As a financial professional, you’ve heard of drop tickets and e-applications (e-apps). You have received emails encouraging the use of these electronic options and read that using electronic submission methods decreases issue time frames. You were also told forms would be current, and in-good-order rates would be greatly increased. Despite the positives associated with these electronic avenues, you haven’t attempted to submit a drop ticket or e-app.
If the first paragraph describes you, know that you’re not alone. There are numerous financial professionals who have yet to explore the various electronic avenues that exist, or consider how using these electronic methods could positively impact their businesses.
During a recent Financial Independence Group (FIG) Sales Symposium, Chief Financial Officer Mike Mullan explained that as business leaders, it was time to embrace change and seize opportunities. One way to do this is through innovation and technology, as what works today may not work tomorrow. Do you want the financial industry to move forward without you because your business continues to rely on obsolete practices?
FIG strongly believes in technology. Life iGO drop tickets and e-apps have been available for years in our Agent Portal. In addition, FIG partnered with numerous annuity carriers in their quest to introduce e-apps through the FireLight® platform. Our management team knew e-apps, which were new on the annuity side of the business, could positively impact the client experience and create efficiencies for our valued advisors, and we were right.
Although this new territory may seem daunting at first, be aware that many carriers use the same electronic submission platforms, which creates a sense of familiarity. Nearly 15 carriers have an annuity and/or life e-app available through FireLight® on FIG’s Agent Portal. Also, many of the major industry players for life insurance have an electronic offering via drop ticket or e-app through iGO.
For advisors who aren’t on board, there will always be a reason to resist submitting applications via an electronic method. We challenge those advisors to overcome perceived obstacles and consider the bigger picture.
Overcome the Challenges
Are there obstacles in place preventing you from submitting applications via an electronic method? If so, we have the solutions! The following is a list of common producer challenges, along with suggestions for overcoming those hurdles:
“I’m not the best at using the keyboard, and I do not want to embarrass myself when typing information into the e-app in front of a client.”
During the initial client interview, take notes. Upon returning to the office, enter the information into the system, without the client present, and take your time. Then, at the next client meeting, add information as needed and make minor corrections. Afterward, finalize the process by reviewing all information with the client and then complete the signing ceremony.
“I completed an e-app once before and fumbled through it. I can finish a paper application faster than I can enter the information into the e-app.”
Remember when you were a child and learned to ride a bike? Did you fall off of the bike? (Most of us did fall off of the bike, and not just once, but numerous times!) With repetition, we learned to become experienced, accident-free bike riders. The majority of us do not become skilled with any activity in just one try. The same is true with using the e-app. Don’t give up! Give it at least three tries.
“Most of my clients are not comfortable with technology, and I don’t want to lose the sale by using an electronic application method.”
Anxiety associated with technology is understandable, especially for those who had or have little use for it in their daily lives. However, fear cannot create paralysis. Talk to the client about this hesitation and explain how numerous sectors now frequently use e-apps and e-signatures. Tax returns can be submitted electronically, home-purchase documents can be completed on the computer as well, and numerous banks allow clients to execute financial transactions online.
Visit our Agent Portal or the website at www.figmarketing.com to learn more about the electronic submission process. Watch the tutorials and read the advisor testimonials. Contact your private client group with any questions. FIG is here to help as you explore new technology and prepare your business for success.