Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: July 10-14

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: July 10-14

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on IRIS.xyz, July 10-14, 2017 


Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!


1. Retirement Planning Has Its Limits: How to Prepare


Retirement planning is one of the issues that commonly leads clients to consult financial advisers. One of its essential aspects is creating a plan to save and invest in order to provide a comfortable retirement income. Ideally, this starts many years ahead of retirement, even as early as your first paycheck. — Rick Kahler

2. Why You Need to Vividly Bring Your Clients Goals and Aspirations to Life


When they talk abut retirement, what do you do? Here are some ideas to create vivid pictures to put in your clients minds about their future. Use this powerful technique to help clients fully commit to their future goals. — Paul Kingsman

3. Better Index Investing: The Benefits of Multi-Factor Security Selection


How would you summarize your approach to security selection? There are a number of sources of equity returns beyond growth itself. These include factor exposures such as value, size, momentum and quality — Yaz Romahi

4. The Answer to Your Clients' Long-Term Care May Be Their Life Insurance


Near the top of the worry list for anyone considering retirement is the fear their health will deteriorate so much they’ll be forced to seek long-term care, a situation that could leave them and their families slammed with expenses far beyond what they can afford. — Chris Orestis

5. Ten Questions That Will Drive Growth and Profitability


In researching high growth professional services firms we made an eye-opening discovery. Those firms that did systematic business research on their target client group grew faster and were more profitable. — Lee Frederiksen

6. The Best Kept Secret In The Financial Services World


It’s no secret that the financial industry is at a crossroads. Traditional business methods and tactics are slowly being pushed out by a new, consumer friendly approach. However, not so fast—the old model is still ingrained in our psyches and our lives — Michael Kay

7. Smart Beta ETFs: The "Dream Diet" for Your Portfolio


What’s powerful about Smart Beta is that it allows investors to target very specific factors to create an ideal portfolio based on a given asset allocation. — Salvatore Bruno

8. Do Introverts Connect Better Than Extroverts?


You might not be the type of person who loves to socialize, attend big parties, and network whenever you get the chance. But to be a great connector, you don’t have to. — Maribeth Kuzmeski

9. 6 Ways Leaders Can Develop the Grit They Need


Grit isn’t just working incredibly hard. There are no shortcuts to excellence. Developing real expertise, figuring out real hard problems, it all takes time-longer than most people imagine. Then you’ve got to apply those skills and produce goods or services that are valuable to people.. — Terri Klass

10. Battle of the Sexes: Male vs. Female Leadership


Do men and women lead differently? While they share the same responsibilities in any given leadership role, researchers have found that in all the areas that really set leaders apart like how helpful, supportive and personally engaged they are, male and female leaders typically vary. — Vanessa Van Edwards

11. How To Triple Your Website Traffic From Social Media


If you’re looking to improving your website traffic free from social media, this is the right place for you. Social media is rapidly growing, and many business owners are finally embracing it for free traffic and engagement with their audience. — Apolline Adiju

Douglas Heikkinen
Perspective
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IRIS Co-Founder and Producer of Perspective—a personal look at the industry, and notables who share what they’ve learned, regretted, won, lost and what continues ... Click for full bio

Solving Your Biggest Client Issue May Be at Your Fingertips

Solving Your Biggest Client Issue May Be at Your Fingertips

Written by: Shileen Weber

When the American Funds’ Capital Group  asked 400 advisors last year to name the biggest issues they face in their businesses, it wasn’t the DOL, market uncertainty or the economy that sat in the center of the idea cloud of answers.

It was client issues.

At a time when regulatory concerns and market turbulence would seem to be at all-time highs, the advisors who answered the survey were most concerned about servicing their clients as well as ways to find new ones and grow their businesses.

It’s one of the ironies of the business, that the things most people find so hard to manage – creating financial plans, managing assets and staying ahead of events – are what advisors find to be the easiest parts of the business. Marketing - the business of selling themselves – can be the area advisors find the hardest elements to master.

In this age of instant communication, it can be even more intimidating to market your practice, especially to younger clients for whom many traditional methods like newsletters, postcards and phone calls don’t work anymore. For them, email is the preferred way to get information, and, if it’s important, they are more likely to respond to texts, not phone calls.

But, it doesn’t have to be that hard. The digital age gives you access to ideas and content of all kinds you can use to touch your clients in a way that positions you as a valuable resource. The key is to keep it simple, stick to some basics and create consistent outreach that clients and potential clients are interested in and will appreciate you sharing with them.

Here is a common-sense approach you can take that will not require you to hire an expensive agency or take valuable time away from managing your clients’ assets and running your business.

Content is King


Create a content calendar for the year: Think about reasons to touch a client 13 times during the year – that can be once a month and on their birthday. (The common rule of sales is that it takes at least 7-13 touches to make a connection.) The number is limited and keeps you from inundating the clients who likely already feel inundated with content. You can take the seasonal approach – tax planning in the fall, January for account review content, college financing in the spring – and supplement it with topical events during the year. Creating a calendar will help you stick to a plan. Here’s one resource for a content calendar.

Review what content is already available to you:  Basically, this means finding the resources you already have and determining what pieces will be most valuable to your clients. Start first by checking out content your broker-dealer already generates that you can personalize. Many firms have economists who write regularly about the market. That’s content you can pass along to keep clients up-to-date they would not have access to anywhere else. In addition to your broker-dealer, mutual funds, your clearing firm, and money managers are all excellent sources of informative and even analytical content.

Personalize the content you use: Add your name, the client’s name or some way to avoid making it feel like canned content that you are using just to check the outreach box. See what capabilities your email program may have to help you.

Related: What's an Investor to Do When History Doesn't Repeat Itself?

The birthday strategy: One advisor used clients’ birthdays in a new way. Instead of the card or lunch date, the advisor asked the client’s spouse for a list of friends he could invite to a birthday lunch and made it a memorable event that was also a soft approach to getting referrals.

Become a curator of good content: What your review will show you is that you don’t have to generate the content yourself. You can point clients to pieces you find insightful. You are likely already doing this every day just to keep yourself informed. The next step is to compile it and send out the very best pieces to your clients, again, with a note with your own thoughts about why you found it valuable.

Find out what is working and do more of it: Use your client interactions, in-person and online, to find out what types of content clients liked and any they didn’t. You can use tracking on your emails to see how many were opened as a measurement tool, but the personal interactions tend to provide more insight than raw data.

Be disciplined about your execution: Get help from an office assistant or schedule the time each month to do the content development and outreach. As any good strategy, if you make it a habit, it won’t seem so hard.

Most importantly, be yourself and be personal: You may want to regularly get personal by talking about your family and hobbies. The ultimate is if you can provide content that is personal to your clients, not just about their investments – they get that from their statements, apps and online portals. Think alma maters, hobbies, children and parents.

Of course, as a disclaimer, you have to make sure all content and communications are complying with regulations and the rules of your own broker-dealer.

The process of creating a plan will get you thinking about your clients in a new way. That exercise alone can re-energize your business and get you seeing marketing opportunities in places you may never have seen them before.

Shileen Weber is Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at GWG Holdings. She was previously Director of Online Strategy and Client Experience at RBC Wealth Management, where they placed first in two JD Power and Associates U.S. Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study (2011 and 2013).
GWG Holdings, Inc.
Investing in Life
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GWG Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:GWGH) the parent company of GWG Life, is a financial services company committed to transforming the life insurance industry through disruptive and i ... Click for full bio