ING on Tuesday held a webinar to suggest ways for retirement plan advisors to improve their year-end reviews with their plan sponsor clients.
Bob Kaplan, ING U.S.’s national retirement consultant, described three broad goals of the year-end review.
“The year-end is a good time for advisors to manage expectations,” Kaplan said. Sponsors may not be entirely clear on what services their advisors are willing to provide for them. “Don’t assume clients know everything you do for them,” he said.
It’s also a good time to point out the successes advisors have had with their plans. “Go over the good, but address the bad as well,” Kaplan said.
Finally, advisors should make sure they address their sponsor clients’ concerns regarding the plan.
Kaplan gave six suggestions for advisors preparing for their year-end reviews. First, they should know their audience. He gave the example of a comedian preparing for a show; knowing what the audience wants to hear will help a performer put on the best show. Similarly, knowing what information is important to their clients is important to conducting a useful review. “Sponsors could have different measures of success” depending on what they do in their company, Kaplan said. For example, a CFO may be more interested in the numbers of a plan while an HR manager is most concerned about keeping employees happy. Regardless of who you’re talking to, “the relationship always starts with ‘What’s in it for me?’” Kaplan noted.