We consulted with top advisor Michael Zmistowski, president of First Gulf Advisors, for his take on useful steps to get prospects to feel comfortable enough to sign on the dotted line.
1. Always discuss the No. 1 concern: Running out of money. “You know the reasons, including lack of accumulation, longevity, inflation and over-spending. It’s going to be extremely unpleasant. They and their adult children are going to be looking to blame you in any way they can. “Be proactive,” he says. “Write about it in their financial plans and retirement income plans. Write big warnings like ‘Do Not Retire Now’ with easy-to-understand explanations such as, ‘Based on your current spending, you will run out of money.’ Use software with quality Monte Carlo simulation to support your warning.
2. Communicate! “Often today, the articles we read about communications with our clients are geared to customer satisfaction, client loyalty and building trust. Nothing wrong there, but go farther by keeping in mind your communications are the foundation upon which your future business is built,” Zmistowski says.
3. Protect yourself: Put it in writing. “Many of us are taught by compliance and experience to put as little in writing as possible for our protection,” Zmistowski says. “That’s not true and not safe. Follow FINRA’s lead. Follow states’ departments of insurance regulation. They want more and more forms signed and initialed by clients and by those being regulated. It’s an energy drain. But if you want to experience a real energy drain, try talking your way out of complaints and lawsuits which will only be increasing.”