The Scoop: Spring Client Appreciation and Prospecting Events

The Scoop Event picture

Social client events are among the best ways to get to know clientele. When clients choose service providers, trust plays a key role in developing a rapport. Creating a client event that is both fun and resourceful can facilitate a closer bond. Developing trust takes time and interaction. These events allow an advisor to connect with their clients on a personal level, which builds confidence in the relationship. Clients are interested in working with financial advisors who understand their specific goals and timetables.1 Financial Advisors that take the time to engage with clients regularly are more successful than their counterparts that do not.2

Planning is critical, so that the advisor can be calm and personable during the event. Getting started is easy when you allow professional assistance to guide your way. Marketing services can narrow the field of choices taking into consideration all of the details. When properly executed, your function will foster a favorable and lasting impression on attendees. With the power of social media, a well-planned and successful event can positively build your reputation.3 Proper timing and planning are key ingredients for the success of the occasion.

Our team, at All Points Media, has created the following event ideas, complete with invitation, event checklist and more for our Elevate members.

Add a few of these events to your calendar for Quarter 2. 

Tax DShred Day Event Postcarday is approaching. Why not prepare a “Shred Day Event,” a barbeque picnic with all the fixings complete with a document shredding truck. Clients can bring all of their outdated, sensitive documents to be disposed of safely and participate in a social occasion with easy food and fellowship at its center. Use it as customer appreciation for your veteran clientele and an occasion to meet their friends to develop new relationships. The trust you have built with existing clients should help to pave the way for business growth.

MothersDay_Pstcrd1_sample

 

Mother’s Day Appreciation Banquet. This event allows you to pamper the mother’s in your book of business a few different ways: Invite your clients that are mothers for an evening away, host a luncheon for your client’s and their mothers or treat your clients that are mothers and their daughters to a spa day. This event is about recognizing these amazing women no matter which way you decide to spin it.

 

Client event postcard

 

Plan a First Responders event with food, gaming and even a 5k with proceeds benefitting, police, fire, emergency or military services. The proceeds can be gathered and donated. PR releases can associate your brand with positive community involvement. Your business will have the opportunity to connect with other demographics. Now you have increased your audience significantly.

 

Lemonade EventLemonade Refresher Event. Showcase samplings and styles of various types of Lemonade (Raspberry, Watermelon, or Orange-Mango). Spirits blended into some of the recipes might create a great social meet and greet for clients and referrals. Do this as a summer event when people are looking for ways to cool down during the hot months. Plan the event in the early part of the evening and avoid the midday swelter. Adding an assortment of hors d’oeuvres to the menu will make it the perfect drop by social occasion. Incorporating some grillers, simple sides, fun games along with an outdoor movie could make your function a family friendly destination for the evening.

Interested in creating your own social client event? Not certain of where to begin, or would like some assistance with the details? Want to make the best use of your resources? Give our FIG Sales Consultants a call at 1-800-527-1155. We can help.

Tell me more about the Elevate Program. 

 

1http://www.forbes.com/sites/russalanprince/2015/04/01/what-clients-value-in-their-financial-advisors/#69b967bd3ab6
2http://financialadvisoriq.com/c/543501/61181/body_language_tips_awkward_advisor
3http://www.inc.com/paul-schoemaker/5-ways-to-know-what-your-customer-wants.html

How to Write a Helpful Cover Letter for a Life Insurance Case

I am sure underwriters ask you for cover letters…and cover letters, and more cover letters. I was recently at an underwriting conference with 20 or so carriers, and the individual carrier underwriters kept talking about cover letters. But all that talk doesn’t necessarily tell you how to write a good cover letter. When I was a home office underwriter, I learned to regard a well-written cover letter as essential. How else could I understand the context of the application? Where else was I going to get necessary information that didn’t fit on the forms? At the same time, I did not appreciate cover letters that were poorly written or full of extraneous information. Now that I’m in a position to write cover letters myself, here are the three main factors I think about to make sure I give the underwriter what he or she needs.

1. Is it Needed? As important as cover letters are, not all cases need them. If you have a young individual making $50,000 a year at an office job, with no medical history, coming in for a $100,000 term for the purpose of income replacement; no extra information is necessary. Underwriters already read a lot so they don’t appreciate being given unnecessary material. Look at the information you’re sending. If it tells a complete story by itself, you don’t need a cover letter—if it doesn’t, or if there is some facet of the applicant’s situation you want to stress in order to secure the best possible outcome, then write that letter.

2. Purpose of Coverage? Your cover letter should focus on explaining the need and justifying the face amount, especially in cases where the need may be outside normal underwriting guidelines. For example, say the case involves business key person insurance at 15 to 20 times the applicant’s compensation. Since key person insurance is generally only 5 to 10 times compensation, you have to make a strong case as to why the applicant’s employer would suffer a loss of the applied-for amount.

If your client has a difficult medical situation, you could have a hard time securing the rate you want. You’ll have to use your cover letter to address all potential roadblocks and pull out every favorable factor about the client’s medical history to lobby for the best rates. That’s a lot easier if you have the complete medical records in front of you. If you don’t, do the best you can based on the application itself and the information obtained during your fact-finding.

3. Writing That Cover Letter: Now that you know whether to write a cover letter and what to put in it, be sure to write it well—meaning keep it short, clear, and to the point—with no unnecessary information. No cover letter should ever be over one page in length, and most should be shorter. Also, be realistic. If your client had three heart attacks before the age of 40, don’t recommend him or her for Super Preferred. You’re not going to get it, and pretending you are is a good way to quickly lose credibility with an underwriter. Again: write a clear, to-the-point, and realistic letter that makes both the need and amount clear to the underwriter and highlights the favorable factors of your client’s medical history. That letter is your best bet to secure the best possible rates for your client.

My Ideal Client

As financial services professionals, we are often asked what defines our ideal client? The response is clearly subjective and will vary tremendously within our reader base. We posed this question to many audiences in the past and based on responses created the Surge 5’s. Respondents appeared satisfied in identifying an ideal client as having: $5mm or more in investable assets, 5 or less immediate household members, and the patriarch and matriarch having at least achieved age 50.

We may opine this remains a reasonable identification for an ideal client. However, in The New Frontier of Financial Services ™ which is now upon us, there are three firm objectives with an ideal client we must follow to thrive in today’s evolving financial landscape.

The first step in a structured ideal client platform is the identity of our ideal client. Do we succinctly know what defines our ideal client? Or do we have a vision of who we think they are such as the Surge 5’s, but allow multiple client segments in our current model? One simple way to begin identifying is by using the corporate structure model. In a traditional corporate structure, there are; employees, managers and directors, and owners. In pairing our firm’s strengths and challenges with the traditional corporate hierarchy we can easily identify who our firm is best-suited to provide guidance.

We may well understand the ideal client of our firm, but if we do not brand ourselves accordingly and then create respective marketing campaigns around this it will never be known to the street. The second objective in the ideal client is marketing. Our marketing should be precise. For example, a marketing campaign around term life insurance may be an excellent idea but is inviting to the masses. A campaign around premium finance life insurance planning immediately indicates our desire to work with affluent and ultra-affluent clients. How we brand ourselves and what we say in all our marketing should directly lead to who we are trying to attract as ideal clientele.

Many firms we work with will argue all styles and demographics of retail clients are welcome, and that may be a successful model for many. With ever-changing people dynamics and constant behavioral changes, it may be financially attractive to allow the majority to work with our firm. However, in allowing a global client model it stresses the firm’s processes and systemization, as inconsistencies in demand and levels of service dilute deliverables. The third objective is optimal operations and logistics in working with ideal clients. Some firms may have a single client onboarding and management process, while others vary by segmentation. Retreat to the corporate structure mentioned above for a moment. Whether you work with one ideal segment or all three and have a global ideal client, to attract and retain in today’s financial environment we must know exactly how we plan to work with our ideal clients.

Gather internal associates to first discover the firm’s ideal client and to ensure firm-wide consistency in understanding of the ideal client. Who are they, what do we expect, and what do they expect from us? Are we sending the right message in all our output? Then, survey advisory-board members (junior and senior) to discover interpretable data on firm workflow understanding and client satisfaction. These exercises will construct a clear path within the firm for executing the three objectives listed above, and others that are sure to appear and be demanded by clients of tomorrow.

Where Are All the Excellent Job Applicants?

There’s an epidemic happening all around us and only those in the trenches of recruiting can sense it. Qualified applicants are becoming more and more difficult to identify. One might point to the current employment numbers and suggest we are in a candidate driven market (an employment market where job supply outpaces available candidates). This is fact. However, even in such a recruiting environment the quality of candidates who apply has traditionally been strong in the past. Depending on your recruiting and/or sourcing tactics, you probably would challenge such historical information. For instance, if you’re recruiting strategy only involves the placement of a job opening on any of the free job posting sites you most likely have less than favorable things to say about the resumes you have received. Sure, most sites now boast screener questions to help with the overall quality of candidates, but really what each is trying to do is limit the number of resumes an employer receives.

All job boards by now have hundreds of thousands of candidates within their resume database. In fact, they boast this metric to lure you into posting your vacancy with them. But, you don’t want hundreds of thousands of resumes. If you are a small to mid-cap business it’s more likely you only need one excellent candidate at any given time. So, how do you get that one, excellent candidate to notice your job over all the others?

Treat the recruiting process just like any other service or product you offer…create a marketing campaign focused on nurturing your target candidate population.

Step 1 – Define Your Target Candidate Population

Often, the hiring authority and recruiting teams focus completely on the job description as the primary source to begin a search. I have a news flash for you, the job description is going by way of the dinosaur and should therefore be used as a guideline to review resumes as well as discuss in the interview process. Defining your target candidate population begins much earlier. It begins with you, the hiring manager, the company culture, and team dynamics. The kind of person you are looking for is more important today than ever before. By assessing your needs as the supervisor/manager/leader plus the necessity for any new hire to fit culturally ultimately will craft your target candidate population. However, that is not all that is included. Once you have assessed your gaps, needs, and hopefully your strengths (company, team, individual) you must now have to research or define where your target candidate populations “hang out”. Much like a marketing campaign targeting a specific buyer or audience, so should your recruiting campaign. Some questions that will help you zero-in to the location(s) of your target candidate population are: What is the target demographic? Where does my target candidate population go to “get the news”? Are my target candidates typically introverts or extroverts?

Step 2 – Develop Your Recruiting (“marketing”) Budget

With your target candidate population defined it’s time to begin budgeting for how you will reach them. Reach is a popular term these days thrown around marketing think tanks and social media advertisers. However, recruiters have been trying to “reach” candidates since the beginning of time. How we have done that has certainly changed rapidly over the past 10 years, nonetheless it is a function, task, and goal of our business. Depending on the answers to the questions in Step 1, you will have many options for the best way to inform your target candidate population about you, your company, and your open position. Some of the options you should consider are: Is your position typically hard to fill? What is the industry average of time to fill for a similar position to that which you seek? Will you need to engage a third-party recruiting firm to identify a qualified candidate pool?

Step 3 – Create a Market for Your Position

The market (e.g. your target candidate population) needs to know you exist AND that you’re hiring. In today’s information driving society, buyers (“candidates” in the recruiting world) can and will research each product or service via multiple sources before engaging with the seller (“hiring authority”). Therefore, you must nurture your target candidate population and move them through the sales funnel as if they were leads for your company. Hopefully you have already been priming the pump by continuously marketing your business through the many channels available. In the event you have not been marketing your business here is a list of the places your target candidate population will go to learn about you, the firm, the open position: Glassdoor, LinkedIN, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, your website. Make sure all your content is relevant and up to date. Remember you are creating a market and ultimately trying to attract excellent candidates. Include recent articles about your company, team members, or services. Publish testimonials from employees and customers. Nowadays anything you can do video increases reach exponentially.

Step 4 – Get Them to Raise Their Hand

The time has come. All the pre-work is complete, your search is well-funded, and potential candidates are waiting for an opportunity with your firm. You strike. You post the job description out of your employee handbook or perhaps use one like your competition which includes all the tasks and requirements to be successful yet you do not receive the response you had expected. The resumes are still very underwhelming. Likely, this is because the information you used is in fact a description rather than an advertisement. Only excellent candidates will be drawn to job opportunities which highlight compelling reasons for them to apply and want the job (vs. need the job). Use bold section headers and subtitles explicitly calling attention to accountabilities, leadership opportunities, and purpose. All are extremely important to employees today. Additionally, don’t be afraid to brag a bit about growth of the company, your clients, the quality of your employees, or the products you offer.

FIG Talent Solutions has mastered art of identifying top talent within the Financial Services and Retirement communities. We use cutting edge methods in each of the steps outlined above to compel our target candidates to raise their hand and come to us. Thus, decreasing time to fill and properly managing your recruiting budget.