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How to Establish a Solid Plan When it Comes to Current and New Prospects

Most agents and advisors face the challenge of getting in front of prospects and acquiring new clients. It can be a daunting task that needs to be approached with thorough, confident planning. When asked what or who they relied on for credible financial planning advice, an overwhelming number of respondents in The Hartford Investments and Retirement Survey who did not use the advice of a financial professional stated that they did not know where to turn. This shows that the opportunity for gaining new prospects is attainable!  Take a look at this chart provided by The Hartford that looks at who respondents were relying on for credible financial planning advice:

So what is this chart telling you? People need guidance! “Overwhelmingly, those who did not plan were uncertain as to where to obtain financial advice. Of those who had not created a financial plan, 42.5 percent said they did not know where to turn as compared to 9.6 percent for planners.”[i] Your future prospects are out there and you need to educate them on where to turn when it comes to their financial planning.

Instead of seeking help from a trusted financial professional, respondents are reaching out to news media like newspapers, books, and magazines for financial advice. Just like anything else, the mastering of personal finance takes many hours of research, and most people just don’t have that time. For the majority of people, retirement is not a “do it yourself” project. When it comes to creating a retirement plan, respondents could certainly go it alone. But then again, they could also try doing their own dental work too.

Also, when it came to working with an insurance agent, a shockingly low 10.2% of respondents actually reached out to one for financial planning advice. This may discourage many agents. I want you to use these stats and this chart as a challenge to yourself. See it as inspirational fuel to increase the number of prospects you get in front of. And also, to spark a solid plan that you will present to your clients, both current and new.

When it comes to retirement planning, establishing a solid plan for your clients is a must. Whether it be your current clients or prospective new clients, providing them an optimal solution with a strong foundation is a great way to start. First off, optimal does not mean “best.” Optimal simply means that something is the best more often than anything else and that it will never be the worst. Math and science always look for the optimal solution, and we can do just that when it comes to securing a successful retirement. Bringing everything together into one cohesive unit will help your clients see the big picture and weed out what isn’t working. Then, you can add alternative options that may fit their specific financial goals better, based on each client’s personal situation.

When it comes to developing a plan fit for your clients, you must start by covering the basics:

  • How much income do your clients need to cover basic expenses?
  • Have they secured any sources of Guaranteed Lifetime Income like company pensions, Social Security, or annuities?
  • Have they discussed a plan for long term care?
  • Have they taken all of the key risks off the table?

Having a vision and a developed plan will put you and your clients, not the market, in control. Once you have the plan developed, the products that will fund the plan will begin to fall into place. Products like annuities are built for income, and will become one of the most important parts of the plan. Other investments can provide balance once that guaranteed income level is achieved.

Create personal relationships with your clients. Build your social media following.  Become known as THE EXPERT in your area.  Every single person you know will need retirement advice at some point in their lives.  The key question is, “Will they think of YOU?”  A great social media strategy can help ensure you are the person they think of first!  So try to prospect for prospects instead of just prospecting for a sale.  Try to get 2,000 or 3,000 or 10,000 contacts.  That way, someone will need something from you every week!

By helping your clients feel comfortable, secure, and well-informed, the plan will fall into place. An annual review with your clients is a great way to follow up and evaluate how the planning is going.

[i] “The Hartford Investments and Retirement Survey,” The Hartford, December 2009,

About Tom Hegna

Tom Hegna
Tom Hegna is the author of three books, a guide to Social Security, and the host of the Public TV Special, “Don’t Worry, Retire Happy!” You can find out more about Tom and his products at and Please check out his new consumer-focused Facebook page for tips and articles on how to retire happy at and share it with your clients!!

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