How paying attention to timing, regulatory change, and incremental planning can boost advisor loyalty.
Throughout the year, there are plenty of opportunities for
advisors to tap in to what plan participants are focusing on and create
conversations that engage them. Yet timing is everything.
For example, participants may be focused on taxes in April,
so why hold a tax session with them in October? Likewise, why have a
conversation with participants about raising their plan contributions in a
month far removed from when their annual raise occurs? And June is usually
wedding month, so having that conversation about a joint retirement plan
doesn’t quite make sense in December.
Yet even the best-timed conversation has limits. It’s not
enough to be in front of your participants when these events are occurring. No
matter how eager your participants are to reduce their tax bill, the tools to
do so need to be there, as well.
What’s an advisor to do?
Fortunately, there are ways advisors can enhance their
approach that will go further to entice business and improve plan participants’
peace of mind. Here are a few options to consider:
If holding a participant information session in October is
your usual method of reaching out, try adding one more session between February
and April focused on taxes. Or one more session as new regulations are about to
be implemented. Getting in front of your plan sponsors and participants at a
time when they’re seeking specific advice elevates your services and builds
some serious loyalty. Plus, winning new business by adding these special
sessions to your list of services frames your advisory as one that really
considers the participants’ needs.
The Incremental Plan
But even the best-timed advisory meeting won’t serve as your
only tool in bringing in new 401(k) business. Prospects want to see how your
services compare to other advisors’ services. One great way to do that is to
help your participants increase their annual contributions in a way that’s
barely noticeable. Work with them to add an incremental increase of 1% (or more
if they’ve had a promotion or more significant raise).
The Regulation Maze
Most plan advisors stay on top of regulatory changes, even
in a time when the changes come in rapid-fire fashion. However, few advisors
illustrate to their clients and prospects that attention to detail. When a
significant change is about to occur, get in front of your plan sponsors and
participants with the details and how it impacts them. Also, use social media
to engage potential clients on the regulatory landscape. Be seen as the advisor
who is actively monitoring and addressing issues as they arise.
Relationship, Relationship, Relationship
People buy from people. They don’t stay loyal to companies
unless there’s a personal connection. Be that connection. Focus the core of
your business on building strong relationships within the communities you
serve. Offer regular correspondence throughout the year that shows you
understand the challenges and questions both employers and participants have.
Put the emphasis of your business on helping first, selling last. Create a persona of expertise around your practice just by answering questions thoughtfully and from a perspective of “we” or “you” statements, not “I” statements. Keep the spotlight on your clients’ needs.
Advisors, how do you go beyond maximizing benefits?
Before leaping into the unknown, we recommend a thorough examination of your plan. Because we are experts in the field, we know the marketplace and know what your existing vendor is capable of offering. Through this examination, we can help you optimize the service you receive.get xpress proposal