Here are 11 great software tools that could help you a lot to close more sales.
We don’t receive a commission or any type of reward if you use the links below to obtain any of these tools. The sole reason they are on this list is because I consistently use them in my business and they have helped me increase my productivity.
InsMark: Life Insurance Made Crystal Clear
The first time I used an InsMark generated illustration with a client was in the early 1980’s. I made a sale!
Before establishing InsMark, its founder Bob Ritter, was a consistent MDRT Top of The Table qualifier. The fact that he knows how to present life insurance to clients is reflected in the illustration system he created.
You can do a lot with the basic InsMark illustration including comparing permanent vs. term, other investments vs. your policy and much more. The tax advantages of permanent life insurance are apparent in these reports and illustrations.
Cost: $999 + $40 monthly | Insmark.com
Retirement Analyzer: Retirement Income Planning Software
Show clients where they are and what they must do to achieve their retirement objectives.
Most clients have no idea if they have enough money to see them through retirement. Retirement Analyzer will project expected income and cash flows and match them against projected expenses. This provides clients with an easy way to see if and at what age they could run out of money.
You can then prepare a second set of projections showing possible solutions to cash flow problems by adding income from annuities.
I like and use this program because it is fairly easy to use (once you learn how to use it) but more importantly it is simple for clients to understand what you are showing them.
Cost: $70 monthly | RetirementAnalyzer.com
Maximize My Social Security: Benefit Analysis Software
I think that I must have tried just about every Social Security analysis tool available. Honestly, I think they are all pretty good.
The developer of this program is Laurence Kotlikoff Professor of Economics, Boston University. It has received excellent reviews by the Wall Street Journal and other major publications. Because of this I have confidence in the programs calculations.
However, it might be overkill for an advisor who is just looking for a simply program.
Cost: $250 Annually | MaximizeMySocialSecurity.com
Market Advisor: A Medicare quoting tool from CSG Actuarial.
While I have been a financial advisor for 45+ years I am a relative late-comer to offering my clients Medicare related products. It was a big mistake that I didn’t start earlier. Everyone reaching age 65 is disparate to have a knowledgably and honest advisor help them navigate the Medicare maze. Conducting Medicare workshops is the easiest and least expensive way I have found to get in front of a large number of great prospects for all of my products and services.
The key with getting involved with Medicare is to have an easy and quick way to get accurate prices quotes and details for Medicare related products. That’s why I love Market Advisor.
With their app on my iPhone I can instantly get price quotes for my clients. And if you subscribe to CSG Actuarial’s “Complete” plan you also have access to historical rate increases from all plans. This allows me to not only show my clients who has the cheapest rates in their area but the stability of those rates as well.
Clients love this so much that getting Medicare related referrals is so much easier than getting referrals from the other products I sell.
Cost: $30 monthly | CSGactuarial.com
Zeros Win: A software tool for demonstrating the power of indexing from Advisor Grid
There are two reasons I would be remiss if I did not include Zero’s Win in the article. One is that it is a tool I personally developed and it’s available to Advisor Grid members (along with other software programs). The other is that this is a tool I use all the time.
The program is in a game format that starts with 30 cards face-down on the screen. Under each card is a random mix of annual price changes in the S&P 500 index over the past 30 years. Simple ask your client to pick any ten cards and as they do they see two graphs. One represents a direct investment in the market, with all of its ups and downs. The other illustrates indexing with no market losses.
Having a client “play” two or three games is the simplest way I have found to show the power behind our products.
This is also a great tool for using during workshops and seminars. I have ten different audience members to each pick a card. The audience participation is great but more importantly everyone more clearly understands what I am talking about as I describe these products.
Cost: $29 monthly (this price includes access to all of the software and videos offered by Advisor Grid). | AdvisorGrid
Annuity Rate Watch: FIA with Income Rider Comparison
Compare Lifetime Income Benefit Riders from hundreds of fixed indexed annuity products.
Using their Lifetime Income Rider Comparison tool, I simply enter the client’s age and premium amount to see a listing of the lifetime income amounts from hundreds of carriers. The blue column shows the lifetime income benefit ranked from highest to lowest.
I then select any three products to run a report that shows a side-by-side comparison.
When I present this report to my clients, I make it clear that the three products I am illustrating are not necessarily the ones with the greatest lifetime income. Instead I stress that I am using the report (usually in the second meeting) only for the purpose of showing a range of what is available.
This service offers a lot of tools, (many of which I have not yet taken the time to see if I should be using) but I exclusively use their Lifetime Income Rider Comparison tool.
Cost: $50 monthly (You might want to ask your annuity marketing organization if they make this available to their advisors.) | AnnuityRateWatch.com
Cannex: Immediate and Deferred Income Annuity Quotes
This is a great service for generating a listing of top annuity payout rates for both single premium immediate annuities as well as deferred income annuities. (As with the previous company Cannex offers a number of tools that I am not yet familiar with.)
You just enter the client’s date of birth, premium amount, and if you want life only or a period certain payout.
The program returns a listing of carriers ranked in order of the highest payouts for either immediate annuities or deferred income annuities.
While I love the service, I find the pricing model a little cumbersome. They charge per quote but included in this price is the ability to do multiple quotes for the same client. And there is a monthly minimum. They charge different prices to access their various tools. At this time I am only using their Income Annuity quote service.
Cost: $2.50 per quotes with a $15.00 monthly minimum. (Note that the $15 monthly minimum is only charged if you use the program. In other words, if I go a month without using the program I am not charged anything. But if I use the program in a month for only one quote I will be charged the monthly minimum of $15.) | Cannex.com
Adobe Acrobat Pro: A tool for liberating spreadsheets locked inside PDF files.
If you have ever wanted to copy the projected values locked inside a carrier’s illustration to an Excel spreadsheet, then Adobe Acrobat Pro is the answer.
The above is a page form a carrier’s product illustration. The data is locked inside a PDF file.
With Adobe Acrobat Pro I can choose to export this PDF file to an Excel spreadsheet (below).
After exporting the PDF file to an Excel spreadsheet I can do a number of things with the unlocked values. For example, I might copy and paste the Cash Surrender Values into another spreadsheet designed to compare this product to another similar product or to an alternative investment.
You can do a lot more with Adobe Acrobat Pro but I find that the ability to unlock data in carrier illustrations is worth the price.
Cost: $14.99 monthly | Adobe
VitalSigns: Provides carrier financials and rating for 500 insurance companies.
With my process I typically present clients with a choice of products and then educate them regarding the advantages and disadvantages of each product option. A key part of this is providing information about the carrier’s financials and ratings.
VitalSigns is a great tool because it presents the details of each carrier on a single page in a uniform format.
I will review with the client each carrier’s ratings, surplus, five year investment yields and bond quality. I may only spend a few minutes doing this but the impact with clients is significant. If I am in a competitive situation it is rare that the other advisor has even addressed the financial strength of what is being recommended.
Cost: $350 annually (You might want to ask your annuity marketing organization if they make this service available to their advisors.) | VitalSigns.com
FINRA RMD Calculator
I use this calculator any time I need to calculate a client’s Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from a traditional 401k or IRA.
Cost: Free | FINRA RMD
Age Calculator: Convert DOB to Age
Before you can complete an application or run a product illustration you often must convert a client’s date of birth to their age.
This age calculator is a simply online tool provided by Math Cats.
Cost: FREE | MathCats
What Tools Do You Use?
So this is a simplified list of some of the software I use in my sales process. Do you have any software you can’t live without?
Let me know in the comments below!