Put Advanced Sales
On Your Team
Financial services producers may take comfort in the probability that the demand for financial planning advice will escalate. We face more advanced cases and complex products, not less. Advanced Sales units have evolved also in their roles to keep abreast of rapidly changing needs.
Yet many financial services producers fail to take full advantage of the Advanced Sales departments specialized tax, estate, business and insurance planning knowledge. In particular, they pass up the opportunity to engage these experts directly in the sales process. Unfortunately, if producers arent fully using free Advanced Sales expertise, clients may pay additional expenses when the other advisors do research to “get up to snuff”–charging for their time–to develop and implement estate or business continuation plans.
Broadly speaking, Advanced Sales is a sales support, educational or consultative function. Yet today many Advanced Sales units will partner in the sale and interact directly with the end client and his advisors. Advanced cases are defined by complexity, those cases that require a tax or legal strategy to solve a clients or couples personal estate, charitable or business planning goals. As a unit, Advanced Sales is best understood as one that helps producers simplify the complexity and make sales.
Sales Concept Spectrum
It behooves financial services producers to understand the expertise insurance carriers have relative to specific planning concepts. Some may be good in one area but weak in another. Here is one list of the “key concepts” in an advanced sales arena that financial services producers will find helpful.
–Business Continuation–covers key person insurance and buy-sell agreements.
–Executive Compensationdeferred compensation, executive bonus, SERPs and split-dollar plans.
–Retirement Planningincludes all tax-qualified retirement plans.
–Estate Planningwill or trust planning, family limited partnerships, lifetime gifting, irrevocable trusts, etc.; strategies to defer or minimize taxes; estate equalization; charitable bequests, etc.
–Charitable Planninggifts during life or at death, trusts and private foundations.
–Asset Protection Strategiesrole of partnerships, trusts and other entities to protect assets against creditors and financial risk.
Most advanced cases encompass more than one of these “concepts.”
A financial services producer should expect the Advanced Sales team to deliver creative solutions, with optimum results for both the producer and the client. In reality this cannot always be accomplished–producers vary in their marketing approaches and demands, and even different distribution channels expect different things based on their needs. However, for the Advanced Sales unit to partner effectively in the sales process to mutual benefit contemplates a number of working parts:
Personal attention and responsive follow through.