Addressing the family’s immediate concern first is the key to success!
College financial aid is no longer looked upon as a charitable organization, but rather a strategic marketing tool used by institutions to entice the most attractive students. Many colleges now offer funding to families with Adjusted Gross Incomes over $300,000.
Financial professionals with college planning knowledge educate families on the workings of the process, specifically methods of increasing their funding eligibility.
Informed families will ask that their assets be moved to insurance, retirement and related annuity savings in order to shelter them from funding eligibility formulas. Many times, this will prevent the assets from ultimately being absorbed by the colleges. Your financial products now become a part of the process, instead of just a sale.
The best part for you as a financial professional is in addition to assisting the family with their immediate need, the relationship has been formed and a long-term client has been secured.
Long-Term Clients Pay Much Better than Long-Term Prospects!
With life, health, annuity, and retirement, besides cost-shopping and future benefits that are typically hard to sell, what ‘ammunition’ do you have to secure the client? It’s very limited, isn’t it? You most often have prospects who want to think about it. Then comes the tiresome burden of reconnecting, following up with, getting back in touch with, providing more data and statistics for, the list goes on and on. But, in the end, you still have the obstacle of a future-need sale with no immediate results and oftentimes, no client.
In contrast, college planning is exactly the opposite, offering a wide range of talking points, countless hot buttons, and dozens of immediate benefits. A prospect becomes a client only if you have both their attention and interest. College planning, being parents’ top concern, comes pre-loaded with these two key ingredients.
Not Just Prospects, But Rather ‘Qualified Prospects’
To be most effective long-term you need not just prospects, but rather ‘qualified’ prospects. Prospects with immediate needs who are eager to discuss their current and long-term financial goals are ideal. Actually, those are the home runs, the superstars, and ultimately your premier clients. For most, this is the difference between success and failure.
Where do you find these qualified prospects? So many marketing methods like dinner seminars and free educational events, for example, are old; they are worn out. In many cases, they cost a small fortune to put together and you often end up speaking with disinterested prospects. It becomes very tough to secure new clients. Oftentimes you are simply overwhelmed with your marketing costs and your ROI suffers.
What your current prospects ultimately hear is “You are going to get old and die. Would you like to talk about it?” Of course they don’t want to talk about it. We know that’s not what you are actually saying, but that’s certainly what most of them are hearing.
As an Advisor, being able to talk about what is important to them at this time and dovetail that with their long-term financial goals will make you a success – it’s almost a guarantee!
The Solution is a Natural Fit and a Win, Win, Win!
Keep in mind that it’s not you, it’s your approach. To meet your target families, all you need is a different, much more inviting, introduction. After all, most families have the same planning needs, both immediate and long-term.
The introduction is the key!
Relationships become much easier to establish when you talk about their current concerns instead of a future-need sale on a subject they would much rather put off until later.
Instead of the ‘getting old and dying’ approach, simply switch gears to the powerful statement “You have kids who will be attending college soon. Would you like to talk about it?”
I just closed the second largest case of my 20+ year career. When you guys said these families were really eager to meet with me and discuss their finances, you certainly weren’t kidding.
You guys were right. Meeting with families who have an immediate need makes all the difference in the world. I certainly had faith in what you were telling me, but witnessing it first-hand is the real deal.
Being able to meet with people who have urgency to talk with me is so refreshing. It has really changed the way I look at things. Thanks, again, for introducing me to this amazing market.