I have two concepts that I want to share with Retirement Plan Advisors that I think can positively impact their business in a huge way.
Focus your business model on helping people first and making money second. Put all your energy and efforts into building or improving upon your model, product and services. If you create awesome and impactful solutions, the monetary success will follow. I think most all of us agree this is true, but very few follow this creed.
This model, product or service solution that I mention in concept #1, get to work and invent your own that kicks butt! I had a recent meeting with my sales team (the guys that are hands-on at my company in helping Advisors market, prospect, sell and retain retirement plans) and we discussed how the great majority of Advisors these days only verbally explain what they do, often struggle to differentiate themselves from their competition and overall don’t really show a tangible solution or service. What I mean by that is they just talk about what they do in theory, but don’t really back it up with proof. Worse, when they describe what it is that they do, it sounds very similar to what all other Plan Advisors do.
Create Something Unique
Let me give some examples of how I think Advisors could CRUSH IT if they focused and built out some of these unique service solutions. What is the single most important thing in this whole retirement plan game? It’s the plan participants! This whole freaking deal is built so people can pile up cash for their retirement years. We call this “retirement readiness” and my industry (Record Keepers, Mutual Funds Companies) has focused a lot of energy towards solutions in recent years. However, in my opinion it’s the Plan Advisor that is in the very best position to make the most impact here, not the Industry Vendors. The Advisor is “boots on the ground.” The Advisor is “face to face.” The Advisor can make a real difference. Advisors should be able to show Plan Sponsors how they are moving the needle in regards to the success of the plan participants.
- Develop a unique plan of attack that measures the participant’s account balances and their ongoing success.
- Create a communication campaign that engages the participants and keeps them involved in the process. Maybe add a little fun or entertainment in your approach, to keep their attention.
- Put in place a live employee education plan that varies it’s topics and builds on a methodology from one stage to the next. (Don’t use a Vendor Powerpoint and provide free pizza at the back of the room..that’s been way overdone)
- Find a fun way to reward employees as they reach new levels of success, recognize their accomplishments.
- Document all that you do and show your Plan Sponsor all the great things that you have accomplished through your efforts.
If you are a Plan Advisor, my hope is that at your next 401(k) prospect meeting you can use these ideas to increase your chances of success. Unlike your competition, you will SHOW them that you use unique and creative ways to engage the employees, you track your results and you are passionate about making a difference and getting the most out of the 401k plan. You will prove to them that you actually get shit done!
and guess what? They will hire you.