We’ve all heard how hard 2020 has been. Actually, we’ve all lived it. So, we know it was a hard year. I’ve also heard advisors say that 2020 took a lot away from their business. And I disagree with that. Instead, I would say that 2020 changed things. We traded one way of doing business for another. And we learned a lot in the process.
Personally, I’ve seen the value of perseverance. It’s important to keep dancing even as the landscape changes. And I know many of you feel the same, based on your production. Thank you to everyone who placed a case. Because of your efforts, we will actually grow our business this year. And, of course, that means a lot to me, personally, but more than that it means that you are continuing to help your clients and their families.
I think the catchphrase for 2020 might just be “it’s going to look different this year.” And certainly, it applies to the way we help our clients. We’re communicating through a virtual environment now. We’re taking applications digitally. But the upside is that, in our clients’ eyes, we’ve increased our value as we’ve guided them through this new process.
More than ever, our clients are relying on us to advise them about their retirement income planning.
And as we changed the way we did that, we were forced to look at our business and adapt. Not to add to the abundance of clichés, but you really do have to step out of your comfort zone to grow. And 2020 left us no choice but to leave our comfort zones behind. So, let’s grow.
First, we need to evaluate our content and determine how to make it more meaningful to our clients. Last year, we spent more time developing relevant content than ever before. We shared new income planning strategies and how they generate more income with last assets. We helped with how to have a discussion with your clients about making decisions for retirement because those decisions have an exponential effect on the outcome. And, most important, we’re continuing to make content that is easily digestible. Access it when you want it, knowing you can always save it to reference again and again.
That’s our commitment to you in 2021. To partner with you as you help your clients achieve the retirement they’ve worked for. I hope that you continue watching our High Performing Practice videos. If you do, l guarantee that we’ll be able to help you grow your business. You will attract quality clients, but most importantly, you will remain relevant in the greatest shift from the workforce to retirement that we’ve ever seen in the United States.
Take the lessons we learned in 2020 to provide even greater value to your clients in the new year.
Ask anyone running their own practice what they want to achieve, and their answer will most likely lead back to growing their business and engaging with clients and prospects. Think about your own goals. Do they fit into either of those two categories?
When it comes to success, the “what” you want to accomplish is easy. It’s the “how” that requires more effort. Even without the pandemic, it’s harder to connect with clients today than it was just five or 10 years ago. And, as your clients have evolved, our prospecting must evolve as well.
So many practices are functioning with strained resources, and it can seem daunting to develop an efficient marketing strategy. The key word here is efficient. The goal is to figure out how to make your prospecting simple and repeatable. When we’re talking with advisers about how to grow their business, we find a tendency to complicate the process. Think about who you want to attract to your business. And then consider the value you can bring them.
Your value needs to be visible enough for them to give up their email address to hear what you have to say.
Once you figure out what your clients want to hear, repeat that message for your new prospects. After all, your A-list prospects most likely have similar goals and circumstances as your A-list clients. This is where the hard work comes in.
Regardless of whether you have a lead generator or not, there are some simple messaging tricks you can use to get the most out of your messaging:
The most important take away here is that the topic needs to be interesting to your audience. If it’s not, it won’t matter how catchy your title is or how many search words you use. First and foremost, your messaging needs to connect you to your prospects. It needs to show them how you will bring them solutions to their obstacles.
If your target market is young homeowners, for example, consider offering a checklist of five ways to build curb appeal. Or, if you want to reach asset managers, talk about five lessons learned from self-made millionaires.
And once you’ve figured out what topics have the biggest impact, repeat that messaging with all your clients. After all, if the messaging enticed them to share their email, it stands to reasons they will be open to more information on similar topics.
If you need help tweaking (or building) your lead generator, creating messaging that hits your target audience, or just brainstorming about the type of clients you want to attract, feel free to give us a call at (800) 589-3000. Your retirement income consultant can help you with any part of the sales funnel you have questions about.
Prospecting doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. The key is to develop an efficient, repeatable process.
If only there was a wand you could waive that guaranteed all your clients a healthy and secure retirement.
Although we haven’t found it yet, there is a tool that comes pretty close and it’s called a qualified longevity annuity contract, or QLAC.
In my opinion, a QLAC is one of the most underutilized tools in our box. If you’re not familiar with a QLAC, it’s a retirement strategy that allows your clients to defer a portion of their required minimum distributions (RMDs) until a certain age.
Under current rules, you can put up to $135,000 or 25% of your qualified assets (whichever is more) into a QLAC, and therefore defer RMDs until age 85 and one month.
Although there are some techniques that we think are better used at age 80 to give your clients more flexibility, there is certain legislation out there that will actually push out RMDs. So, there’s a push to make sure that more clients have more time to wait until they disperse their qualified account balance.
In fact, there’s some pending legislation that made it out of the House Ways and Means Committee called Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2020 that bumps the QLAC limit up to $200,000 and eliminates the cap of 25%.
Here’s why that’s so important. Taking longevity off the table is a critical risk factor that you must decide how to handle with your client.
QLACs have been available for the past four years. And for each of those years, we’ve conducted an annual study and found that each of the 48 cells in our study has 5,000 simulations. So more than 240,000 simulations go into the study. We started putting money into an account at ages 55, 60, 65 and 70. We then went back and ran that exact same portfolio with a QLAC. 48 times out of 48 we improved the probability of success.
If you’d like to see that study, give us a call at (800) 589-3000. Ask our retirement income team about the QLAC study and we’ll get it out to you.
And, if you’re looking for a magic wand to make sure that your clients do not run out of money, have a secure retirement and increase the probability of their success, then talk to them about QLAC.
If you’re looking at lessening the impact longevity has on your clients’ finances in retirement, consider a QLAC. It’s one of the most valuable tools in your box.
© 2018 Ash Brokerage LLC.