August 12, 2014 by Travis Redfern
Your personal brand, your reputation and your credibility are three very important things to continue building along with the size of your practice. One way to build on them is through your local television news.
When you work with Brokers International, you get access to our exclusive partnership with Media Minefield. Media Minefield is a Minneapolis, MN-based company that helps individual financial professionals gain access to valuable local television time without the cost.
Television news is an ideal medium for professionals to establish themselves as a committed financial professional to viewers in their area. A recent study by data-collection company GMI found that television news is the most trusted medium, and that 73% of Americans prefer to get their news from television.1
Recently, Media Minefield drew the attention of InsuranceNewsNet Magazine, a top industry news source. InsuranceNewsNet Magazine featured a Q&A with Skip Johnson, a Minnesota-based agent who attributes his success to working with Media Minefield. 2
Skip Johnson and a colleague founded Great Waters Financial in New Hope, MN, in September 2012. Appearances on local television news, facilitated by Media Minefield, has helped Skip get his name into the community and increase his influence.
It didn’t take Johnson long to start seeing the fruits of his labor. He received positive results “within a matter of months.”
“We were a brand new company and were getting feedback from our appearances,” Skip said. “Television provided us with name recognition that otherwise could have taken years to develop.”
Once you make an appearance on the local television news, you can use those clips on your website, social media pages, or other advertising pieces. By doing this, your credibility can still grow even if an individual didn’t see your segment on the news.
To learn more about how Skip Johnson benefited from working with Media Minefield, download the full InsuranceNewsNet Magazine article here.
1 Shearman, Sarah. “Social is the rage, but consumers still trust TV news: study.” PR Weekly. N.P. 27 March 2014. Web. 5 August 2014.
2 “Television News Helped This Independent Professional Increase His Public Profile.” InsuranceNewsNet July 2014: 27. Web.
July 22, 2014 by Travis Redfern
Two of the most common questions asked of sales support representatives at Brokers International are:
- Who has the best annuity?
- Who has the best income rider?
Unfortunately, these common questions do not have easy answers.
There is no “best” annuity or “best” income rider, because there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.
Insurance companies offer various annuity products and riders because each client has different needs and goals for their retirement dollars. Those needs differ based on factors such as age, risk tolerance, withdrawal needs, etc.
You may be tempted to only offer annuity products from one insurance company to your client because the choosing between all of the available options can seem challenging. Also, it can be time-consuming to research other options.
That’s why we created the Annuity Product Search and Compare tool. On our website, you can use this tool to generate a list of potential annuity solutions by simply entering your client’s criteria. You have the ability to explore available options that may fit your clients’ needs. Click here to use the Search and Compare tool.
However, if you don’t want to spend time researching on your own, we’ve still got you covered.
At Brokers International, it’s our job to help you find ways to better serve your clients, and that includes researching products. Finding the right annuity or income rider for your client can be a challenging task, but you’ll find that with our help, you’ll be able to spend less time researching the annuity options and more time building relationships and growing your business.
Call our annuity sales support team to discuss your next case at 800.362.1097.
June 24, 2014 by Travis Redfern
Firm: Secure Financial Strategies, LLC, in Weston, FL
Years in industry: 10
Licenses: ChFC®, CRFA™
Throughout the past decade, Richard Price has built a successful career around helping his clients prepare for retirement. He goes beyond helping them accumulate wealth by advising them how to use it.
Prior to becoming a financial professional, Richard spent a considerable amount of time in the academic world at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. He has master’s degrees in psychology, organizational leadership, and business development.
When he’s not in the office, Richard enjoys trying different foods from all around the world. He has flown to France, New York, Los Angeles, and other cities just to experience their local culinary offerings.
What marketing techniques work well for you?
Getting in front of groups and sharing my passion with them works well for me. As a marketing tool, seminars allow me to convey my passion for retirement from a genuine and honest posture. For example, right now I’m doing a seminar in which I teach a college program on retirement planning.
What piece of advice did you receive early in your career that has stuck with you?
“Never forget in the dark what you learned in the light.” You will go through hard times that will bring suffering, but you cannot let that moment define you. You cannot forget what you learned when you weren’t in those tough positions.
What is the key to your success?
Our industry is about service and because of that, you’ve got to be genuine and honest in everything you do. If someone in our industry is genuine and honest only to increase sales, there’s no value in that. If you are genuine and learn how to treat people properly, people will trust you, even if you don’t make the sale. Recognizing the value of being genuine and honest has been the key for me.
May 21, 2014 by Travis Redfern
You don’t have to go much further beyond the answers to these questions to see that Pensacola-based Annalee Leonard believes that growing a successful client base goes beyond selling. She notes in the interview that teaching people about retirement is important to her.
It only takes one look at her firm’s website, www.mainstaypensacola.com, to see that she uses an educational approach to reaching her current and potential customers.
Read on to learn more.
Name: Annalee Leonard
Years in industry: 25 years
Specialties: Working with people to help preserve their hard earned assets; teaching the rules of use, preservation, and legacy.
Licenses: Life; Health; Series 6, 65,66
College: Our Lady of Holy Cross
Volunteer or hobbies: Golf; my three schnauzers; Impact 100
What’s the (not-so) secret to your success?
Educate, enlighten, and empower people. If I can educate you, I can enlighten you. Once you are enlightened, you have the ability to be empowered.
If you were to give advice to an agent starting out, what would you tell them?
Keep learning. Start at the bottom and work your way up and know every part of the business. Love what you do and do it because you love it, not for the money. That will come. Listen, listen, and listen. Care about your clients. Learn to delegate.
What marketing techniques work for you?
Teaching people about retirement is important to me. We have a radio show that is holistic where we teach listeners about many of the things that they may encounter during retirement years. We also try very hard to keep in touch with our present clients and to make them know they are special.
What keeps you motivated?
My desire to teach as many people as I can keeps me motivated. I don’t want any family to go through what mine did because of poor estate planning on the part of my father. Teaching young people who are coming into the industry also is very important to me. They need to realize that we are problem solvers, not salespeople.
March 17, 2014 by Travis Redfern
Firm name: partner, Secure Retirement Solutions, Green Bay, WI
Licenses: life, health, property, casualty
College: University of Wisconsin, bachelor’s degree in business administration
Dean Listle had built a solid career in sales and consulting when he decided that he’d had enough of working around the clock, and flying around the country.
Having had a long career that involved finance and corporate budgeting, he didn’t think it was too much of a leap to switch gears and move from helping companies with their money to helping people with their finances.
Two years later, Dean is settled comfortably. He’s a people person with a penchant for numbers, so helping people navigate important financial decisions has been a good career choice.
What have you learned since switching professions?
My background was mainly dealing with sports leagues, putting together products and services for them; or representing their companies. Talking to a board of directors is one thing. However, when you sit down and talk to someone who is ready to retire, and has a finite amount of money that means the world to them, you have to look at things differently.
What’s a good way to approach a conversation with a client?
I approach them one way all of the time. I lean back in my chair and fold my hands in front of me and let them know there is no right or wrong answers, because we’re swapping ideas and just talking. Then you can see them go from clenching their hands on the arms of the chair to relaxing.
What’s one thing you’ve learned from a mentor that’s been important to you?
What was brought up to me—and it’s not always an easy thing to abide by because we’re human—is to treat others like you want to be treated. When I am speaking with someone, I try to put myself in their shoes: “What would I think if I were on the other side of the table?” If you abide by that premise, you’ll be successful whether it’s in this industry or any other.
What do you like most about the work you do?
People. I’m definitely a people person. I always have been, and always will be. You can enjoy things with people. You can mourn with people. You can connect with people. It always comes down to people. I’m always amazed at how many people in a sales position need to talk more than the client or prospect. We have a saying in our office, “You have two ears and one mouth. You should always listen more than you talk.”
February 17, 2014 by Travis Redfern
Steve Hudziak is all about the interview. He knows that the best way to figure out a client’s true needs is to respect the science of the interview.
That doesn’t mean that all Steve does is ask questions (even though he asks a lot of questions). But he also pays close attention to body language, and makes sure his reactions match their actions.
And he knows that the sale doesn’t come from the first appointment. It comes from subsequent meetings, and getting to know the person.
Most importantly, he’s built his success on referrals. He’s built a large clientele, and treats them all like family. And that’s why we’ve chosen him for our next installment in our agent interview series.
Firm name: Co-owner, Secure Retirement Solutions, Green Bay, WI
Years in industry: 24
Licenses: Life and health; member of the National Ethics Bureau, Better Business Bureau, and Financial Planning Association.
College: University of Wisconsin, Madison, bachelor’s degree in marketing and finance
1. Why do you choose to work with an independent marketing organization, like Brokers International?
At Brokers International, if you need them, they’ll come to bat for you.
From the first time we sat down with Brokers’ leadership, we knew almost right away that we would be moving our business. [Brokers employees] are more like us. We’re down to earth. We want to be fair to them. They want to be fair to us. We all want to do what’s right.
2. What are the methods that you use to get to know your clients?
If you treat clients sitting across from you like they are your family, and you’ll do anything for them, they’re going to come back to you.
I like to see how they sit in their chairs. We have round tables in our office, because when you have people sitting around, you’re not sitting across someone so there’s not a barrier. You feel like you’re in a family setting.
I always ask open-ended questions. If you wait, and ask the right questions, they tell you a lot of things, because you’re really digging into hot button issues.
I like to use the Sandler Pain Funnel strategy, which really helps me to get to know them.
3. Tell us about a recent interaction with a client where you really felt like you helped them.
A client that I’ll call Jane had just turned 60, and her husband had worked for 36 years at the Georgia Pacific Corporation in Green Bay. He was planning to retire, but got cancer and passed away suddenly. She had no one to help her with the paperwork that accompanied his death. They had made such an impact on me that I continue to work with her.
I will do anything for that lady and her late husband. He was good people. He would have her email us lists of people at Georgia Pacific that needed our help.
I recently met with her and her daughter last week to review her strategies. It was kind of a tear jerker just because I got close to him. And I thought about someone working his tail off for all those years and didn’t get to spend it and enjoy it.
Sometimes you get close like that. She’s already sending me more people. That’s just how we are here—we treat clients like family, like parents sitting across from us.
This material is being provided as a service to you. Please note that the information and opinions included are provided by third parties and have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by Broker’s International.
January 23, 2014 by Travis Redfern
I joke around with Kevin that he’s the “great Kevin Klug.”
It’s not only an affectionate nod to his steady production, but also an acknowledgement that he’s great to work with.
Kevin and his colleagues at Secure Retirement Solutions in Green Bay, WI are focused on building long-term business relationships with their clients. And they also take time to develop personal relationships. They are a team of professionals who work to find solutions that are in the best interest of their clients.
That’s why Kevin is the focus of this installment of “What works ”
Firm name: Co-owner, Secure Retirement Solutions, Green Bay, WI
Years in industry: 15
Specialty (if applicable): Retirement/income planning strategies
Licenses: Health and life
College: A.A., Communications, San Antonio College, San Antonio, TX
1) Why did you decide to work with Brokers International?
I’d originally worked with Brokers International for four years. When I left for another opportunity, I found out the grass wasn’t greener on the other side. I grew to miss the one-on-one experience and interactions with the people at Brokers.
You’re not just a number at Brokers. It’s not just about premium. You have a name; a face; a family; you’re a real person. Here, it’s about building relationships. It’s not always about the money.
2) What was a piece of advice that you received early in your career that has stuck with you?
It’s not necessarily a piece of advice, but there are two things that I live by: One, never tell a lie. If you never tell a lie, you don’t have to remember what you told someone. Two, never say something about somebody that you wouldn’t say in front of them.
It’s all about how you treat someone. I try to treat my clients like they are my parents. I want to make sure they’re being taken care of.
3) Tell us about a recent interaction with a client where you really felt like you helped them.
I wholeheartedly believe in helping my clients be proactive in their retirement strategies. I have a case that I talk about, which highlights the importance of looking forward.
I was doing some strategizing with a husband and wife. He had entered early retirement because of the onset of multiple sclerosis. We sat down, and put together a strategy. Shortly thereafter, he died suddenly from a blood clot in his lung, caused by the MS.
Because we had just met, and put together a strategy to protect their income, his wife didn’t have a drop off in their income. She was able to have a level of reassurance about her retirement strategy. My goal is to help people through the good times and the bad.
December 19, 2013 by Travis Redfern
You know that you need referrals to grow your client base, and a CPA can help.
A CPA can help grow your business because they provide an inroad to a more reliable referral system. Consider the following factors:
- A CPA’s clientele can include people within your target demographic who may need your services.
- Your clients might need a CPA, but don’t know one they feel comfortable contacting.
- Use your experience and connections to help a CPA expand their client network.
Click here to find out how you can get connected to CPAs in your area through the Brokers International, Ltd. CPA Alliance Program.