Photo credit: <a href = "http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=3062">David Castillo Dominici</a>

Sassy, right? First of all, relax. I have zero intention of going after your clients. However, I do work with some of the best men and women in the industry and I can’t say the same for them.

As you read this, your clients might be receiving direct mail invitations to another advisor’s dinner seminar. Maybe your client’s friends invited them to their advisor’s client appreciation night; or the advisor who just joined their country club is playing in their foursome this Saturday. What is the competition doing to woo your clients? And, more importantly, what are you doing to keep them? 

What follows is a peek behind the curtain at how the best advisors are catching the wandering eyes of clients who are satisfied with their current advisor but wouldn’t hesitate to jump ship if another offered more value. Here’s how they’re going to steal your clients:

Education on Social Security timing

If you are working with folks and not treating their Social Security check like an asset, you are doing a disservice to that client. It is not unusual to do an analysis of a married couple’s Social Security benefit and find as much as $100,000 in additional benefits over a lifetime. There are more than 700 different scenarios that the software at www.socialsecuritytiming.com goes through to find the most optimized Social Security election strategy for your clients. 

If I am sitting with one of your clients, I’m going to ask them if their current advisor has done their Social Security Timing® analysis, and if the answer is no, I’m going to share with them why it should be done. In a matter of five minutes I will show them how to find that $100,000 in additional income and end up looking like a hero. I’m going to create a wedge between you and them that could end up being the tipping point that leads to your client becoming my client. If you are missing these sort of dollar amounts, what else what might you be missing? I will create reasonable doubt. Think about it. If I could show you how to put that much money back into your own pocket, you couldn’t help but give me some attention.

Inflation

Inflation has averaged around 3 percent historically but 5 percent over the last 30 years. If you are working with a married couple, there is more than a 50 percent likelihood that one of them will be around in their 90s. If they are retiring in their 60s, we are now looking at 30 years of inflation. What are you doing to insulate against inflation? If you haven’t come up with a game plan for that, I will give that client a game plan. I will show that client a level income stream for life or as we call it max income. But I will also show that client an inflation-hedged income stream that starts lower but ends up higher than the max income in about nine years or so and have them determine, based on what they know of their own health and longevity, what makes sense. I will share with them that I want them to keep a level purchasing power rather than a level payment, unless they indicate they are both going to have a short lifespan. I will very easily show them how quickly their purchasing power can be eroded based off 3 percent inflation and how it looks even more frightening at 5 percent inflation. If you have not mentioned inflation to your clients up to that point, once again I have created reasonable doubt that they are working with the right advisor. They will wonder why they are not having this information shared by you, their current advisor.

Communication

I am going to continue to pursue your client by inviting them to my educational workshops and sending newsletters to their home or email. I will even host online events through GotoMeeting and invite them to attend those meetings to learn more about how to safely retire. I will do everything in my power to continue to stay in front of your client so that they will get to know me and my team even better. I will put together thoughtful video clips and host them on my website as well as YouTube and continue to drip on your client until they take action. If you are not in communication with your client on a regular basis, you will make it easier for me to pull their assets under my management.

Safe money strategies

Finally, I’m going to talk to your client about moving a portion of their funds that are exposed to market volatility into safe money strategies and show them how, regardless of market conditions, they will never experience the same negative results as they experienced in 2002 and 2008. Not only will I show them how they won’t lose money, but I will also show them how they can hedge for inflation with the living benefit rider available to them jointly on their funds so they know that they can have inflation-hedged income that will cover them for their rest of their lives. I will show them how this relieves the stress from the rest of their portfolio so that I might work more aggressively for them for higher returns for the portion of their assets that remain at market risk. I will share with them that before retirement we have to start to change our focus from accumulation to preservation and calculated distribution. If you have not shown them safe money strategies by that point, they may question why that is the case.

In today’s competitive environment, there are two types of advisors: those who have clients taken from them by advisors who are ahead of the curve and add value at every turn, and advisors who are doing the taking. Those are the brutal facts. Hopefully, you got some good tips you can implement from this article so you can be the latter and not the former. 

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