enough feet on the street to meet the needs of consumers.” Leary said. “We need to do a better job of developing models that engage new producers.”

2. Van Mueller closes his typical sale in less than 5 minutes.“You guys are doing these eight-hour presentations – the average person’s attention span is 12 seconds,” Mueller told the audience at his Advisor Network Summit breakout session last Thursday. He implored his fellow agents to focus on closing with short, question-based presentations. “Everything should be done in the form of a question,” Mueller said. “Stop telling people stuff –ask them.” By posing questions in a way that the prospect’s answer has them essentially agreeing to work with him, he quickly closes a sale.

3. How many follow-ups does it take before a prospect takes action? According to Advisor Network Summit speaker Brandon Stuerke, it takes an average of 5 contacts, but only 10% of advisors will follow up that many times. Stuerke says 81% of sales don’t happen until at least the fifth contact. Stuerke said all producers want more quality people to see, but most producers are using marketing funnels with massive holes in them, and they don’t even know it. “What happens is while we’re focusing on getting more invites out, we lose sight of those who are already in the funnel,” Stuerke said.

4. A single complaint per annuity company… During a roundtable discussion titled, “Navigating the Regulatory Arena,” Kim O’Brien, president and CEO of the National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA), reported that there were only 202 complaints for all fixed annuities last year, down 85% from 2008, which was the highest year of complaints. That’s equivalent to one complaint per insurance company in the fixed annuity market.

5. Women control more wealth than men. Advisor Network Summit speaker Rebecca True, president and senior financial advisor of True Capital Advisors, rolled out a variety of interesting statistics during her session, titled “Marketing to the ever-growing female clientele – Get it right!” Among them:

• Women control over $20 trillion of consumer spending

• Women control 51.3% of all the wealth in the U.S.

• 92% of women at some point in their lives are going to be the primary financial decision maker in their household

• 70% of inheritance in the U.S. is being transferred to women

• By age 65 the majority of women are single

• Women comprise 35.4% of all management positions and 22.9% of all senior management positions



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