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Life events that influence women’s financial decisions

December 23, 2014 by

Forty-nine percent of women say they have a great deal of responsibility for making major financial decisions.1

In past blog posts, we’ve highlighted women as an underserved segment of financial decision makers and detailed how financial professionals can better serve this untapped market. In this post, we’ll look at the life events that spur women to start thinking about retirement solutions.

The “Women, Money, and Power Study” commissioned by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz) surveyed more than 2,000 women about their views on retirement, investments and financial goals. From the results, the Allianz study identified changes in family structure and economics as motivating factors for women to seek out financial guidance.2

The study found that refraining from marriage, getting divorced and experiencing the loss of a spouse are among the most typical life events that increase awareness for meeting future financial goals. The survey results concluded:

  • 65 percent of single women without children worried about long term care and how they will provide for themselves as they age.
  • 50 percent of divorced women felt particularly overwhelmed about financial decisions with 48 percent admitting their divorce created financial challenges.
  • 92 percent of single mothers agreed that their situation has increased their need for financial solutions.
  • 84 percent of widows reported that losing their spouse reminded them of the importance of being financially independent.

In addition to marital status, the increasing upward mobility in today’s workplace has also triggered women to become more hands-on with their financial goals.

Respondents to the study that were distinguished by their higher incomes (an average of $57,000) reported more confidence in investing money. Additionally, they also tended to start their retirement savings early with 47 percent beginning their saving while in their 20s.

Regardless of income, the financial downturn of 2008 also influenced 68 percent of women respondents to become more active in their financial strategies.

While life’s twists and turns play an important role in deciding to seek out retirement solutions, the study also pointed out that nearly two-thirds of all women still expressed a strong desire to learn more about finances and retirement strategies. As financial professionals you can begin serving this need by reaching out to current and prospective female clients. But before offering solutions, be sure to first identify and understand the circumstances that have created a need for your products and services.

To help you better understand your existing female clients’ needs and provide a more personalized experience begin by accessing a client profile template here. In each profile, you’ll list demographic information, identify current challenges and acknowledge future wants.

For additional insight into how women view financial decisions be sure to also download the “Women, Money, and Power Study” white paper here.

 


1Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, “Help your clients find solutions that fit.” 2012

2The Allianz Women, Money, and Power Study: Empowered and Underserved. Rep. Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Mar. 2013. Web. 14 Nov. 2014.

Karen Bump

Karen Bump joined Brokers International in 2011 as the Coordinator for the WOMAN Program. Karen is passionate about providing resources, education and networking opportunities to women in the industry. When she’s not at work, Karen enjoys being active, watching college football, traveling, and spending quality time with her husband, three kids and Yorkie.

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Promote your company social media accounts

December 16, 2014 by

Social media is all about interacting with your audience. But before you can have valuable conversations on social media, you need an engaged audience.

Here are three ways you can promote your social media accounts to clients, prospects and community members interested in your services:

  • Make it easy for readers to connect with you. Simply add links to your social media pages on your company website, in your email signature or on your business cards.
  • Make it easy to find you. Cross promote between social media accounts. For example, make a Facebook post that directs readers to your Twitter or LinkedIn profiles.
  • Build stronger connections with your existing audience. Send an email to your existing clients to let them know you are on social media. It is great way to nurture the relationships you have already built.

With social media you have the chance to interact with your audience in a more casual and personal way. It is a great opportunity to start conversations and remind your audience how your services can help.

If you haven’t added social media to your marketing mix, we can help you get started. Simply download our LinkedIn Guide and Facebook Guide for step-by-step instructions and tips.

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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Sales and marketing advice from our featured agent

December 10, 2014 by

mike-terrio-headshot-smallFeatured Agent: Michael T.

Home State: Florida

Years in industry: 6

Licenses: Life, Health, Variable Annuity, Series 65, CRPC, AAMS

Michael has built and operated a successful practice that has thrived from not only meeting his clients’ goals, but also from his dedication to staying focused on his own.

Following his own strategy to tailor his services to fit each individual’s needs to meet both short and long-term objectives, Michael does the same with his business by diligently paying attention, monitoring its progress and making adjustments as necessary. Here’s how he made it work:

Why do you think you’ve been successful?

I’m laser-focused on what my niche is and where it should be going. I set lifelong goals, five year goals, yearly goals and three month goals. I keep track of this progress and review each of these goals every ninety days. By evaluating every three months I can continue to evolve and adjust my business so I’m not left behind in the industry.

What marketing techniques work well for you?

The best thing I can do is everything. A lot of people say there is a silver bullet approach to marketing but you’ve got to be doing everything. We brand and market our services through an entire spectrum of channels: radio, television, social media and newspapers. I also make personal speaking appearances at educational and charitable events, contribute to the Wall Street Journal and host my own radio show.

The people who come into the office have told us that they’ve seen or heard us on several of these mediums at once and that builds credibility. That’s why they’re coming in.

What keeps you motivated?

My family and the families I work with keep me motivated. I want to make sure I don’t make a bad decision for the people I represent. I also have a desire to grow things. I love to build my practice and my firm, it’s very important to me.

What piece of advice would you give to an agent who is just starting out?

Structure a consistent business plan that you stick to but still leaves room to be flexible based on possible changes in your own life and your clients’ needs. As you go on remember that growth is never linear or static. Don’t be a one-trick pony when it comes to your business’ offerings, have several sources of income that you can rely upon. It would only take one negative change to your core service for you to be toast.

Also, be sure to find a mentor and learn from those that have been there. They can get you to the next level.

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 Brokers International.

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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Download this guide to be successful on Facebook

December 2, 2014 by

Facebook_Guide1Facebook is a valuable marketing tool and information-sharing platform for your business. If you utilize this free resource to its fullest potential, it can generate conversations and drive clients to your services.

Nearly half of insurance customers consider information from social media when making their insurance buying decisions, according to Accenture’s 2013 Consumer-Driven Innovation Survey.1 Brokers International has created a free Facebook guide to help you meet this demand, and not miss the opportunity to engage with an expansive network of potential clients through social media channels like Facebook.

Whether you are just getting started, or you already use Facebook, this guide is a great tool to help you grow your social media efforts and reach out to prospective clients.

This complete Facebook Guide can help you learn how to:

  • Create a professional-looking profile.
  • Build an audience.
  • Interact with your audience.
  • Post regularly.
  • Follow compliance expectations.

Click here to download the comprehensive Facebook guide today. To learn more about why you should engage in social media, click here.

1 Sandquist, Erik, and Carlos Lugo. “Unleashing the Potential of Social Media in Insurance.” Accenture Insurance Insights. Accenture. Web. 15 Oct. 2014. <http://www.accenture.com/Microsites/insights/Documents/pdfs/Accenture-Social-Media-in-Insurance-PoV.pdf>.

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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Earn attention with social media

November 24, 2014 by

Did you know social media is a form of earned media? This means it costs you nothing to earn your clients attention, unlike paying for costly advertising. With quality posts and conversations on social media, you can prove yourself as a knowledgeable resource for your clients and prospects – without spending a dime.

To help you get started on posting engaging content for your social media audiences, we’ve created five post ideas for December. You can incorporate these post ideas into your company blog, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn pages this month:

  1. Educate your clients on common insurance or retirement jargon. You could write a post that defines or explains terms like “premium,” “dividend” or “beneficiary.”
  2. The average American plans to spend $781 on Christmas gifts this year1, so it may be helpful to advise your clients to create a reasonable budget and stick to it.
  3. Add a fun quote about retirement, such as “The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off.” – Abe Lemons. Then tell your clients to give you a call to start creating their retirement strategies.
  4. Remind your clients to pay attention to the upcoming health insurance open enrollment deadlines.
  5. Wish your clients happy holidays! The holiday season is a great opportunity to show your personality and remind clients that you care about them and their families.

Want more ideas? Check out last month’s social media post ideas here.

If you are just getting started on social media, be sure to download our LinkedIn Guide here. The guide will help you get the most out of your earned media efforts.


1
Saad, Lydia. “Americans’ Initial Christmas Spending Estimate Is Positive.” Gallup. 27 Oct. 2014. Web. 11 Nov. 2014. <http://www.gallup.com/poll/178859/americans-initial-christmas-spending-estimate-positive.aspx>.

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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Why do your clients leave you?

November 19, 2014 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 it costs to acquire new ones. An existing client base is the backbone of any business and maintaining it is one key to prolonged success. But what is it that turns a valued client into a stranger?

The erosion of most client bases can be broken down as follows1:

  • 1 percent will die
  • 3 percent will move out of the area
  • 5 percent will be lured away by other sales people
  • 9 percent will be lured away by lower prices
  • 14 percent will leave due to unresolved complaints
  • 68 percent will leave due to indifference

From these numbers, it’s apparent that a perceived lack of attention can be the greatest motivating factor for clients to move on.  But it’s also clear that retaining a majority of your current client base is not out of your hands or budget. Simply fostering a one-on-one level of personal interaction is sometimes all you need for clients to stay interested in your services.

To foster personal interaction, you need to learn more about your clients and then begin providing information and solutions directly suited to their needs and interests. Two effective means to accomplish this are through client surveys and profiles.

A well-crafted client survey can provide you with valuable feedback about you and your firm’s performance.  Plus, your clients will be flattered that you took the time to seek out their opinion. For tips on how to get started creating your own survey, download a sample here.

As an additional exercise, you can also start creating profiles that fit your existing client base. Begin by accessing a client profile template here. In each profile, you’ll list demographic information, identify current challenges, and acknowledge future wants. Take some time to draft three to six client profiles, this can help you provide a more personalized experience to specific client groups.

By creating client profiles and soliciting customer feedback you can begin to identify your customers’ pain points and send them relevant information such as webinar or meeting invites on relevant topics—not just what you want to sell them. And, ultimately, you’ll be able to avoid alienating your clients by engaging them with the right message at the right time.

 

1Burke, Jack. “Nurturing Client Relationships.” Complete Markets. 30 April 2013. Web. 4 November 2014. http://completemarkets.com/Article/article-post/406/Nurturing-Client-Relationships/

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.

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Turn indecision into a sale

November 12, 2014 by

When it comes to life insurance, many Americans are underinsured or don’t have a policy at all. But, this doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t want life insurance. A recent study from LIMRA found indecision is the main reason Americans aren’t buying life insurance.1

Many life insurance shoppers are indecisive because they don’t know how much life insurance they need or what policy fits their situation best. Prospective clients may just need your advice and leadership when it comes to making a decision on life insurance.

Combine your professional experience with these tips from LIMRA to help procrastinators become decision makers:

  1. Conduct a needs analysis.
  2. Make a recommendation.
  3. Meet directly with clients and prospects.
  4. Raise the issue.
  5. Be persistent with follow up.

For more insight into selling life insurance to indecisive clients, be sure to watch our video here. You can also contact us at 866.528.7933 or visit www.brokerslifegroup.com to learn more about the sales strategies offered through Brokers Life.

1 “Insure Your Love.” LIMRA. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Han 2014. http://www.limra.com/uploadedFiles/limracom/About/Insure-Your-Love%20-2013.pdf

Pat Lanigan

Pat Lanigan, CLU & President, Brokers Life, has been with the company since 2001. 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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CPA Alliance Program reaches 20,000 CPAs

October 23, 2014 by

As an insurance professional, you are likely always looking to offer new financial strategies services that meet your clients’ needs and improve your business. But even with the best intentions, it can be challenging to find new ways to improve.

If you’re looking to spark a new opportunity for your business, Brokers International’s CPA Alliance Program will show you how to reach out to CPAs, form new networks and potentially expand your services and clients.

“If a CPA is looking at a client’s full financial portfolio they may see an opportunity for me to step in, and send their clients my way,” said Stephen Dissette, of Stephen D. Dissette and Associates in Michigan City, Indiana. “Those referrals are a win for me.”

Since 2003, Brokers International has held workshops in 45 states with more than a total of 20,000 CPA participants. During each workshop, participating insurance agents and program Vice President Steve Peterson teach CPAs about annuities and life insurance, and the potential benefits of collaborating with insurance professionals.

“After building relationships through this program, I have been able to work with two CPAs on a regular basis,” Stephen said. “They help me provide the best solutions for my clients, so it’s a win for my clients and for my business.”

In addition to improving your business, the CPA Program helps local financial advisors view you and your services as a valuable retirement resource.

“Steve [Peterson] is key to engaging and exciting CPAs during the workshops,” Stephen said. “Once they understand the potential, it is my job to continue to follow up and build relationships with interested CPAs.”

If you are interested in tapping into a network of CPAs for collaboration opportunities, click here to see if you qualify. For more information or questions regarding the program, please call 800.362.1097 or visit the program website for more information.

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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