F&G MYGA Special
Effective February 6th F&G is offering a 3.10% rate on their Guarantee-Platinum 5 year MYGA. All applications must be E apps. Call today for additional details and state availability.
Effective February 7th Allianz is increasing guarantees on features of several products. The increases impact bonuses as well as income rider options. For applications signed February 7th or later new statements of understanding will need to be used. Call today for additional details.
Policy Stacking With Chronic Illness Riders
Policy stacking utilizing permanent life insurance with a return of premium option can be an effective way to help a client obtain a higher amount of life insurance coverage during their working years and then reduce the amount of coverage they have as their needs change in retirement. This strategy can be enhanced even further through the use of a policy that has a chronic or LTC rider attached to it. Call today for additional details.
DOL Rule in Limbo
On Friday February 3rd President Trump signed an executive order reviewing the implementation of the DOL Rule. President Trump has requested that a complete review be done of the rule and that if it was found to increase costs to consumers then it would need to be modified or thrown out.
Allianz Life Pro +
Allianz offers a very competitive FIUL. The product offers multiple index options and has annual point to point caps as high as 12.25%. In addition to this the product also offers a chronic illness rider as well as an optional term rider. Call today for additional details and state availability.
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Marketing Corner – Wednesday February 1st, 2017
5 Reasons Your Website Is Turning Away Consumers
You already know just how important a website is to your business. But most advisors, if they have a website, use it as a digital business card, and not a central hub to engage consumers. A good website works as both a passive and active marketing tool—consumers can stumble across your digital properties and get a sense of your value (passive) and they can be driven to the site by direct means such as content syndication, display advertising, and email marketing (active).
Think about websites that you visit—what inspires confidence in the services and expertise promised? What takes you, the advisor, from casual visitor to client? While you likely want to focus more on the activities that you are great at—engaging consumers face-to-face, belly-to-belly, in the field—you should appreciate how a good website is utterly critical for the success of your business.
Here are five reasons your website is turning away consumers.
You Don’t Have Fresh, Relevant Content
Every good website will have some element of a content marketing strategy. Consumers need to have a clear understanding of the services you provide and why you, off all firms, are right for them. But content should go beyond static product/services pages—there should be a pipeline of new, current content that gets placed on your site. This helps for a number of reasons. One, since fresh content is a ranking signal for many search engines, a regular stream of content can help with SEO, often with minimal effort. Two, it demonstrates your competency and expertise across many areas of financial planning. Three, related to the second point, relevant content across multiple topics opens you to a variety of consumers.
Your Website Is Poorly Designed
There are some areas of design that are subjective and tied to taste. However, your website should have some basics covered, such as:
• Logical root/page structure
• Pleasing (not distracting) color scheme
• Modern and professional fonts (no Papyrus, no Comic Sans, etc.)
• Clear and easy to read text (remember that many of your consumers are Boomers/Seniors)
• Responsiveness, meaning the site looks good on desktops as well as tablets and mobile devices
• Appropriately sized pictures, logos, and banners (not pixelated)
• Easy to find contact information
Your Website Is Too Salesy
A pinch of sales language isn’t a terrible thing to have on your website, but if your home page looks like a penny-saver ad for a used-car lot, you are going to turn off a lot of people seeking an experienced financial professional. Don’t be afraid to clearly and confidently state your value proposition, but be sure to back it up with friendly, professional, and educational content.
Your Website Lacks A Personal Touch
A personal touch can go a long way in separating you from your competitors and conveying a human approach to financial planning. Without going overboard (no one needs to see a thousand photos of your grandchild or dog) include photos/headshots of you and your family. Show your office. Incorporate visuals specific to your area.
Your Website is Outdated
Here “outdated” applies to a couple areas of your website.
Your bio/about us should reflect up to date information, meaning that if you have been in the business since 2002, and you state that your firm has nearly a decade’s worth of experience, you are missing some years that can lend greater credibility. If your content references policies and procedures that have been since updated, you will not be seen as a valuable resource.
Outdated web design includes elements or styles that are no longer current (clip art, 90s era graphics, 90s era layout) and platforms and hosting that don’t match with modern web standards (responsiveness, back-end elements, etc.).
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North American Changes
North American has announced changes to its GUL and IUL products that take effect February 17th. The Custom Guarantee will reflect higher premiums that will vary across cells and the commission will be reduced by 5%. The IUL series of products will also have a commission decrease of 5% but will also have several features added to the product including a new crediting strategy and a guaranteed insurability rider. Call today for additional details.
American Equity Rate Increase
American Equity has increased rates for several of their products including the choice series, traditions gold, and guarantee series. Call today for an updated rate guide.
LMG Bonus Blitz
Legacy Marketing Group’s bonus blitz has been extended through March 31st. Agents who submit 3 applications of 25k or more premium will receive $750.00. Participating agents can also earn an additional $200.00 for each additional qualifying application. Call for full contest details.
Aetna/Humana Merger Blocked
Federal judge John Bates blocked Aetna’s acquisition of Humana on Monday January 23rd. In the 158 page ruling Judge Bates cited series concerns about the proposed efficiencies of the merger and that it was highly likely that any efficiencies created by the merger would be retained by the company instead of being passed on to the consumer.
Athene Ascent Accumulator 10
Athene has just raised rates on the Ascent Accumulator 10. This is a 10 year product designed for maximum accumulation. This product offers multiple index options with annual point to point caps as high as 6.25% and no fee participation rate strategies as high as 155%. Call today for additional details and state availability.
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Marketing Corner – Wednesday January 25th, 2017
6 Reasons Your Direct Mail Campaign Goes Bust
We’ve said it before: even in our digitally-driven world, direct mail is still an effective marketing tool. From holiday cards, to promoting a seminar, to marketing your services, direct mail has a power and impact that some other solutions don’t have. Many advisors dipped their toes into direct mail and have been disappointed with their returns. Here are six reasons your direct mail campaign goes bust.
Your Targeting Isn’t Dialed In
Most mail houses offer targeting with their services, included in a base package or for additional costs. You provide them a set of filters—age, income, topic, etc.—and they build a list. A weak direct mail response rate can be due to improper filters and a misunderstanding of your target market demographics. It may be that you need to expand a radius or you need to adjust your age ranges. It will all depend. The more dialed in—the more you understand your target consumer profile—the more likely that your message will reach the right people.
Your Message Is Unclear
Your message should speak directly and uniquely to your target market, with design elements that compliment your overall goal. Many mail houses will have proven standard templates that can be adjusted for your campaigns. However, a too generic message may not work for all target markets. Make adjustments appropriately and judiciously. Be as direct as possible with regards to what you are offering and why consumers should reach out to you.
You Need More Due Diligence With The Direct Mail Vendor
When you first inquire about counts and pricing, make sure to ask detailed questions. If you simply ask for an average response rate on a particular mailer, the vendor may provide you national averages—when what you are really interested in are the local averages. The more detailed you are with your questions—whether about pricing, averages, customization, etc.—the more the vendor can work with you to build the best campaign possible.
You Don’t Incorporate Additional Marketing Activities
It’s important to remember that while direct mail can be effective for attracting certain consumer types, it is only one marketing activity. A good marketing mix will include several platforms that all point to the same direction. You can enhance your direct mail campaign with any number of simple marketing activities, like e-blasts, flyering, or digital display advertising. Structured and executed correctly, these additional marketing activities can reach many of the same individuals in your direct mail target list. This is what Legacy Financial Partners has developed with our Enhanced Tactical Marketing program.
You Don’t Consider The Timing Of The Mail Drop
Timing is very important when issuing pieces of direct mail. In general, you’ll want to avoid weekends and high-profile holidays. But timing goes beyond this. You should be aware of the events happening in your community that might eat into your responses.
Your Campaign Isn’t Being Done At A High Enough Volume Or Frequency
You may think that you can try a thousand or two-thousand piece mail campaign and get a proportionate result of a five-thousand or ten-thousand campaign. But you have to conduct campaigns in large enough volumes or with enough frequency that the law of averages has a chance to play out.
So if a mail house reports that a mailer typically gets a 2% response rate and you purchase 1000 pieces, you may think that you can expect 20 individuals (or buying units) to make an appointment or come to your seminar. 20 people or households is not a bad audience if you think you can get a hold of every single one, can make appointments with every single one, and can clear business with every single one.
But the reality is that from response to conversion, your pool of buying units will dwindle. In this scenario, if your pool reduces by half each step, you are left with 2.5 buying units. (20 responses, able to contact 10, get 5 to come to seminar or make appointments, clear 2.5 units worth of casework.) This scenario uses consistent numbers for the sake of simple illustration—the attrition from your pool of respondents can be higher or lower and won’t likely be a perfect percentage reduction.
Most mail houses won’t recommend campaigns below 2,500 pieces and will caution you to hedge your expectations should you choose to do a low number. You could hope that additional marketing activities can boost the impact of a low-piece mailer, but even this will have a threshold of effectiveness. And sometimes mail campaigns go sideways for factors outside any one’s control—which is why frequency comes in to play.
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LMG Rate Adjustment
Legacy Marketing Group has announced rate adjustments to the LibertyMark product series that will take effect January 29. Rates will be increasing on the Dow Jones Real Estate index but will be decreasing on the 2 year participation rate strategy. Call today for additional details.
Lincoln National Rate Adjustment
Lincoln National has announced adjustments to 3 of their products. Effective January 23rd rates have decreased on their term portfolio. Effective February 13 rates will be increasing the LifeGuarantee SUL and effective march 15th caps will be decreasing on the IUL suite of products. Call today for additional details.
Life insurance and annuities can be great vehicles to accumulate cash. In addition to this they can also be useful to shelter assets from creditors. Every state has slightly different rules pertaining to what amount of cash value is sheltered from creditors so available for download is a comprehensive guide that has the specific rules for each state.
Social Security Estimates
The Social Security Administration announced that it wouldn’t be mailing benefit estimates to workers younger than 60. Thee SSA cited budget constraints as the reason and said that individuals younger than 60 can still log onto the SSA website to view their estimates.
Athene Ascent Accumulator
Athene rolled out a new series of FIA’s last week called the Ascent Accumulator series. 5, 7, and 10 year options are available and the products boast competitive growth potential. The 10 year product offers annual pt to pt caps as high as 5.75%. in addition to this the products offer an optional death benefit rider that rolls up at an 8% simple interest rate. Call today for additional details and product availability.
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Marketing Corner – Wednesday January 18th, 2017
Overcoming Prospecting Pitfalls
Let’s begin with a less-than-controversial statement: prospecting is hard business. This is true even if you are lucky enough to convert a sale on the first interaction because after you have satisfied that client, you have to think about where the next one will come from. Prospecting, especially within the financial services industry, is never-ending, with very few fish that jump into the boat.
The problem that many advisors and agents have with prospecting is a somewhat unrealistic attitude of instant conversion. Many of the advisors we work with have an immediate need. They may not be getting the same amount of leads they used to or they may have a harder than usual time converting prospects into clients. While there are things in the immediate that advisors and agents can do to work through these challenges—such as purchasing leads, boosting web presence, and repositioning overall marketing strategies—you should also work to manage your prospecting expectations, and understand better payoffs often come with time.
Here are some prospecting pitfalls, followed by some thoughts on how to overcome prospecting challenges:
Your net is too wide, too narrow, or too unvaried.
As we’ve discussed before good marketing comes down to understanding your target market and understanding the consumer profiles within your broader target market. So is the answer to become niche? Not exactly. Be both broad and niche. Have varied and dynamic marketing strategies, ones that are rooted in what works and allows for experimentation.
The natural inclination is to try to convert the sale immediately
This can create tunnel vision. Obviously, when interacting when with prospects, you should make the best case for your services and solutions, but turning away from a consumer once it becomes clear they aren’t ready can waste an opportunity that occurs once they are ready.
You spend time burning and turning leads, rather than growing the seeds of opportunity.
Again prospecting is hard business, taking up significant time and resources. Why would you want to spend effort on a busted lead, when you could try your magic on a fresh prospect? Isn’t prospecting a numbers game? Yes, but it’s a numbers game on multiple axes of movement. If you only go after slam-dunks, you will miss the other shots that let you ultimately win the game.
It’s not an “either, or” situation. You can still aggressively pursue those clients that convert on a first pass and also have a measured approach to prospects that need time.
Some Suggestions for Overcoming Prospecting Pitfalls
You undoubtedly hope that trigger events such as retirement will make prospects susceptible to your charm and expertise. Understand that these trigger events are not the same thing as a prospect screaming, “I need help, now!” It means that a consumer has a potential need, likely in the near future. It also probably means that the consumer will explore a lot of options and consider their overall goals by the time they reach you and that your initial interactions with them will be seen as part of their option-weighing process.
Even if you have gathered a group of pre-retirees for your seminar on Social Security or Retirement Portfolio Maximization, you may get very little or no appointments out of that. But you have inserted yourself into those individuals’ evaluation process, assumed an authoritative role, and provided good information. What may be a failure in the short-term could very well be a success in the long-term. This is why when you do live events you capture as much prospect information as possible–for analysis and follow-up.
Use Direct Mail and Drip Email Campaigns for Serial Contact
Direct mail is an old-school way of marketing that still proves its worth, especially with pre-retiree consumers. So don’t discount it just yet. Drip email campaigns provide serial contact that track along with a prospect’s long-term decision-making process. So while a consumer takes the time necessary to figure out their financial priorities and weigh their planning options, they will have a periodic reminder of your services, expertise, and interactions.
If you can automate this process, even better. This will allow you to split your time between immediate converts and long-range opportunities.
For more information on drip campaigns, read our post “5 Best Practices of a Drip Marketing Campaign.”
FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP.
Always follow-up on a prospect. Demonstrate your concern and expertise. Provide a personal touch.
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Symetra will be making multiple changes to their UL and SUL products. They will be increasing maximum premiums as well as increasing compensation on excess premium. In addition to this there will be slight pricing increases as well. These changes will take effect February 8th.
F&G Rate Increase
Effective January 16th F&G has increased rates on several of their most popular products. Call today to request an updated rate guide.
Guerilla marketing is implementing low cost marketing activities that use opportunities within your local community to get in front of prospects. There are a variety of ways to incorporate these types of strategies into your marketing plan. Available for download is our 17 marketing ideas for 2017.
On Friday the DOL released its second round of FAQ’s to the public. The latest 30 question FAQ is oriented around consumer questions in regard to the impact of the rule on financial advice.
North American Guarantee Builder
North American offers a unique IUL with a secondary death benefit guarantee. The products offers significant accumulation potential with caps as high as 13% with the protection of a lifetime death benefit guarantee. In addition to this the product offers a free chronic illness rider and has some incredibly priced cells. Call today for additional details.
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Legacy Financial Partners will be closed January 16th in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Athene Raises Rates
Athene has released updated rates for January and have increased rates on several products. They are now offering participation rates as high as 130% and annual point to point caps as high as 4.75%. Call today for additional details.
2 of 3 Rule
Many advisors incorporate policy reviews into their sales process with new clients. One key area of opportunity is the 2 of 3 rule with life insurance. There are 4 participants to a life insurance policy; the owner, the insured, and the beneficiary. When setting up a life insurance policy if two of these three parties are not identical then the death benefit becomes taxable. There are a variety of ways that this can happen either from the initial set up, the dissolution of a buy sell agreement, or the death of primary beneficiaries or owners. Fortunately there is a simple solution to fixing the problem and generating a new sale. Available for download is a marketing guide that discusses this issue and potential solutions.
Bill Introduced to Delay Implementation of DOL Rule
Representative Joe Wilson of S.C. introduced a bill last week that seeks to delay the implementation of the DOL Fiduciary rule for two years from the date of enactment of the legislation. Proponents of the rule hope that this would give President-elect Trump time to fully review the rule.
North American Foundation Choice Series
North American has launched a new series of fixed annuities available for sale today. The Foundation Choice Series is set up on 7 and 10 year chassis and offers a competitive declared interest rate. The Choice Plus series offers competitive interest rates with an income rider. Call today for additional details and state availability.
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LFG Raising Rates
LFG has raised rates on several of their FIA products. Rates increases are effective 1/1/17 and Lincoln is now offering performance triggered rates as high as 4.2% on a 6 year chassis.
Equitrust Dropping Rates and Commissions
Equitrust has announced that effective January 17th caps will be lowering on the WealthMax Bonus life insurance product. In addition they will also be lowering compensation by 1%. Applications must be received by Friday 1/13 at 5:00 pm in order to receive the old rates and commission levels. Call today for an updated rate guide.
There have been several changes to the current tax code for 2017 including income tax brackets, deductions, and phaseouts. Available for download is an updated tax reference sheet along with an explanation of changes.
Millenials and Planning
A recent survey by Bank of America Merrill Edge found that 42% of millennials were open to online financial advice. It also found that 31% of respondents were thinking about getting help from a financial advisor.
Protective Index Annuity II
Protective offers an incredibly competitive 5 year product designed for max accumulation. The product offers annual point to point caps as high as 4.75% and also has a return of premium option available. Call today for additional details.
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Jumpstart 2017 With Our Top Sales Kits[TS-VCSC-Divider seperator_1=”” divider_border_color=”#565656″ seperator_2=””]
Over this past year, Legacy Financial Partners created numerous guides, posts, and cheat sheets, all designed to help advisors everywhere with best practices and key marketing insights.
As thanks for a great year—and to help advisors gain a head start on 2017—we are offering two key sales kits for instant download. Fill out the form to receive our New Year Revitalization Guide and The Informed Advisor. You will also find our top six Marketing Corner posts from the past year.
Follow us for more kits and tips throughout the New Year, including our upcoming 17 Sales Ideas For 2017
Thank you and Happy New Year from Legacy Financial Partners.
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New Year Revitalization Guide
This kit has 9 actionable items that help you understand your year in business and why a marketing plan is critical to your success in 2017.
- How to properly evaluate your year
- Why production isn’t the only indicator for success
- How to create an effective marketing plan
- Why specific goals are important for a productive, successful 2017
The Informed Advisor Guide
This kit is a collection of eye-opening marketing statistics culled from recent research to give advisors struggling with marketing and prospecting real world insight.
Learn practical information about:
- Email marketing
- Direct mail
- Social media
- Web design
- Video and more
Top 6 Marketing Corner Posts from 2016[TS-VCSC-Divider seperator_1=”” divider_border_color=”#565656″ seperator_2=””]
A successful first appointment with a prospect is crucial to converting them into a client. This post discusses 15 different ways advisors ruin the ever-important first appointment.
Story Selling is a powerful concept for advisors to connect with prospects and clear business. This post discusses 5 Story Selling tips that turn your pitches into resonant interactions.
Advisors face many challenges throughout their career, from establishing a practice, building a client base, marketing, and dealing with downturns. This post presents 6 challenges advisors face in today’s…
A common way to diagram the path a lead takes to conversion is a funnel. This post discusses how lead flow through your marketing pipeline is less a downward path and more a non-linear process…
While marketing has only become more sophisticated and tech-driven, there are proven simple marketing activities that you shouldn’t forget.