Blog

Market your services to clients in the Preparation Stage of retirement

May 26, 2015 by

If you’ve been reading along with our Preparation Stage blog series, you should have a good understanding of what your clients are looking for as they prepare for retirement. If you missed the earlier blogs in this series or want to review the topics covered, visit these blogs before continuing:

Once you understand the Preparation Stage and the consumer materials available on The Compass, it’s time to put this information to use. With effective communication and marketing, you will be able to show clients what you have to offer and ideally grow your business.

The first step is to go through your existing client database and categorize clients who fit the Preparation Stage profile. Segmenting your database will help you improve your communications and send more targeted and valuable messages via emails, social media, direct mail or phone calls.

Here are a few ideas you can use to effectively reach clients and potential clients in this stage:

  • Survey clients to see how confident they feel about retirement.
  • Post a link on your Facebook and LinkedIn pages to the Retirement Income Worksheet, so your clients can determine their future needs.
  • Send a letter to existing clients in the Preparation Stage to get them interested in the resources you offer to help prepare for retirement. You can find a consumer-ready letter and brochure here.

These are just ideas to consider. As always, you can dig deeper or be more specific in what you communicate to your clients.

Ready to start using Retirement Stages engagement materials to generate new leads and re-engage existing clients? Visit our virtual storefront, The Compass, to find the complete marketing suite.

Be sure to watch for our next Retirement Stages blog series, which focuses on the Transition Stage. It will help you understand major planning check points that you will need to help your clients through as they move into retirement.

Tim Cooper

Tim Cooper is a Senior Sales Support Representative for Brokers International. In this role, he works closely with agents to provide personalized product training, placement and insight into the insurance industry. Tim has been with Brokers International since 2003. In his free time, Tim enjoys playing tennis, golfing, biking and team bowling with friends.

More Posts

Introducing the Retirement Stages blog series

April 28, 2015 by

If you’re like most independent financial professionals I know, you don’t have a lot of extra time and money to put toward developing marketing materials and consumer engagement pieces. And finding professional looking materials that are versatile enough to be used with any of your clients is a challenge.

That’s why Brokers International has developed Retirement Stages, a suite of customizable retirement materials designed to help you generate new leads and re-engage existing clients.

This exclusive set of agent and consumer materials provides actionable steps for you to help any of your clients through the three stages of retirement: the Preparation Stage, the Transition Stage and the Maintenance Stage.

Over the next few months I will be posting a weekly blog that highlights the materials available in the Retirement Stages suite and shows you how you can use them to grow your business. Stage by stage, the blogs will walk you through how these materials can help you segment your current database, address your clients’ retirement challenges, nurture your existing clients to the point of sale and get in front of more prospects.

If you want an inside look at the materials right now, you can find them on Brokers International’s virtual storefront, The Compass, within the Consumer Engagement Materials section.

Tim Cooper

Tim Cooper is a Senior Sales Support Representative for Brokers International. In this role, he works closely with agents to provide personalized product training, placement and insight into the insurance industry. Tim has been with Brokers International since 2003. In his free time, Tim enjoys playing tennis, golfing, biking and team bowling with friends.

More Posts

Leverage the power of online video

January 8, 2015 by

Online video has become one of the most effective marketing tools for businesses. By 2017, online video content is expected to make up 69 percent of all consumer internet traffic.1 As financial professionals, planning for this shift now can give you a leg up in engaging your next generation of clients.

Video is cost-effective, simple to produce and can creatively highlight services and products about your business. Plus, video itself can be distributed and archived on multiple online and social media platforms. Living online, these videos can then act as a gateway to new clients and leads. Consider these video marketing statistics:

  • Over fifty-four percent of internet users view at least one video online over the course of a month.2
  • Videos increase understanding of products and services by 74 percent. 3
  • Ninety percent of users say that seeing a video about a product is helpful in the decision-making process.4
  • Seventy-five percent of users visit a marketer’s website after viewing a video.5
  • Video attracts two to three times as many monthly visitors to a website and doubles the time visitors spend on a site.6
  • Business emails that include video increase click-through traffic to websites by 96 percent.7

So what does this mean for your business? Even a quickly produced video made from a camera phone can have the potential to garner exposure when posted on your social media feeds, emails and website. But taking the time to craft an effective and polished video can build credibility amongst your online audience. For tips on creating your own video, check back here for future installments about content, tools and distribution techniques for engaging a new audience through video.

 

1  “Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2013–2018.” Cisco Systems, June. 2014. Web. 15 Dec. 2014. http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/ip-ngn-ip-next-generation-network/white_paper_c11-481360.html

“comScore Releases March 2014 U.S. Online Video Rankings.” comScore. 18 April 2014. Web. 6 January 2015 http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press-Releases/2014/4/comScore-Releases-March-2014-US-Online-Video-Rankings

“Why A Video Elevator Pitch Will Improve Your Market Share.” Forbes. 10 October 2013. Web. 6 January 2015 http://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2013/10/10/why-a-video-elevator-pitch-will-improve-your-market-share/

“50 Must Know Stats About Video & Animation Marketing.” Insivia. Web. 6 January 2015 http://www.insivia.com/50-must-know-stats-about-video-animation-marketing-2013/

“25 Amazing Video Marketing Statistics.” Digital Sherpa. 9 January 2014. Web. 15 December 2014 http://www.digitalsherpa.com/blog/25-amazing-video-marketing-statistics/

6 “Content Marketing: Videos Attract 300% More Traffic and Nurture Leads.” Marketing Sherpa. 14 December 2011. Web. 6 January 2015
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/how-to/videos-attract-300-more-traffic

“GetResponse Study Shows Video Emails Increase Click-through Rates by 96 Percent.” PR Newswire. Web. 6 January 2015
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/getresponse-study-shows-video-emails-increase-click-through-rates-by-96-percent-78406237.html

Ryan Kennedy

Ryan Kennedy joined Brokers International in October 2014 as a Marketing Project Manager. He is responsible for creating marketing materials and messages to support the strategic initiatives of Brokers International. In addition to developing marketing strategies, he will serve as a frequent blog contributor. When not in the office, he enjoys writing, graphic design and biking.

More Posts

The sales funnel explained

November 19, 2013 by

Our 1962 Ford F-100 truck sat neglected in the driveway for years. This summer, after some major elbow grease, my husband got it running and gave it a new coat of paint. When we were finally ready to take it for a spin, it wouldn’t start. Hoping it was just out of gas (the gauge didn’t work), we found a gas can and tried to carefully pour gas into the tank. But without a funnel, it spilled down the side of the freshly painted exterior and very little made it into the tank.

It’s like that with sales. Without considering your buyers’ journey through the sales cycle, many of your prospects may not make it to the intended destination—a sale. They spill out of the funnel before ever really getting to know your business.

To avoid losing prospects along their journey, let’s take a closer look at the sales funnel and the customer buying process.

A funnel is a tool designed to catch and direct a downward flow. The sales funnel does the same thing—catches prospects through engagement and brand awareness; and directs them toward a final sale. This path is not always linear. Prospects will enter the sales funnel in different spots and some will leak out of the funnel before reaching the end. But, the sales funnel provides a path as you plan recruitment, retention and nurturing campaigns.

Let’s take a closer look at the sales funnel and customer buying process.

The sales funnel is often used to describe the overall sales and marketing process. It can also be used to explain the customer buying process (their journey through the sales cycle).  According to Eloqua,1 a leading provider of marketing automation and revenue management software, there are five steps in the customer buying cycle.

  • Interest
  • Learn
  • Evaluate
  • Justify
  • Purchase

At each of these stages, you communicate with the consumer in a different way. For example, if someone has just learned about your company, you won’t immediately ask them to buy a product. Conversely, when they are ready to buy, you should not be giving a company introduction. Tailoring your message to fit buyers’ interests will ideally prevent your target audience from “opting-out.”

Click here to download an infographic that outlines your buyer’s behavior in each stage.

It takes some elbow grease to successfully move prospects down a sales funnel—especially ones you may have neglected for a while. But, don’t give up. Watch for my next blog with tips for utilizing a drip marketing campaign to get you up and running.

 

1 Eloqua. “EloquaU Power Hour: Lead Nurturing.” Topliners. Eloqua, May 2011. Web. 18 Oct 2013. <http://topliners.eloqua.com/docs/DOC-1512>.

ADR-1254

Kristine Garrett

Kristine Garrett joined Brokers International in 2012. She brought with her a strong background in sales and marketing that she uses to develop programs and create content to help grow your business. Kristine shares a hobby farm near Panora with her husband, farm critters and beautiful bulldogs.

More Posts

Follow Me:
LinkedIn

Step-by-Step Marketing: Consumer Touchpoints

August 15, 2013 by

More than likely, you spend a great deal of time preparing for client meetings. You research your client’s existing situation. You create proposals to help provide solutions for potential pain points. And you follow up with your clients to make sure they are happy with the solution.

While your client meeting may be the most important interaction you have with your client, it’s not the only one.  In other words, your client will have several interactions with you and your business before they even attend a one-on-one meeting.

As you can see in the diagram below, you interact with your client in several ways.

consumer touchpoints infographic

In my last blog post, I posed the question, “What’s your client’s experience?” But now I’d like to ask, “Do you deliver a consistent client experience?”

Have you put the same time and energy into your other client interactions, also known as touch points, to make sure they are just as deliberate and as well planned as your client meeting?

Take a few minutes and step into your client’s shoes. To get started, download our tips for consistent consumer touchpoints.

 

ADR-1044

Courtney Redfern

Courtney Redfern has worked for Brokers International since March 1999. In her current position, she helps drive outbound marketing, which includes strategy, copywriting, and overall project management. You can pick up a few marketing tips from Courtney through her blog entries on Step-by-Step Marketing. In her free time, Courtney enjoys reading, shopping, and any activity involving her family.

More Posts

What’s your client’s experience?

July 25, 2013 by

When was the last time you thought of your interaction with a business as an experience? Most of us don’t—until we have a bad one.

When my husband and I purchased a new camper, we sought out a loan with the lowest interest rate. As a result, we have a new relationship with a bank we have not done business with in the past.

Five days before my first payment was due, I received a letter from the bank confirming my loan total and monthly payment amount. Instead of providing the payment book originally promised, I received a web address to make an online payment.

Slightly irritated, I went straight to my computer to make the payment. After searching the home page, I finally found a blue button to gain “instant access” to online banking. I was immediately asked for my account number, which I had not received.

Little by little, my account access was becoming less instant. I called the 800 number on the letter. After weaving through the automated phone system twice, waiting on hold for a total of six minutes, and talking to two representatives, I finally received my account number. I never expected a company to make it so difficult to pay them.

Now, obviously this experience has frustrated me. I will not recommend this new bank or seek out another loan with them, because they did not make it easy for me to do business with them. They may have a better rate, but they did not deliver on the customer experience.

What are your clients’ experiences? Do you make it easy for them to do business with you? Have you actually stopped to ask your clients how you are doing?

If not, this is a great time to solicit their feedback. It can be as simple as sending a short survey. A well-crafted client survey can provide you with valuable feedback about you and your firm. It can also help you increase client retention, strengthen relationships, capture testimonials, and gain new referrals.

Plus, your clients will be flattered that you took the time to seek out their opinion and provide them with a more meaningful experience.

Download our survey tips here to help you create your own client survey.

13-0198

ADR-943

Courtney Redfern

Courtney Redfern has worked for Brokers International since March 1999. In her current position, she helps drive outbound marketing, which includes strategy, copywriting, and overall project management. You can pick up a few marketing tips from Courtney through her blog entries on Step-by-Step Marketing. In her free time, Courtney enjoys reading, shopping, and any activity involving her family.

More Posts

Get to know your clients

May 16, 2013 by

Even if you haven’t taken the time to crunch the numbers, you probably know that it costs less to keep your existing clients than to acquire new ones. This is why most business owners are looking for ways to generate additional business from their existing database.

How can you do that?

Connect with them. Learn about them. Discover their challenges and help provide solutions.

To get the ball rolling, you need to learn more about your clients. Start by creating 3-6 profiles that fit your existing client base. Because you work with different types of clients, you’ll want to group them by similar traits, qualities, and motivations. This can help you provide a more personalized experience according to their needs.

In each profile, you’ll list demographic information, identify current challenges, and acknowledge future wants. By participating in this exercise, you’ll get more familiar with your clients and start to think about their current struggles. You’ll also discover potential solutions you can offer to clients. And, ultimately, you’ll be able to provide your clients with the right message at the right time.

Click here to view a sample client profile.

In the sample profile, you learn more about Joe through his traits and characteristics. You can also think about his pain points and connect them with possible solutions.

Start creating your own client profiles. Access a client profile template here.

 

16752-5/1/13

Courtney Redfern

Courtney Redfern has worked for Brokers International since March 1999. In her current position, she helps drive outbound marketing, which includes strategy, copywriting, and overall project management. You can pick up a few marketing tips from Courtney through her blog entries on Step-by-Step Marketing. In her free time, Courtney enjoys reading, shopping, and any activity involving her family.

More Posts

Step-by-Step Marketing: AIDA Formula

May 14, 2013 by

When creating marketing messages to send to prospects and existing clients, it’s important to capture their attention. But, it’s also just as important that you continue to hold their interest throughout your message and motivate them to respond.

One common method to take readers through your message and get them to follow up on your call-to-action is the AIDA formula.

The acronym, AIDA, represents:

  • Attention
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

You can learn more about each part of the process in the guide. Simply, download the AIDA guide to for step-by-step suggestions that can help you capture your reader’s attention and help motivate them to respond.

 

15450-4/10/13

Courtney Redfern

Courtney Redfern has worked for Brokers International since March 1999. In her current position, she helps drive outbound marketing, which includes strategy, copywriting, and overall project management. You can pick up a few marketing tips from Courtney through her blog entries on Step-by-Step Marketing. In her free time, Courtney enjoys reading, shopping, and any activity involving her family.

More Posts

Step-by-Step Marketing: Effective Letters

February 21, 2013 by

In last month’s Step-by-Step blog, you learned 10 direct mail ideas that you can use to increase the likelihood that your audience will open your letter. But, how do you create a well-written personal letter that can keep your reader’s attention after they have opened your letter?

For most, this may not be an easy question to answer. While we all learn the basic fundamentals of writing in the early stages of learning, putting pen to paper and executing a well-written letter may be a daunting task for some.

To create an effective letter, you must be able to:

  • Immediately capture your reader’s attention,
  • Speak to the reader about their particular interests,
  • Keep your audience reading, and
  • Call your reader into action.

You can craft a letter that does all of this using our guide to effective letters. Simply, download Writing Effective Letters for step-by-step suggestions that can help you boost your writing skills. Next month I’ll go more in-depth on the AIDA formula you’ll see on the tip sheet.

 

Courtney Redfern

Courtney Redfern has worked for Brokers International since March 1999. In her current position, she helps drive outbound marketing, which includes strategy, copywriting, and overall project management. You can pick up a few marketing tips from Courtney through her blog entries on Step-by-Step Marketing. In her free time, Courtney enjoys reading, shopping, and any activity involving her family.

More Posts

Step-by-Step Marketing: 10 Direct Mail Ideas

January 29, 2013 by

If your clients are anything like you, they’re more than likely getting bombarded with emails on a daily basis – emails that they delete. If your current marketing plan relies largely on online marketing, you may want to consider adding direct mail to your marketing mix.

According to the 2012 Response Rate Report released by the Direct Marketing Association, mail campaigns elicit better overall response than online campaigns.1  So, how can you add direct mail to your existing marketing efforts?

Download 10 Direct Mail Ideas to learn tips to pique your audience’s curiosity and urge them to read your message.

Using these tips for your next direct mail campaign can help increase the likelihood that your letter will get opened and read by your audience. And that’s the first step to getting a response.

 

1Marketing Charts, Direct Mail Tops Email for Response Rates; Cost Per Lead Similar, June 15, 2012.

 

Courtney Redfern

Courtney Redfern has worked for Brokers International since March 1999. In her current position, she helps drive outbound marketing, which includes strategy, copywriting, and overall project management. You can pick up a few marketing tips from Courtney through her blog entries on Step-by-Step Marketing. In her free time, Courtney enjoys reading, shopping, and any activity involving her family.

More Posts