Today we are going to talk about marketing. You may be like many other advisors that are very good at planning and get a number of referrals from existing clients but you never really learned how to market effectively especially in our modern digital world.
So today I want to start out with the basics of why pre-retirees buy your services and some ways you can show value.
I would argue there are two major ways you provide value that can be marketed:
1. Knowing the Rules – We have an incredibly difficult system of rules to navigate and it is very easy to make a mistake along the way. Rules are great because they are precise: if you do this you get that. But many rules are also nuanced. They have exceptions, jargon and legalese attached to them making it difficult even for experienced advisors to understand. The biggest problem with this complexity is that people can miss taking advantage of a rule that would save them a lot of money or get them additional benefits and they never even know it. Our job as marketers are to show them the mistakes they could be making and how to do it the right way.
2. Understanding Probabilities – Here I am talking about how you make future projections when planning. Future projections by their nature are not precise. We are often making educated guesses and erring on the conservative side. Because of this, I see probabilities as both positive and negative. On the positive side, you can cite statistics and studies about the likelihood of an event occurring and how you plan around it. On the other hand, the interpretation of probabilities can be easily warped by misinformation and biases. For instance, we often hear about people getting lucky when making bad bets but rarely hear about the others that lost. Because of this, you need to be very careful about how you market probabilities because they can easily be disputed by an uninformed person.
The reason a prospective client would want to work with you is that you can solve a problem that they can’t solve themselves. And like it or not, retirement marketing is about showing people the negative; the mistakes they might make if they don’t understand the rules and probabilities.
I want you to start by thinking about the decisions the average pre-retiree would make without your help. You have probably been in situations very recently where someone had a misconception or misunderstanding about the way something works. What would have happened if they had acted on that bad information?
This is how you can start to build out your marketing strategy to pre-retirees. Brainstorm the mistakes that you have seen people make. Then start to think about how you would get the word out to help people avoid those mistakes in the future. How would you take pre-written articles, PowerPoints and your own stories and turn it into something that would help prospective clients.
Corey is SSN’s in-house consultant on tax planning. He shows advisors how to dig into complex strategies and consider the implications of taxes as clients are getting ready to retire.