Reading time? 8 minutes
Jon Burgmann admits he has been a bit of a project since joining Redbird late last year. Turns out he knew exactly what he was doing. Rather than racing into the market with a couple of products, Jon wanted to better understand Redbird?s Services Offered approach. His methodical approach is starting to pay off?especially with annuities?and we thought it a great story for those of you considering branching out beyond where you are today.
A lot of lights have come on in the last couple of months for Jon Burgmann.
Five months ago he was transitioning from his former employer to Redbird and trying the difficult dance of working both sides of the fence at the same time. And, with Redbird pouring a lot of new ideas on his shoulders, he was feeling the stress. But, he believed his best long-term decision was to diversify his skills and not be tied to just the healthcare industry. So, he stuck it out.
So, Jon went head first into the Redbird opportunity? well, not exactly.
?I know there?s a lot of stuff I don?t know,? Jon said. ?To hisfrustration (Redbird?s Drew Gurley) I wanted more education from them before I would go out. But, we?ve gotten through it. I?ve had failures and lost a few annuities and now starting to get past that.?
?I?ve started putting the systems in place that Redbirdhas been preaching,? Jon said. ?I got involved with mylocal BNI (Business Networking International), which istaking lot of time, but it?s leading me to business.?
Jon is making a believer out of us.
?He is following the Redbird system,? said Drew Gurley, Redbird EVP. ?He is more focused on problem solving and it has allowed him to uncover deals he would have never found before. Jon has really embraced our fact finding process and is seeing the benefits of being a good listener. He is asking better questions that open deeper conversations.?
In the last 30-45 days Jon has turned up some interesting opportunities.
?I got involved with my local BNI group (Business Networking International), which is taking lot of time, but it?s leading me to business,? Jon said. I?ve made two good connections recently: a P&C agent and a couple that, coincidentally, I?m meeting with today to hopefully close a $40,000 annuity.?
Was there an epiphany with annuities?
?Not really. It?s just been a situation where I?ve become more comfortable with asking the right questions,? Jon said. ?One big thing that has helped was a training session with Rusty (Redbird?s Rusty Carlson). He took me through his ?triangle of life? which is a really easy concept that leads to annuity opportunities. He also showed me his three-page approach for finding tax-free retirement opportunities.
?The training is great, but it still comes down to getting in front of people. As soon as BNI provided me the opportunity to meet more people I started using the stuff from Rusty and Redbirdand that is what did it.
?The annuity opportunity today is interesting in that the lady?s husband works for Scottrade in St. Louis. In my first meeting with her I took her through Services Offered and mentioned that I help people with rollovers. She said her husband still had some money in a 403B from a previous employer. I suggested we all get together and she agreed. It was my first experiment using Rusty?s methods.?
Do you have any advice for agents considering taking on annuities?
?Shut up and listen, not only to what clients say, but to what Drew and Rusty say,? Jon said. ?I told those (Redbird) guys to teach me and I will go and try it. I know I?ll never be successful if I don?t try it. All you have to do is ask the basic questions.?
- This alone can be a reason to go back to a client to raise a discussion about what?s important and how do they plan to get there. Just focusing your questions around these seven factors alone would make for interesting theatre at the kitchen table. Add these to you fact finder you use with all clients.
- Those of you chasing the 50-60+ age market know very well how easy it is to break your pick. We often think of ?seniors? as cranky and trusting no one. Well, there?s a reason for that. There are some good reminders here that bring us back to the KISS approach to selling: keep it simple stupid. And, take your time.
- All signs continue to point up for voluntary benefit programs, yet employers still aren?t satisfied with the level of employee engagement in their programs according to a study by MetLife. Use the information from this study to drive a meaningful discussion with employers you meet with. Odds are they aren?t thinking beyond the fact of simply offering these, much less how well they will be adopted. Good stuff here.