COVID-19 devastated the U.S. economy and upended daily life in so many ways. But some things were unchanged by the virus and some positives came out of the pandemic, a group of financial professionals said during a panel discussion during the National Association for Fixed Annuities’ Annuity Distribution Summit.
“People will always need life insurance and people will always be afraid to risk their hard-earned dollars,” said Leslie Lipscomb, senior vide president at Financial Independence Group. She was one of the panelists during the Women’s Leadership Exchange held as part of the summit on Tuesday morning. “I get really excited when I think about introducing a client to the concept of an IUL or an FIA that can help them realize their retirement dreams.”
Technology “has been a lifesaver” for advisors and clients alike as COVID-19 restrictions forced everyone into a new way of doing business, Lipscomb said.
“Will we go back to the old way of doing business in the future? Yes. Many clients still want to meet face to face,” she said. But she added that advisors will need to convey their office procedures – cleaning protocols, mask requirements – to clients to let them know they are in a safe environment.
The pandemic has forced advisors to integrate digital marketing into their practices, Lipscomb said.
“Creating a brand that is irresistible will be essential as we move into 2021,” she said. “With clients spending more time online, expect to see more advertising online.”
The challenges brought about by the pandemic have forced advisors to become more innovative in their prospecting, said Julie Harkins, director of sales at Allianz Life.
“I am impressed with the ways advisors have found to get in front of new clients in the past few months,” she said. “I think in general that innovative thinking and approach will continue.”
Fintech provides a way to educate consumers about annuities, Harkins said. “The tools we are seeing can help paint a picture of how an annuity can help create an income stream.”
Despite the rising use of technology, consumers still need a person to guide them in making financial decisions, Harkins said.
“I believe need for the financial advisor has never been stronger. We hear about clients’ fear of outliving their nest egg, combined with rising health care costs. It creates immense need for a financial advisor. The average American needs help navigating the retirement landscape.”
Susan Rupe is managing editor for InsuranceNewsNet. She formerly served as communications director for an insurance agents' association and was an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor. Contact her at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @INNsusan.
© Entire contents copyright 2020 by InsuranceNewsNet.com Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted without the expressed written consent from InsuranceNewsNet.com.