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Thursday, October 31, 2013


Happy Halloween from everyone at RME! 

If you're out and about tonight, watch out for the little ghouls and gobblins Trick or Treating!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


I'm declaring November as "Pay It Forward Financial Planning Month." 

Select one prospect who doesn't meet your ideal client profile (ie: investable assets, 401(k), etc.) and help them plan for their retirement. If every financial advisor did this, nearly 300,000 individuals and family would have their first financial planning experience this year alone! That's called making a difference.

The "pay it forward" concept was popularized with the book Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde, which was later made into a movie with the same title. Simply put, it's doing something for someone without expecting something in return - a random act of kindness.

Every time I talk with financial advisors looking to plan a lead generation campaign, they say something like, "I'm only looking for prospects who have (insert a large dollar amount here) who are ready to make a financial decision in the next 30-60 days." I get it, we all have to make a living. But imagine the impact on the public's perception of the financial planning profession if, just once a year, every financial planner helped ONE prospect - without regard to compensation!

We ARE a noble profession! This is one way to prove it!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

First Impressions: A Prospect's Perception is YOUR Reality

Direct mail continues to be the preferred method of receiving information by Baby Boomer and Senior prospects. The way you look in the mailbox will say a lot about you, your firm and the services you provide. That is the very first impression that you make with your targeted audience. What do you want them to think or perceive? I see financial professionals with expensive business clothes, nice cars, nice homes, nice offices, nice presentation materials and yet, their direct marketing looks CHEAP!

It’s ironic to me that the same financial advisor who only wants to meet with affluent prospects ($100k+ in liquid assets) thinks that saving a few cents by sending out flimsy flyers or cheap postcards will attract this type of client. There’s a direct correlation between the investment you make in your direct marketing materials and ROI.

Remember, you’re marketing solutions – not products. That means the first impression you give in your direct marketing needs to immediately start generating a feeling of TRUST and CREDIBILITY.

Top performers in the financial services industry understand how important their image – their brand – is when they are asking prospects to take time out of their busy schedule to discuss the most intimate details of their finances.

So, before you send out your next marketing piece, take a critical look at it and ask yourself, “Is THIS the first impression I want to give to a potential client?” 

Friday, October 25, 2013


Tax season is quickly approaching. For most of your clients and prospects, that means dealing with the headache of collecting and organizing documents, crunching numbers and facing the often painful reality of seeing what they've paid – or will have to pay Uncle Sam. 

Tax time takes on a different meaning to thieves. Helping your clients and prospects by showing them ways protect their identity during tax time will help cement your relationship and role as a trusted advisor!

Most of the documents needed for taxes are very revealing.  They contain client’s name, address, credit account information and most importantly, their Social Security number (SSN). For the identity thief, it means that there is a treasure chest of information to be targeted in the next two months. This provides you, as a trusted advisor, with a reason to meet with your clients and prospects to share the following ID Theft prevention checklist – ways help prevent their personal identifying information out of the hands of would-be thieves.

Feel free to use the copy below when meeting with a client or prospect

  1. Document disposal:  Once you have gathered the receipts, paperwork and the various forms you need to calculate your taxes, make sure that any papers you no longer need go through a good, cross-cut shredder. Papers with credit card account numbers, Social Security numbers (health benefit payment forms), loan papers, etc., all have information that a thief can convert into a new credit account in your name. This tip also applies to all the papers you decide to dispose of from previous years. Just because a receipt is 7-years old does not mean it cannot be used to your detriment. 
  1. Computer Security: Many of us do our taxes or prepare our information for tax accountants on our computers. If your computer links to the Internet it must have firewall software to protect it from invasion. 
  1. Mail Theft Prevention Tip: Since these tax forms have a lot of information on them, the best advice is to take the forms directly to the post office, dropping them in a box INSIDE the post office. It is best to not drop them in an outside box after last pick-up of the day since that gives a thief more opportunity to steal the mail. Do not leave them in the outgoing box at work, drop them at the corner blue box or leave them in an unlocked box for pickup.  
  1. Social Security Number on the Check: Should I or shouldn't I? Since your check goes through so many hands, it is best not to print your entire SSN on the face of the check. The last 4 numbers should suffice if you decide to put any part of the number at all. 

  1. Tax Preparers: Be selective about who works on your taxes. Check out companies with the Better Business Bureau, especially if they are new or seasonal offices. The first thing you should do is look around. Do you see other people’s papers sitting around? Ask questions of the managers. How will your information be stored? What type of computer security do they use? Has the person who will be working on your taxes gone through a thorough background screening? 
If you feel uncomfortable or believe this is not a company that understands security issues, take your business elsewhere.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Diving into the DEEP END of the Blogisphere pool!

Greetings fellow prospectors!

This being my first post in my new blog I wanted to share with you my vision for what I will be sharing with you.

I've been a marketing professional in the financial services industry for nearly 25 years (you can read my full bio by clicking the WHAT ABOUT BOB link on the right for more information about my experiences in the business). Prior to joining RME in 2001, I worked in the home offices of large and small insurance/investment companies and some of the most successful financial advisors in the country. And, throughout this time there's been one very constant need - across the board: THE NEED FOR NEW PROSPECTS!

So, I'm going to make this commitment to from the outset: I'm going to use this forum to share thoughts, insights, ideas, facts, trends and solutions that can help you generate more prospects.

Oh, one more thing. I welcome your comments and feedback on my posts. I don't want to be a "voice crying in the wilderness." I'm looking to you to help make this blog interactive - alive!

So, c'mon in! The water's fine!