Retirement Planning Survey . The Particular Instances Where You Will Do a Retirement Planning Survey.
This article is really written for people like me in the retirement planning world, but I thought I would share it to help seniors making these big decisions have an easier time. The National Care Planning Council designed the Retirement Planning Survey as a direct outgrowth of Life Resource Planning. In almost all cases when you do Retirement Planning Survey you will be working with the children of aging seniors or with younger family members. These people are typically not dealing with the challenges of their final years but are more concerned about issues pertaining to retirement.
When you do the Life Resource Survey for the aging seniors, you will have developed a relationship with the children or other family members. They will trust you and respect your opinion. Because of this, it is fairly easy to talk them into doing a Retirement Planning Survey Report for them. And because of the rapport that you have established, it is likely not necessary to provide all of the learning materials that you would provide for life resource planning. This does not mean however that you cannot assemble your own materials and put them together into a nice presentation.
Not only can you work with the children of the aging seniors you are assisting, but the retirement planning approach can be used for other potential clients as well. As we have pointed out in previous articles, we believe using a planning approach to place your products or services will produce much more sales and grow your business. This is a better alternative to using a product oriented approach.
Avoid Selling Products and Be Prepared. The most important thing to keep in mind when you present either of the reports in our system is to avoid your typical sales approach. You must not bring up specific products in the presentation, nor must you hammer away at your clients if they don’t agree to your assessment of their problems and your potential solutions. In other words if your solutions include your products and services – even though you don’t mention them – please don’t try and force them into a decision that you think they should make. Give them enough information and give them good reasons why they should adopt your solutions, but don’t employ typical closing strategies to make them do it.
If you are firmly convinced that they need a solution that uses your products and services, then you should have such convincing evidence and such a convincing knowledge of the subject that the only argument they can give you is it doesn’t “feel right.” What this means is you must be the consummate expert in this area and leave them with such an overriding impression of your knowledge that they will adopt your way of doing it. Understand everything thoroughly.
Here are the steps that you should take to prepare yourself for the presentation and to make the presentation meaningful to your clients and productive for you.
Make Sure You Have the Knowledge to Discuss the Issues. With both planning approaches it is imperative that you possess the proper knowledge in order to provide advice or direction. Otherwise, you will not be respected by your potential clients and they will likely not act on your advice or purchase products or services from you. Unlike the training that we provide for Life Resource Planning, we do not provide you training in the area of retirement planning. Eventually, we may have a textbook that will cover all the issues. Currently, it is up to you to make sure that you have the proper knowledge base.
Put on Your Planning Hat and Be Objective. As we have mentioned many times before, don’t be trapped into talking about products or services that you provide. Give your clients an objective assessment of where they stand. Impress them with your knowledge of the various issues. Help them to understand the challenges they are facing.
By taking a solution-based, planning approach instead of a product or service oriented approach, you will gain your clients’ respect, you will develop a rapport with them and they will trust you. Then when you want to talk about products and services after the planning phase is completed, they will listen to you.
Point out That the Recommendations and Strategies Are Grouped into Similar Categories. A typical report might include 10 to 15 different recommendations and strategies for discussion. This is certainly an overwhelming number to handle and could be confusing to your clients. We want to point out that these recommendations and strategies are really parts of certain key categories. You want to point this out to your clients as well. By doing it this way, you can concentrate on a few of the issues that need to be addressed in each category and leave some of the other issues for a later time. We discuss below creating a checklist to address the most important issues. This is also an important strategy for getting them to implement your solutions.
Allow Your Clients to Prioritize the Various Recommendations and Strategies. We also employ a unique approach to making the recommended solutions. It is our experience that most planners who use another system summarize their recommendations or strategies on a single page or two in the form of an outline or a checklist. Our approach is a little different. A typical life resource or retirement planning questionnaire might result in 5 or 12 recommendations or strategies. The recommendations are also presented as paragraphs that not only provide a possible course of action but also include education on why they should take that course of action. Please understand that we only make recommendations that as a result of the questionnaire, apply to the client in some way.
This recommendation solution strategy is also basic psychology. By giving them a number of choices, they can pick out those ones they feel are important. The concept here is to impress upon your clients that given a list of various choices, they must make some decision as to which of those choices they should take. It forces them to make decisions as they know they cannot reject everything you give them.
This planning process allows them to make the decisions themselves instead of your trying to make those decisions for them. This strategy also makes them personally involved in the planning and creates more trust in your recommendations. Instead of your dictating to them, they are cooperating in the outcome. The end result of this strategy is that they will almost always follow a certain number – but not all of – the presentation recommendations and feel good about it.
Once they have decided the priority of the recommendations, you will make a checklist for them and follow up to make sure that everything has been implemented.
by the National Care Planning Council; call Scott Underwood in Birmingham/Hoover area or greater Birmingham area at 205-908-2993