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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.

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Five ways to get quality referrals

May 21, 2015 by

Referrals are the most cost-effective way to grow your client base. But you can’t just pull referrals out of thin air—you need to build relationships with you current clients or other professionals in your community to get the referrals you need.

It may take some time and effort, but developing genuine connections with people who may recommend your services to their friends or their clients can have payoffs for your business.  In fact, three out of five financial professionals reported that referrals from other professionals were the source of their five best new clients in the previous year.1

Capture

From hosting a casual neighborhood get together to sponsoring a community speaker, there are simple ways you can build relationships with your existing clients or other professionals who can lead you to new referrals.

Download Five Ways to Get Quality Referrals to learn creative ways to grow your client base.

1Bowen, John J., and Paul Brunswick. Building Powerful Strategic Alliances How to Leverage Today’s Most Effective Business-Building Strategy. Cork: BookBaby, 2010. Print.

Travis Redfern

Travis Redfern is a Relationship Manager for Brokers International. He works closely with key producers to help identify products and services that they can use to grow their businesses. Travis has been with Brokers International since 2002. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting, golfing, team roping, time with friends and family and escaping to his “man cave” to watch football. ADR-1263

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Help your clients assess their retirement needs

May 19, 2015 by

In the previous Preparation Stage blogs, you have learned how to profile clients in the early stages of retirement and the important steps clients will need to take when preparing for retirement.

Now it’s time to work with clients to help them assess their financial needs and estimate their retirement income.

RS_WorksheetTo get started, have your clients work through their current budget with this Retirement Income Worksheet. It lays out monthly fixed and variable expenses, so they can realistically estimate how much money they will need to live comfortably.

You can then use the worksheet to help clients list out their expected retirement income sources. As a rule of thumb, industry professionals typically suggest that retirees replace between 70 and 90 percent of their pre-retirement earnings to maintain their desired standard of living.

The Retirement Income Worksheet will help you identify the difference between your clients’ retirement income and expenses, which allows you to see if there is an income gap to address. This can lead you into a conversation of how to refocus or add to their current retirement strategy.

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.

Our next and final blog in the Preparation Stage series will teach you how to market these valuable resources covered in the previous three blogs to your prospects and clients.

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.

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Steps your clients can take when preparing for retirement

May 12, 2015 by

In the previous blog, you learned how to identify clients and prospects in the Preparation Stage. During this stage, there are important planning steps you will need to work through with your clients to be sure they are financially prepared for retirement.

Here are some of the major tasks you will need to work through with your clients during the Preparation Stage:

  • Estimate income expenses
  • Inventory all sources of expected retirement income
  • Determine if an income gap exists
  • Calculate an income replacement ratio
  • Look at the big picture

To help you discuss these steps with your clients, you can download a Preparation Stage Checklist here. It will help you interact with clients and start discussing retirement income strategies.

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.

Don’t miss our next Preparation Stage blog, because it will give you a useful tool for helping your clients’ start preparing for retirement by determining their retirement income.

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.

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Life Lessons to enhance your sales

May 7, 2015 by

To help serve the independent financial agent in presenting valuable life solutions to their clients, Brokers Life is excited to introduce a new informational series, Life Lessons. Life Lessons is a monthly sales series that takes an in­depth look through webinars and regular blog updates at the most current topics driving the industry forward.

Through Life Lessons you’ll receive an innovative sales concept each month that can show you how to potentially boost your revenue by incorporating life business into your practice along with the ways life solutions can help meet your clients’ individual needs.

We think you’ll find this informative series a valuable resource for your life practice and also allow you to see the impressive diversity Brokers Life can offer your business through our comprehensive portfolio of life products, case design concepts, ongoing case management and ease of business tools.

To register for an upcoming Life Lessons webinar, visit our new Life Lessons series page and be sure to check back here for some at-a-glance sales solutions that can help your clients.

We look forward to sharing our life ideas with you.

Mike Jorgensen

Mike Jorgensen, CLU, ChFC & Vice President, Brokers Life, has been involved in the financial services industry for more than 20 years. He is constantly working to provide easy-to-follow life concepts and offer support and education to insurance and financial professionals that include life insurance in their practice.

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Identifying clients in the Preparation Stage of retirement

May 5, 2015 by

Retirement is often thought of as an event, but as a financial professional you know that years of preparation lead up to a client’s retirement. That’s why Brokers International has created Retirement Stages, an exclusive suite of customizable retirement engagement materials you can use with clients and prospects to help them through retirement.

In order to grasp the different aspects of retirement your clients are facing, it may be helpful to think about retirement in the context of three general stages: the Preparation Stage, the Transition Stage and the Maintenance Stage. This blog will focus on helping you learn to identify your clients in the first stage of retirement, the Preparation Stage.

The Preparation Stage has key identifiers, motivators, pain points and goals that your clients may be experiencing. Here are some of the key identifiers you can use to segment your existing database of clients and prospects working through the Preparation Stage:

  • Age range: 50 to 60
  • Working full time, with 10 to 15 years left
  • Helping financially support children
  • Making mortgage payments
  • Health care costs covered by an employer or other insurance program

These key identifiers can help you profile clients and shape your communications and marketing efforts to offer your clients the right resources at the right times.

Download this flier to learn more about identifying clients in the Preparation Stage.

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.

Don’t miss our upcoming blog in the Preparation Stage series. It will focus on the steps you can take to help your clients be proactive with their retirement strategies.

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.

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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.

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Project a professional image online

April 23, 2015 by

Even if you don’t realize it, a lot of your clients and prospects are researching you online before meeting with you. Whether it is your company website or social media accounts, you should take the time to ensure you have consistent, professional representation online before you ever talk to prospects.

Follow these five simple tips to ensure you’re projecting a professional image on your social networks:

  1. Know what social media accounts you have in place. Delete accounts you don’t update. Provide a consistent brand message on your active accounts. It’s important to monitor your active accounts to ensure all information listed is current and accurate. You also need to respond to anyone trying to reach you through those channels.
  2. Do not share personal opinions or jokes about potentially controversial topics. Don’t offend clients or discourage prospects from using your services because you have conflicting views. Keep your content positive, unbiased and helpful.
  3. Use professional photos and graphics. Present yourself online in the same way you would present yourself to clients in person. Wear business attire in your profile photos. Use web-quality graphics and images.
  4. Write a clear, concise company description. Take the time to write a description that includes a list of services, relevant background information, and your contact information. Be sure to use the same description in your entire online marketing presence— website, social networks, brochures, etc.
  5. Triple check grammar and spelling. Spell-check is wonderful, but it doesn’t catch everything. If you’re unsure about your own writing abilities, entrust this task to someone who possess these skills. Grammar and spelling errors could cause your prospects to second-guess your attention to detail.

Projecting a professional image can help you provide your clients with a consistent, positive experience. For more tips on creating a consistent client experience, read our post, “Consumer Touchpoints.”

Kelly Madsen

Kelly Madsen joined Brokers International in August 2014 as a Marketing Project Manager. She is responsible for creating marketing materials and messages to support the strategic initiatives of Brokers International. Prior to joining Brokers, Kelly studied journalism at Iowa State University. She loves the outdoors, the Iowa State Cyclones and her Aussie puppy.

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Seminar planning: A timeline for success

April 16, 2015 by

Holding a seminar in your area allows you to get in front of new prospects and engage attendees long after the event is over. To help you plan and market your next seminar, consider using the following timeline to be sure it runs smoothly.

Six weeks out:

  • Start your seminar planning by first selecting a date and time for your event. Tuesday and Thursday evenings are considered the best nights to hold a seminar. Avoid Sundays, dates around major holidays and any political, sporting and civic events in your community to experience higher attendance rates at your seminar.
  • Select a venue based on your budget limitations. If you’re running a seminar on a tight budget then some low‐cost venue options may include community centers, American Legion halls, your office and public libraries. Make sure the location is easily accessible with ample parking and lighting.
  • Check that your venue’s space is the appropriate size for your expected turnout and has your desired seating arrangement (e.g., theater, semicircle or classroom seating.) Also check if any audio-visual equipment you might need is furnished with the space. If you plan to provide refreshments, make sure there are no restrictions.

Five weeks out:

  • Choose your presentation topic and prepare corresponding seminar materials. These materials can include invitations, a seminar workbook, PowerPoint presentation slides, information request forms and follow-up emails.
  • You can find a host of ready-to-use seminar materials available on The Compass, Brokers International’s virtual storefront.

Three to four weeks out:

  • Send out your seminar mailers and email invites.
  • Complete your materials preparation and begin to review and practice your presentation.

Two weeks out:

  • Review your registrations and begin to prepare name tags and sign‐in sheets.

One week out:

  • Make reminder calls to your registrants to let them know you’re looking forward to seeing them.
  • Verify your venue reservation and confirm that the space will be set‐up and available presentation equipment is working.
  • Continue to practice your presentation.

One day before seminar:

  • Conduct a final review of your materials and pack up all name tags, workbooks, information request forms, business cards and other promotional materials.

Day of seminar:

  • Arrive early the day of your seminar to make sure your space is set up correctly, all equipment is working properly and that the room temperature is comfortable.
  • Bring an assistant to help you welcome guests, get registration sheets signed and pass out name tags.

One to five days after the seminar:

  • Call each attendee who completed an information request form.
  • Email attendees with a “thanks for attending” message. Send a “sorry we missed you” email to those who registered but did not attend. Include a call-to-action for recipients to contact you for any questions about their retirement strategy.

Seven to ten days after the seminar:

  • Launch a follow-up email campaign to attendees that includes additional information or handouts related to your seminar’s topic. In your email, invite your recipients to call and schedule an appointment at your office.

To select a seminar topic and create related materials to hold and promote your seminar, visit Brokers International’s seminar prospecting packages page. You’ll find ready-to-use seminar packages that include invitations, presentation slides, information request forms, workbooks and post-seminar emails.

Each seminar package available on The Compass also comes with automated registration service and invitation mailings to a purchased list of potential annuity and life insurance buyers in your area.

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.

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Earn media attention for no cost

April 9, 2015 by

Anybody can pay for a commercial or an advertisement in a magazine, but you can build your business’ brand in a creative, no-cost way with earned media exposure.

Earned media is a type of exposure that doesn’t cost anything and helps build your reputation because the audience knows you didn’t pay for it. In fact, 92 percent of consumers trust earned media above all other forms of advertising.1

Some examples of earned media include: providing a quote for a magazine article, giving your advice on financial topics during the nightly news, getting your clients to tell their friends about your services or being a guest on a morning radio show.

To help you stop paying for media exposure and start building your reputation for no cost, we’ve created an Earned Media Quick Tips guide. This guide spells out six no-cost ways you can earn media attention in your community. Download the guide here.

1“Global Consumers’ Trust in ‘Earned’ Advertising Grows in Importance.” Nielsen. 4 Oct. 2012. Web. 9 April 2015. <http://www.nielsen.com/content/corporate/us/en/press-room/2012/nielsen-global-consumers-trust-in-earned-advertising-grows.html>.

Travis Redfern

Travis Redfern is a Relationship Manager for Brokers International. He works closely with key producers to help identify products and services that they can use to grow their businesses. Travis has been with Brokers International since 2002. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting, golfing, team roping, time with friends and family and escaping to his “man cave” to watch football. ADR-1263

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