Marketing Corner – 15 Ways To Ruin A First Appointment

An advisor’s first face-to-face meeting with a prospect is, like all first impressions, very important. Your prospect gains a sense of you as a professional and service provider. If they leave the appointment confused or with a bad taste, they probably won’t park their retirement with you, no matter your years of experience or credentials. While some advisors are naturally proficient at nailing initial meetings with prospects, there are many easy ways advisors—even the best—can tank first appointments. Such as:

selYou Are Too Eager To Sell

One of the easiest ways to ruin a first appointment is to sell right away or sell too hard. First appointments are really about getting to know each other and focusing on products will make you more of a salesperson, rather than a financial professional. Instead of focusing on products, focus on solutions and results. Products are just tools that solve problems.

You Talk About Yourself Too Much

It’s good to build rapport and explain your background/qualifications, but going on about yourself will make you seem egotistical, narcissistic, and take away time that your prospect can use to voice their specific concerns.

You Don’t Engage The Consumer

Even with a two-way conversation, it’s possible for you to not engage with your consumer properly. Ask them questions and relate information back to their specific goals or vision for retirement.

clockYou Don’t Give The Consumer Time To Process Information

In the course of the appointment, you may delve into complex financial topics or discuss important options. Give the consumer time to process this information and ask clarifying questions. Guide them through their options and help them piece together for themselves the ideal solution.

You Don’t Ask Probing Questions

There may be other factors outside of a fact-finder sheet that determine if a product or solution is appropriate. Ask probing questions to get a better sense of your prospect and the full picture of their unique situation.

You Ignore Key Details And Goals

The prospect will likely outline their needs and retirement goals. Pay attention to this information. Discussing solutions that ignore these goals will alienate the consumer, leaving them with an impression that you aren’t listening.

You Don’t Take Notes

Taking notes throughout the appointment not only helps you keep track of important details, it also demonstrates your care and professionalism to the consumer.

handshakYou Fail To Demonstrate Empathy

One of that main reasons people seek financial advisors, over say, a robo-advisor, is the sense of care and connection they get working with a real human being. This really comes down to being an empathetic professional, meaning that you demonstrate your awareness of how important the consumer’s goals are. Being able to read and respond to emotions, such as confusion, fear, and frustration, is very helpful as you work through the appointment. Remember that for most consumers money is only as good as the security and protection it provides. You may also deal with consumers who recently lost spouses or parents.

You Over Explain

Key financial concepts and solutions can require detailed explanations. However, using too much technical jargon or bringing in unnecessary information outside the topic at hand can overwhelm the consumer.

You Under Explain

On the other hand, not providing a clear, full explanation of a process or product inhibits the consumer’s ability to see how it might be appropriate for them.

confusedpaperworkYou Are Boring

Financial services involve numbers, processes, and details that may not be the most exciting, even if they serve to illustrate exactly what the consumer needs. Most people don’t care about the internal mechanisms or economic theory behind a solution; they care about a secure retirement. So what is exciting or compelling to you, a person who lives and breathes in the financial world, may not be to the consumer. Always bring solutions to the consumer’s level and make it come to life through relatable metaphors. Break up long instances of speech with questions or checks for knowledge. Use visuals.

You Dominate The Conversation

While you are the expert and will likely have a lot to say regarding a consumer’s situation, dominating the conversation makes the consumer feel invalidated. Allow your consumer time to interject. Make them feel comfortable to ask questions.

Your Lose Control Of The Session

You certainly shouldn’t dominate the conversation, but you should also not lose control of the session by letting a prospect go on and on. Keep the conversation focused on a specific need or goal. This goal, may involve many individual concerns or considerations, but having an ultimate goal that they all move toward can help keep the session focused and help you maintain control over the appointment.

goodadviceYour Explanations And Solutions Are All Over The Place

Your explanations and solutions should move in a structured manner. Approaching solutions from all angles at once causes the consumer to withdraw.

You Don’t Relate Information Back To The Needs or Goals

What does your prospect ultimately need or want? A secure retirement? Upside potential? College funding? All three? Every solution is going to involve detailed processes and specific considerations. Bring your prospect in closer by relating the solution back to their goal. For example, after explaining an overfunding IUL strategy, say, “This allows you to retire safely and send little Jenna to college.”

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Tuesday Tips – June 21st, 2016


Alerts

F&G MYGA Rate Special Ending

F&G has announced that their 3.15% myga rate special will be ending on June 24th.  Applications must be submitted electronically.

AIG Updating Replacement Forms

AIG has begun updating replacement forms this week for several states.  Make sure to call prior to taking an application to make sure your state isn’t affected.

Sales Concept

Resources For Marketing

Legacy Marketing Group is currently running a promotion that will reimburse you at a rate of .25% for your marketing costs.  In addition production also qualifies you for marketing reimbursement with LFP and for our Enhanced Tactical Marketing Platform.  Minimum production amount is 250k of qualifying annuity premium.  Call today for additional details.

Industry News

Social Security and Inflation

Unless inflation begins to pick up 2017 may end up being another year without a cost of living increase for social security recipients.  If this happens it would be the 4th time since 2010.

Hot Rates

Libertymark 10 Plus

Legacy Marketing Groups LibertyMark 10 plus is a competitive 10 year product that offers a 5% upfront bonus as well as a 10% persistency bonus in year 10.  In addition to this it offers several index options and not just the S&P.  It also offers a strong minimum guarantee basing the growth off of 100% of the funds instead of 87.5%.  Call today for additional details and state availability.

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Tuesday Tips – June 14th, 2016


Alerts

Updated North American Allocation Forms

North American has updated their annuity allocation forms for several products. Call today to get updated forms for your application packets.

Annuity Awareness Month

June is Annuity Awareness Month and LFP has a wealth of resources available to help market to and educate prospects and clients about the benefits of annuities. Call today to learn how we can help.

Sales Concept

Generational Behavior

Do you think about money the same way your parents did? Probably not, every generation has its different nuances whether it’s in regard to saving or in how they interact with various forms of marketing. Available for download is our Multi Generational Marketing Guide which discusses each generation and how to effectively market to them.

Life Insurance Sales

A recent survey found that 52% of advisors don’t feel like they’ve had success with life insurance advice. Identifying the right prospect, uncovering the need, and framing the solution are all key components to making your life insurance sales soar. LFP has resources and training available that address these 3 key areas and will make you a life insurance rock star. Call today for additional details.

Hot Rates

Allianz Life Pro +

Allianz recently revamped their Life Pro + IUL and has rolled out several enhancements. Costs were lowered and the option for a convertible term rider was added. In addition to this a 15% interest rate bonus was added to the product starting in year 11. Currently the product offers some of the highest cash accumulation and income streams in the IUL space. Call us today for additional details.

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Marketing Corner – Six Ways to Be More Personal in Your Practice

Marketing Corner – Thursday, June 9th, 2016


Six Ways To Be More Personal In Your Practice

The best advisors know they don’t sell products—they sell themselves. With the rise of robo-advisors and increasingly competitive markets, one of the easiest ways to gain a foothold with your consumer base is to be a personable professional. For some advisors, this is common sense and natural. Others may not be aware of the ways they could sell themselves better. Here are six simple ways to put your best foot forward.

Professional Headshots

Too many times we see advisors that have decent looking websites with poorly shot profile photos, if they have photos of themselves at all. A well-shot photograph allows consumers to put a face to the services or bio they are reading about. Using your image on other marketing materials like fliers or mailers can also serve to make a personal connection.

video13Video

Statistics show that video can increase linger time and conversions for websites. You might find that some advisor websites have explainer videos on every concept or product line. This is great, however you can bring video to your website without huge expense by providing a short introduction clip on your home page. In this clip you should address the consumer, give your mission statement and a summary of your skills/experience. This allows the consumer to see and hear you, further connecting your practice to a real person.

Community/Charity Events

Sponsoring community events can be a great way to get your name out in your area. But to get the most out of this strategy you should actually attend the event and meet members of your community. Consider also creating regular charity events that tie the community together, such as a food or clothing drive, charity sports tournament, or volunteer blitz. This aligns with your passions outside of work and helps you to become a known quantity in your local area.

leadgeneration1Track Details

When you meet a new prospect, you likely have casual small talk before delving into products and solutions. Conversation topics like family, goals, experiences, etc. This information is
helpful to provide a personal touch later on as you drip on an unconverted lead and to reinforce your relationship once they become a client. Within your CRM capture this information and use as you interact with the consumer.

Personalize Marketing

We’ve discussed the importance (and ease) of personalizing emails/subject lines before, but it’s worth repeating here. This is such a simple, low-effort way to provide a personal touch with something that is somewhat impersonal. If possible, personalize mailers and form letters as well.

Tastefully Demonstrate Your Personality In Your Collateral

Striking the right balance between personality and professionalism is a skill. Done well, it demonstrates that you are a human being with a family and interests, not a suit trying to sell
insurance. There are many ways to do this. For example, in the copy on your website or newsletters, use language that has a bit of your voice, while still providing professional and compliant details. You can also consider a hobby or passion and use this as imagery or metaphor in your marketing collateral. Again the key is balance. A little bit of personality makes you relatable and distinguished; too much turns you into a clown.

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Tuesday Tips – June 7th, 2016


Alerts

F&G MYGA Rate Special Begins

For a limited time F & G is offering a 3.15% rate on their 5 year MYGA. Applications must be done electronically. Call today for additional details and to make sure you are up to date on product training.

Great American Rate Decrease

Great American is reducing rates on the Safe Return and American Valor 10 effective today. Call today to request an updated rate guide.

Sales Opportunity

Summer Slump

Many advisors are wary of the summer. The summer can be a down period for an advisor that hasn’t planned properly. In response to this we have made our summer slump sales kit available for download on our website. The kit has over 20 low or no cost ideas to help improve your marketing during the summer months. Call for additional details.

Industry News

Boomer Statistics

A recent article by the Motley Fool revealed 5 interesting statistics about boomers facing retirement

1. 59% rely heavily on social security
2. 45% have no retirement savings
3. 30% have stopped contributing to retirement accounts
4. 44% of adults aged 65 and older have sizable levels of debt
5. 30% have postponed their retirement plans

Hot Rates

Symetra Gul

Symetra offers an incredibly competitive GUL. The products has a free chronic illness rider that will advance up to 100% of the death benefit as well as an additional return of premium rider. In addition to this Symetra is extremely competitive on underwriting and will even underwrite HIV positive clients. Call today for additional details.

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Marketing Corner – Email Practices

Ten Best Practices to Boost Your Email Marketing Activity

Whether used for communication with current clients or to prospect for new leads, email is a still a powerful and efficient tool for advisors. As a piece of your overall marketing mix, email is essential; as important as direct mail, social media marketing, and digital adverting. However, many advisors miss opportunities to get the most out of their email. Here are ten best practices for email marketing.

pipelineBuild An Email Pipeline

Let’s say you have a batch of email addresses in your CRM that you’ve collected from seminars, digital gives, and other marketing activities. What you really have is the beginning of an email pipeline. This collection of email addresses is an unused resource, a marketing opportunity that is already sitting within your practice. Take some time to sift through the email addresses and place them into your email service provider. You now have a large potential audience to send general marketing communications and drip messages.

Segment

The most basic way you can segment emails is between current clients and opt-in leads. Obviously the kind of bulk emails you send to a current valued client will be different than what you send to prospects, but it’s important that you have an easy way to distinguish and send relevant batch messages to these two basic types of lists. Also important: to easily drop new email addresses into their appropriate list. Most email service providers make this fairly simple–you will just need to make some initial time investment to comb through your email addresses.

As you build out further, you should be able to create segments within your main segments. These other segments should reflect where a lead is at within your marketing funnel (or marketing circuit), allowing you to match your message to their level of familiarity with you and your services.

Automate

We’ve mentioned automated drip marketing before, but we mention it here again because it’s an effective method to touch many prospects with a low time investment. The drip can be initiated manually after a prospect states they aren’t ready for your services or can be initiated automatically after a form submittal on your website.macbook

Personalize

It will almost always be in your advantage to personalize marketing whenever possible. Fortunately this is very easy in email. For one-on-one emails, it’s as simple as you addressing the lead or client. For batch emails—depending on how much corresponding information you have—it may be a function within your email service provider.

Include Images

Images can enhance your marketing messages and break up chunks of text. The imagery you use in your email templates might be branding or items that support/correspond to your message. This will help your emails stand out from others and establish personality with your brand.

There is a potential trade-off however. Too many images may impact the deliverability of your emails and trigger spam filters, so be sure to use images carefully and test large batch messages.

Use CTAs (Calls to Action) Buttons

Call-To-Action buttons are very useful at engaging leads and directing them toward specific actions. This might be to read more about a subject that you tease in the email, to watch a video, or fill out a form.

Measure Results Closely

graphWhile you likely only care about one ultimate result—whether or not a lead converts—you should be aware of the important email stats related to your campaign. What was the deliverability rate of a batch message? How many people opened it? How many people clicked a CTA or visited your website as a result of the email. These stats are not only important to understanding the effectiveness of your campaign, but can be used to further segment your lists.

Make Your Messages Short and Sweet

Long blocks of texts, especially with marketing messages, strain on the eye. Plus if you can’t tell a lead in a few hundred words why they should click on your CTA or call in for more information, you don’t have your value proposition whittled to the essentials.

Use Good Subject Lines

Crafting good subject lines is an art. You can easily find lists of the most successful subject lines online. Some swear by using “FREE” or using numbers and lists. What works for you will depend on the content of your email and your target list. The best practice, however, is to be straightforward and clear, less spammy and sales-y. For instance, the subject line of this piece is “Here Are Ten Best Practices to Boost Your Email Marketing Activity.” Give a sense of what the recipient will see when they open the email and how the information can help them.

More examples:

• Worried about Social Security Changes? Here are 5 Things You Need to Know
• Find Out If You Can Retire Safely
• Five Reasons Why A Life Insurance Policy Is Right For You
• Planning For Retirement Can Be Confusing—We Can Help
• Our Free Retirement Analyzer Report Helps You Know When You Can Retire
• Retirement Plan Take A Beating in the Markets? Fight Back With Our Tailored Solutions

With most email platforms you will have the option for A/B testing. This allows you to test two subject lines and gives you a better picture over time of your email marketing success.

Use Signature Line for Contact Info and Links

Your signature line should be clear and updated (no old phone numbers, outdated fax numbers etc.) Provide necessary information about how to contact you, your title and affiliations, and business website. Avoid clogging your signature line with unnecessary quotes and inspirational messages. You should use icon links to you or your company’s social media profiles, so that clients and prospects can find you in all the places you are located online.

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Tuesday Tips – May 31st, 2016


Alerts

Athene Lowering Rates

Athene has announced that it is lowering rates on its Ascent Pro, Performance Elite, and TargetHorizon product lines. The rate drop takes effect June 4th and applications must be in house by 4 cst on Friday June 3rd to receive current rates. Call today for additional details.

F&G MYGA Special

F&G will begin running a MYGA special June 6th. For a limited time the Guarantee-Platinum 5 will offer a 3.15% rate. Applications must be an E application. Call today for more information.

Sales Concept

Tax Mitigation Utilizing Life Insurance

Often times cash value life insurance is used to generate a tax free income stream in retirement for supplemental income. Typically a static income stream is illustrated during retirement. An alternative strategy can be to position life insurance as a tax advantaged safe money bucket instead of an income stream. This bucket is designed to mitigate risks in retirement such as increased taxes, chronic health issues, and death. In retirement by drawing on the bucket strategically the client can influence what tax bracket they’re in as well as shelter their social security income from taxation.

Industry News

Boomers and Retirement

According to an Insured Retirement Institute study only 43% of boomers say they’re happy with their financial situation. This is down from 65% in 2014 and 77% in 2013.

Hot Rates

North American Rapid Builder IUL

North American’s Rapid Builder IUL can be a great tool to house cash for a client that wants liquidity and the potential for higher yields compared to other safe money alternatives. The product can be funded by either a single premium or flexible premium, offers a free chronic illness rider, and has annual point to point caps as high as 12%. Call today for additional details.

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Tuesday Tips – May 24th, 2016

Alerts

Lincoln National Term Accel

Lincoln National has just introduced a new term product with streamlined underwriting. It writes ages 30-50 up to 500k in death benefit. In addition the client can qualify for preferred plus rates without lab work. Call today for additional details.

Life Pro + Version 7

The new Life Pro + version 7 officially launches today. The new version offers a convertible term rider, lower policy charges, and an enhanced persistency bonus to generate higher cash values. Call today to request a quote and get additional product details.

Sales Concept

Business Valuations

Most business owners have an idea in mind of what their business is worth. The reality is that the true number is always different. Talking to a business owner about doing a business valuation is a great non invasive value add that allows you to uncover additional planning opportunities that the business owner wasn’t aware of. We have multiple resources to provide complimentary business evaluations for your business owner clients. Call today for additional details.

Industry News

How Much To Save For Retirement

A recent study by New York Life found that 75% of people over age 40 don’t know how much of their retirement savings they can spend each year and not outlive their income. It also found that most Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement.

Hot Rates

Voya Quest Series

Voya has rolled out their Quest series of FIA’s. The Quest series offers 5, 7, and 10 year surrender period options with competitive caps and a 6% premium bonus on the 10 year product. The series also has a competitive optional income rider that rolls up at 6.5%. Call for additional details and state availability.

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Marketing Corner – The New Marketing Funnel

Marketing Corner – Wednesday May 18th, 2016

The New Marketing Funnel

A common way of thinking about your prospect flow is a funnel. This is a tried-and-true way of organizing lead flow as prospects move through your marketing channels. It helps you understand where leads are in your marketing process, allowing you to match marketing efforts appropriately to prospect interest and growing familiarity with your services.

At the top of the funnel, you have a pool of clients, with sections of the funnel corresponding to levels of touch, interest, or activity, until they drip out of the funnel and become a client.

This visual metaphor may work to explain the overall direction a lead travels before converting into a client. However, because of how digitally-driven marketing is now—even for financial advisors—the funnel is no longer an appropriate way to describe lead flow. Lead flow is less a downward path and more a non-linear process.

A prospect may find you because of a SEM campaign or they may recognize your real-world ads like fliers and posters. The prospect may become aware of you because of direct mail and visit your base website. They may respond to a digital ad and recognize you as the company that sponsored a community summer concert series. They may respond to your social media activity and sign-up for your newsletter. All of your marketing components may be involved before they give you call or respond to your offer. The point is there is not always a direct line from the first engagement to conversion and this path can involve many different portals of engagement.

Why is this important? Prospects expect to find you in multiple places and will seek you out in various marketing verticals. While it can be difficult to track the true path a prospect follows, you do have opportunities to enhance this new marketing flow. For instance:

Remarketing

Remarketing as concept essentially means marketing again to someone who showed interest or engaged with you. In this sense, it is very similar to drip marketing. But in digital advertising, remarketing refers to showing ads to respondents or visitors to your website. A little piece of code (known as a pixel) signals back to the base campaign and issues further advertising or offers. This can be implemented on your base website as leads travel through various pages. It can also be implemented through AdWords or Facebook campaigns, greatly enhancing brand awareness and increasingly the possibility of prospect action.

Drip Campaigns

There are many ways to develop a drip campaign. Drip campaigns can be easily automated through email. The act of you regularly following-up with a lead (like say through phone and email) is a form of a drip campaign. While your marketing overall may be non-linear, drip campaigns do provide a little bit of a linear lead flow. With the help of a good CRM you can schedule and track the drips in your campaign. However, your other verticals may complicate this direct positioning.

Regular Social Media Engagement

The key to maximizing your social media profiles is to provide regular and consistent content. Posts should demonstrate your expertise and value, while discussing topics relevant to your target market.

Being successful with the new non-linear marketing model means providing reasons for prospects to keep engaging with you. If it seems overwhelming, confusing, or too diffuse, use metrics to measure responsiveness of each portal of engagement and create circuits that connect the individual marketing portals.

A marketing circuit charts the path(s) a prospect can take toward conversion. You’ll notice that while there is a linear pull from first engagement to conversion, a lead may take a roundabout way of getting there. The purpose of a diagram like this is to understand how your marketing channels can work with each other and feed back toward the ultimate goal of conversion.

In this example, the first portal of engagement is a digital ad, but the pieces (or portals) can be structured in any number of ways. A well-designed marketing circuit helps you to retain and enhance your leads, maximizing your marketing activity.

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Tuesday Tips – May 17th, 2016

Alerts

SPAM Alert

F&G just issued a bulletin that some licensed agents may be receiving emails stating that they owe money to F&G and that they need to download an attachment and pay or they will be subject to legal action. These are fraudulent emails and if you receive one you should notify F&G.

Global Atlantic Training Reminder

Reminder that in order to sell FIA’s through Global Atlantic’s subsidiaries you must complete updated product training even if you completed it prior to the launch of the BlackRock Diversa Volatility Control Index.

Sales Opportunity

Income Rider Maximization

Many clients elect to take a joint payout option when purchasing an income rider so that income is guaranteed over the lives of both spouses. A potentially better strategy to increase income and reduce taxes is incorporating life insurance within the income plan. By electing the single life payout and taking the difference between that and the joint payout you can fund a life insurance policy. At the death of the first spouse the tax free death benefit can be used to continue the income stream for the rest of the surviving spouses life. This strategy can be especially impactful on distributions of qualified funds as the benefit from the life insurance policy will only be partially taxable if dumped into a life only SPIA as opposed to 100% taxable over both clients lives. Call today to see this concept illustrated.

Industry News

Metlife Pays Penalty

Metlife was served a penalty of $25mm in regard to compliance failures for clients who were switched from one variable annuity to another that weren’t in the clients best interest.

Hot Rates

AIG Max Accumulator + IUL

AIG has introduced a new competitive IUL with some unique features. The policy offers a lifetime income rider that will guarantee an income for the rest of the clients life. In addition to this it has the option for annual adjustments to increase income over the clients life. It also offers a chronic illness rider that doesn’t require the condition to be permanent and has a max benefit pool of $3mm. Call today for additional details.

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