Annuities

Creating a Strategy During a Pandemic


Annuities

Welcome to 2021. We made it!

And most of us are cautiously optimistic about what the new year will bring.

But as we hope for things to get better, we’re still dealing with the spread of COVID, low-interest rates and a volatile political climate. If we learned anything last year, it’s that we need to act, not wait, to be successful. And the best way to start is to create a strategy.

So, if you’re ready to hit your prospecting goals and grow your practice, you need a strategy that keeps you front of mind with your clients and prospects.

Broadridge Financial Solutions, a global Fintech company out of New York, surveyed some top-performing advisors about how they plan to increase their return on investments in 2021. They found that advisors are shifting focus to digital marketing to be able to respond to the changing landscape of marketing. Their marketing strategies include allocating more resources to acquire new clients. In fact, more than two-thirds of the professionals surveyed said that they were going to increase their marketing spin. And they plan to increase their reliance on technology. They want to incorporate webinars, video content and digital advertising into their marketing mix.

So, how can you evolve your marketing strategy and stay in the game? Start by emulating the successes of these top advisors. Clients are responding and interacting with your brand across various channels and devices, including cell phones, email, websites and all kinds of different social media channels. And they have become accustomed to a personalized approach with a seamless transition between those channels. 

To achieve this, you must have a consistent message that is focused, thoughtful and intentional.

And, if you really want to move the needle, your message needs to be where your clients are. From Facebook and LinkedIn to emails and recorded webinars, you can use the same channels your clients and prospects use to offer valuable, relevant content.

Think about what your ideal clients want, what they need, and what they expect from a quality adviser like you. Use that information to create a consistent message and then consider the channels that are most likely to deliver the best results. You should have the same message across all channels, and in our current environment of instant information, it needs to be executed seamlessly. Whether you’re using email, social media, your own website or all three, your clients should feel like you are having a continuous conversation with them regardless of which channel they are currently using.

So, set yourself up for success in 2021 with a focused and intentional marketing strategy incorporating digital marketing. If you’re not sure how to get started or need help crafting your message, give us a call. We’re more than happy to talk about our digital marketing opportunities to help you grow your business, attract quality prospects, and at the same time, remain relevant in the greatest shift from the workforce to retirement that we’ve ever seen in the United States.

 

Transformational Tactic

Your marketing strategy for 2021 should include consistent messaging, digital media, and, most important, information that your clients are seeking.

Finding the Silver Lining


Annuities

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.

 

Transformational Tactic

Take the lessons we learned in 2020 to provide even greater value to your clients in the new year.

Put Prospecting on Repeat


Annuities

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:

  • Start by asking yourself if this service would help you, and if it’s something you would give up your email address to learn more about
  • Spend time creating a catchy title and focus on topics that would readily come up in an internet search
  • Consider PDF checklists or other helpful downloadable tools to demonstrate to your clients how you can help them succeed

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.

Transformational Tactic

Prospecting doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. The key is to develop an efficient, repeatable process.

Your Magic Wand for Higher Success in Retirement


Annuities

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.

 

Transformational Tactic

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.

Putting Money in Motion


Annuities

To help your clients, you need to know what’s really on their minds.

While they might not actually tell you what they’re thinking, watching their behavior over the last several months will offer clues about what they are looking for right now.

And the good news is that this creates an opportunity for you.

The election is behind us, and it really didn’t create a change in retirement income planning. There are still 10,000 people retiring every day and we are still experiencing a low-interest-rate environment. Things are still uncertain with the global pandemic. These events, and the behavior they caused, are important when it comes to figuring out what your clients are really thinking about.

Since the pandemic started in March in the United States, more than $2 trillion have been moved from the markets to the sidelines. Instead of being invested, it’s ended up in bank accounts. In addition, the week after the presidential election, more than $17 billion were moved to global bond funds paying less than 0%.

People are looking for safety. They’re not sure what to do right now, so they’d much rather be on the sidelines and out of the action. And that’s where your opportunity comes in. We can help you find solutions to increase your clients’ confidence and encourage them to put that money in motion. This includes assets that aren’t currently with your firm. Reach out to our retirement income consultants at (800) 589-3000 to find out more.

Transformational Tactic

Even in uncertain times, helping your clients put their money in motion is the first step to a successful retirement.