CPA's and Annuities

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Dec 2, 2008 7:02 pm

Awhile back, I had casually discussed how VA's today work to a CPA I know.  He knew absolutely nothing about them, it was actually scary because his in-laws have annuities and thought he knew a little bit, and had the initial "I don't like annuities and I don't know anything about them" attitude.  But after hearing about the living benefits, he wanted me to do a lunch in his office for 5-10 CPA's.  So that's what I'm doing next week.

 
The goal is to show them that annuities are not the anti-christ they are made out to be, and give them a general understanding of their purpose so they can look good in front of their clients.  He said that was important to CPA's...looking good in their clients' eyes.
 
So I figure I'm mostly going to talk about VA's and indexed annuities (good and bad of each). 
 
For those of you that have CPA backgrounds or have experience showing things like this to CPA's, what would you discuss and how would you discuss it?  Do I talk to their left brain, right brain?  Tell success stories?  What would I ask of them at the end? 
Dec 2, 2008 7:13 pm

Snags,

That sounds like an awesome opportunity! great job!
Dec 2, 2008 7:19 pm

Make sure you talk about tax deferal, CPA's eat it up.

Dec 2, 2008 7:31 pm

my partner is a cpa. we do annuity business. just make sure they get a decent understanding of how the living benefits work, that's all. show them you use multiple carriers (i assume you do) and that you are not tied to a product.



i would probably explain how these are not your mom and dad's annuities, and explain the recent development of living benefits.



treat them like you would a prospect. don't tell them what the product is, tell them how it will benefit their client base.

Dec 4, 2008 4:42 pm

I've been thinking about this for awhile and can't seem to come up with a good answer.

 
When I go to present to the CPA's, if they were to refer someone to me, what's in it for them?
 
The only thing I can think of is that their client will be treated with as good of service as any other client, they will be helped with a strategy they had not heard of, and the CPA will be kept in the loop every step of the way.
 
That's all I got. 
Dec 4, 2008 5:15 pm

I would go in from the perspective that you are a value add for their firm and existing clients. Unlike other advisor's, you focus on safe money alternatives versus the flavor of the day their current broker may be calling them with.

 
Tout your firms research capabilities and free portfolio review for clients, as well as all your firms resources are available to their clients at no cost.
 
You are the value add, elevate yourself as such. Get their email addresses and subscribe to Forefield and mail them something every month to demonstrate your professionalism and expertise.
 
Many CPA's are worried about liability, though, show them a letter printed on your firms letterhead that explains your recommendations are yours only and not the accountants. I use it often.
 
Good job Snags and go get em.
Dec 4, 2008 5:19 pm
snaggletooth:

He said that was important to CPA's...looking good in their clients' eyes.

 
You're deepening the relationships they have with their clients, many of which they've known for many years.
 
A CPA I work with, 40 years my senior, in a town 5 hours from me simplified it when I asked him the very same question. He said: Services aside, you have product to offer. I only have people to offer.
Dec 4, 2008 6:53 pm
snaggletooth:

I've been thinking about this for awhile and can't seem to come up with a good answer.

 
When I go to present to the CPA's, if they were to refer someone to me, what's in it for them?
 
The only thing I can think of is that their client will be treated with as good of service as any other client, they will be helped with a strategy they had not heard of, and the CPA will be kept in the loop every step of the way.
 
That's all I got. 



I talked to 6 CPA's today about a cool idea, today. 5 of them were interested. Give me a call tomorrow afternoon, at the office, and I'll tell you what I'm telling them.

Dec 4, 2008 10:57 pm

This may sound stupid, because it is, but how are you finding CPAs. I am aware of easy way like local chamber(most of those guys seem to have small client base and are in every leads group there is) are there any other ways to find them?

Dec 4, 2008 11:18 pm

That sound like a great opportunity Snags. Well done.

What about discussing 1035 exchanges briefly to make sure they understand if someone is in an older annuity you can move them to a new, 'upgraded' model without penalty or taxation? Then you could wander down the garden path and discuss dollar-for-dollar versus pro-rata.

I agree you should ensure they know they're not the annuities of yesteryear and how living benefits work.

Perhaps discuss how not all annuities are linked to hidden-camera episodes of dateline...

Dec 4, 2008 11:50 pm
Squash1:

This may sound stupid, because it is, but how are you finding CPAs. I am aware of easy way like local chamber(most of those guys seem to have small client base and are in every leads group there is) are there any other ways to find them?

 
I have a CPA for one.  My clients use CPAs.  You can ask your clients if they would be opposed to you getting in touch with their CPA just in case there was pertinent tax information to share.  Then call the CPA and say you have a mutual client and would like to meet.  Also you must have friends or family that have friends and family that are/know CPAs.
 
You can call them cold if you want.  But there should be enough ways that you can make a warm call mentioning a common link. 
Dec 5, 2008 8:23 am
snaggletooth:
Squash1:

This may sound stupid, because it is, but how are you finding CPAs. I am aware of easy way like local chamber(most of those guys seem to have small client base and are in every leads group there is) are there any other ways to find them?

 
I have a CPA for one.  My clients use CPAs.  You can ask your clients if they would be opposed to you getting in touch with their CPA just in case there was pertinent tax information to share.  Then call the CPA and say you have a mutual client and would like to meet.  Also you must have friends or family that have friends and family that are/know CPAs.
 
You can call them cold if you want.  But there should be enough ways that you can make a warm call mentioning a common link. 



The one's that I talked to were cold calls.

Dec 5, 2008 11:37 am
Hank Moody:

The one's that I talked to were cold calls.

 
Nice.  The AllianceBernstein Method taught to MER advisors a few years ago can help with the cold approaches. 
 
I'll talk to you this afternoon about what you're doing.
Dec 5, 2008 11:47 am

Hey I want in on that conference call...do you have a passcode?

Dec 5, 2008 12:05 pm

What's the AB method?

Dec 5, 2008 12:16 pm
B24:

What's the AB method?

 
AllianceBernstein created a system and forced their advisors, which cater to HNW clients, to follow it.  Basically, the average AB wealth manager brings in $55MM-$60MM per year.  If they don't bring in assets somewhere in that range, they are canned.
 
So MER paid AB money to train some of their advisors this program, which is a 5 or 6 step process to cold calling a center of influence, setting up a quick meeting, a follow up meeting, and getting them to continuously refer to you.
 
The MER advisors got notebooks of a couple hundred pages on how you control the situation, commit to a 20 minute meeting and end it at that time, and bring them something value added.
 
Some of the MER guys that stuck with it did very well.  I didn't go to the training, but a friend made a copy of his book for me.
 
You can call your AB wholesaler though and they are trained to teach you some of this stuff.  Ask them about the program, it is really amazing.
 
 
Off topic B24, are you on the Ivy Asset Strategy conference call right now?
Dec 5, 2008 12:19 pm

Thanks Snags.

 
No, I have not been a big enough user of Ivy in the past, so I don't show up on the wholesalers radar yet.  So I was not even aware of it.
Dec 8, 2008 11:15 am

So Hank what did you use to get in the door with them?

Dec 8, 2008 12:20 pm
chief123:

So Hank what did you use to get in the door with them?



I won't post it here because there are too many people that don't deserve to benefit from my ideas. If you send me a PM with your name and phone number, I'll be glad to give you a call and share it with you.

Dec 11, 2008 5:21 pm

Just got back from doing a lunch at the CPA's office about annuities, so here's the update.

 
I essentially spent the majority of time on VA's and a little bit of time on index and fixed annuities. 
 
The CPA that owns the company basically loved the VA concept and says he'll go through his clientele and see if there are any cases he can bring me in on.  A couple younger CPA's seemed a little bored, but interested in me following up.  A fourth CPA was very interested in me following up and seems to understand the concept pretty well.  The fifth guy was an older guy who has already sold his business and is near retiring, but has just "lost his ass" in the stock market according to the owner.  This guy walked out halfway through.
 
The owner CPA wants to get his father (80's) to move his fixed annuities, about $250k, which are out of surrender into, partially, a better fixed annuity and an index annuity.
 
I put together folders of a bunch of brochures and stuff, including the Andex chart from Prudential.  The owner CPA wants to send to every one of his clients this chart with my business card stapled to it in their 2008 tax return package.  That's pretty cool!
 
The owner said he liked learning about this stuff so much that he's going to talk to other CPA's he knows to ask if they would like me to present it to them.  He also wants me to come back and give another presentation in the near future so the two that didn't attend can hear it.
 
I paid $50 for a platter of sub sandwiches, chips and drinks for 7 people.  I think I should do this more often.