Originally written April 2, 2009
by Denise Appleby CISP, CRC, CRPS, CRSP, APA
As a retirement planning consultant to financial professionals/service providers, I am often asked for ideas on how to capture more retirement assets. Some of my clients say that most of the previous recommendations they received are re-worked, overused, and simply just does not work with the people who have the most assets in retirement plans- Baby Boomers. With IRAs being one of the largest assets of many a wealthy – and not so wealthy Americans, it is easy to understand why financial professionals go after these assets. The question becomes, how successful are they in getting these assets? The reality is that the scale of success is like a seesaw that is weighted down on one end- with that end never rising above ground. In plain English, only a small percentage of financial institutions/professionals have experienced great success with garnering significant retirement assets. Some who are lucky enough to get those assets lose them to the competition due to a lack of understanding on how to properly serve this demographic.
Can You Get Boomer Assets? Can You Keep ‘em?
There are many reasons why clients decide to leave one financial advisor or institution for another. The obvious ones include poor customer service, lack of expert support staff, and insufficient product/service diversity. If you need a list of the common reasons, they can be found in most marketing books. The issue then becomes- ” when these clients want to leave their financial service provider, will they consider you good enough to be the next (and preferably) final stop on their merry-go-round quest to find the financial advisor who will give them what they (and their money) need?” Again, you can find some answers in many marketing books. But in many cases, if you have read one, you can consider yourself to have read most. But…as with everything else, there is always the exception to the rule. In this case, the exception is Charles S. Yanikoski’s “Nine Keys to Winning Baby Boomers’ Assets at Retirement” (or Nine Keys). Nine Keys takes a different approach by providing practical solutions to getting boomer assets and keeping them.
Mr. Yanikoski provides the following Nine Keys:
- Go on the offensive: this is an opportunity, not just a threat.
- Give retirees what they need, not what you need to sell.
- Serving retirees isn’t just different, it’s the opposite of what you’re used to.
- If you control the decision process, you will control the assets.
- Clever math is no substitute for good strategy.
- KISS kills at retirement.
- Decorate the house, not the foundation.
- Product efficiency will win over complexity.
- The quest for the “One Best Solution” is the path to failure.
Seems like common sense doesn’t it? Maybe you and I could have come up with that list if we put our minds to it. But I did not! Did you? Probably not, because you are busy running your business- and that’s OK. Anyway, that’s beside the point. The point being how Mr. Yanikoski expounds on each of the Nine Key’s- which is very different from how many of who are inexperienced with successfully marketing to boomers would have. Let’s take a look at one example:
# 3“ Serving retirees isn’t just different, it’s the opposite of what you’re used to”.
“How Much” Vs “The Attitude”
In Key # 3, Mr. Yanikoski explains that clients’ financial readiness, does not really fit into financial categories- but instead, they fit into attitudinal categories. For instance:
- What is the attitude of the client who has $10 million Vs the client with an annual retirement income of less than $100,000? Could they be the same? What would cause them to be the same or different?
- How do you determine a client’s attitude and serve him/her accordingly? Your answer to this question will very likely determine whether you get, keep or lose that client.
- Retirement income planning is the current hot-topic. How do you determine which category of your clients really need retirement income planning? If you are unable to make that determination, then you may give your client the feeling of being marketed to, with a product/service for which they have no need or desire. Eventually, these clients will take their money and go to where their ‘attitudes’ are catered.
Nine Keys will provide much needed guidance to financial service providers who are in ( or want to get into) the business of garnering retirement assets, as it includes some of the best retirement service and maintenance strategies of which we should all be aware.
Surprisingly, the price is only $7.50.