Pre-retirees and retirees have anxiety when they meet with financial advisors and estate planning attorneys…here is how you can help them and simultaneously grow your business
Millions of individuals eventually reach an age when they finally understand the critical need for advice and guidance when it comes to managing their Assets, Estate and Financial Plans. They have worked hard, saved their money and now have big plans for themselves and their families. They are in the second half of their life and begin to wonder, “Am I doing the right things with my money? What are others like me doing to secure their future? What if I lose all of my savings? What unexpected situations should I prepare for?” Doubt starts to creep in and they begin to ask friends, family and others who they confide in, “Do you know anyone I can talk to?”
During that critical and emotional stage, if you can reach these individuals with the right message and a trustworthy offer to help them, they will give you the opportunity to meet with them and look at their finances and into their personal goals. That is where your marketing will play a huge roll – I will get into that a bit later.
Keep in mind, in that same time period they are being continuously exposed to articles, the news media and TV commercials telling them that in today’s economy it is important to seek advice from a professional. As a result, confusion begins to take place and many don’t know what they should do next. They become somewhat paralyzed and procrastinate in taking action.
That is a unique opportunity. But first, you need to understand that this is a very important emotional and psychological issue. I call it “expert anxiety.” When successful or financially prudent individuals have to reveal their personal financial situation to an expert they feel embarrassed that they may have little or no knowledge on how to manage their financial and estate affairs. Many also feel they are not well prepared to admit their planning inadequacies to someone they don’t know or in whom they can fully trust. They have pride, so they will struggle with opening up to you because it may show weakness and/or lack of discipline, thus putting them at a disadvantage. It’s likely that no college course or formal institution ever taught them what to do with their finances. They only learned how to generate income and accumulate wealth.
That is where you enter the picture. To grow your business and acquire new clients your primary purpose should be to break down those barriers and make these folks feel confident that they are not alone. That what they are feeling is very common and, more importantly, they DO have options. It’s critical that you reassure them about the many choices available. Put them at ease and make them feel like seeking you out was their first positive step toward learning more about the ever-changing strategies to protect and grow their life savings. You must earn their trust by showing them that what they are experiencing is 100% normal at this stage of their life. Sounds simple right? Yet, I still see and hear many individuals in your profession using industry jargon, product terminology and talking over people’s heads when they promote themselves in their marketing messages. Doing that will add to their fears and push them right back into feeling those anxiety symptoms and away from working with you.
So what can you do to avoid scaring these valuable and concerned individuals away from you? It starts with your marketing, your message, your values, your experience, how you reach them, how you position yourself, and where you ask them to meet with you. Yes, the initial meeting place, in my opinion, is crucial. I have been a huge proponent and advocate of doing local social seminars for more than 20 years. Why? Because it creates that ideal neutral location that allows you to overcome all of these psychological nuances. Let me explain.
First, when they call in and RSVP to your event invitation they are immediately telling you (voluntarily and up-front) that they are willing to hear what you have to say – not at their home or your office. Second, attending your event with their spouse or guest re-confirms their interest. Third, before you say one word at your event, they will see others just like them in the room seeking the same type of guidance. This automatically puts them at ease. Fourth and finally, there is “safety in numbers” comfort at your seminar. All of these features make seminars a very powerful vehicle to get in front of more interested and motivated prospects that have fears, concerns and questions about financial and estate planning. This is an incredible opportunity to tell compelling stories, reassure them that there are many possible solutions available to them and offer some clarity. This will ultimately earn their trust and confidence that you can help them with their concerns. One final thing. Explain at the beginning of your seminar that it’s normal to have anxiety about financial and estate planning – they need to hear that. Validate it. Keep your presentations simple, know your material cold (don’t read off PowerPoint slides), be honest and passionate and you will convert many of your seminar attendees to that important and elusive personal face-to-face meeting at your office…by then you will have earned it!
Jorge Villar is President of Response Marketing Excellence (RME), with more than 26 years of direct marketing experience, he is known in several industries for his ability to create mail packages that garner the highest response rates. He is responsible for the Seminar Success program that for the last 17 years has accounted for more than 65% of the events being held in the nation, with over 17 million individuals making reservations. Mr. Villar has also been very successful marketing to physicians and business owners regarding Succession Planning and Asset Protection. RME’s marketing programs are presently being utilized by over 10,000 clients, including: top producing financial advisors, estate planning attorneys, large financial organizations, health care organizations, franchises, universities and many other industries. Mr. Villar is a frequent key note speaker at national financial symposium and marketing training conferences.
Academy Guest Blogger
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555
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