Are You Tired of Hiding What You Do?

Article by Kevin Wingert
President and Founder of American Retirement Systems, LLC

Added on: May 23, 2017
Let me ask you that question in a different way: When is the last time a prospect rolled over their Social Security accounts to one of your products? That’s what I thought, NEVER!

Then why is our industry doing thousands of Social Security seminars every month? Civic duty? I don’t think so. It’s prospecting for people who might have money and might consider working with us. Send out a mailer or Facebook invitation promising thousands of dollars of increased Social Security Benefits and a free dinner. What could go wrong?

Well, first, many of the unclaimed benefits available to prospects require them to delay their benefits or work longer. That’s not in the plan for most consumers that I talk to! If they have retirement assets other than Social Security, they could use those funds to delay their Social Security Benefits for a higher payout. Ever have a prospect say “But if I die before I turn on Social Security I’ve spent my money and never received anything for all the Social Security taxes I paid. "

When the seminar you present is telling the audience to work longer or spend their own money when many don’t have retirement dollars to spend, my advice is be sure it is a really good meal!! Or maybe there is another approach. Why not focus your presentation on prospects who have retirement dollars, (401K’s, IRA’s, 403B’s), and are concerned specifically about managing those funds (Social Security is secondary) and most importantly, understand why they are at your seminar! There is an old term in our business called “Bait and Switch”. Approach a prospect about one topic when the goal is to talk about an entirely different issue.

This marketing/business practice has caused untold consumer complaints, bad press articles and regulatory scrutiny. All of this negativity when many qualified consumers are really looking for positive, pointed information about how to manage their retirement savings. Prospects do respond to invitations talking about guaranteed lifetime income and safety of fixed annuities, diverse money management strategies (for Investment Advisors), managing 401K and IRA RMD’s and the strategies for paying for Long Term Care.

Ten thousand baby boomers retire every day and at least 30% of them have retirement savings dollars that they will need help managing. That’s our business. It’s time to focus on the right prospects to help the people who want and need our services!