How Do You Spell Variable Annuity Success? V-A-L-U!
On January 12, 1999, known as V-Day around Pacific Life’s Annuities Division, Pacific Life launched a new product. Pacific Value offered flexible death benefit and investment options, and guaranteed credit enhancement on deposits. This product was unique in the industry and deserved an equally unique launch program.
Usually, an annuities launch took place over several months and financial advisors received a packet of information in the mail. This time, Pacific Life would do it in one day, and it would deliver the news and information kit in person.
In all, it took 50 members of the corporate staff in addition to Pacific Life’s 44 annuity wholesalers to make the deliveries and talk about the product with 700 top producers. Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Tom Sutton got in on the action, going around Los Angeles to visit producers, while President Glenn Schafer tackled stops around Fort Myers, Florida. In addition to an in-person pitch, producers received a CD player pre-loaded with a two-minute message from Executive Vice President of Annuities Bill Robinson, who was in Phoenix on V-Day to spread the news. Product kits were also sent to several thousand other producers who sold Pacific Life’s annuities.
As with every product launch at Pacific Life, a large cross-departmental team was involved in pulling off the development and rollout of Pacific Value. But the idea for the V-Day launch came from just one employee. Nancy Tillman, director of marketing services, suggested distributing the launch product kits in person. If the Annuities Division wanted to make a splash in the industry with Pacific Value, what better way to get the attention of top producers?
“Executives [went] out on the sales side to actually go meet with all the big producers, and hand-deliver marketing materials, and have a conversation with everybody,” said COO Adrian Griggs. “That was really what put Pacific Life on the map in the variable annuity space.”