Marketing Corner – March 24th, 2016

CD Replacement Month April 2016

A Short History of CD Replacement Months

You might know that April and October are CD replacement months. But do you know why? The history that lead 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 (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 our CD replacement kits. Fill out the form the to claim your free CD replacement kit.

Don’t forget out about our complimentary 1040 Overlay Kits as well.

Complimentary 2016
CD Replacement Kit

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Tuesday Tips – March 22nd, 2016

Alerts

SBLI Spring Bonus

SBLI is currently running a sales contest through May 31. For every 5 applications with an annual premium of $500.00 an agent will earn an additional $500.00 of AMEX gift cards. Business has to be paid by July 22nd and agents can earn up to $5,000.00. Call today for additional details.

LSW Rate Increase

LSW has announced another round of rate increases on several additional competitive products. Call today for additional details and an updated rate guide.

Sales Opportunity

CD Renewal Month

April is CD Renewal Month. We have compiled a comprehensive sales kit that includes fact finders, sales presentations, and prospecting materials. Call today to request your complimentary kit.

Industry News

Genworth Settles Suit

Last week it was announced that Genworth Financial had settled a class action lawsuit for $219mm. The lawsuit alleged that Genworth Financial had made misrepresentations in regard to its LTC insurance business.

Hot Rates

Symetra GUL

Symetra offers a very competitive GUL as well as an extremely competitive SUL. The GUL product offers a return of premium option as well as a chronic illness rider. In addition to this the product offers tiered Preferred Pricing for different age bands and death benefit levels. The product also offers a rolling target and offers super preferred rate classes up to age 80. Call today for additional details.

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Speak To Clients With Language That Sells

Speak To Clients With Language That Sells

Language is a powerful tool in your interactions with clients. The best solutions and products won’t matter if you don’ t use the right language to sell them. Some advisors are naturally great at conveying meaning and clearing production with clients, while many others don’t realize how they speak may be negatively impacting their conversions. With that said, here are five best practices when talking with clients and prospects.

Focus on “You”
When consulting with a prospect or a client, it is critical that you demonstrate empathy and understanding. Focusing too much on your value, your credentials, your experience, can easily kill a sale before it begins. Make your interactions client-focused and connect to details that are relevant to your prospects. Using the pronoun “you” throughout an appointment makes it clear that you are trying to look at things from their perspective, from the things that matter to them.

Words: “You, yours, your [spouse, child], your retirement, your future” etc.

Focus on Value
As you undoubtedly know, there are many different financial products and solutions. These may have special features or unique benefits, which can add another layer of complexity when you break them down for the client. You might understand this complexity well, and may be excited by them. But when you present solutions, present the value, not the bells and whistles. Think of a vacuum salesman: the salesman knows all the technical reasons why the vacuum is great, but the consumer only cares if the vacuum will work well and lasts long. Focusing on the great, but overwhelming, details of financial products can disengage the client. Remember that financial products are difficult for many consumers to process to begin with. Simplify.

Words: “What this means for you,” “this provides you with______,” “what you and your family get from this,”

Focus on the Goal
This is related to the point above. Consider what the ultimate goal is for the consumer and why they are coming to you. Sure they may have a specific goal, like transferring a lump sum in a cash accumulation vehicle or making sure their retirement plan is tax-ready for distribution. But ultimately their goal is broader, such as a stress-free and independent retirement, the means to pay for a child’s college education, or the ability to travel. That is the large value the client is hoping to achieve. So as you discuss solutions and specific strategies, connect the pieces to the larger goals the prospect has. This will enhance the value of your solution, allow the prospect to make an emotional connection to your solutions, and give them a sense of the big picture while you discuss the details.

Words: “This achieves _______,” “With this, you will be able to_______,”

Use Positive Words Instead of Negative Ones
This is an old language-of-sales trick, but very important to remember. Using words like “issue,” “problem,” “critical,” “difficult,” and so forth, can subtly shade interactions with prospects negatively. In some instances, it may be necessary to use words with a negative connotation, but reducing your usage overall will make the interaction more positive and the prospect’s buy-in all the more likely.

Avoid: “issue,” “problem,” “critical,” “difficult,” “challenges,” “complicated” etc.

Use: “opportunity,” “benefit,” “solution,” “peace,” “manageable” “strategy”

Give Confidence
Confidence is crucial for the prospect to trust your expertise. Instead of wavering or using hesitant language, use phrases that imply completion or action.

“I’ll try” becomes “I will.”
“This can,” becomes “this does.” 
At the same time, develop your own client’s sense of confidence. This can be:

  • positive reinforcement when they show understanding of your solutions
  • praising the positive steps they have already taken toward a good financial plan
  • giving the prospect a sense of ownership in the process by giving them ample space to discuss their thoughts, worries, and goals

using “own” and “invest” instead of words like “buy” or “purchase”

Complimentary 1040 Overlay Kit for 2016



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Tuesday Tips – March 8th, 2016


Alerts

Great American Reducing Rider Rollup

Great American will be lowering rollup credits for their income rider options effective March 21st. The IncomeSecure, Inheritance Enhancer, Income Sustainer Plus, and Simple Income Option will all be impacted. Call today for updated rates.

LSW Increasing Rates

LSW has implemented a rate increase effective March 7th. Caps have increased on the following products: SecurePlus Marquee 10, SecurePlus Marquee 8, SecurePlus Preferred 8, and SecurePlus Preferred 6 FIA’s. Call today for state availability and an updated rate sheet.

Sales Opportunity

Thank You

Building connections through social media is a critical marketing activity that can grow your audience. For many advisors the goal is to build their connections to uncover selling opportunities as well as to create an audience to syndicate content to. One simple but incredibly effective way to create engagement with a new connection is a thank you message to the new connection. Although it seems simple sending a thank you message every time you connect with someone new will result in the all important question, What is it that you do? We also have available for download our expanded Linkedin Marketing Guide with multiple tips on how to generate prospects on social media.

Industry News

Fidelity Suspends Metlife Sales

In the wake of the the announced sale of Metlife’s retail advisor network to Mass Mutual fidelity has announced that it will be temporarily suspending sales of Metlife’s annuities.

Hot Rates

Forethought Choice Income

Forethought has introduced a new 9 year FIA designed for accumulation and income. The product writes ages 50-85 and boasts both uncapped and capped strategies. In addition to this it offers 2 different income rider options; one that rolls up at 10% simple interest and a second that rolls up at 7.5% simple interest that allows for stacking credits based on the performance of the policy. Call for additional details and state availability.

Please fill out the form below to learn more

Marketing Corner – The Informed Advisor

The Informed Advisor

A few weeks ago we published a post entitled “25 Marketing Stats Every Advisor Needs to Know.” This was a collection of eye-opening marketing statistics culled from recent research to give advisors struggling with marketing and prospecting some real-world insight. Many of our readers let us know they found the post helpful, but wanted more information on how they could effectively use these stats in their marketing.

This is why we created our latest complimentary sales kit. LFP’s “The Informed Advisor” provides you with more powerful statistics, as well as short action guides tying all the information together. Learn practical information about email marketing, direct mail, social media, mobile, web design, video and more. Below is a sample of the information you will find in this kit.

Email Marketing

Learn why email marketing is still a valuable marketing solution and how you can optimize your email efforts.

For example:

Organizations using email to nurture leads result in 50% sales-ready prospects. (Forrester Research via Hubspot)

According to an Experian study, personalized messages received 29% higher open rates and 41% more unique clicks.

Action: Create a lead nurturing drip system with as much personalization as possible. Many email clients make this an easy, built-in function.

Direct Mail

Is direct mail dead? Hardly. While direct mail can be more expensive than some other solutions, the return is greater.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, Direct mail is nearly seven times more effective than email, mobile, social media, internet display, and paid search—combined.

(Direct Marketing Association Response Rate Report 2015, DMA via PremierIMS)

Action: Develop mail pieces that can also function as prestige pieces as well to maximize your cost

Video

You’ve probably heard quite a bit about how video is the next tool for marketing. Video can be a powerful tool to reach consumers and give your prospects a clean, modern experience. Using short videos can enhance your website and keep prospects on your website.

For instance, according to the Merchant Marketing Group, consumers spend an extra two minutes on websites with video, versus sites that don’t.

Merchant Marketing Group

Action: Use short videos throughout your website, especially on your home page. While it can seem that producing high-quality video is difficult and time-intensive, there are many inexpensive options that give you acceptable quality.

For more about email marketing, direct mail, social media, mobile, website design and more in your practice, request your free guide now.

The Informed Advisor

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Tuesday Tips – March 1st, 2016

Alerts

Reminder AG 49

The second part of AG 49 takes effect today. If you’re not sure what this is or how it impacts your FIUL sales give us a call to discuss.

Athene Raises Rates

Athene implemented a rate increase effective February 26th for the Athene TargetHorizon product series. Caps were increased and spreads were decreased. Call today to get an updated rate sheet.

Sales Opportunity

Targeted Marketing

Many of the marketing solutions offered to financial advisors are bulk or shotgun approaches to marketing. Targeted marketing will always outperform broad marketing approaches. The challenge most advisors face is how do I get data about my target market and how do I use it. Available for download is our Informed Advisor Marketing Guide which pools data together on several demographics and matches that data to recommended marketing solutions.

Industry News

MetLife leaves Brokerage Space

MetLife announced yesterday that it would be selling its advisor unit to Mass Mutual. The sale price was $300 million and impacts roughly 4,000 reps. As part of the deal MetLife will be the exclusive provider of certain annuity products offered by Mass Mutual.

Hot Rates

F&G MYGA

F&G is offering on a short term basis a 3.15% rate on their 5 year MYGA. The special runs through March 11th and applications must be E apps. Call today for additional details.


Sales Opportunity Download

Marketing Corner – Creating Your Elephants

Creating Your Elephants

When it comes to basic customer segmenting, there are often two schools of thought: rank your prospects and clients based on value or provide total parity with your level of service. While it’s a nice ideal to treat every consumer with above and beyond care, the economy of time and resources—especially in financial services—makes this a difficult goal. So with one model, you may be ignoring consumers that may become valuable so you can target and service your elephants, those few big clients that can make your business grow at an accelerated rate. With the other model, you may spend more time with mid-value consumers that keep your practice afloat, while missing the opportunity to go after those elephants.

elephatn

What we suggest is neither model–or actually both. Consider a hybrid platform that uses technology, proper targeting, and client fostering that allows you to focus on the elephants while growing mid-value prospects and clients into high value ones.

Here are four ways to do this:

Clearly Define A Ranking System

Obviously you want to work with the best people possible, the elephants, the whales, or whatever large animal you want to use to describe high-value clients. But what does “high value” actually mean? This can mean any number of things for advisors across the country. In a basic ranking system, you might assign your clients and prospects by letter grades–A, B, C, D, and so forth. Focusing only on A and B consumers may ignore those C level (or even D level) prospects that could evolve, through your expertise, into A’s and B’s. But again, you have that issue of what an A or B client is for you. Is it investable assets? Net worth? Time span left for the next life event (and sales opportunity)? It could be all of these. Identify for your practice what these ideal clients and prospects are and consider things other than assets as a ranking signal. Referrals, community status, and industry placement, can easily make a B-MINUS/C-PLUS prospect or client into an A-level star of your book.

Clearly Define Service Levels

Ranking consumers and aligning service levels may feel a little uncomfortable, since you ideally want to provide the best service to every person, every time. Having service blindspots or treating any potential client poorly can dramatically affect your reputation in a largely reputation-driven business. So make sure that the baseline attention you can provide to all clients is substantial. Then consider what supplemental services or attention you provide to your best clients/prospects. Many advisors already do this, without a clearly defined system. Say an A-plus client calls in, needing tax documents or advice within an hour. You or your staff will probably address this client’s needs right away, even if it means sacrificing time or energy. If say a mid-value client needs the same thing, you will likely have them follow your normal appointment making process, trying to see them as soon possible, sure, but not with the same urgency as the A-Plus client. Define who your top clients/prospects are and what service levels they receive. This will make the navigation between consumer types smoother and help your support staff be on the same page.

Use Technology To Maximize/Optimize Your Time, Touches, and Efforts

photo-1431605695381-f4a9c3cdd150

It’s no secret that we are a big proponent of using drip systems and automated campaigns to reach prospects and maintain good relationships with top clients. Lead nurturing (and client nurturing) is made all the easier with digital solutions like email marketing. Many email services make this process user-friendly and accessible to producers of all stripes. All of your marketing efforts should match the ideal target you’re chasing (i.e. market segmentation) and email is no different. But what gives something like email marketing and using emails for lead nurturing an advantage is the ease in which you can segment, build lists, and track results. So while you are angling after the big fish, you able to the keep a hand on your mid-value clients or unconverted leads.

Create The Elephants

This gets into the difference between your top ideal clients and your bread and butter clients—what is separating a C ranking client from becoming a top client? And is this something you can change or wait out? Odds are, with your dutiful care and effective baseline service, a low-ranking client will naturally graduate upwards. This is why it’s important to understand the basic value proposition you provide at a minimum. You can also catalyze the process by addressing the unique challenges these types of clients face. In essence, doing what you do with a client anyway, but grooming them for the long game, so that as your solutions pay off for them, they keep coming back to you.

Complimentary 1040 Overlay Kit for 2016



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1040 Overlay

Tuesday Tips – February 23rd, 2016


Alerts

Legacy Rate Decrease

Effective February 29th Legacy Marketing Group will be dropping rates on the LibertyMark FIA product series. Applications must be received in the home office by February 26th. Call today to get an updated rate sheet.

Mutual of Omaha To Introduce New Product

Mutual of Omaha has announced they will be entering the FIUL space on March 1St. Beginning next week Mutual of Omaha will launch the Income Advantage IUL. The product has been designed for accumulation and will feature multiple index options as well as multiple loan options.

Sales Opportunity

GUL VS ROP Alternative

Term insurance can be a great fit for many clients. Many prospects know that their term life coverage might never pay out so they can elect to purchase return of premium term insurance so that they can get their premiums back. An alternative to this is GUL that offers a return of premium. The premium is very comparable, there are more options for chronic illness riders, and it can provide the client greater flexibility and more liberal underwriting.

Industry News

MetLife SIFI Designation

MetLife is in the process of challenging their SIFI designation. Metlife is arguing that insurers don’t face the same mass withdrawal issues that banks do. The case is sure to be watched closely by other insurers that hold this designation.

Hot Rates

AIG Secure Lifetime GUL 3

The Secure Lifetime is AIG’s flagship GUL. The product was recently repriced and is very competitive in a number of cells. In addition to the low cost the product has built in ROP options and has a unique rider that can be used to advance the death benefit for supplemental retirement income. Call today for details.

Please fill out the form below to learn more

Marketing Corner – Marketing to Millennials

Marketing to Millennials: What Advisors Should Know

*This post is the second part of our two-part series, discussing Generation X and Millennials. Read the first part here.

Millennials, Millennials, Millennials. Are you tired of hearing about Millennials yet?

Millennials, it seems, are subject to an endless amount of attention and discussion, from snarky thinkpieces to research attempting to explain this generation. Some of the online discourse surrounding Millennials can come across as dismissive or sociological. While Millennials do have different values than previous generations and are saddled with student debt (an average of $27,000 according to Pew) they are still a target market worthy of effort and attention for financial advisors.

The Millennial Generation is generally considered to consist of individuals born between 1980 and 2000, although many organizations may use other ranges (Gen-We.com suggests a starting point of 1978). What this means, however, is that this generation came of age just as the modern Internet developed and entered the job market just as the Great Recession ravaged the economy. In terms of population, Millennials are the largest generation. Millennials are also the most ethnically diverse and educated generation. In 2015 this generation surpassed Gen-Xers as the largest generation in the American workforce.

So what do Millennials think about retirement?

Well, one study found that this generation grossly underestimates the annual cost of retirement and that a significant amount is banking on winning the lottery (15%) or being gifted money (11%) for their retirement resources. So, there’s that.

More than half of Millennials expect Social Security to be exhausted by the time they retire and nearly forty percent expect reduced benefits, according to the Pew Research Center. In a recent Facebook Insights study of affluent Millennials, 46% indicated financial success as being debt free, while only 13% considered being able to retire as the primary indicator of financial success.

Does this mean that retirement isn’t on the minds of Millennials? Well, not exactly. It indicates that short-term obstacles and the sting of a poor economy have shaped their priorities. Millennials delay typical signposts of success like home ownership and marriage out of generational attitude, yes, but also out of practicality.

However, Millennial participation in 401(k)s has grown in recent years, which may indicate a growing concern for retirement. And this generation has actually outpaced other generations with regards to retirement saving, showing the greatest percentage increase (although Gen-X and Boomers still beat Millennials on cut of salary apportioned for retirement). Millennials also start saving earlier than when Gen-Xers or Boomers did.

In short we have a generation that:

  • Is facing reduced earning power.
  • Entered the job market just as the economy was crashing.
  • May have significant debt.
  • For reasons both cultural and practical, delay marriage and home ownership.
  • The largest generation ever in American history.
  • Currently represents the largest workforce.
  • Is risk adverse and conservative with assets

Why You Should Be Prepared For Millennial Clients Right Now

There are many reasons why Millennials represent opportunity for advisors.

Along With Gen-Xers, Millennials are set to inherit the largest transfer of wealth ever, some $30 trillion over the next 30 years. Being unprepared for this generational shift will cause you to lose out significant amounts of money.

According to Investment News, 66% percent of children fire their parent’s advisor upon receiving inheritance. This speaks to the value of maintaining good relationships with multiple generations of a family.

While Millennials face challenges to their earning power, things are improving. In five-to-ten years, many Millennials will be cresting and will be focused on retirement planning more than they already are.

While affluent Gen-Xers have more net worth, affluent Millennials have more assets.

Compared to Boomers, Millennials are twice as likely to discuss saving, retirement planning, and investing with family and friends.

According to Nielson, Millennials have the least ownership of life insurance, when compared to other generations. However, Upscale Millennial (those more established and with more assets) track closely with life insurance ownership for other generations.

Because retirement is so far off for Millennials, they will benefit most from appropriate planning strategies (compared to Gen-Xers who might have 10-15 years left of earning power and Boomers/Pre-retirees that are nearing their ideal retirement age).

How To Reach Millennials

Like their Gen-Xer parents, Millennials are generally suspicious of financial advisors and value doing things themselves. While some segments of the Millennial Generation are prepped for retirement planning, many see it as a far off project. This can derail advisors who woo Millennials with traditional strategies. What some have suggested is focusing less on the idea of “retirement planning” and more on the idea of “financial independence.” This shift in philosophy could address the way Millennials approach finances, especially with the impediment of debt. This shift makes it clear that retirement planning is less about getting to an end point, but rather a continuous strategy that follows Millennials through the remaining phases of their life, especially with Millennials not confident they will be able retire when they would like too, or at all.

Even though this is the generation that grew up with digital integration and gave birth to social media, Millennials value in-person appointments. According to a recent study by the Insured Retirement Institute and The Center for Generational Kinetics, the majority of Millennials (87% of those surveyed) said it was important for advisors with meet with them in person.

Other factors for working with a financial advisor include fee transparency and authority (i.e. highly rated).

The study also found that while Generation Y recognizes the importance of retirement planning and the value of being walked through every step of the retirement process, they are not seeking out financial planners.

Marketing and Media

According to a study by Fractl and BuzzStream, the top five most consumed content types for Millennials are, in order:

  • Blogs
  • Images
  • Comments
  • eBooks
  • Audiobooks

The majority of Millennial use mobile devices to access content.

Millennials are more confortable sharing personal information with online businesses, when compared to older generations. This is especially true regarding relevant, targeted advertising and coupons/deals for local businesses.

Direct mail is still useful at reaching younger audiences. According to the 2015 DMA Statistical Factbook (citing the USPS Household Diary Study) 9.0% of individuals aged 25-34 are likely to respond to a direct mail piece. Those aged 22-24 are 8.2% likely to respond to a mail piece. While these stats show a slight decrease from the previous year, one demographic, those aged18-21, had a significant increase, from 4.1% in 2012 to 12.4% in 2013.

–DMA Statistical Factbook via eleventygroup

According to the Pew Research Center, 89% of individuals aged 18-29 use social media. 82% of those aged 30-49 use social media.

Across all demographics, Facebook is the most popular social network.

No surprise, but 86% of Millennials own a smartphone.

YouTube is valuable source for Millennials. According to Google, 67% of Millennials say they can find a YouTube video for any subject they want to learn about.

According to a survey by web video company Animoto:

  • 50% of Millennials will read an email from a company if it has video.
  • 67% of Millennials prefer a company video, versus a newsletter.
  • 4 out of 5 Millennials find video useful when making purchasing decisions.

Basic Marketing Suggestions:

While it is certainly true that members of Generation Y incorporate the digital world into their daily lives, they still value in-person appointments and direct mail. It’s important that you build authority with your branding and don’t provide empty content that will be easily dismissed, even when read. To reach this demographic (and subsets of other generations) you must absolutely have a digital strategy, but this does not mean forgoing the essential value proposition you provide. Rather, Millennials expect to find information about you and your company across multiple platforms and in multiple ways; email, social media, mobile, video, direct mail, and more. While this can seem overwhelming, the great thing is that many forms of digital marketing are cost-effective and can be leveraged across multiple platforms or integrated into other marketing strategies.

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