5 Simple, Killer Financial Advisor Marketing Strategies to Make 2024 a Blowout Year

simple-financial-advisor-marketing-strategiesReading Time: 6 minutes

Are you looking to make 2024 a blockbuster year for your practice? Here’s a story that can help.

We once spoke with a financial advisory shop that does a few million a year in production. The advisor wanted a firm foundation for generating more appointments and winning more clients in the new year.

During our conversation, it sounded like everything was being done right. The advisor had made pretty heavy investments in marketing the prior year. He was closing business, but he was counting on a little more ROI before more spending in this new year. Certainly made sense to us.

So, he had seeds planted. Great! First-appointment show rates were high. Excellent! Exactly where you want to be with your discovery and sales process.

But there were quite a few no-shows at follow-up meetings, and the advisor wanted more referrals. Then we started deep-diving into the advisory’s sales process and what they were doing to stay in touch with contacts in their database. That is where some gaps arose… but they were simple fixes.

Fine-tuning the advisor’s process for referrals. Exploring some creative, high-touch ways to keep prospects’ attention each year. Refining the marketing so that clear calls to action for meeting with the advisor were set. A lot of it was just building on the essential principles of a thriving practice.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? Whether you move tens of millions in assets per year or are new to the business, the fundamentals matter.

If you’re ready to grow your production, keep these five high-level marketing strategies in mind as you plan and execute for the new year.

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Your Work Matters. Can We Recapture Public Respect for Annuity and Life Agents?

your-work-mattersReading Time: 6 minutes

Under the new, proposed DOL rule, you and other independent agents will be deemed fiduciaries. Yes, it’s a big change, but will it really shift the “big debate” around agents vs. fiduciary, fee-only advisors? I’m not 100% sold that it will.

Many financial professionals selling fixed-type annuities are fiduciary advisors, but most annuity agents haven’t gone down that road. Still, I see some agents marketing themselves as “advisors” or something beyond the realm of insurance.

No wonder why. Countless media articles out there talk about how consumers MUST work with a fiduciary, fee-only financial advisor in every circumstance. Many agents get defensive when someone asks them about being a fiduciary or implies they are somehow inferior to such an advisor.

Don’t get me wrong. There is a big need for that sort of financial advice in America. But that advice tends to focus more on investments, not insurance. Those firms also don’t have the unique expertise that you have as an agent, and what’s more, there is a sizable demand for your knowledge of insurance products.

Not sure about what I mean? Well, what about the huge, growing public need for financial protection? For folks having a strong financial foundation in their post-career years? Tens of millions of people are underinsured or have no game plan for how they will generate enough reliable income in retirement.

And those advisory shops that offer little to no annuities and life insurance? They don’t know the products, their uses, or how to set them up for proper protection as you, the independent agent, do. Your knowledge and experience fill a huge, much-needed gap. Let’s talk more about why that matters.
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Don’t Fall into the IMO Trap: My Experience with Hidden Sales Agendas

my-insurance-marketing-organization-experienceReading Time: 5 minutes

Do you have the right IMO partner? How is industry consolidation of IMOs affecting your business? Here’s the story of what happened to me at a growing IMO when it was acquired, how it drives things now, and what you should know for your practice.

Is the consolidation of insurance marketing organizations (IMOs) by huge corporate groups making the business of independent agents easier? Or is it doing something else?

That is an important question with the Department of Labor introducing a new fiduciary rule that aims directly at independent agents, fixed index annuities, and their role in providing for a secure retirement.

I’ll share my story, and hopefully that can help you form your own opinion. Every independent financial professional deserves to see all perspectives so that they can make well-informed choices for their business.

In 2017, 350 IMOs were operating as distributors of fixed index annuity products, according to a BenefitsPro interview, but that number has gone down drastically. Huge corporate conglomerates have acquired dozens of small-to-mid-sized shops regularly each year since then.

Now, don’t get me wrong. In our business, we inevitably have both positive and negative aspects. On the positive side, a consolidating industry brings some advantages: more compensation, more firm resources and infrastructure, and more market influence on product design.

But it also brings a negative side, including less competition and ever-shrinking options for brokerage partners. For advisors, it means less choice, less independence, and in some cases, fewer people looking out for them in their business.

I should know. I saw this first-hand at a growing IMO that was acquired when I was starting my financial services career.

I’m just as supportive of free, efficient markets and ethical business practices as anyone else. But in that experience, we reached a tipping point where people were putting personal gain over their advisor relationships and the well-being of their clients.

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Email Marketing for Financial Advisors: 35 Simple Tips for Reaching Success

email-marketing-for-financial-advisorsReading Time: 15 minutes

Strong relationships are the backbone of a thriving financial practice. Email is an efficient, powerful tool to connect with people and build relationships. To that end, it’s good to have email marketing as part of your advisor marketing mix.

You can use email to quickly reach your prospects, build trust, nurture leads, and ultimately convert new client relationships. But what if your email marketing isn’t bringing in the results that your business needs? Rather than your contacts engaging with your emails, what if your emails are turning them off or putting up barriers to them wanting to work with you?

There is also the new challenge of standing out in increasingly crowded email inboxes. Here are 35 simple tips that you and other financial advisors can apply and use to close more business. These practical marketing tips can be a great starting point for employing smart strategies in your email and other marketing efforts.

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Annuity Best Interest Training – NAIC Model #275 Information

annuity-best-interest-training-naic-model-275Reading Time: 2 minutes

At the time of this writing (August 23, 2023), 41 states have adopted the “best interest standard” for annuity sales. In 2020, the NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners) enacted a best interest standard as a revision to Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation (#275), or NAIC Model #275.

Since the NAIC put out this new standard, each state can take it up as its own. Now, what does this mean for annuity agents and other financial professionals? More training and higher obligations of care and disclosure, among other things. The annuity best interest training requirement applies on a state-by-state level. If you count on writing annuity business, you must complete a course by the “training” date outlined in the table below.

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