Even in today’s rapidly changing industry, financial and insurance professionals can always count on a couple constants when charting out a business plan. First, there is a need to identify and capture new markets. Second, there is a goal to better serve existing clients with new product and service offerings.
Both of these basics are crucial to expanding a financial practice, and in these two simple prerequisites to bettering your business, the operative word is “new.” Agents and advisors are looking for new leads that turn into new prospects, new sales strategies for new products and new opportunities that can generate new results.
So how does one experience this “new”?
Often times in this industry, one look around might lead you to believe it’s by practicing “old.” Producers of all ages and all levels of success tend to do the same things again and again to chase after new markets, products and service offerings. They allocate resources and money to hiring and retaining employees, building infrastructure and acquiring outside services, and they end up searching for it all on their own time and dime. Usually, the scramble takes away attention from the business itself. At Creative Marketing, we know there’s a better way to identify and hold on to a piece of the “new” that financial and insurance professionals desire.
Our advice is simple: Build a network of strategic partners – each covering specific areas of expertise – that can be utilized as needed to expand product and service offerings without requiring your practice to incur the costs of development and maintenance.
Strategic partners can serve as sales professionals, technical experts, plan administrators and back-office support for your practice as they work to help you capture new markets such as business succession, estate planning, and executive compensation and incentives. Partnering tactically with a third-party firm can also afford valuable access to entire executive and management teams, giving you, the producer, the green light to compliment qualified retirement plans adding nonqualified coverage with higher benefits. In addition, this move to reach out from your practice and harness the expertise of other professionals can open opportunities to work in Corporate Owned Life Insurance (COLI) and Banked Owned Life Insurance (BOLI) markets.
Remember, chances are the “old” won’t be enough to get your firm there – teaming up in a mutually beneficial alliance, on the other hand, can.
One such trusted partner is National Benefits Group (NBG), based out of Minneapolis. Once the preferred service provider to Marsh & McLennan, and its clientele of Fortune 1000 companies and their key executives, NBG now forges direct partnerships with independent agents and advisors. NBG can offer custom solutions and boutique services for your practice, as they specialize in advising for cases involving small and mid-sized businesses and business owners.
To share an example of what a strategic partnership with NBG can look like, it might help to examine one of the company’s recently completed cases in which a qualified employee Roth IRA plan was redesigned into a nonqualified life insurance policy. Here’s a simple problem-solution-outcome scenario from the perspective of the partnering agent:
Problem: Plan participants at your client’s company were unable to contribute to a Roth IRA because of government income limitations.
Solution: NBG advises the company to set up a bonus plan whereby bonuses are used to pay life insurance premiums, and participants can also contribute additional money into the policy.
Outcome: You meet individually with plan participants explaining NBG’s solution (gaining personal planning clients in the process). When the policy is in place, the participants’ life insurance plan grows tax-deferred and money can be received income-tax free.
Now, landing a large employee retirement plan might seem like a stretch. Rest assured, the majority of financial professionals who use these strategic partnering services also use NBG’s help to get a foot in the door. Advisors and agents contact NBG to describe a client or prospect. Then, NBG serves as a sounding board to identify opportunities with wealthy individuals, business owners, businesses and not-for-profit organizations alike.
Their service supports you and your client throughout the entire process, and, most importantly, your clients stay your clients. NBG is explicit about the partnering agreement: They provide expertise and support operating under a commission split arrangement, and the advisor or agent keeps their clients and contracts.
In the end, this assistance can propel your practice to achieve a level of growth unattainable with most do-it-yourself models. To reach that point, it makes sense to follow the old adage “out with the old and in with new.” After all, hasn’t enough time passed already? Now is your chance to do something different. Call your Creative Marketing Sales Consultant today to learn more about the benefits of strategic partnerships for your practice.
FOR AGENT USE ONLY. NOT FOR USE WITH THE GENERAL PUBLIC. 11821 – 2011/7/26