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Marketing Unplugged Financial Consultant and the Joy of Insurance Insurance further fits into two additional categories: • You are licensed to sell it — It’s one stop shopping for your client. • You are not — You need to refer the business elsewhere.

Exactly how comprehensive do you want to be? As a financial consultant you strive to begin each new relationship with a comprehensive financial plan. After all, your doctor learns a lot about you before dispensing drugs or suggesting surgery. (Don’t we love being lumped together with doctors?) Once the plan is completed and reviewed, it’s tempting to immediately do all the business we can, then saying: “You really should get these other problems addressed too.” Wouldn’t you be better serving your clients if you tried to address everything? Often this includes your client’s insurance needs. What Is Insurance, Anyway? You ponder the question: “That’s a great idea! I’m licensed for insurance!” Let’s be more accurate. You hold a license allowing you to sell some types of insurance. Insurance fits into several categories: • Life Insurance — Selling life insurance in the US began in the 1760’s. Credit the Presbyterian Synods in Philadelphia and New York. You continue the tradition. It usually is written as whole or term life policies. • Annuities — A form of “investment insurance”, they are sometimes called “private pensions”. That name says it all. Fixed and variable are two main categories. • Disability Insurance — According to Marketwatch half of American families are living paycheck to paycheck. They pay their bills with cash flow from salary and wages might be a kinder way to say it. What happens when that cash flow is interrupted due to injury? • Health Insurance — Everyone needs it. No one understands it. • Auto, Home and Liability Insurance — Everyone needs protection for peace of mind. Sometimes, it’s the bank extending the loan that wants that peace of mind. As a financial consultant, you are likely licensed to provide the first three, but not the last two. What now? How Do You Price Financial Planning? Clients expect financial planning. Unfortunately, over the years they have Page 20

Your clients like and trust you. In many cases they would be happy buying all their financial products from you, assuming the products were high quality and priced fairly. Many people want a turnkey operation allowing one stop shopping. One of the purposes of adopting financial planning is to establish yourself as their “go to” person when they have financial questions of any kind. Assuming you are an independent financial consultant with your name on the door, there are several ways you can address the insurance issue.

been conditioned to expect it for free. What’s your approach? • It’s Free — We offer it as part of the new client experience. We expect to recoup costs from fees and commissions charged on the products they buy. • Basic is Free, Advanced is Not – Most people feel their situation is unique. • Planning Costs Money — We charge a fee on all plans. Some people might offer a credit towards investment fees, others don’t. • Planning Is Our Primary Product — We charge by the hour, similar to law firms. The plan can be implemented away from us, if you choose. It’s a standalone product. How Should You Approach Insurance? Insurance is part of a client’s life. It broadly fits into two categories: • During Life — Annuities provide retirement income. Health insurance keeps them alive. Auto and homeowners insurance provide protection. • After Life — Life insurance provides for beneficiaries. It can leave a legacy. Used as part of an estate plan, it can provide money to pay estate taxes, enabling the family farm or fortune to pass to the next generation.

• Get additional licenses — Study, study, study. Now you are licensed to sell health, auto and homeowners insurance. Pros: You can address more of your client’s needs. You gain a larger share of wallet. Cons: This might take lots of time. You need product lines. Profit margins might be slim. • Bring on an insurance expert — Hire a fully licensed insurance agent as part of your team. Ideally they have clients who will buy investment products. Your clients have access to a range of insurance products. Revenue goes into a large pot. Pros: Someone else did the studying. The expertise is under one roof. Yours. Cons: Added team members means added expenses. This includes office space and salaries. • Join an Insurance Company — You leave the independent space and join a large firm on the insurance side. Pros: Expenses are lower. You aren’t paying for your own office. Someone else pays to get you licensed. There are plenty of people in your new office who are insurance experts, but not investment experts. Fee sharing is a possibility. Cons: It’s an extreme solution. Will your clients follow you? • Develop a Strategic Partnership — You find an agent in your area who shares your The Register | September-October 2017

Register Volume 18 Issue 5  

It is hard to believe there are only four months left in this year. Already we are well underway with the collegiate 2018 National Financial...

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