The ERISA Plan Sales System
a blueprint for building your 401(k)and retirement plan business
Why a plan sales system? Because, after more than 20 years in the retirement plan industry, much of it spent providing database tools, speaking, training, coaching and writing about plan sales, we are still being asked everyday, "What do I do next?" and, "How do I get more plan business?"
As a comprehensive, step-by-step tutorial system for growing a retirement plan sales practice, The Plan Sales System is our answer to those questions. With it we have created a blueprint of the steps, techniques and resources you need in plan sales today. It is the result of hundreds of coaching and consulting sessions for which we have created detailed monthly action plans with specific steps and monitored follow-up.
This book is for everyone in plan sales and service, regardless of his or her years of experience. We speak to, train and coach retirement plan sales and marketing people at all levels of plan knowledge and sales experience. When training, we consitently find a common need for a structured sales system, new prospecting ideas, creative marketing techniques and practical plan resources.
Retirement plan assets are huge and growing, and the plan industry is constantly developing and changing to meet the increasingly complex needs of plan sponsors and participants. New institutional alliances, web sites and on-line services are emerging every month.
Today’s plan sales people need both a solid foundation of knowledge about plans and marketing techniques that reflect the current plan environment. the needs of sales professionals, investment advisors, CPAs, plan administrators, brokers, wholesalers and benefi t consultants who want to build and maintain a substantial retirement plans business.
It offers a practical, hands-on set of sales plans with specific steps and marketing follow-ups that can lead you to plan sales success.
YOURS! The Plan Sales System is your blueprint to building your plan business over the next months and years. You can use the material here to design and build the retirement plan sales practice you want, whether that means remodeling and expanding your current practice or starting from scratch.
How is it Presented?
The Plan Sales system includes 16 steps that are presented in a logical sequence to give the retirement plan sales person the structure he or she needs for success in this challenging field:
Steps #1-3 – Get smart(er), Stay current and Attend– help you get and stay smart about retirement plans. They include information and tools for building your technical plan knowledge, staying current, and networking within the retirement plan industry.
Steps #4-6 – Find plan experts, Contact your clients and Use a plan database – give you the first three steps to start prospecting more effectively for plan business.
Steps #7-9 – Stay in touch, Become more visible and Find more prospects – help you build and maintain visibility as you continue to develop and grow your inventory of active and potential plan prospects and clients.
Steps #10-12 – Ask the right questions, Develop the proposal and Close the sale – offer practical, and some more advanced, ideas and techniques for opening, developing and closing the plan sale.
Steps #13-15 – Offer good education, Keep the business and Follow the money – explain how to maintain your plan business, add collateral sales, and avoid being a takeover casualty.
Step #16 – Have a structure and The PSS review – give you practical tools to create and monitor your own Sales Activity Plan, take you through a systematic review of the entire Plan Sales System (PSS), and remind you of the BIG RULES from each of the 16 steps.
What else is included?
Another important feature of The Plan Sales System is its interviews with a variety of plan professionals, including some of the very best specialists in plan sales, wholesaling, telemarketing, plan administration, database prospecting, and plan and investment education for participants. All of them were kind enough to share their time and ideas with us and with you. We certainly learned a lot from them, and I’m sure you will find their insights interesting and useful. In the months to come the publisher of this manual, Pension Data Resources, may interview other specialists for new additions to The Plan Sales System. If you have a particular expertise or sales technique that you would like to discuss, please contact us at (800) 282-1055 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why a workbook format?
The format of The Plan Sales System is designed not just for reading but for your active use as a workbook and as an ongoing record of your retirement plan sales blueprint in action.
The left-hand column on each page includes lots of empty space for your notes. Each step has a short to-do list with a place for you to check when you have completed each task and specific resources you can go to to help you complete the step.
As you proceed through The Plan Sales System, fill the manual with lots of your notes and noodling. We want it to become your personal and ongoing record of tasks completed and progress made toward the achievement of your plan sales objectives.
We are available to help you further, and enhance your progress, in a variety of ways:
We offer half-day and full-day seminars, usually sponsored by a broker-dealer or financial institution, for large and small groups of salespeople. We offer individual tele-coaching for those brokers and other salespeople who find it easier to stay on track and focused with a personal coach. We can help you, through telephone consultation and networking, to organize your own regional or national study group; and we can assist your group with everything from occasional ideas to the nuts and bolts of organizing and presenting an annual plan sales meeting.
We have also created the Sales Drivers suite of 75 marketing letters that can help you focus and structure you prospecting approaches, dripping campaigns and contacts with clients and participants.
More questions or ideas?
As you progress with The Plan Sales System, we would very much appreciate your feedback, questions and suggestions. They are always particularly interested in sharing additional plan resources, both print and on-line, with their customers and visitors to their web sites. Please call us at (800) 282-1055; send email to email@example.com; or write us at P.O. Box 802, Tampa, FL 33601.
How long does it take?
We truly believe that, regardless of your level of plan sales knowledge and experience, information, techniques and resources that will help you grow your business. Use it well and it can become the blueprint for your plan sales success.
You, however, must provide the sweat and labor. There are no shortcuts to plan sales success. It is hard work with wonderful rewards. Build slowly, carefully, and you can get the results you need. Work methodically toward your goal, and remember:
Little strokes fell great oaks.