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Portfolio > ETFs > Broad Market

Don’t Forget the Middle Market

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About a year ago, I was talking with a top producer, one of those $10-million guys. We sat down to discuss his success story for a feature article. He painted a rosy picture and how he’d been able to achieve it.

Essentially, he had developed a seminar system where he targeted affluent seniors for annuity products. He had a benchmark for prospects: They had to have at least $100,000 they could invest in annuities. If they didn’t reach that benchmark, he turned to a network of advisors and farmed out these prospects to them.

That in a nutshell was this super producer’s business model. And it worked for him, as I said earlier, to the tune of more than $10 million annually in annuity sales.

I asked him if he was worried about having such a specific focus to his practice. Did he worry that he might paint himself into a corner? “Are you kidding?” he responded. “I’m having to turn away business, and, during the summer, I only work three days a week.” Remember, he’s knocking down $10 million annually in annuity sales.

While this model is working exceptionally well for this advisor, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to be a super producer besides exclusively targeting that affluent market. There’s a terrific roundtable discussion on the topic of targeting the middle market on

OK, so the middle market, per person, doesn’t have the assets to allocate that you find with the affluent market. But the money is there, if you’re willing to widen the net. At the recent NAILBA 30 conference, one of the main topics of discussion was the ever-popular race to nab the affluent client, while excluding the middle market.

All the money and marketing and time and effort, as one industry insider explained, is chasing that affluent prospect. And what does that leave? A gaping hole, and much less competition, where the middle market prospect resides.

Perhaps you won’t initially be closing many $100,000 minimum annuity deals, but guess what? As you build relationships with middle market clients, you ride their success together. One day you wake up and many of those middle market prospects are now affluent clients. And you’re their $10-million-a-year advisor.

Good luck and don’t take your eye off that middle market. You just might grow together.


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