Advisor Today - March/April 2016 - (Page 8)
from the editor
By Ayo Mseka
Thriving in the Middle
ave you sometimes wondered if it is worthwhile to continue pursuing the
middle market? If you have, a new LIMRA study will help banish those
thoughts forever and persuade you to keep on serving the group of consumers
who benefit the most from your financial expertise.
According to the study released late last year, middle-market households own the
majority of individual permanent life insurance-the product that anchors almost all of
the financial products and services you sell. Once thought to be primarily bought by
the affluent, households at all income levels now own permanent life insurance, with
the middle market leading the way at 57 percent, according to LIMRA. With its large
size-estimated at 52.3 million households and counting-the middle market offers lots
of prospects for you to serve.
But selling to this group is not an easy task, as most of you know. Your first step is to
gain a sound understanding of them so that you can identify exactly what they need from
a financial advisor. According to LIMRA, many middle-class consumers want financial
professionals who are willing to listen to their needs and respond appropriately, will take
the time to educate them and explain the various financial products and services to them
and will evaluate their life insurance needs and coverage amounts.
You will also make significant inroads into this potentially lucrative market if you
adhere to some of the rules for success identified in NAIFA's Advisor/2020. As this groundbreaking study aptly points out, to effectively sell to the middle market, you need to:
* Serve as a credible and independent source of information and advice and be fully
engaged in educating them about simple steps to address their long-term goals.
* Carefully craft your messages to engage these clients. Research by the Center for
Retirement Research found that people are more likely to engage in financial planning
when they have a positive goal, such as to sustain a quality of life, than when they have
a negative goal, such as avoiding financial disaster.
* To be most effective, you must be easy to access on demand, and consumers will need
to hear from you multiple times. This is one reason why delivering educational sessions
is a good strategy for middle-market audiences.
* You will also benefit from using a multipronged communication strategy to provide
financial education and information to them through different channels and media
* Given the middle-market's lower overall savings rates, you need to work with a
significantly larger client base to generate the same amount of protection coverage and
investments as their more affluent counterparts.
Serving the middle class often requires a lot of hand-holding, and the selling
timeline is usually long and sometimes arduous. But as the LIMRA report illustrates,
it affords you the opportunity to help a group of people who desperately need your
help-and to come out ahead while doing so.
Ayo Mseka; firstname.lastname@example.org
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Published March 2016/NAI-S0216/2745
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8 ADVISOR TODAY | March/April 2016
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Advisor Today - March/April 2016
From the Editor
A Question of Ethics The Details Often Make the Difference
What's Ahead for Financial Advising?
Whos's Saving the Most and Why?
Making the Case for Critical Illness Insurance
Are You a Retirement Expert?
Selling the "Best Plan"
Taking Incremental Steps Toward Success
Investment Strategies for Today’s Consumers
How Tax Efficient is Your Investment and Retirement Portfolio?
Ideas for a Profitable Practice
Crossing the Two Client Relationship Bridges
Working with Muslim-American Clients
Attracting and Serving Today's High-Net-Worth Clients
Becoming a Networking Success
Advisor Today - March/April 2016