Tuesday Tips – September 29th, 2015

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Alerts

American Equity Rate Increase

American Equity has raised rates on it’s choice series of indexed annuities. In addition to this they are decreasing the asset fee on the volatility control index. Call today for additional details and state approvals.

Legacy Decreases Rates

Legacy Marketing Group has decreased rates on the LibertyMark series of products. The rate decrease goes into effect September 29, 2015. Call today to get an updated rate grid.

Sales Opportunity

Executive Compensation

Whether it’s for the business owner or a key employee there are a number of planning solutions that can provide yields in a leveraged, tax advantaged manner. Often times advisors aren’t aware of all the planning strategies that are available for business owners. Available for download is an executive compensation guide that breaks down the most common business planning strategies and their advantages and disadvantages.

Industry News

Medicaid and Short Term Annuities

The third circuit court of appeals has ruled that short term annuities must be excluded from the transfer penalty in Medicaid planning. This ruling reverses a prior decision stating that funds transferred to an immediate annuity during the funding gap of Medicaid could still be subject to the transfer penalty.

Hot Rates

North American Charter Plus

North American has introduced the Charter Plus indexed annuity series today. The new series offers 10 and 14 surrender options with bonuses up to 7% and 10%. In addition to this they offer 6 competitive index options with competitive caps. The products also offer optional income riders for guaranteed lifetime income. Call today for additional details and state availability.

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Tuesday Tips – September 22nd, 2015

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Alerts

Forethought Rate Change

Effective October 5, 2015 the withdrawal rates on the Income 125+ and Income 150+ will be reducing. The withdrawal rates will be decreasing by .25% for the Income 125+ and .30% for the Income 150+ across all age bands. Applications must be received at the home office by October 2, 2015 to receive the old rates. Call today for additional details.

National Western Commission Bonus

National Western has extended their 1% commission bonus through the end of the month. Applications must be dated prior to September 30th and received by the home office no later than October 15th. Call today for additional details.

Sales Opportunity

October is CD Renewal Month

October is traditionally a time where a significant amount of CD money comes due. This can be a great opportunity to discuss the benefits of other safe money alternatives. Available for release is our CD Renewal Sales Kit. Call today to get yours.

Industry News

Disconnect

A recent study by Lincoln Financial found that while 75% of consumers saw wealth protection as a key component of life insurance less than half own a life insurance policy.

Hot Rates

Lincoln National WealthAdvantage IUL

Lincoln National has introduced it’s newest offering the WealthAdvantage IUL. This indexed universal life policy is designed for business insurance cases. It offers an optional cash value enhancement, simplified and guaranteed issue options, and competitive caps. This is an ideal product for buy sell agreements, key man policies, and golden handcuff arrangements. Call today for additional details.

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Tuesday Tips – September 15th, 2015

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Alerts

Forethought Rate Change

Forethought has adjusted rates on several of their indexed annuity products. Call today to get an updated rate sheet.

Settlers Life Sales Contest

Settlers Life is running a sales contest through December 31, 2015. $16,000.00 of annualized life premium gets you and a guest a trip to any destination in the continental U.S. In addition to this Settlers Life will cover the cost of the hotel and give you $300.00 spending money. Call today for contest specifics and additional details.

Sales Opportunity

LTC VS Chronic Illness

With numerous carriers hiking rates on traditional LTC products hybrid products can be a very attractive option. Not only will they pay out benefits to cover LTC expenses but they can also pay out benefits if the client doesn’t have LTC expenses. One of the challenges in positioning these products is educating the client on the various options and benefits to the client. Available for download is a definitive guide on Long Term Care vs Chronic Illness riders.

Industry News

Sun Life Announces Acquisition

Sun Life has announced that it will be acquiring Assurant Inc. Assurant is predominantly an employee benefits insurance company. The purchase price is $975mm and will expand Sun Life’s current insurance offerings.

Hot Rates

Indexed Annuity Care

One America has introduced the first indexed annuity that offers tax free LTC benefits. The product is on a 9 year chassis and offers competitive caps in addition to multipliers for LTC expenses. Call today for additional details and state availability.

Sales Opportunity Downloads

Tuesday Tips – September 9th, 2015

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Alerts

Commission Bonus

Athene currently has a 1% commission bonus running for both the Target Horizon 10 and 15. Both of these products offer competitive caps and income rider options. The bonus runs until October 31st. Call today for additional details.

Voya Commission Bonus

Voya is currently offering up to .70bps additional commission on their most popular fia’s. Call today for state availability and additional details.

Sales Opportunity

Leveraging Investments With Life Insurance

Life insurance can be an extremely effective tool for layering in a guaranteed yield with funds that are earmarked for wealth transfer. Using guaranteed universal life insurance you can calculate a guaranteed IRR on the death benefit that many times will outpace the earnings of moderately invested funds. Call today to request a sales brochure on this sales concept.

Industry News

Health Care Subsidies

According to the Treasury 40% of U.S. households that received health care subsidies in 2015 will not qualify for them in 2016 because they still haven’t properly filed their 2014 tax returns.

Hot Rates

Symetra UL-G

Symetra has rolled out a new guaranteed universal life policy. The new product offers very competitive pricing, the ability to take in large single premiums, and also offers a table shave program up to age 70. In addition to this it boasts 2 different chronic illness riders to suit your clients individual needs. Call today for additional details.

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Tuesday Tips – September 1st, 2015

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Alerts

Rate Adjustments
Several insurance carriers have adjusted rates both up and down effective today. Call today to get a full breakdown.

AG49
Actuarial Guideline 49 takes affect today. As many of you know this guideline will not impact what an indexed universal life insurance policy will yield but, it does put a maximum on what can be illustrated. To get a breakdown on the max illustrated rates for all life insurance companies give us a call today.

Sales Opportunity

LIAM
September is Life Insurance Awareness Month. We have put together a sales guide that includes prospecting materials, client presentations, and sales concepts. Call today to request your complimentary kit.

Industry News

LTC Decline Rates
According to a recent study nearly 40% of all traditional LTC applications are declined. Prescreening as well as exploring Life/LTC hybrid products can significantly reduce these percentages.

Hot Rates

Equitrust DynaMarc FIA
Equitrust has introduced the DynaMarc FIA. This product is on a 10 year chassis and offers 2 risk controlled indexes in addition to several other crediting options. It also offers a 10% premium bonus to the benefit base a offers a competitive stacking rollup with a 4% annual benefit base accumulation in addition to index gains. Call today for rates and state availability.

2015 Life Insurance Awareness Month

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Marketing Corner – August 27th, 2015

Writing an Effective Blog Post

Social media and content marketing have dramatically shaped online interactions and consumer relations. As an advisor and small business owner, you may feel like this type of marketing and branding isn’t relevant to the success of your company. But in truth, it is.

Content marketing allows you to reach out to prospects and clients in a unique way, compared to other forms of marketing like direct mail. It is cheap, efficient, and when employed properly, doesn’t require too much of a time commitment.

Here are Ten Best Practices for Creating an Effective Blog Post

Write About Topics That Matter To You

Blogging presents an opportunity for you to demonstrate your expertise and present information that reflects your experience and specialty. Writing on topics that you are passionate about will help keep you engaged with this form of content marketing.

Write About Topics That Matter To Your Audience

Knowing what will resonate with your audience is crucial with blogging—really with any kind of marketing. So write about concerns that affect individuals within your target market. What specific retirement or financial pl anning issues do they think about or should they think about? Discuss these issues and offer basic strategies to solve them.

Be Consistent

Many advisors will start a blog and then get swept up in the duties of running their practice. However, it is very important that you keep a regular schedule, as this will help to build a following and maintain momentum. Make sure to appropriate a portion of your time for blogging and content marketing. Even if you only do so for a few hours every couple of weeks, you should start to see traction as long as you maintain consistency.

Be Professional

Blogs can be used as informal messages from your company to your prospects and clients. Because of this, many people approach blogging very casually. While you do want to present your information in a humorous, perhaps loose tone, you should still create professional content that reflects well on you and your practice.

Don’t Be Afraid to Use “Voice”

One reason blogs can be so great at reaching out to your consumers is that you can present yourself as an actual human being. Establish a voice, speak informally, and break down complicated concepts in
easy-to-understand terms. While this may seem to contradict the “Be Professional” point above, the important thing is balance. Don’t shy away from personality, but don’t be sloppy.

Balance Posts with Images and Related Videos

Content with images and short videos generally get more traction than those without. Seek out images and videos that enhance the points you are discussing. Make sure that you give proper attribution to sourced elements or use stock image services. If possible, create your own 1-2 minute short videos to illustrate core concepts within your blog post.

Adhere to Writing Basics

Just because it’s a blog, doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t demonstrate quality writing. Use proper grammar, diction, and appropriate tone when publishing your pieces. Break up large chunks of text into easy to read paragraphs. Make sure your piece has an overall purpose. Give your reader a reason to finish the post.

Share/Syndicate Through Other Platforms

Not only should you host your latest post on your website, you should syndicate it through other platforms. Sharing your post on LinkedIn or Facebook can be great at reaching a targeted audience through your connections or specific groups. In addition to these social media platforms, syndicate your content through niche websites or forums.

Respond to Current Events or Other Articles

Draw on current events that may be of importance to your audience. Is there a policy change that may affect your prospects? Are there seasonal topics that may resonate with your audience (e.g. tax-time, life insurance awareness month)? Did you come across an article that illustrates an aspect of financial planning you feel strongly about? Use it as a discussion point. The more you can tie your pieces to current events and other sources, the more they will have immediate relevance and credibility.

Use SEO Tools To Make Your Pieces SEO-Friendly

Creating content on a regular schedule helps to optimize your website’s placement in search engine results. But you should also use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest to find keywords that will boost your SEO ranking.

With SEO keywords a good balance is key. You certainly do not want to ignore keywords that may raise your ranking, but you also do not want to stuff your articles with unnecessary iterations of keywords. The latter may, in fact, hurt your web ranking.

**This post is part of Legacy Financial Partners’ ongoing Marketing Corner, a space that offers advisors short sales ideas, yellow-pad concepts, and alerts to aid advisors in lead conversion, marketing, and client relationship building.

If you haven’t yet, grab your free copy of LFP’s other recent sales kits, such our Strategic Referral Guide and LinkedIn Prospecting Kit. Be on the look out for more helpful guides from Legacy.

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Tuesday Tips – August 25th, 2015

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Alerts

Coming Soon DynaMARC FIA

In the near future Equitrust will be releasing a new indexed annuity. The product will include a strategic income option as well as a multi asset risk controlled index. More details to come as product gets closer to launch.

Genworth Updates

Genworth has increased the interest crediting rate on the TLC by .15 bps. In addition to this effective August 31st their IUL will have updated rates reflecting a positive repricing on substandard table ratings. Call today for details.

Sales Opportunity

LIFT with Minnesota Life

Minnesota Life has suite of advisor tools for positioning cash value life insurance. The kit includes a variety of marketing materials discussing the benefits of cash value life insurance and where it can be a fit. Available for download is an overview and sales literature of the program.

Industry News

Record Revenue

So far in fiscal 2015 the federal government has collected $2,672,414,000,000.00 in tax revenues. Despite the record revenues during the same time frame the federal government spent $3,137,953,000,000.00 running a deficit of $465,539,000,000.00.

Hot Rates

Mutual of Omaha GULE

Mutual of Omaha offers an incredibly competitive simplified issue guaranteed universal life contract. The product writes from $25k-300k depending on age. The product doesn’t require an insurance exam and allows for the flexibility of dialing the death benefit guarantee. Call for details and state availability.

Sales Opportunity Downloads

Tuesday Tips – August 18th, 2015

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Alerts

Proposed DOL Rule would mean big changes for insurance agents

Financial professionals like you have an important part in helping clients grow their savings and achieve a financially secure retirement. But a new proposal from the Department of Labor (DOL) would impact millions of American retirement savers and their relationship with their financial professionals. Many insurance carriers are urging agents to take action to stop this new rule that would essentially impose fiduciary status on ALL financial professionals who provide services to retirement savers. Please click on the following link to learn more.

Sales Opportunity

Sales Contest

Legacy Financial has launched a sales contest that will run from August 1st through September 30th. There will be prizes for qualifying as well as for most premium submitted and most applications submitted. The top prizes are 2 regular season tickets to any sporting event up to $1,000.00 or 2 roundtrip airline tickets up to $1,000.00 value. Call today for additional details

Industry News

Symetra agrees to be acquired by Sumitomo Life Insurance Company

Last week Symetra announced an agreement to be acquired by Sumitomo Life Insurance Company, a leading and highly respected Japanese insurance company. Sumitomo Life intends to keep Symetra intact, including all of their businesses, leadership, employees, products and distribution channels. They will still use the Symetra name and brand.

Hot Rates

Athene adds free income rider option for the TargetHorizon Series

Athene is adding a very attractive free income rider option to the TargetHorizon lineup! The TargetPay and TargetPay Plus income riders are still available for a charge of 1.25% and 0.95% respectively, but there is now a third option to choose from. The TargetHorizon income rider is now available at no charge. The income account value will roll up at a 5% rate for a maximum of 20 years. If you have clients that like the idea of an income rider, but don’t want to pay for it, this may be the perfect solution. Call for a quote.

Alerts Downloads

Sales Opportunity Downloads

Hot Rates Downloads

Tuesday Tips – August 11th, 2015

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Alerts

North American Rate Increase

North American has announced a 2% premium bonus increase on the RetireChoice 14 fia which bumps the bonus to 10%. In addition to this they have announced increases on caps and interest rates on most of their portfolio. Call today for details and state availability.

MedAmerica Rate Increase

MedAmerica has announced that they have approval in multiple states to increase rates on inforce blocks of LTC business. The two products affected are the CareDirections and Simplicity ii. Increases range from 6% to 33%. Call today for additional details.

Sales Opportunity

The Perfect First Appointment

Often times the most challenging part of a first appointment is the initial interaction and opening. Getting off to the right start is critical to establishing trust and rapport. Available for download is our Perfect First Appointment Guide with useful tips, captivating questions, and sales script.

Industry News

Consolidation

Anthem has announced that it will acquire Cigna for $54 billion. This partnered with the announcement of the Aetna, Humana merger means that there will be only 3 major health insurers in the country. The third being UnitedHealthcare.

Hot Rates

North American Benefit Solutions II

North American has just announced a 1% commission bonus on this competitive product. It’s a short 7 year surrender fia that includes multiple allocation options including a volatility control index. In addition to this it offers participation rate, annual point to point, and monthly point to point crediting strategies. Call today for details and state availability.

Sales Opportunity Download

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Marketing Corner – August 5th, 2015

Your Insurance Marketing Plan

You may have a loose collection of goals, ideas, and initiatives for you and your agency. But do you actually have a marketing plan written down—a document that holds you and your employees accountable?

A marketing plan is a lot like a business plan. It organizes many aspects of your business and projects forward to specific, achievable goals. You can think of a marketing plan as part of your overall business plan or as something that dovetails with your business plan. However you think of it, having a written catalog of marketing goals is particularly helpful in charting the growth of your practice.

It may seem like unnecessary homework, especially when you have many operational, day-to-day duties. But dedicate some time to consider at length your marketing plan. Draw on input and feedback from all your employees and draft a document that can be shared among relevant parties.

Here is a simple five-step process for creating an insurance marketing plan.

Step 1: Assess Current State of Business

Using metrics and feedback, assess how your company is growing. Consider what’s working and what isn’t. Compare metrics to previous months and years. Get an overall sense of how the company is situated.  Is there a particular market that you are seeing more business from? Less?

Step 2: List/Brainstorm Goals

Consider your main goals for the next coming months and years. Identify them by timeframe, i.e. “in two months, I’d like to see this much growth,” “by next year I want small businesses as clients as well as individuals,” “in eighteen months, we need to see a 200 percent increase in revenue.” Obviously your goals will be unique to you and your practice, but don’t be afraid to list out everything you want and what you think is reasonably achievable.  Once you have your list of goals, prioritize them and plot them on their respective timeframes.

Step 3: Identify Specific and Non-Specific Goals

From list, separate your goals into specific and non-specific categories. When we ask agents what they want for their business, many initially offer non-specific goals like “I’d like to see growth,” or “I want to get more appointments,” or “I’d like to convert more leads.” Non-specific goals can be good for the broad trajectory of your business, but being more specific will help you figure out how to achieve short-term goals.

For instance, let’s say you did $500,000 in production last year. You might say, “I’d like to see if I can do a million even.” Depending on your area and specialty, this may or may not be a reasonable goal, but at least it is specific, with quantifiable and measurable metrics.

Here are some non-specific goals with their specific equivalents:

 

Non-Specific Specific
“I’d like to see more business by the end of the year.” “In the last half of 2014 we did $250,000 in production from twelve clients. For the last half of this year, let’s see if we can do $400,000 in production from 15-20 clients.”

“I want to do more digital branding and marketing.”

“We should have an interactive consumer-facing website in the next two months and implement an email drip campaign.”
“I want more big fish clients.” “Let’s target pre-retiree doctors and try to convert ten to clients by the end of the year.”

 

Non-specific goals are not always bad. They can provide you a sense of your company’s big picture and provide direction for your various specific goals.

Step 4: Identify Your Target Market(s)

Every business should have an idea of who is buying from them and who they want buying from them. A large retailer or restaurant wants anybody and everybody to shop from them, but they also know based on experience and purchase habits, who is coming to their stores. They are fine with a large number of small-to-medium sized purchases, but they obviously want as many big purchases as they can get.

Likewise, you as an insurance agent or financial advisor might want anybody (usually meeting an income threshold) who can benefit from your services. So if you think that your target market is anybody, you will get anybody—which could be a hodge-podge of leads and prospects that burn before you can convert them or might be a steady stream of small fish clients that keep your business afloat without significant growth. This type of business is good and well—it’s where the majority of business likely comes from and it’s important to not ignore it.

But if you can target specific market types while you conduct everyday business you will be positioned for growth. Going back to step 1, where you assessed the state of your business, think again about the client types you already work with. Where does the majority of your business come from? What are things you can do to enhance production from this segment of your business? What are potential client types to pursue harder? Profile your target clients. For example:

 

Client Type: Pre-Retiree Doctors

Income Threshold: 80,000 per year

How Many Current Clients: 5

How Many Brought On Last Year: 2

Goal For This Year: 4

Client Type: Mid-Level Professional

Income Threshold: 60,000 per year

How Many Current Clients: 18

How Many Brought on Last Year: 7

Goal For This Year: 12

 

Step 5: The How (Matching Marketing Solutions To Target Markets and Goals)

This step is where you begin to think about marketing solutions to go after your target markets and specific goals. Obviously with any new business initiative, cost will always be a deciding factor. The one thing we’ve found working with our agents is that not one single strategy will work; rather, it is a mix of targeted strategies that grow brand awareness and bring in more prospects.

When thinking about marketing solutions consider:

Appropriateness for target market

The senior market may be less receptive to digital marketing and a younger market may not be receptive to direct mail

Cost and ease of implementation

Digital solutions like social media, email, and web campaigns, may be relatively cost-effective for a broader audience. But more expensive solutions like workshops may be what pull in higher-end clients

Metrics and Logs

What kind of measurements will you use to track your marketing campaign? Digital marketing is great because platforms like social media and e-blasts provide easy ways to track response rates.

 

Once you have followed through on your marketing plan examine what worked and what didn’t. Then you go back to Step 1. While your overall, non-specific goals for the business may not change, your specific ones can and should. A good marketing plan is not only a document to chart the future of your company and keep you accountable, it is a living document that changes and grows as you do.

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