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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Hourihan

401(k) Advisor Prospecting: What are today’s best resources and tools? PART I

Marketing is the lifeblood of a business. It’s the voice that promotes you, your company, and your offering. As such, marketing is the key to success, but the marketing that worked yesterday might not work tomorrow. Thus, it is critical that you are informed, up-to-date, and aware of modern marketing techniques so you can win new business.

Modern plan sponsors are smart, educated, and addicted to Google. Let’s highlight the marketing trends you need to know so you can compete in today’s 401(k) marketplace.

What is prospecting?

This word, prospecting, means a lot of different things. You might immediately jump up and say, Cold Calling! True, this is a form of prospecting. However, today, we are going to focus on modern prospecting techniques. (Think of it another way. When was the last time you bought something from a cold caller? In 2015, 4% of plan sponsors selected a new advisor based on an unsolicited call.[1])

What is modern prospecting?

Glad you asked! Modern prospecting is when a plan sponsor has a curiosity and you have a solution. We use the word curiosity and not the word “need” because a plan sponsor might not know they have a need; however, they do have a question. So, if are ready to help with that question, it is the beginning of a digital relationship. (Did you know that 81% of shoppers conduct online research before buying?[2])

Examples of modern and searchable marketing include:

  • Original blog articles. In order to be found, your content needs to be different. Copying and pasting templated, generic content doesn’t differentiate you with a search engine. Keep in mind that your website is being filtered by an algorism; and if your words are the same as everyone else’s, how can a computer tell you apart? Only original content will be separated (and rewarded) by the algorism through search engine optimization.

  • Advisor Directories. With the new Conflict of Interest rules and recent headline class action lawsuits, plan sponsors are going to be evaluating their advisor relationships. Plan sponsors are going to need an efficient platform to find, qualify, and select new advisor candidates. If your firm specializes in the 401(k) industry and you want to be found by curious plan sponsors, maybe you should consider joining the 401(k) industry advisor directories. Your ideal prospects are already visiting these pages now, and you can leverage your experience, quality of advice, and marketing content to inbound leads. (ex. 401k Study Group I Advisor Directory)

  • Social Media. There are two schools of thought on social connections: either have a known network of connections – or – be connected with everyone. Everyone will have a different opinion on which is best. Ask yourself, what am I trying to accomplish with social media? This will help guide your personal response to relationship building. Then, once you decide, start being social! Update your LinkedIn profile with a compelling, “Why You? What sets you apart from the competition? Hint: Why do you love working with plans? Write it down as your new headliner. Then share a healthy mix of curated and created content. Just remember, don’t send a robot to a cocktail party.

In summary, marketing is a journey and content marketing takes time - lots of time. It’s the consistency of marketing, promoting, sharing, and educating your prospects that converts them into clients. According to Google, modern consumers will go through 57% of the traditional sales process before they even contact you.[3] So this means the plan sponsor most likely has been to your website, seen your blog, viewed your newsletters, and experienced your digital business. If your site and content marketing impacted and impressed that plan sponsor, guess what, you’ve got a new email lead in your inbox – and one that is already 57% of the way to becoming a new client!

Thanks for reading and Happy Marketing!

About 401(k) Marketing

We believe the retirement plan industry can do better. Our clients are the best professional retirement plan advisors and TPAs in the business. They care deeply about saving America’s retirement future. We are proud to share their voices through industry writings, professionally-designed marketing materials (including websites), and expert content collateral. We lend support by promoting businesses through ongoing awareness campaigns.

About Retirement Plan Marketing

Retirement Plan Marketing is a product of 401(k) Marketing and is an ongoing turnkey marketing solution for retirement plan advisors. It is an easy-to-follow, consistent marketing program designed to get you noticed in your community and generate new retirement plan sales. When you deliver relevant plan sponsor content, you add value to your conversations and can work your way up to become known as the “go-to” retirement plan advisory office.

[1] Plan Sponsor Attitudes 2015: Sixth Edition. Fidelity Investments.

[2] Morrison, Kimberlee. 81% of Shoppers Conduct Online Research Before Buying. Social Times. Nov. 28, 2014.

[3] Think with Google: B2B’s Digital Evolution. February 2013.

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