Advisor Today - November/December 2015 - (Page 56)

sales & marketiNg SALES IdEAS By Ed Skelly, Peter Hill, Marc Gelman and Bryce Sanders Moving the Sales Process Forward These helpful hints will help move you closer to sealing the deal. E very day is an opportunity to drive commitment and engagement among your existing clients, prospects and colleagues. The following are triedand-true strategies that you can implement today to provide longlasting value. * Build effective relationships with CPAs. When I began my career in the financial industry 25 years ago, I took a seasoned veteran out to lunch. I asked him what one thing I could do to set myself apart from others, which would help me grow. He told me to read and understand the tax return. Until this day, I routinely have lunch with CPAs to stay up-todate. My assistant sets up lunches during a time when they're not busy. I make sure to take one item or issue we are working on in my office and ask for their opinion. Before the end of our conversation, I make sure I ask them: "How can I help you?" Another way we strengthen our relationships with CPAs is by taking lunch to their offices or sending them a package around tax time. In the package, we include fun things like an abacus, lemon drops to "make lemonade out of lemons," and a flashlight to use when they go out late at night after they finally get done with their tax returns. They remember, and more importantly, the staff remembers these simple and thoughtful gestures. In return, when you or a member of your staff calls, he is more likely to get through to the CPA. Another way we strengthen our relationships with CPAs is by taking lunch to their offices or sending them a package around tax time. * Send regular communications materials to clients and prospects. Every month, my office mails 56 ADVISOR TODAY | November/December 2015 clients and prospects big green envelopes that are the color of our branding and logo. Clients also receive a newsletter that promotes our growth-initiative strategy for the year and information about events we host. At the end of the newsletter, we ask if the client has any referrals to share. On the other hand, prospects get a newsletter that welcomes them and asks them to visit our office for a free financial check-up. These easy-to-send and eyecatching materials have helped increase our number of referrals, and more importantly, have increased client retention. Consider these tips to boost loyalty among your clients, prospects and CPAs. They are easy to apply to your office practice, and can go a long way. (Edward Skelly is with Sterling Financial Partners and a 22-year MDRT member.) * If your client is a beneficiary of a policy, look for options that offer him the most flexibility. While visiting with a new client, I learned that his father had recently passed away, and he was inheriting a non-qualified variable annuity with a sizable gain. I asked if he would be interested in inheriting the annuity over his life expectancy, thus "stretching"

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Advisor Today - November/December 2015

From the Editor
New Products
In Step with a Winner
Finding Success in the Chinese-American Market
Dealing with Client Confidentiality
Hashtag Your Way to Social Media Relevance
Starting the LTCI Conversation
From Term to Perm
Protecting the Downside with Allocation Adjustment
Jules Gaudreau: A NAIFA Success Story
Helping Clients Cope with Market Volatility
NAIFA Government Relations
Working with Single Women
Financial Planning FAQs of Small-Business Owners
Three Retirement Conversations to Have with Clients Today
The Advent of Robo-Advisors
Moving into the Retirement Space with 401(k) and 403(b) Plans
Moving the Sales Process Forward
Cultivating the African American Market
The Lighter Side of LIfe
Advertiser Index
Back Page

Advisor Today - November/December 2015