How the Brokerville System Works

June 15th, 2011

Broker Ville is designed around you, the financial professional, to help you grow your business. It is a completely automated system, accessible 24 hours day, 7 days a week via the Internet. This allows you to easily manage your account at any time, just like your online banking institutions or email accounts.

Registration. Brokerville Registration Online by selecting your prospect types and geographical area (zip codes). Once registered, you can access your matched prospect information through your BrokerVille Advisor Center. This is where all account information is available, including your prospect information, account settings, billing statements, booklets, and training resources.

Orientation. After account activation, you attend an Orientation Call (offered daily at 10am PST) to learn how to manage your account settings and prospect volume. You want to attend this call as soon as possible. This is not a “set it and forget it” system; it is a real-time continuous service and requires your active involvement, just like your bank account or other online service. You may need to adjust your initial settings (radius) until you “dial-in” the settings that produce the results you desire.

How our Marketing works. Once you register and your completed agreement is accepted, your account is activated and our marketing efforts in your local area begin. We registered your zip codes with our advertisers, and from that point it takes from one to seven days for your advertisements to start rotation. It is important to note that the marketing is not a gradual process; it is either on or off. For this reason, it is very important that you stay actively involved with your account and check your account DAILY to ensure your prospect flow meets your needs.

How we gather prospects for you.

Natural Search Mature investors searching for financial information on Google, Yahoo, or MSN find one of our many informational sites, and respond to advertisements for free informational booklets directly from the site. They fill out a form with their personal information, we get that information to you, and you fulfill the request.

Pay-Per-Click Seniors and pre-retirees respond to our Internet advertising on Google, Yahoo, or MSN for free, senior-specific educational information (booklets). They fill out a form with their personal information, we get that information to you, and you fulfill the request.

Co-registration / Banner Advertising Our partner publishers run ads on hundreds of web sites daily (CBS Marketwatch, NYtimes, Orbitz, etc.), and in the course of registration or response to offers for products or services, the mature investor opts-in to receive free financial information. We match this prospect to you, and you fulfill the request.

In all cases, the prospect has taken action to receive the requested material, and has shown interest in our specific offers.

> Click here to see a video on a “live” Internet Search to see how prospects find our ads

Consulting Calls. Once activated, you’ll have access to the Broker Ville Advisor Center and our twice-weekly consulting calls. You must attend at least one consulting call to be eligible for the Brokerville guarantee. You are able to ask questions and get answers from our highly skilled, in-house Brokerville consultant. Even if you have been in business for 20 years, you will learn new ways to follow up on your prospects from this call. We encourage you to trade ideas, tips, and hints with other advisors to best approach prospects and use the system and materials to your full advantage. See and hear comments from Brokerville advisors who have attended one or more calls and have had great success with the system.

Account Management. Once activated, you’ll have access to the Broker Ville Advisor Center 24/7. Here, you can edit your radius (travel distance) at any time to control you prospect flow. You can ADD additional prospect types at any time, and remove prospect types on the 1st of every month if you desire. You’ll also find complete instructions on how to follow up on your prospects for optimal results. You may cancel anytime after your first 15 prospect matches.

How You Get the Prospect Information. All prospects are delivered directly into your Advisor Center. We also send out courtesy email notifications as a reminder; however, since email is often unreliable, we recommend you check the Advisor Center DAILY for new postings.

Exclusive Prospects. Each prospect type is assigned to ONLY ONE advisor, based on the zip codes selected during registration. It’s first come, first served.

Prospect Types. On the menu to the left, you can see the available prospect types. You select these when you register for the service. You must select at least one “generic” prospect type (Pre-Retirees or Retirees) on registration, which remains selected for the term of your account.

Item Fulfillment. After receipt of the prospect, you mail the requested item (or your own material if you prefer). It’s critical to send the item BEFORE you call so the prospect knows who you are and are perceived as an expert, not simply a salesperson. You can also elect to have material emailed directly to the prospect as soon as you get a request, but you’ll want to follow up with a physical response to get the best results.

Investment. There is a one time, non-refundable investment of $149 to start your advertising campaign. Each prospect match is $18 (bulk discounts are available).

Please review the site thoroughly and call with any questions:

888-893-2990 (office hours 6am-4pm Pacific but leave a message for a call back anytime).

Brokerville: About Internet Prospects and Financial Leads

June 23rd, 2011

Would you like wealthy pro-active investors and insurance buyers to contact you? There are 32 million people age 65+ that control more than half of the wealth in the US. Of those mature investors and insurance buyers, millions regularly use the Internet and research shows that these 4 million Internet-saavy seniors are the most educated and affluent seniors in the US. And they leave their wealth to their 45-year-old children so we target our ads to people age 45+.

How are these prospects different?What most companies call financial “leads” are simply names. You waste tons of your precious time calling 300 people to find the two that have interest. If these people did have interest at one time (maybe they filled out a survey at a county fair), the leads are several weeks old. This type of lead system is the typical time-wasting “high volume, low quality.” Because your time is the most precious asset you have, we provide you leads that are from people who complete a request for financial information on the Internet. You may only get three leads a week but you will get them within minutes of the senior completing the Internet form. Statistics show that people using the Internet are better educated and wealthier than those who do not (poor seniors can’t afford a computer or Internet service). We call this lead service “low volume, high quality.”

By advertising for you on the Internet items of interest to affluent seniors, we gather leads for you. Our ads rotate and appear on thousands of sites including Zacks, CNBC, NY Times, and across Google’s network. We advertise in places affluent seniors visit on the Internet.

In an age of “Do Not Call Lists” and other restrictions, wouldn’t it be great to have affluent seniors or their heirs contact you?

Broker Ville The Need for Financial Advisor Sales Training

June 27th, 2011

The Need for Financial Advisor Sales Training

Any lead generation program which is not supplemented with financial advisor training has significantly diminished value. There are two factors at play:

  • making sure that the financial advisor communicates consistently with the lead’s expectation
  • making sure that the financial advisor communicates consistent with good sales practices

Neither of these can be assured of financial advisors left to their own skills.

Let’s first deal with the issue of the lead’s expectation. The prospect, the lead, has completed some type of lead generation piece. That could be a piece of direct mail, an Internet form or a response phone call. Knowing what the prospect expects to get in response to their request is critical to the financial advisor’s success in courting that lead. Should the financial advisor approach the lead inappropriately, which is usually done by phone, the prospect will hang up and the lead is lost forever.

Let’s assume that the lead requested a booklet on mutual fund investing. Should the advisor call the prospect and say, “I understand you want to buy some mutual funds,” the lead is likely to resist such a forward approach. If the advisor calls and says, “Mrs. Smith, I’m calling to confirm your request for a booklet on mutual funds and wanted to verify your address before sending it…,” this type of soft introductory approach is much more likely to lead to success in the relationship and potential business.

The next issue deals with the advisor’s sales skills. In our research at Brokerville, we found that 82% of financial advisors have never had any formal sales training. While they have had plenty of product training, that is not sales training. The basic skills that a trained financial advisor possesses is the asking of questions rather than telling. This question-asking approach is required when approaching the prospect. Should the prospect be approached in any pushy manner, they will likely resist. Therefore, the financial advisor’s skill in asking questions is paramount to turning a lead into a client. To assume that the majority of financial advisors have this skill would be mistaken.

Therefore, at Brokerville, we commit a fair amount of resources to financial advisor training. We provide recordings of the sales approach call, we provide scripts and we provide webinar coaching. By making this financial advisor sales training available in multiple formats, it is our hope that it will be digested and used, with the result being consummated sales.

Broker Ville Reviews the Benefits of Working with the Mature Market

July 2nd, 2011
The mature market is the single best large market.  (There are other great markets, such as people with assets over $10 million or presidents of high tech companies, but these are very small markets and more difficult to penetrate).   Here are the reasons that the 60+ market is so lucrative and attractive for financial sales (investment and insurance services):

1.    People over age sixty total 44 million people, about 16% of the US population.  But they hold well over half of the investable assets (I have seen estimates as high as 80%). This gives rise to opportunities for estate planning, long-term care, educational funding for grandchildren, and significant investment management fees.  Younger investors do not offer this breadth of opportunities for financial professionals. Even life insurance is viable.  Although only 3% of the live policies are purchased by this market by volume, the average policy is 4 times as large. This market is also the virtual exclusive market for “senior settlement” business.”

2.    Very few seniors use the Internet as a substitute for your services.  Unlike the 40 year old who goes shopping for his own term insurance policy and mutual funds on the Internet, more mature consumers tend not to do that. They may use their computer for email and news, but they are not using the Internet as a replacement for professional advice. (Regardless of what the studies show, do your own study and ask 10 seniors how often they use the Net and for what purpose).  They do not have the following independent attitude held by many baby-boomers who perceive they don’t need a financial advisor: “Why should I deal with you?  I can buy no-load funds, get all the information I need from the Net, and buy no-load term insurance there too.”

Mature consumers have been “around the block” and they value good advice.  They do not possess the arrogance of thinking they can outdo you at your profession.  They respect professionals as opposed to the boomer generation (the skeptical generation) that has its roots in overturning the professional establishment.

3.    Mature consumers are NOT performance oriented.  They will not complain about their portfolio rising 18% when the market is up 30%.  You do not need to match some impossible benchmark.  Mature consumers highly value the trust in the relationship and knowing that you look out for their interest.  They want to preserve what they own rather than get rich.  They make their decisions largely on how they feel about you, rather than a detailed analysis of your proposal. With older consumers, you do not sell product and product features and you do not need to have the best fund/policy/program/proposal.  Older consumers buy you.  Once you earn their trust, they hand over the money and tell you, “If you think it’s good, then let’s proceed.”

4.    Those who are retired have control of their wealth.  Their money is not locked up in a 401(k), 457 or other institutional plan.  They can make a decision to move $100,000, $500,000, or $5 million today.

5.    They have greater incentive to take action.  A 60-year-old does not have as much time remaining as a 40-year-old.   Although I hear from some professionals that older consumers procrastinate in their financial decisions, there is a reason why that occurs, a reason that you can control.  They procrastinate when they are not comfortable.  They are most likely uncomfortable because they do not trust you.  Why?

Because if you spend most of your time meeting with people age 40, the conversation that you have mastered will fail with a 60+ consumer.  Working with mature consumers requires a different conversation that’s oriented around the person, not the product/service.

Penetrating this market will require a new mindset for some financial professionals:

1.    Sell comfort and security.  Do not sell opportunity.  Older consumers want to protect what they have accumulated.  Show them how to do that and FEEL comfortable, and you have a client for life.

2.    Drop all jargon.  I never even use the phrase “fixed annuity.”  I ask, “Do you have the type of annuity where the principal is guaranteed but the interest rate has been falling over the last 10 years?”  Even the simplest phrases that professionals use can be confusing to clients.  And unlike some, who recommend that you need to confuse ‘em to sell ‘em, I find this advice to be nonsense.  I have gathered more assets over the years by being crystal clear in my communication and having my client understand 100% of my language.

3.    Forget about “closing” these investors.  Your presentation must be strong from the first word.  A strong presentation flows naturally into an easy close, “If that makes sense, Mr. Jones, what we need to do is complete one of these forms and …”  If you haven’t sold yourself and built trust, the more difficult the close and the faster your prospect will be gone.

4.    DO NOT assume that mature consumers want to leave a big estate and provide for their children.  They want to provide for themselves FIRST.  So sell current benefits—more income, a guaranteed return, insurance protection for the living.  I had an insurance agent gush to me about a variable annuity that guaranteed a 6% annual minimum return if held until death.  That’s great, but most mature consumers couldn’t care if the return was 100% a year if they need to die to get it.

In other words, if you think estate planning is about saving estate taxes, you will spend many years in this business earning far less than you could. Stop talking about saving the kids estate taxes and sell LIVING benefits:

•    Charitable Remainder Trusts and Charitable Gift Annuities to convert assets to income
•    Family Partnerships to protect assets from creditors
•    Private Annuities to keep assets in the family
•    Qualified Personal Residence Trust to keep the family house in the family
•    Foundations to help clients implement their values

5.    Obey their experience.  If your prospect’s next door neighbor told him that whole life is a bad deal, then DROP IT.  Logic is your worst tool with mature consumers.  I call this phenomenon “the sample of one.”  The older we get, the more our personal experience becomes the absolute truth.  A single personal experience, that one data point, will outweigh the realities of millions and all the facts you can deliver.  Educate prospects only when the prospect is open to it, not when they have already told you about “their truth.”

Obey these few rules, and you will find the mature market financially and emotionally rewarding.

Financial professionals seeking to grow their business with the mature market may benefit from senior leads.

Brokerville How to Sell Annuities to Prospects

July 12th, 2011

How to Sell Annuities to Prospects Who Don’t Want an Annuity

Investors seeking to invest money usually don’t look for an annuity.  What investors want are the benefits that the annuity delivers.  Similarly,  people don’t walk around wanting a root canal.  What they do want is relief from tooth pain.  This most important distinction between the product and it’s benefits means that if you start talking to people about annuities rather than the benefit of annuities, you will forfeit a lot of sales.

Our company Brokerville matches prospects with financial professionals and we have always found been dismayed that financial professionals only want leads of prospects seeking information on the products and services sold by the financial professional. In other words, the average annuity agent only wants us to match him with prospects that have expressed interest in annuities (annuity leads) , people that can be an annuity sale.  Other prospect types have interest in financial planning, mutual fund investments, life insurance, etc. yet most annuity agents are not interested in these other prospects. This is frankly not very smart.

Investors frequently don’t want the securities they buy; what they truly desire are the benefits of their choices.  No one goes looking for life insurance, annuities, root canal, brain surgery, etc. What these buyers desire are the benefits of these necessary evils.  People with money desire to minimize taxes and secure their principal (benefits provided by a fixed annuity), financial protection for their family (benefits provided by life insurance), teeth that don’t hurt (benefits provided by a root canal) and to remain alive (benefits provided by brain surgery). If anyone went to the physician and the physician said “I sell brain sugary–let me tell you about it,” people would run away, fast.  But that’s exactly what you and other annuity agents do selling annuities. So don’t be surprised when prospects don’t return your calls.

However, successful annuity agents have an interest in these prospect types I mentioned above, those prospects that have interest in their finances (e.g. financial planning, mutual funds, tax reduction) but have not expressed any interest in annuities.  The rich agents know that people buy annuities who started off saying they did not want an annuity (because they had no idea what it was).  Here’s the logic of the rich annuity agents in cultivating and selling to  a wider group of prospects:

1. When people express interest in a financial product or service, it does not mean that they will buy that particular product or service and it does not matter.  The rich agent merely wants an appointment to explore the motivations of a prospect who takes initiative and determine if the prospect’s desires fit with the products/service the agent offers.

2. A prospect who takes initiative (e.g. completes a form on the Internet with all of their contact information) means that the prospect is motivated to seek a solution.  That’s the important part–talking to a prospect who takes initiative and action.

The rich annuity agent wants to speak to any motivated viable prospect and has sufficient confidence that if an annuity will help the prospect achieve his goals, the agent will have a sale. And that agent is also okay finding out out that there may not be a fit with the prospect and ends the meeting in 5 minutes. The end result is:

  • meeting more people with motivation
  • selling more annuities
  • getting more referrals

How many clients have you lost because you have failed to cultivate a general interest from a motivated prospect desiring to take financial action?

Brokerville: The key to getting a fee for financial planning

July 22nd, 2011

fee for financial plan

The key to getting a fee for financial planning

To be successful at fee-based financial planning, don’t ever sell a “financial plan.” These words are too abstract.  People don’t understand the value of a plan or what it really means.  It’s certainly okay to prepare a plan but offer the prospect something they will understand and value. Let’s look at the details.

Set your initial appointment for one hour.  Your goal is to uncover the issues that motivate the prospect to action or to make your prospect’s mild interests into strong motivations. (To gain master level sales skills, the following resources can help you: Spin Selling by Neil Rackham, Question Based Selling by Tom Freese).

Five minutes before the end of the one hour meeting, at which your goal is to be retained for fee-based financial planning, your conversation sounds like this:

“If I understand correctly, you are concerned and want to resolve the issues about
a)    your spouse’s financial security if you predecease her,
b)    leaving money to your son who has been financially irresponsible and
c)    the level of income taxes you pay. Is that correct?”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“I can help you solve those three issues. It will take 6 hours of my time to prepare for you the following:
1.    A plan so that your wife will have all the income to maintain her financial comfort without having to manage anything if you predecease here.  This will eliminate a big worry for you and get you more sleep at night
2.    How to organize your estate so that your son will get the benefit of an inheritance that will be a positive force in his life that he cannot squander
3.    Two ways we can cut your income taxes by one third and save you $10,000 a year

My rate is $200 an hour to do the analysis for you and provide the best solutions, so if $1,200 is worth:

1.    Your permanent peace of mind that your spouse will be taken care of
2.    Knowledge that you have a plan so that any inheritance can only help your son on a productive way and will not allow him to squander money and
3.    Year after year savings of $10,000 in income taxes

Then let’s meet again in 2 weeks and I will have everything laid out for you and you’ll have these solutions.”

Notice that in the above dialog, I do not mention “financial plan.” I speak only the “prospect’s language” and state the tangible benefits that he will visibly gain. I use his language that he used when describing his concerns to me.

In 90% of the cases, the prospect asks me “should I pay you now?” They almost always want to go ahead because I just offered them what they told me they wanted!  Have prospects been telling you what they wanted and rather than offer them that, you offered them a “financial plan?”

Do not hesitate to ask for planning fees.  Quality prospects are happy to pay them and you deserve to get paid for your time, experience and wisdom.  But you must provide prospects what they want, in their terms.

Of greatest importance is to:
•    Stop using your “financial planner speak”
•    Drop all industry jargon (e.g. financial plan)
•    Use words that your prospect uses
•    See the world through the prospects categorizations, not your own

Practice the above and become a factory for fee-based financial planning.

Brokerville for financial professionals who desire more clients for fee based financial planning.