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4 Steps to a Crystal-Clear Marketing Plan

OK, be honest. What’s keeping you from creating a marketing plan for selling retirement plans?

  • I’m too busy running my business.
  • I don’t know how to get started.
  • I have a plan, but I can’t tell if it’s working.

These are all valid reasons. But can you afford not to have a plan for growing your sales in the next year?

Here’s the good news: In the time it takes to enjoy a large mug of coffee (or two), you could develop a simple plan that sets you up for success. So grab a beverage, put yourself on “do not disturb” and focus on these four steps.

1. Set your goals. List goals that are specific, meaningful and achievable — and keep the list short. Setting goals makes it easier for you and your team to choose marketing activities that'll help you achieve them. Schedule dates to check in on your goals periodically during the year. Here are a few to get you started:

Goal 1: Aim for retirement plans to make up 30% of your overall practice.
Goal 2: Add 10 retirement plan clients in the next year.
Goal 3: Increase assets under management by 10%.

2. Track down targets. Review your book of existing clients and search for retirement plan cross-sell prospects. Some provider partners, like The Standard, offer industry research tools to help you evaluate your opportunities. As you identify prospects, think about how you’ll market retirement plans to these clients by answering these questions:

  • What plan type would make sense — 401(k), 403(b), Pooled Employer Plan or defined benefit? Would adding a cash balance plan fit the needs of the business owner and key employees?
  • Is the organization in your target market? Think about your specialty and whether a client would be a good fit. Do you sell mostly to white collar businesses? Manufacturing firms? Small versus large companies?
  • Would your service model support the client’s geographic needs? Does the client’s business have many locations? Are they centralized or scattered across the country?

3. Package your marketing messages. In addition to using brochures and flyers, pull in websites, emails, blog posts and videos. A variety of messaging will help you reach more people, even on a small budget.

Choose marketing materials that help showcase your expertise in retirement plans. Think about whether to tweak existing pieces or create new ones. If you’re not sure where to start, ask provider partners like The Standard for content or sample materials. A solid portfolio will include:

  • Content that markets you and your team, such as bios, credentials, length of time in business and assets under management.
  • Sales materials that describe your offerings and value proposition. Bring attention to how you service retirement plans and what makes you stand out from other retirement plan advisors.
  • Service-centered materials, such as retirement readiness tips and education modules.

4. Set up touchpoints. These are the activities that’ll help you connect with prospects. Find ways to uncover leads or hold prospect meetings, for example.

After you decide on touchpoints, create an action plan for each activity:

  • Identify the person in your firm responsible for leading the activity.
  • Create a schedule that outlines each step.
  • Provide marketing support.
  • Follow up with clients after every marketing activity.

Pro tip: Enter touchpoints on a team calendar and review them regularly. This will help ensure good timing at each step of the process.

Creating a marketing plan doesn’t require a huge budget, big chunk of time or deep expertise — especially if you can rely on marketing support from a provider partner like us. For more help, contact your retirement plan sales partner at The Standard.

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