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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Hourihan

Why Quality Follow Up Can Be More Important Than New Introductions

How many sales are won on the first meeting? Not many, right? As an advisor, you put in the work to earn new business, and that could take four, five, six or fourteen meetings. Retirement plan sales are not transactions at Starbucks; they are well-thought out, long-term commitments. Deep down, we all know this, so why isn’t every retirement plan advisor implementing a multi-touchpoint prospect nurturing campaign?

There is no better time than now to start. Here are 4 tips to help you follow up like a pro.

Don’t Waste Time

Your plan sponsor prospects are busy. They lead companies, manage hard-working Americans and are forced to be continual learners. With each business cycle, they must read, understand and implement endless new rules, regulations, systems, processes while at the same time, they must continuously guide their company towards profitability and sustainability.

As such, you need to be direct and intentional with your follow up efforts. Spammy or fluffy advertisements will not work on this demographic. However, follow up content that speaks to the problems (and solutions) your prospects are dealing with today can immediately boost your relevancy to busy plan sponsors.

(Relevant) Content is King

The goal is to relate to their problem, present helpful information and guide them towards solutions (which includes hiring you). In our increasingly digital world, top performing follow up content includes:

  • Articles

  • Case studies

  • Infographics

  • Newsletters

  • Plan sponsor guides

  • Podcasts

  • Webinars

  • Videos

To get started, take out a piece of paper and write down the top 3 questions you get from new prospects. Chances are, other plan sponsors in your target market are wondering about the same topics. Take the time to thoughtfully answer these questions and then put them in a designed format using examples from the list above. Obtain compliance approval and you have yourself distributable follow up content that answers the questions on your prospect’s minds. Now it is time to share these materials. Start with your existing clients, prospects and centers of influence. Send them 1 one topic at a time via email and include why they are receiving this information. Something like, “Our Top 3 Employer Questions about 401(k) Plans Answered | Part 1.” As you answer their burning questions, your contact list will be delighted by the new knowledge and insights. Plus, they will begin to view you as a trusted expert. Continue with each of the 3 topics and soon you will experience a flurry of new conversations and a spark of opportunities to deepen relationships with follow-up activities - good work!

Don’t Stop When It Starts Working

Often, after a successful follow up campaign, we hear from advisors, “It worked so well, we stopped.” While this is normal, it doesn’t set you up for long lasting success. This is why you need to adopt an ongoing process. Something easy, repeatable and actionable. We all know that sales rarely close on the first meeting, 80% of sales happen between the 5th and 12th contact. Which means, consistency is key. By adopting a consistent follow up process you stay in front of prospects, building trust over time as they gain the confidence to say yes and hire you as their retirement plan advisor.

Make a Plan

On average, prospects report reading 13 pieces of content before making a buying decision. This is a huge opportunity for advisors to publish digital content. If you are the source of relevant and interesting plan sponsor content, you will stand out and be the only retirement plan advisor worthy of hiring!

Whether you create it in-house, curate it through quality news sources, use Home Office campaigns or partner with an agency, you need quality content. Information that is specific and useful for your plan sponsor audience.

Pro Tip: Quality over quantity. Always make sure to send quality value-add content. Never send an email just to send an email because that will hurt your credibility, and your contact list will unsubscribe. As you gather a robust library of quality content, use the power of automation to make marketing easier. Pre-schedule your emails and segment your lists through automated campaigns to strengthen your sales pipeline. Try to make the process of marketing simple so that it’s fun for you, your team and your business. Another best practice is to have an Editorial Calendar. This powerful organizational tool will help ensure that the materials you send are timely and relevant. Think about when your clients and prospects need specific information and develop your digital content strategy accordingly. Remember the goal is to deliver valuable content that helps your clients and prospects become better fiduciaries and enhances your reputation as a trusted partner. Popular topics include:

  • Fiduciary plan governance

  • Rules and regulations

  • Plan design education

  • Financial wellness resources

  • Executive benefits

  • Health and wealth

Put It Into Action

Now is a great time to supercharge your marketing. Start small by working to gather an accurate contact list, then connect with your list via social media. After that, write out the types of retirement plan topics you believe your audience should be informed about. Then work to create content that answers these burning questions. Keeping your prospects warm long after the initial introduction is challenging. However, it is easier to convert a warm prospect then it is to identify a cold lead. Nurture busy plan sponsors by educating them about important retirement plan topics.

By staying top of mind, you will demonstrate your mastery of the retirement plan industry and be their trusted expert. So that way, when they are ready to take the next step, you have continuously demonstrated that you are their solution. Thanks for reading and Happy Marketing!

About Us

401(k) Marketing is the modern marketing agency for the retirement plan industry. We are proud to support our clients through custom engagements, content marketing campaigns, sales material innovations, thought-leadership consulting, interactive workshops and speaking events. Our mission is to empower the retirement plan industry with high-quality marketing, ultimately inspiring Americans to become financially prepared for their future.

Retirement Plan Marketing is the solution for retirement plan advisors looking to generate awareness, streamline sales opportunities and earn more 401(k) business. This comprehensive, strategy driven marketing program includes digital content and sales material specifically designed to help retirement plan professionals attract the right decision makers.


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