Advisor Today - November/December 2015 - (Page 56)
sales & marketiNg
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.
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
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
NAIFA Takes NOLA
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
Advisor Today - November/December 2015