Marketing Corner – Wednesday April 19th, 2017
Going After Your Whales
While you may have a healthy book of clients, there are likely a few big prospects you have your eye on. Your elephants. Your whales. These are the prospects that could take your practice to the next level, either through career cases or high-value lifetime planning opportunities. Because of their stature and the difficult nature of converting them into clients, some advisors find going after whales an intimidating enterprise. Here are six tips for chasing your whales.
Maintain Regular Contact
Very few advisors convert on the first touch, high-value prospect or not. The frequency of touch is key in maintain a prospect pipeline and wearing down objections. It can take months, even years before you convert a prospect, especially if they are a high-net-worth business owner, physician, or whoever your whale is to you.
How do you eat a whale? One bite at a time. As you engage with your whale, keep conversations focused on a few things—hitting them with all you got can come across as desperate. And remember, if they keep picking up the phone for your calls or answer your emails, that is a good thing. It means they like you or something you are saying. You just haven’t found the right thing to say to bring them in your book or they just aren’t ready. If you maintain a good series of regular calls or emails with your whale, the more you will both learn about each other.
End Every Interaction With Keeping The Door Open
A whale likely doesn’t have much time to chat with you, so you should handle every call with an awareness of the time you taking away from the important business they need to attend to. This means keeping conversations brief and focused on a few topics, without getting too deep (at first). This might seem like a disadvantage. However, brief calls mean that you are retaining information out for the next round of calls. You have a reason to follow-up and your prospect has a reason to pick up. If you hit a wall, make sure to ask if it would be alright to check in down the line. If your interactions have been pleasant, the prospect likely won’t object to this.
Really Uncover Your Prospect’s Pain Points
Compared to a regular client, a whale-type prospect often will have more complicated planning needs. They may not be concerned with 401(k) rollovers, basic life insurance coverage, or simple tax maximization strategies. Their needs may be more in the advanced markets realm. This means digging deep to uncover their needs and pain points. Thankfully, if you use a serial contact strategy, you will naturally come to understand what matters to them and what they need. As you further the conversation, draw on your growing knowledge of your prospects objectives and challenges.
Pay Attention To Life Events
Prospecting around life events is a great way to engage with a variety of consumers, no matter their profile. But your whale will probably have different life events than a regular consumer, or their life events will require different needs. Consider the life insurance solutions that may be appropriate for a business owner or executive, compared to a regular consumer. A business owner may be worried about transferring the business to the next generation, or shoring up additional protection for the company, or may be preparing for a sale. If you maintain contact with the prospect, you should have a good sense of what’s going on in the consumer’s financial life, what their worries are, and what future events to look out for.
Get Referred Or Introduced By A Mutual Connection
Between your current book of clients, friends, and acquaintances, there’s a good chance that you and your whale know someone in common. If you can get your mutual connection to vouch for you, you will gain a distinct advantage over others chasing the prospect. Through platforms like LinkedIn, you can see how you are connected and what connections you have in common.
Build Your Brand In Their Sphere
Think about the places your whale and other whale-level prospects visit. Do you have marketing outlay in the places? Are you sponsoring or participating in activities that make you visible to your whale? The more your high-value prospect sees you and your brand in their own sphere, the more credibility you may gain.
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LMG Suitability Form
Legacy Marketing Group has updated the suitability form for the LibertyMark series of products for all states except for Florida. There is no transition period on the updated forms so they are to be used immediately. Call today for additional details.
F&G Product Updates
F&G has announced several changes to their product portfolio that will go in place May 8, 2017. The Safe Income Plus and Performance Pro will only be available for sale with the income benefit. In addition to this the Prosperity Elite series will be available with either the enhancement package or the protection package. The Index-Choice 10 will no longer be offered with the income benefit. Call today for additional details.
Things always have a way of changing and whether it’s an existing client or a new prospect beneficiary reviews can be a great way to make sure that an individuals plan is on track and to uncover additional business. Call today to request a beneficiary review sales guide.
A recent study by the MDRT found that only one out of five individuals have hired a financial advisor. The most common reason given for not having a financial advisor was that the individual thought they could manage their own finances.
LFG Moneyguard II
Lincoln National’s Moneyguard II has gone through several updates and is a very competitive option for asset based LTC. The product will take either a single premium or flexible premiums for up to 25 years. The product offers a couples discount, inflation protection, and a ROP on lump sum options. In addition to this the product is simplified issue. Call today for additional details.
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Postponement of Product Changes
Several carriers had announced changes to their product portfolios leading up to the expected implementation of the Fiduciary rule on April 10th. A formal delay was announced last week and in response to that several carriers have delayed already announced changes. Call today to get a full breakdown from the carriers.
North American Rate Decrease
North American reduced rates on the Guarantee Choice series and Charter Plus 14 effective 4/10/17. Call today for an updated rate sheet.
Legacy RMD Customizer
Legacy has recently introduced a new calculator that illustrates the impact of RMD’s on qualified funds in order to help clients understand the income they will receive in retirement and the legacy they can pass on. Call today to get a quote.
In a recent poll 70% of investors stated that while they like the convenience of technology for investing they still wanted to be able to speak with an adviser.
Ascent Accumulator 10
Athene’s Ascent Accumulatro 10 is a 10 year FIA designed for max accumulation. The product offers annual point to point caps on the S&P as high as 6.25% and offers a participation rate strategy with a 155% par rate on the BNP Paribas Multi Asset index. The product also offers a fixed interest rate of 2.95% and an optional income rider that rolls up at 8% simple interest. Call today for additional details.
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Marketing Corner – Thursday April 6th, 2017
5 Reasons Your Digital Content Marketing Strategy Isn’t Working
Content marketing is a broad term describing a range of marketing activity, from blog posts, articles, videos, emails, and status updates. While there are many ways to implement a content marketing strategy, the main goal is to leverage your expertise and engage your consumer base with relevant information. Here are five reasons your digital content marketing strategy isn’t working.
You Don’t Post Content Regularly
Regularity is key to staying in front of consumers. Many advisors will attempt a content strategy and then quickly burn out on articles and posts. Or, they may find that they aren’t able to maintain a steady time commitment to draft content. It’s generally going to be more advantageous (and manageable) to have one or two good posts each week than a short burst that stops. Figure out what you can fit into your schedule and keep a consistent flow that can be sustained over a long period of time. You’ll be surprised how much you can actually craft if you devote 1-2 hours each week for content marketing.
You Don’t Post Relevant Content
Given that your consumer base likely includes many types of individuals, you may have some difficulty in delivering relevant content. Your pieces don’t have to be relevant to everyone in your target market, nor do they have to address every age/situation of your prospects. What you should do, however, is ensure that the content is relevant to a specific segment of your audience. Vary your approach—address the many different consumers types within your overall target market. Maybe this week your piece on the top issues facing baby boomers isn’t relevant to the business owners you also pursue. Next week, have something that discusses key-person insurance.
Your Social Media Profiles Aren’t Developed
Social media is useful for distributing your content, especially since these digital spaces are where many of your consumers already are. Because your potential clients may develop an impression of you based on your digital hubs, you should take extra effort to ensure that your profiles are complete, with high-quality branding. Add personal touches by incorporating a portrait of you or a photo of your offices. Too often advisors will simply use a low-res copy of their logo for both profile pictures and banners. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, all give you many opportunities to present yourself visually, so take advantage of this. Why does this matter? If a consumer bounces to your Facebook page or Twitter page and sees that it is undeveloped, they may not have a lot of confidence in you.
You Don’t Share Across Multiple Platforms
Some consumers may be more active on Facebook, while others on LinkedIn. Some may exclusively use Twitter, and some may poke around many platforms. This is why you should spread your content across multiple relevant platforms. You may find that one platform becomes more relevant to you and your audience, but this does not mean you should ignore the other platforms. Keeping all your profiles active with recent posts can help you reach new prospects, help with SEO ranking (as this activity can be a ranking signal), and give you a trail of digital pieces that help to establish your credibility.
You Don’t Employ Different Types of Posts
A good digital content marketing strategy employs many different types of posts—articles, photo, video, infographics, macros, and more. Explore your options and get creative. Vary long posts with shorts posts. Use photos with your articles. Craft a short-video series. The more you have in your bag of tricks, the more you can engage your audience.
Complimentary CD Replacement Kit for 2017
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North American Delivery Requirements
North American has announced changes to its life insurance delivery requirement process. Effective immediately anytime a new application or additional form is being obtained on delivery a new policy must be issued. North American will no longer issue an amendment. In addition to this anytime a policy is delivered and the check or eft form comes back with a name different than the listed payor a new policy will need to be potentially issued. For example if a client owns a business and submits a business check instead of a personal. Call today for additional clarification.
Reminder Equitrust Annuity Update
Effective April 10th Equitrust will require a new product disclosure on all annuity sales. The reason for the updated disclosure is that Equitrust has added a terminal illness rider to all products. Call today for additional details.
Retirement Safety Net
Everyone wants to have a comfortable retirement and unfortunately on the path to retirement there are a number of factors that can derail an individuals retirement plan. Things such as death, disability, and LTC needs can be devastating to a family as well as to a retirement plan. Cash value life insurance with LTC/chronic illness and WOP riders can be an effective mitigation tool for these risks. In the event of an LTC scenario the death benefit can be advanced to help with costs, in the event of disability the policy will continue to fund ensuring that there is a retirement nest egg when disability benefits stop, and in the event of death instead of the beneficiaries just receiving their account dollar for dollar they receive an inflated tax free death benefit. Call today for additional details.
Annuity Premium Down In 2016
A recent report indicates that the top 25 largest annuity providers took in $253 billion in 2016. That number is down 4.1% from the 2015 total.
Settlers Life Final Expense
Settlers Life offers a competitive suite of final expense products and beginning April 3rd will offer a new ExpressApp process. Instead of doing an E app or paper application you simply determine what product is a fit for the client, call settlers life, and they will complete the application over the phone and approve the client within 20 minutes. This updated process means the application is always in good order and policies are issued more quickly meaning the client has coverage sooner and you get paid quicker. Call today for additional details.
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Marketing Corner – Wednesday March 29th, 2017
April Is CD Replacement Month—Don’t Miss Out
You might know that April and October are CD replacement months. But do you know why? The history that led to these sales opportunities is actually rather interesting and shows how economic events can ripple far ahead in time.
Nearly thirty years ago, on October 19, 1987, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped a whopping negative 22.61%–the index’s largest percentage drop. This event would become known as Black Monday and many thought this was the precursor to another Great Crash. While markets rebounded, there remained a great amount of volatility, with after-shocks and mini-crashes like the drop that happened on October 13, 1989.
Even though the economy has been beaten and torn since 1987 (hello Great Recession of 2008!) the effects of Black Monday are still felt today. As markets tanked in 1987, consumers pulled out of exposed investments and transferred their money into Certificates of Deposits.
Hence October and April are now CD replacement months, with six-month and twelve-month CDs up for renewal. For some consumers, CDs can seem like a great option for their money—certainly, they did in 1987. With guaranteed interest rates and FDIC backing, CDs seem like a relatively sturdy ship to navigate the sometimes choppy waters of the market.
However, because of their low-interest rates, CDs do not hedge against inflation well, when compared to other products, like certain annuities. This is especially true with long-range CDs that many consumers automatically renew out of habit. This means that some consumers may be losing real-world value that could be parlayed into another solution that works better against inflation and could provide lifetime income.
Obviously, every consumer presents a different situation. For some, CDs may track well with their needs. Others may not even be aware that there are other options. However, what this means is that April and October are good opportunities for review, discussion, and product sales.
To help agents and advisors take advantage of these CD replacement opportunities, Legacy Financial Partners is offering a complimentary CD replacement kit. Fill out the form to claim your free CD replacement kit.
Complimentary 2017 CD Replacement Kit
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Commission Bonus Extended
Global Atlantic has extended their 1% commission bonus to 4/30/17. Products eligible for the bonus are: Choice Income FIA, Income 150+ FIA, Income 125+ FIA, Index Bonus 115 FIA, ForeSpending Select FIA. Call today for additional details.
North American Rate Increase
North American has announced a rate increase that will take effect March 28th. Call today to get an updated rate report.
Sequence Of Returns
Most advisors are aware of the impact that the sequence of market returns can have on a retirement income stream. There are a variety of ways to help mitigate this risk and one options that many advisors might not be aware of is life insurance. Cash value inside of a life insurance policy can be used tapped during down years to avoid selling into losses. Call today to request a complimentary guide on how this strategy works.
In a recent survey by Lincoln Financial Group 48% of millennials stated debt as their top financial concern. Specifically student loan debt was the biggest concern.
Guggenheim Highlander FIA
Guggenheim has added a new FIA to their portfolio. The Highlander FIA is a 10 year product with a 4% premium bonus. In addition to this the product offers competitive caps with the annual pt to pt S&P cap at 5% with a 2.5% fixed rate. The product also offers an optional income rider as well as a nursing home rider. Call today for details.
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Marketing Corner – Thursday, March 23rd, 2017
6 Unusual Marketing Ideas For Advisors
As you try to grow your practice and attract new clients, you likely explore many different marketing activities. What tends to happen, however, is that you find one or two prospecting methods that work for you and stick with that. While you should have a few core marketing methods, you should enhance them with other types of marketing. Here are six unusual marketing ideas that go beyond direct mail, seminars, and other traditional methods.
Whether to promote an upcoming event or to simply put your name and face out there, fliers are a cheap and effective way to market yourself, which is why we’ve mentioned them multiple times before as a marketing tool. A visually appealing one-sheeter can reinforce your name or event to consumers in physical areas they already traffic (coffee shop, grocery store, etc.). In any given community, you will have plenty of opportunities to post fliers—which, when you consider how cheap a run of fliers can be—makes them a no-brainer. What makes this idea unusual is how few advisors take advantage of this affordable strategy.
What is a shred party? A shred party is an event that takes place at your office or other location where you offer free document shredding. This is particularly relevant to consumers around tax-time, as they deal with sensitive personal documents and do some spring cleaning. Make it a fun event, with refreshments and something for kids. This will allow you to offer an unusual (but needed) service to consumers and mingle with prospects.
Parking Lot Carnival
One of the best ways to organize a community event is to make it something the whole family can enjoy. If you’ve got space (or can rent space), set up a parking lot carnival. This doesn’t have to involve Ferris wheels, carousels, or bumper cars, but rather fun yard games like cornhole, ladder ball, horseshoes, and watermelon seed spitting contests. Buddy up with a local food truck to offer food and refreshments.
In the same vein as the parking lot carnival idea, if you live in a college/sports town, you could look into getting tailgating space. With good weather, grilling, and sports, you can create a memorable event for potential clients.
There are numerous ways advisors can leverage participating in charitable causes while raising their own profile. However, many advisors stick with passive approaches—donating money or resources, without getting directly involved. Any help is good help, for sure, but consider more direct ways you can participate with a charitable cause. For instance, organizing a charity event yourself or finding existing ones that are physical (food drive, fun run, pancake dinner, etc.)
Branded Prepaid Debit Cards
Advisors often use gift cards/prepaid cards as promotions, rewards for appointments, or prizes for seminar raffles. While preloaded debit cards can be great for bringing prospects to you, you can enhance this strategy by branding the cards with your logo and contact information. There are several companies that offer this service, such as OmniCard, Giftcards.com, and InterCash.
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Legacy Financial Partners has added Lafayette Life and Mutual Trust Life to its portfolio of products. Both carriers offer competitive participating whole life products designed for accumulation. Call today for additional details.
One America Product Changes
Effective April 10th One America will be discontinuing their ImmediateCare Plus product. In addition to this depending on when/if the DOL Fiduciary Rule goes into effect One America will no longer accept qualified funds for sales of the Annuity Care, indexed Annuity Care, and Legacy Care products.
Most small business owners are aware that there are a number of retirement options for themselves and their employees. Most, however aren’t aware of what specific plans are available and more importantly what plans fit with their company. Available for download is a plan comparison chart that discusses the most common types of retirement plans for companies.
Fed Raises Rates
The Federal Reserve raised rates .25% increasing the federal reserve rate to 1%. It is projected the Fed will raise rates two more times this year depending on how the economy performs.
Equitrust WealthHorizon Life
Equitrust’s newest addition to their life offerings is a competitive, single premium, simplified issue IUL. The product offers a variety of index options including an annual S&P pt to pt cap of 12% and a fixed interest account of 5%. The product also offers a free chronic illness rider and competitive commissions. Call today for additional details.
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7 Video Marketing Best Practices
Incorporating video into your digital marketing strategy can reap great rewards. Rather than simply posting a block of text, you are able to present your value proposition in an easily digestible manner that already matches how many consumers seek out information. Here are a few stats that show just how relevant video is:
Over 8 billion videos or 100 million hours of videos are watched on Facebook every day (TechCrunch, 2016; TechCrunch, 2016 via Buffer)
55% of people consume videos thoroughly — the highest amount all types of content (HubSpot, 2016 via Buffer)
4X as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than reading about it (Animoto, 2015 via Buffer)
Given how relevant video content has become, you might be wondering how financial advisors or agents like you can utilize video as part of your marketing strategy. With cheap equipment, social media platforms, and a little time commitment, it’s possible for advisors of all experience levels to create visually appealing and engaging video content. We’ve even had advisors use their smartphones to record clips.
Here are 7 best practices when developing a video marketing strategy.
Keep Your Videos Concise
With videos, shorter is generally going to be better. Instead of giving a 10-minute explainer video on how annuities work, break your videos into 2-3 minute chunks (or even shorter). While you do want to provide detailed information and may think that 1,2, or 3 minutes is not long enough to cover a topic, you’ll likely be surprised how much information can be presented in a short time if you practice before hand (and even use a little script).
Maintain A Consistent Schedule
As with other forms of content marketing, one of the crucial aspects of video marketing is consistency. Some advisors will burn through video topics quickly, struggling to come up with ideas for further videos. Schedule video creation within your other marketing activities, so that you have something coming out on a regular basis—whether it’s a video, a blog post, a guide, or promotion. Find the intervals that work for you.
Balance Timely Topics With Enduring Information
Current events can become a great jumping off point for a video piece. If, for example, the SSA has rolled out changes for the new year, your consumers might appreciate a short explanation video. However, you should balance timely topics with more enduring videos—the kinds that can be repurposed or stay relevant over alonger period of time. For example, a video discussion on the phases of retirement planning will have a longer lifespan than one that discusses an expiring tax credit.
Consider Basic Lighting and Framing
Nobody expects you to be Spielberg when creating your videos. But just because the clips are made cheap and quick, doesn’t mean they have to look it. Pay attention to basic lighting and framing issues.
• Make sure you are well lit
• Avoid distracting backgrounds and background elements
• Avoid unusual perspectives and angles
• A tripod or stable surface can really make a difference in the quality of your clip
Syndicate Through Multiple Channels
Currently, Facebook has become a key platform for the dissemination of video content. With an intuitive layout, it’s relatively easy to upload and share video, either from your personal or business page. Twitter and LinkedIn are likewise venues where video can be uploaded and shared easily. But also consider email as well. A Syndacast Infographic from a few years ago claims that just “using the word ‘Video’ in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19%, click-through rates by 65% and reduces unsubscribes by 26%”
Enhance The Quality Of Your Video With Graphics and Music
Amplify your message and the quality of your video with supporting graphics, music, and other little flourishes. Most editing software is straightforward enough that a lay person, with some playing around, can figure out how to include phone numbers, web addresses, and other supporting text as an overlay graphic (sometimes referred to as chyrons). Music is likewise relatively easy to incorporate, with a wealth of royalty-free music available online (for instance, Purple Planet, which has options for free and licensed music clips.) Make sure you follow the terms of usage carefully. Most royalty free music sites will simply request credit and/or a linkback.
Take Advantage Of Video Descriptions And Tags
Video hosted on a platform like YouTube will provide you an opportunity to describe what the video is about. While this helps consumers identify the content of your clip, it also can be useful in your overall SEO strategy. Lace your short descriptions and tags with targeted keywords, the same way you would with page content.
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