As an insurance agent looking out for your clients’ interests, you’ve probably seen a lot of strategies claiming to be the best of them all. Some, perhaps many, aren’t able to live up to these lofty assurances. But if you’re familiar with leveraged planning, you know that it can really deliver with the right candidate.
Quite simply, leveraged planning is one of the fastest growing insurance and annuity based lending strategies for businesses and individuals out there. However, in order for it to work, you have to be able to target the right clientele. This is best accomplished through prospecting.
The following are several time-tested strategies that can help you pinpoint prospects that stand to benefit from leveraged planning and the power of putting borrowed funds to work.
Know your target audience
As with any wealth creation strategy, it has to be paired with the right audience. For example, annuities can be an effective way to save for retirement, but only if the circumstances are on point.
Leveraged planning is no different. Generally speaking, the target audience for insurance-backed lending is high net worth clients. For individuals, this typically includes people in the medical field, such as primary care physicians and surgeons. Private attorneys are also tailor-made for leveraged planning, assuming they earn at least $250,000 per year. The more money they’re earning, the more likely it is that they’re good candidates for the program.
The quintessential leveraged planning client is earning in excess of $5 million. In the United States today, over 1 million Americans have a net worth of $5 million or more. Of these, more than half – 56 percent – are between the ages of 47 and 66.
These are some of the characteristics to have in the back of your mind as you prospect.
Ask for referrals
“Two-thirds of all-new business comes from referrals.”
It’s often said that it’s not what you know, but who you know. While this axiom typically refers to the working world, it has its truth in prospecting as well, referrals especially. According to a highly cited statistic first reported by The New York Times, nearly 66 percent of all-new business comes from referrals.
People tend to associate with those who are similar to them. So if you have a client who has successfully used leveraged planning, it’s likely they know someone who could benefit as well. The problem is that they may not volunteer this information unless you ask them. Once you’ve developed a rapport with a client, inquire about the company they keep. New business contacts may be right under your nose.
Be true to your word
The quickest way for a current client to become a former client is over-promising and under-delivering. Whenever you make an assurance to your contact, make sure that you can fulfill what’s assured. A good rule of thumb to follow is under-promise and over-deliver. Even on the little things – like calling when you say you will – make sure that you live up to your end of the bargain. It’s the small things that can lead to big gains.
Use the phone
Long before the days of texting and emailing, there was a handheld device with numbers and symbols. It was called the phone. Several polls have shown that more people would rather send a text message than call. But texting isn’t a smart strategy when you’re prospecting, mainly because it’s far too informal. Many financial experts and insurance agents who contribute to the website LifeHealthPro swear by cold calling, describing it as an effective sales strategy. With a strong sales pitch, cold calling can get your foot in the door.
Let your actions do the talking
Actions really do speak louder than words, especially when you’re a contributing member of a group, network, community or town. By being an example and volunteering where an extra set of hands are needed, you can draw people to you rather than the other way around. This can give you a greater pool of prospects to choose from, increasing your opportunities along the way.
Maintain a mental checklist
Leveraged planning clients are high net worth, but this isn’t the only characteristic that they ought to satisfy for the income planning strategy to be successful. There’s usually several attributes that makes them befitting of the program. Try to keep a running checklist in your head. For example, is the client a business owner? If so, does he or she have steady clientele, ensuring a reliable cash flow? Is the prospect in the target age demographic, that being 45 to 66? Every point they satisfy is a check in the win column.
For more information on leveraged planning and the resources you need to get started, speak with a GFD advisor.