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.
August 8, 2014 by Karen Bump
Your female clients don’t want to be a participant in a transaction, they want to engage in an experience. And they want to feel cared about throughout the entire process.
“Financial professionals need to understand that for many women, service-related issues are as important as concerns about returns on investments,” According to the Women, Money and Power study conducted by the Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America.1
The study also showed that many women are displeased when there is a lack of responsiveness or if they feel they’re getting “cookie-cutter” responses or solutions.
Another of the study’s findings was that women prefer a different kind of learning. They prefer a method that’s more social, relatable, and affordable. And they prefer this learning to be facilitated in groups with other women of similar life experience.
What does this mean for you?
This means that when you’re doing business with female clients, make sure you’re adding a personal touch to your communications. Give them an extra phone call, an added email, or simply respond to an email with a “thank you” confirmation. There are many ways to personalize a relationship with a female client, so find a way to help her engage during the client experience.
These findings were just a small portion of Allianz’s Women, Money and Power study. To learn more from the study and gather insights about what these findings mean for your business, download the full study here.
1The Allianz Women, Money, and Power Study: Empowered and Underserved. Rep. Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Mar. 2013. Web. 8 Aug. 2014. <https://www2.allianzlife.com/Variable/content/public/Literature/Documents/ENT-1462-N.pdf>.
July 30, 2014 by Brokers International
As you learned in my previous blog, consumers crave content.
But to be effective, your content needs to be seen.
Use these three tips to help you get writing; get published and ultimately, be seen.
1. Publish content in small, easy-to-digest chunks. This makes it easier for your reader to understand and remember. Frame content in a way that provides your client or prospective client with a solution to a problem. Compel them to contact you.
2. Don’t be afraid to recycle your content. That means that you can publish it in more than place. Save yourself the time and/or money that goes into publishing large volumes of content. A little can go a long way, if you are strategic. Here’s an example of how you can create one piece and use it multiple ways:
- Write a blog featuring tips your clients can use to help prepare children for college. Post it on your website.
- Write one or two brief sentences to entice your audience to read the blog and post them on LinkedIn and Facebook. Provide a link to the blog.
- Place reprints of the blog in your office for clients to read while they are waiting for you; or send an email with a link to the blog to clients who have children preparing for college.
3. Before publishing, obtain the appropriate compliance approval needed for each piece of content you’ve created. Send pieces with similar content to compliance at the same time to help make the process faster and more efficient. (Click here to learn how to stay compliant on social media.)
By publishing content regularly, your clients and prospective clients will more than likely come to know you as a resource. It’s also likely they will think of you the next time they are looking for a potential solution.
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.
June 18, 2014 by Brokers International
Consumers crave content, which explains why the phrase “content marketing” has generated so much buzz in the past year.
A study by the Custom Content Council found that 78% of consumers believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them.1 Deeper in the study, they find that customers don’t necessarily want content that’s selling them a product. They want something that provides benefits and value.
As a financial professional, you don’t need a Pulitzer Prize to create content that engages customers. You just need to transfer what you already know into a format that clients can consume.
Consider consolidating big ideas that have come up in client discussions into a series of tips. This allows you to break big concepts into bite-sized pieces that are easier for you to write and your clients to digest.
Here’s a list of “tip” topics to consider:
- How to prepare for a child whose entering college.
- Things to consider when a parent needs long-term care.
- What to do with unplanned, extra income (tax returns, bonuses, etc.)
- Preparing your estate so your beneficiaries are protected.
- How to take an inventory of your retirement strategies.
Get writing. Before you know it, you’ll have enough content to keep your customers engaged. In the next installment of the blog, you’ll learn the different places to publish your content.
150 Stats You Need to Know About Content Marketing. (n.d.). 50 Stats You Need to Know About Content Marketing. Retrieved June 12, 2014, from http://blog.newscred.com/article/50-stats-you-need-to-know-about-content-marketing/4d5125444fcd2d72ebd17b282107d742
May 28, 2014 by Brokers International
Consider this ridiculous hypothetical situation:
You decide to stop cleaning your office. Clients come in, sit in dusty chairs and can only choose from outdated magazines. The receptionist doesn’t acknowledge them. The floor’s dirty; there’s no complimentary coffee; and the artwork is reminiscent of a 1970s-era dentist’s office.
It seems kind of ridiculous, and not something you’d do, because of the reputation you’d get as being outdated, unfriendly and not professional.
By failing to keep your website up-to-date and branded, you’re risking the same reputation peril. A website is an online store. It’s sometimes the first introduction to a potential client. You wouldn’t let your office fall in ill repair; don’t do the same thing to your website.
According to the New York-based web design firm, Ironpaper, 94 percent of people cited web design as the reason they mistrusted or rejected a website.1 That means that if your website isn’t up-to-date with your brand, and doesn’t represent you, it may not resonate with your clients.
The best way to illustrate the power of incorporating branding into a website is using an example. I’ll use Apple. Visit their site, www.apple.com. It looks and feels like the company’s television commercials, retail stores and the devices themselves. It’s streamlined and perpetuated.
You don’t need to be Apple. But there are some simple things you can do to take your website from brand drab to brand fab. Click here to see them all.
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.