Using Continuing Education to increase your Knowledge (and Sales)

(AKA 3 Emotional Questions)

All of us who hold Insurance, Securities, CPA, CLU/ChFC, and CPA licenses (the list goes on) need insurance continuing education to renew our licenses.

But how best to use Continuing Education to achieve more income, freedom, free time, and the benefits of same?
I believe I have new ideas for you!

Regarding More Income

Whatever course you take—either for your Securities, CPA, CLU/ChFC, CPA, or insurance continuing education—-whether textbook, online, cd-rom or even a live Continuing Education course, there is material in the insurance continuing education course that can be utilized to formulate three emotional questions to ask your prospects and clients.

As an example, an Estate Planning course should have the requisite information on sample calculations of Estate taxation. However, instead of an analytical advisory approach with your clients, how about developing three important emotional questions from the material to ask your prospects and clients.

Here is an example of questions from an Estate Planning Course:

  1. What kind of legacy do you want to leave your heirs, whether children or grandchildren?
  2. Are you aware of the methods to lower your estate taxation?
  3. How will your grandchildren and great grandchildren remember you?

Owing a nod to my friend, Bill Bachrach, you could also ask the question: What is important to you? (About bequeathing an Estate?)

The idea here is to prompt an emotional response and solve the problem analytically using the knowledge from the Continuing Education you have taken. For every insurance continuing education course you take, have a notepad available and formulate 3 emotional questions from the course material based on the analytical solution you will give to your clients.

Please remember: Except for engineers, 85% of all buying decisions are emotionally based and then analytically justified.

With three questions in mind, your clients will begin to think emotionally and purchase. Then, they will justify their purchase analytically.

Regarding the Increased Sales Utilizing Insurance Continuing Education Self-Study Courses:

By now, all of us realize the timesavings that self study Continuing Education can provide. Whether textbook, online, or cd-rom, producers can avoid traffic, gasoline costs, travel time and still complete their insurance continuing education requirements easily and efficiently. With some of this free time you have saved with a self-study course, focus in on a few pages of the self-study material. Then, formulate the 3 questions you would like to ask your clients.

Here is another example for Annuity Producers:

In California, all annuity producers are required to complete an Annuity Training course prior to discussing Annuities with their clients.

Sample emotional questions that could be formulated from this Continuing Education course are as follows:

  1. Are you aware that you are able to receive a lifetime income from an annuity?
  2. Will you have enough income for as long as your life span?
  3. Who would you like to be the beneficiary of an annuity you purchase?

I realize that this may seem sophomoric for seasoned producers, however, how many times do we forget to do the basics before “asking for the order”.

Again, the idea is to create emotional questions from insurance continuing education courses that will help you increase your sales, free time, and any other benefits resulting from increased income.

You solve the problem analytically, however, you must first obtain the clients buy-in and interest with emotional questions.

Regarding More Free Time For You:

What would you do with an extra working day of free time?

Would you be better able to serve your clients?

I realize that some producers still believe that Live Continuing Education is an acceptable way to earn Continuing Education credits. Some states even require a portion of your Continuing Education renewal requirements be earned in a classroom setting. And this includes your insurance continuing education as well.

As a producer myself who holds Securities and Insurance licenses, I will only attend live Continuing Education of compelling interest.

Here is the logic behind the statement.

  1. How much time do you waste in traffic driving to the class?
  2. What is your time worth during the production-hours you are driving to and sitting in a classroom?
  3. How many of the instructors are trying to recruit you to their production platform?
  4. What percentage of instructors actually have an excellent presentation with superior material content?
  5. Wouldn’t you rather complete your insurance continuing education in the comfort of your home or office?

For those of you that are exam-phobic, you probably are not aware of recent technological innovations with online courses and exams.

In non-monitored states, seek out a insurance continuing education company that allows you to search the text with an online search engine and learn while taking the exam. This will save you countless hours and allow you to learn more efficiently.

This feature will also allow you to formulate those three emotion based questions quickly and efficiently.
If by using online or textbook insurance continuing education, you realized you could increase your income, would you try it?

Summary

In our competitive world, every minute/hour/day counts.

If you save time and increase your sales with self-study insurance continuing education, is that better for you?
Make 2005 your best year ever. Create three questions and remember, “Ask your clients the 3 questions.”

Then, “Ask for the order”.


The Blackboard Jungle

By Sydney LeBlanc

“We live in a world of rules and regs with a multitude of exceptions, but the various interpretations of those rules, regs, and exceptions could fill the world’s oceans!”—J. William “Bill” Cooley, President/CEO, Success Continuing Education, Newport Beach, CA

In July of 1995, our world—as we knew it—changed. That’s when the landmark NASD Continuing Education Rule 1120 mandating Continuing Education requirements for all registered reps and broker-dealers took effect through the Securities Industry Continuing Education Program.

The two primary directives of the program are the same today as they were then: A Regulatory Element and a Firm Element.

For the benefit of those who are either new to the world of continuing education or need a refresher, let’s have a brief discussion about these elements and their definition.

The Regulatory Element is a computer-based training program that focuses on compliance, regulatory, ethical and sales practice standards, and the content is derived from rules and regulations, as well as standards and practices in the industry. In order to keep their licenses active, all registered reps must take, and pass, a regulatory test every three years. (The original 1995 rule stipulated that veteran brokers with at least 10 years experience (holding an NASD license for at least ten years without having obtained a subsequent license would be “grandfathered” and could skip the three hours of training required by all others.)

That rule was amended in 2005. Now, all licenses will fall under the regulatory requirement rules. This rule change affects over 100,000 registered reps.

The Firm Element is also web-based (however, can be classroom based or textbook oriented) and includes product-specific and non-product specific courses. This element requires that the firms conduct a “needs analysis” which can be done via questionnaire sent to all reps in order to determine the type of training and education needed to support the firm’s initiatives. A firm element training plan is developed from the analysis, which is then implemented with the insurance continuing education curriculum chosen.

Says “A-list” insurance continuing education provider J. William (Bill) Cooley, president of Newport Beach, California-based Success Continuing Education, “At the larger firm level, the director of training and development (and additional team members) usually creates the plan with the compliance officer , who then signs off on it. At smaller or independent firms, the manager or the owner/operator of the B/D may handle the plan.” Each B/D has their own “system” of developing the Firm Element Training Plan.

Cooley adds that the plans specify the type of training the reps need. For example, if the firm’s most common products are annuities and mutual funds, but they want to add the increasingly popular 1031 exchanges, those are the areas the plan will zero in on. It’s all very systematic, too, he says. “After reps complete the course(s) and take the tests to demonstrate proficiency, a tracking report of those who did or did not complete (exception report) the course is also provided to the firm.”

Last spring, though, the NASD changed its grandfathering rules for all reps and now it’s back to class for regulatory training with the virtual elimination of the exemption to Rule 1120 that had been established 10 years earlier. The ramification? Slightly more than 100,000 reps who were previously grandfathered will now have to take (or have already taken) the test. The new rule states that reps must complete the training within 120 days from the second anniversary of their registration date, and every three years thereafter. Reps who miss the training will have their licenses inactivated.

Now, instead of bogging you down with more long-winded definitions about rules and regulations (which you can get on www.nasd.org), and needless regulatory jargon, let’s take a quick look at a continuing education overview, both NASD-required and the other governing bodies for various licenses. Later, as we move forward with this series of columns on the subject, we’ll provide you with meaningful help in navigating through the maze of insurance continuing education choices and opportunities, choosing content, choosing a quality provider, determining costs and value received, and motivating your reps to “learn” (and not just to meet their basic requirements).

Categories of Continuing Ed

Here’s a quick rundown of the Continuing Education areas that are immediately relevant to our industry:

  • Firm Element Continuing Ed  – Regulated by the NASD, and includes both Regulatory and Firm Element. The NASD does not have an hourly or any other requirement except that each broker-dealer must have a documented continuing education program for its reps. The Regulatory Element programs are also offered for registered Supervisors/Principals and is designed to draw on the experience of the supervisor/principal includes such topics as supervision, suitability, insider trading, money laundering, and interviewing and hiring.
  • CFP Continuing Ed – Governed by the CFP Board of Standards, the current requirement for CFP licensees calls for 32 hours of continuing education every two years, including a required two hours of ethics training.
  • Insurance Continuing Ed – Regulated by the State Department of Insurance (50 states plus District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam). Each state has a certain number of hours that a rep must complete if he or she holds an insurance license in a particular state. For example, in California the requirement is 30 hours, while Florida requires 24. Continuing Education regulations and rules fall under the jurisdiction of the State Departments of Insurance. Many states also have state specific courses that an agent must complete to either renew their license, or if the rep markets certain products.
    Note: Currently, approximately 17 states require an ethics course as a part of the insurance continuing education and many providers suggest there soon will be more states following suit.
  • CLU and ChFC Continuing Ed – The Society of Financial Service Professionals/ PACE Board of Standards is the nationally recognized governing body for these higher designations. Includes continuing education services for credit for financial planners, attorneys, accountants and insurance agents. There is a 30-hour bi-annual requirement.
  • CPA Continuing Ed – The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy is the association body for each state accountancy board. Some states require the registration of programs with the individual state board of accountancy. As a general rule, if an insurance continuing education provider is approved by the NASBA, the state board usually will accept those approved courses for their individual state requirements. Most states require approximately 80 CPE hours every 2 years.

There are, of course, other areas of professional continuing education that require credits, such as CIMA and Enrolled Agent licensees, but for your purposes, we’ve only outlined those, which immediately impact your firm.

For Managers: A Big Challenge in the Office

In addition to understanding all the regs and rules of the various licenses and designations, plus conducting the needs analyses, developing training plans, and choosing providers (which we will cover in upcoming columns), there is another challenge to deal with: Motivation. With the already “stretched-to-the-max” time considerations for busy reps, many of them believe that the continuing ed requirements are just another distraction that takes them away from the responsibilities of client service and gathering assets. Even some managers express this attitude; particularly producing managers.

“Unfortunately there is a general malaise among brokers that insurance continuing education is just something they are required to do; that it’s a chore, it takes time and it’s not very enjoyable,” says compliance expert and president of Centennial, Colorado-based The Compliance Department, Chet Hebert. “They feel it’s something they need to do just to keep their license, not for their own advancement of their education.”

So the challenge becomes how do you rustle up excitement or incentives for the vast majority of your reps who, begrudgingly, spend extra time in front of their computer screens studying for tests?

Offers Hebert, “Managers can motivate their reps by choosing live insurance continuing education presentations. If a rep attends a live presentation and likes what he or she hears and learns, this can be very motivational. For example, let’s say that a rep wants to discuss asset allocation with a client, but does not fully understand the process well enough yet. After a live, high-level presentation on the subject, with interaction and time for questions, then an insurance continuing education course can be recommended for further study. As a result, the rep has a better overall perspective now of the topic and is further motivated to take other courses.”

Bill Cooley agrees with Hebert on the benefits of live group participation. Cooley’s organization—among others– offers these live classroom courses and is among a select group of continuing education providers licensed in all 50 states offering online courses, Live insurance continuing education, textbook courses, and courses on CD.

Providers and Content: Navigating Through the Maze

Without question, the task of choosing an insurance continuing education provider is daunting. Depending on the type of insurance continuing education courses needed, of course, the larger and well-established insurance continuing education providers can help you and your reps meet most all requirements. Firms like Kaplan Financial (which includes Dearborn and BISYS), RegEd, and Success Continuing Education, are just a few of the organizations that are well known in the industry. However, numerous smaller firms that provide insurance continuing education courses are increasingly entering the fray. All in all, there are more than 100 Continuing Education providers for the NASD firm element, and more than 3,000 for insurance continuing education.

Content choice is virtually limitless. Courses on every conceivable product and subsets of product are available. Most all insurance continuing education organizations, regulatory bodies, and state agencies are deliberating on whether (when and how) to require ethics training. But the lack of NASD-sanctioned courses does not deter some insurance continuing education providers. “Although not required by NASD firm element training,” says Cooley, “ we suggest to our broker-dealer clients that ethics training should be a part of their overall training plan. The original rules and regs were set up so that the firm decides what training is appropriate, and to my knowledge the only exception to that has been the requirement for financial firms to educate personnel with an anti-money laundering course., resulting from the Patriot Act”

And, of course, price always seems to be a consideration when choosing a provider. You know the adage, “Price is only an issue in the absence of value,” and while true, you still have a budget to stick to. That being said, the cost of courses and services can range from $19.95 to more than $100 (probably overpriced), depending on how many are chosen, the multiples, the format, and numerous other variables. We’ll cover this important area in an upcoming column, but according to Hebert it’s crucial to look at the quality of the content and the quality of the provider, “You shouldn’t necessarily judge a ‘book by its pricing.’ A lot of broker-dealers and operators look strictly at the price of a insurance continuing education course and think, ‘If I can get it for a-dollar-two-ninety-eight, that’s who I’m going with. But you usually get what you pay for.”

Value-Added Professional Education

Business development, practice management and other value-added courses are not part of the Firm Element and are not included in the course credit requirements. However, you may ask your brokers to take them for their own professional education and advancement. More clients, especially the affluent, are demanding that their advisors be highly skilled in specialized areas such as estate and retirement planning, separately managed accounts, or overall wealth management strategies. Organizations such as the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA), The Center for Fiduciary Studies (CFS), and the Financial Planning Association (FPA) offer education and designations to assist your reps in raising the standards of care for their clients.

Currently there are more than 100 designations and certifications available from numerous sources, some of which are internal and awarded by the firm itself to their own reps. Some require insurance continuing education and some don’t. (An entire listing is included in the Nov/Dec 2004 issue of Wealth and Retirement Planning magazine, and I’ll wager that list has increased by at least 20% by now.)

Large Firm Trends in Education and Designations

As mentioned, a number of firms, including Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, A.G. Edwards and others, have proprietary programs that attempt to cover the education and training their reps need, particularly in the area of financial planning. Some include the CFP in their basic training, and others are offering less stringent programs, such as the College for Financial Planning’s Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS) designation. Some firms grant internal accreditations such as for retirement planning and wealth management, and this trend is on the rise as firms continue to compete with each other for high level reps, and for the demand from reps themselves who are specializing in market niches.

Merrill, for example, doles out Private Wealth Advisor and the Wealth Management Advisor, focusing their site on the high net worth and the ultra high net worth clients. Morgan Stanley awards the Senior Consultant designation–among others–for those working with separate accounts and the consulting process.

Meanwhile, nationally recognized advanced designations focusing on wealth management, estate issues and investment management are growing in popularity. Among those are the CIMA and the Accredited Estate Planner (AEP) programs. The Cannon Financial Institute in Athens, Georgia, trains brokers in such areas a fiduciary responsibility, trusts, estate planning, wealth management and more, and is an advocate for increased education in other topics for high level reps, i.e., business succession planning, charitable giving, titling of assets, etc. to give them ammunition and a competitive edge when targeting the wealthy investors.

Until Next Time

We’ve covered the very basics of continuing education in this first column, and there is much more to come. Professional training and education is the lifeblood of our industry, and the firms, both insurance continuing education providers and broker-dealers, are ramping up to provide as much value as possible in order to compete in this environment. A few firms have even set up informal mentoring programs for their reps. It’s a good trend.

Chet Hebert sums up the real value behind continuing education in our industry: “ I believe insurance continuing education courses should reinforce investor protection and market integrity. This is what keeps individuals investing in our markets.”

For More Information:
The Compliance Department — thecompliancedepartment.com
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. — cfp.net
Cannon Financial Institute — cannonfinancial.com
National Association of Securities Dealers — nasd.org
Securities Industry/Regulatory Council on Continuing Ed — securitiescep.com
The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy — nasba.org
The Society of Financial Service Professionals/ PACE Board of Standards — financialpro.org

Questions regarding NASD Rule 1120 and the Continuing Education Program may be directed to NASD staff member Joe McDonald: (240) 386-5065


“Where”, “Why” and “How” to Find Wealthy Clients- Part 1

Every Broker, Agent, or Representative in the world would like to work with wealthier clients. In fact, if you work with wealthier clients, you can probably work with fewer clients and increase your income, work less hours, and have a higher quality of life.

Would you like to accomplish the above?

If you answered “yes” this article (written in 2 parts) is designed to give you the answers to the questions “where and how do I find wealthier clients?”

Part 1 is formatted to show you “where” to find wealthy clients.

Part 2 is written to show and tell you “how” to easily have more wealthy clients than maybe even you can absorb.

You have probably realized, heard, or even seen that the wealthy (assets over 1mm$) live their lives differently than the rest of the world.

For the most part they do not attend seminars from unknown providers, or buy form newspaper advertising, radio talk shows, or any other marketing that is unfamiliar to them, or to which they do not have a relationship.

Where do the wealthy go when they need information or to find a Financial Advisor?

Answer: They call their CPA, Attorney, or other trusted Associate.

Why: Because they have a trust based relationship with those professionals.

In fact, research shows that approximately 70% of the wealthy, when seeking financial advice, call their CPA or Attorney.

Wouldn’t you like to be the next call that the CPA or Attorney makes?

Another question for you: IF 70% of the wealthy are calling their CPA or Attorney, why would you look anywhere else to find wealthy clients?

An additional important point: The percentage rises to nearly 90% for the wealthy with assets over 10mm$. Thus, 90% of this class of wealth is reachable through their CPA.


Are you convinced that, in order to survive, you need to have a strategic partnership with partners of the wealthy?

If yes, then please read further.

Here is more good news for you, the Financial Advisor.

You, as a Financial Advisor, only need four strategic relationships with CPA’s or attorneys to double your income.

Studies have shown that with more than four strategic relationships, the Financial Advisor is stretched too thin, and their production may drop.

However, to obtain the trust of the CPA, there are different strategies you must implement.

Remember, your client is the CPA or Attorney, therefore:

1.) Know your professional CPA, Attorney, as well as you know your family.

For you to develop a continuing referral source, the professional must be your client. Discover their personal, business, and communication issues confronting them.

Know the Person

What are their interests? Family member’s names? What is their home town? When is their birthday?

What are their business goals and Objectives?

How does their business operate? Are they expanding their business? What are their practice management issues?

Know their Service and Practice Issues

What makes their business tick? What are their product issues?

How do they find new clients?

Understand their clientele.

Surprise! Just like you, they have an affinity for certain types of clients. Do you understand their favorite type of client?

The CPA’s Compensation

How does the CPA make his/her income? What is the profitable part of their business? How can you help increase his/her income?

Understand that the Professional is your client

You are the sub-contactor. Will you do everything you can to show them that the relationship is important to you?

Know your new strategic partner client as well as you know your top three clients.

2.) Let the CPA or Attorney be the leader.

This is most important. Set your ego aside. Although you may be the smartest person in the room, it doesn’t matter.

The referral is not your client. It is the client of the CPA or Attorney.

3.) What can you do for the CPA or Attorney?

Most advisors approach CPA’s to tell the CPA how great they and their services are within the financial service industry.

This is always a dead end.

Why?

Because every financial advisor says the same thing.

You are then a member of a long line of Advisors who bring no added value to the CPA.

You have not differentiated yourself. You are only telling the CPA of your self-interests.

Guess What! You have not established a relationship. No relationship means no business.

If you believe nothing else, believe this:

The CPA doesn’t care. Everyone approaches them in this manner.

Be Smarter! Ask what you can do for your CPA, not what your CPA can do for you!

Becoming a master with the above is the difference between success and failure. (Please refer back to Item 1.)

In the next article (Part 2) I will show you how to easily begin to network with CPA’s.

Remember, what you do everyday shows up as a result later.

Accomplish as much as you possibly can!


Do you realize just how Great the “Financial Services Industry” is with helping people?

Many professionals in our Industry have forgotten the above important point!!

First, the bad news that makes us forget how great we are at helping people.

Then, the Good News: What you can do to enhance your own image and our industry’s image.

Let’s get started.

What do you think you can do under the current regulatory environment to avoid a problem for you and your business?

If you are struggling for an easy answer, then welcome to The New World!

Without belaboring the point, we all realize that the financial services world has changed.

All of us have a story about how the current regulatory environment has affected us personally or someone we know who has been touched by the new interpretations of rules the NASD, SEC, or even our own B/D Compliance Department.

Here are some helpful ideas to make sure you survive.

#1- Avoid issues that can cause confusion or misinterpretation (especially with clients)

If in doubt, do not do anything, until you have approval from your Branch Manager, OST, or Compliance Department.

As a Registered Principal myself, I am amazed that someone would market to their clients a non-approved product and put their license in jeopardy.

Offshore CD’s, telephone booths, and Private Placements are a focus of the pitfalls.

The rule is: “If you are unsure what to do, seek guidance before even thinking about it.”

I realize that there are only so many ways you can say “Don’t Steal”, however, if you think of the consequences to you and our Industry, you would have to be crazy to consider risking your career, license, and time you have spent building your business.

The Good News begins HERE with what you can do to help!

#2- Join an Organization in our Industry

Recently I attended a conference in Orlando, FL to increase my knowledge of our industry.

The Financial Services Institute (FSI) was holding a conference at the same hotel.

The mission of FSI is to promote the interests of the independent B/D and their representatives with regulatory issues and other issues that are important to you.

If you are one of the approximately 120,000 Independent reps in the U.S, you should the join the producer division of FSI.

Make your voice heard as membership is only $99.00 per year.

The most effective way to change the regulatory environment is to lobby in congress, making Senators and Representatives aware that the Financial Services Industry does a great job at helping Americans.

FiancialServices.org is the location for more information.

NAIFA is another organization fighting for your interests.

NAIFA.org. is able to tell you where to go for meetings, knowledge, and how you can help your practice.

Attend a LIMRA meeting. LIMRA.com has a listing of meetings that will be of interest to you.

Also get involved with a local organization. Check the newspapers for local meetings. Meet new people, learn, and become involved.

You cannot obtain a better working environment for yourself by sitting behind your desk.

How many times have you gotten a great idea by talking with a colleague?

Get out there!!

#3- Attend a Conference or Meeting (at least once a quarter)

Attend a conference or meeting other than your B/D Conference.

Every time I attend a conference, I come away with great ideas to immediately help my business and solving problems.

You will gain new ideas and help your business! (If you attend)

There are many free or low cost conferences such as the following:

  1. Financial Advisor Symposium- FA-MAG.COM
  2. Senior Market- Advisor Conference- SeniorMarketAdvisor.com
  3. FPA Conferences
  4. ValuedAdvisors.org
  5. FPANET.org (to discover meetings nationwide)
  6. PlanningTampaBay.org

These are but a few of the great meetings you can attend. Go to a different geographical area and obtain a different perspective.

  1. Society of Financial Service Professionals (and their Conferences) is another group fighting to protect the interests of our world. FinancialPro.org is the place for more information.

My apologies to those groups that space did not permit my mentioning. There are many organizations that would welcome your enthusiasm, knowledge, credibility, and participation.

Ok, you get the point! Now do your part and join an organization, attend a new conference or new meeting, learn, implement, and succeed beyond your expectations.

If you do nothing, you do not have absolutely and positively any right to complain about the state of our industry.

If we as professionals point out to the world the great job we do and stand as a united front showing the world what a great industry we have, the world will realize the great jobs we do in helping people with their financial futures.

Now, it’s your decision. Get Out There, Learn, Succeed, and Really Make a Difference!!


Best Ideas On Using Insurance Continuing Education to Increase Sales

Branch Meetings
You can approach the Branch Manager about a branch meeting where, at the end of your first meeting, you hand out the insurance continuing education self-study online vouchers, CD-ROMs or books. You should plan to return to the branch within six weeks to check on the insurance continuing education status and make your second presentation on your product. Since you have helped solve the insurance continuing education problem for the Branch Manager, your prestige within the branch should be enhanced.

OSJ Meetings
The same approach is successful with OSJ meetings as with Branch Meetings! You may be the only speaker they need since you offer the large insurance CE credits.

National Meetings
To help the B/D increase attendance, the B/D would love for you to provide a large number of insurance continuing education hours at their conferences. In addition to insurance continuing education our courses are also good for CFP, CPA, CLU/ChFC, and Enrolled Agent C/E Credits.

If you are speaking at the B/D Conference, a great way to insure large attendance is to offer the insurance continuing education hours as a “thank you” for producers attending your presentation.

Regional Meetings
Provide the insurance continuing education from your booth. Also, the above ideas are successful at the B/D’s Regional meetings.

Individual Meetings
For the broker who has done business with you, or for the broker who you want to impress, giving him/her a large number of insurance CE hours puts you in a position of strength!

P.S. C/E is a tool that will give you access to the top producers with each firm. By giving the brokers a large number of CFP and Insurance C/E hours, you will gain added prestige for you and your firm.


How to Draw Larger Crowds Than Your Competitors

By J. William “Bill” Cooley

Have you noticed that other product distribution companies have more advisors in attendance during product presentations? Of course, one of your biggest challenges is drawing an enthusiastic audience for your product presentations. We believe there are several reasons why other companies have larger audiences and one is that their presentation is approved nationwide for the various licenses and designations. I am referring to insurance, CFP, CLU, ChFC, and CIMA continuing education credits.

If you were an advisor attending a product distribution company’s presentation would you prefer just sitting there and listening for an hour or more, or would you rather enjoy a live presentation where you earn CE credits? The answer is a no-brainer.

Just remember: whether or not you believe your topic is a timely or hot one, it would still draw larger crowds if the presentation was approved for nationwide CE credits.

Think about the following:

Here’s How To Do It — Offer advisors in the audience continuing education credits either through LIVE CE or CE Credit Card/CE Vouchers. It is possible you can double your attendance through LIVE CE presentations which can also be customized to your firm’s products. As a result, you are able to showcase your products and its benefits to the advisors and they, in turn, will learn the strategies to recommend the products to their clients. Another option is to choose a nationwide- approved CE company so you can build an audience as well as your sales. Be sure that their Live CE presentations are pre-approved in every state. Do the Math: If you tell you company’s story to twice as many advisors, and you keep the same closing ratio, will you double your sales? It’s not rocket science—the idea really works!

Value-Added Face Time for Your Wholesalers — Your goal is to have your target audience look forward to the wholesaler’s visit. If advisors know they will Insurance, CFP, CLU/ChFC, and CIMA CE credits with each visit, they will.

More Credibility — Your wholesalers will also be recognized as experts in their field by giving LIVE CE classes on your firm’s products.

You’ve Heard it Before: Time is Money — “Lunch and Learn” session are great for LIVE CE presentations when time is critical to both your wholesaler and the advisor. Especially in these times of market volatility, advisors are spending most of their time calming clients and needing help with their time management. Your wholesaler can present a LIVE class which will give the advisors the CE credits they need, and at the same time, showcase your products. You probably agree this is effective time management!

Great Alternative — Some wholesalers may not have the presentation experience to teach LIVE CE classes. If so, why not have your wholesaler gives his or her standard presentation and then, as a value-add, at the end hand out a CE Voucher or Credit Card to each attendee, customized with your company logo and the wholesaler’s information. This gives the wholesaler to opportunity to re-visit or call the advisor and ask, “Have you used the Vouchers?” or “Have you completed your CE?” The wholesaler now has the opportunity to get more quality face time after their initial office visit.

Double Whammy — By handing out the CE Voucher and Credit Card, your wholesaler’s LIVE CE presentation just became that much more effective. He or she can remind advisors that they can earn up to 30 hours of online insurance continuing education, depending on their state, with the luxury of the CE Voucher and/or the CE Credit Card. There is easy portability, and no pre-notification requirements. Companies find that they are perfect for a large or small meetings. Note: Wholesalers, who present Live CE and present the vouchers and credit cards as an added “Thank You” will see an additional increase in their attendance.

Don’t be just a talking head: ADD VALUE. It’s easy to increase advisor attendance by using Success LIVE CE and custom-branded CE Credit Cards and Vouchers.

Both your wholesalers and your advisors will be happy and you will be satisfied with your sales results!


How to Differentiate Yourself from All Other Advisers

By Steve Matter

Build Extraordinary Client Loyalty

At SuccessCE.com we are committed to helping you grow your business and client relationships in addition to our outstanding Continuing Education programs.

Successful Advisors want loyal clients. Here’s a way to build extraordinary client loyalty and goodwill.

Millions of people are out of work disrupting their ability to meet their financial obligations and goals.

  • “The 86 Million Invisible Unemployed” – CNN.com 5/3/2012
  • Unemployment doesn’t magically stop when the benefits end
  • 2 out of 3 adults know someone who just lost their job – Gallup Poll, April
  • 12.7 million receiving unemployment benefits – June 2012 Labor report
  • 8.2 million working part-time who can’t find full-time work – June report

You can assist your clients, family and friends in this situation by giving them the strategic and tactical new book, “Get Noticed & Get Hired: Action Steps, Strategies and Resources to Become Empowered & Employed”. There’s a saying in the Financial Services business, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Your act of caring can create priceless client loyalty.

SuccessCE.com has partnered with the author, veteran manager Steve Matter, to offer this book at a special reduced rate on Amazon.com of $10.25* through the end of August. This is 20% off the regular retail price of $12.95.

Order Now

Consider:

  • Many clients have 3 advisers, you can be the one to offer help instead of hope
  • Job loss can cause clients to liquidate assets and stop paying premiums
  • Most people don’t know how to structure a dynamic resume that puts their skills in alignment with the position – that’s why they can’t get interviews
  • Stories on 60 Minutes & Dateline about people out of work 2 years+
  • Many unemployed are embarrassed to ask for help

“Get Noticed & Get Hired” has received several endorsements, including:

“For anyone seeking to ‘Get Noticed & Get Hired’, here’s your plan of action.” — – Jack Shuler, Director of Human Resources, Retired, The Boeing Co.

“Steve’s book carries tremendous insight and provides the tools to successfully go through the hiring process during one of life’s toughest dilemmas.” — Scott Alevy, President/CEO, San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce

An advisor in the LA market sent the following email to his client list and had 2% of his clients request a book.

“Dear _______,

Millions of people today are impacted by unemployment. Television and news reports are filled with stories about people who are struggling to get back to work without success. If you know anyone in this situation we might be able to help.

There is an excellent book that could assist job seekers through this process. Topics include networking, building a support team, structuring an attention grabbing resume and how to prepare for an interview.

If you feel this would be helpful to anyone let us know and we’ll send you a complimentary copy.

Sincerely,

Advisor”

Set yourself apart from competitors as a discerning advisor from those only offering hope to the unemployed by giving them help with the tools and resources that could be the catalyst in getting them their new position or a better job in this competitive employment market.

There is an excellent book that can assist job seekers to stand out on paper and in person.

Your small investment can make a remarkable difference for those seeking employment.

Order Now

The 20% reduced price on Amazon.com of $10.25* is good for all orders through August 2012.

*Plus Shipping/Handling and any applicable taxes.

SuccessCE.com