A few years ago I decided to limit my attendance to industry related sales meetings. For the most part, I find them to be awfully repetitive and rarely offer ideas proven to work. You can listen to only so many product wholesalers before you conclude anything they have to share can be easily read online.
As I’ve written many times, the advisor/vendor relationship is often inverse. The vendor needs its sales force to keep selling in order for him to be profitable. The advisor, assuming he has a steady flow of recurring revenue, does not. Since the advisor fronts all costs, an unsuccessful marketing effort by the advisor can still be a profitable one for the vendor.
But of course, exceptions do exist. One is United Advisors, an insurance marketing organization in suburban Chicago. I still attend their annual meeting, and every year I’m rewarded for it. Ironically, my own practice limits insurance product sales to long-term care and term insurance. And rarely do annuities play a part in my client recommendations. But United’s mentoring in the area of holistic financial planning is invaluable and unequaled.
I first met the company’s founders, Steve & Gabriel Lewit, about four years ago. They created a retirement planning seminar directed at baby boomers, which ended up being a major source of new cleints for my firm. Unlike many vendors, their company is actually led by financial advisors who regularly use the strategies and services they recommend. CEO Steve Lewit spends half his week working directly with clients.
He is also the author of The Selling Chronicles, which along with Michael Gerber’s The E-Myth & Dan Kennedy’s No BS Guide to Direct Marketing, motivated much of what led to the creation of my training company Advisor Architect.
United’s latest creation is called the Perpetual Retirement Income Machine (or PRIM). A one evening seminar, PRIM educates attendees in a way that is solution oriented. Using an image of an actual machine, PRIM instructors demonstrate how the use of a diversified (and holistic) strategy can minimize the chances of exhausting savings during a client’s lifetime. Unlike a lot of workshops that have a serious bent toward a certain product, the PRIM is truly unbiased in its approach, allowing the attendee to choose which “machine” is best suited for them. The upside and downside of each approach are clearly explained.
Using the graphic of an actual machine, PRIM demonstrates how a well-crafted strategy combines guaranteed income (social security & pensions) and variable income, while countering threats such as taxes, inflation, volatility, and longevity. For many learners, a visual such as this (as well as the understanding as to how it works), creates the desired “AHA” moment within the prospect: “My planning is limited, and running out of money in my lifetime may be a real possibility.
Lewit’s own results with the program (over 90% appointment requests) detail clients telling him “I want a machine like that.” In fact, he begins the workshop by explaining he builds retirement income machines for a living. Simple as it may sound, that is a very powerful message.
Effective seminar selling involves connecting with attendees at a level that simplifies the subject at hand. Designed properly, the workshop provides just enough information to tap into an attendee’s anxiety, motivating the need to learn more (and schedule an appointment).
The Perpetual Retirement Income Machine is unlike any other workshop I’ve studied. I look forward to conducting it soon.
To learn more about, contact Gabriel Lewit: firstname.lastname@example.org.