Sunday, October 11, 2009

Scott Hanson, Hanson McClain Retirement Network

Hi. I’m Scott Hanson, CEO of Hanson McClain Advisors and co-founder of the Hanson McClain Retirement Network. I’ve been a financial professional for almost 20 years and have seen a lot of change in the industry during that time.

The #1 thing that I feel advisors should recognize is that if they don’t have a market niche that they are focused on, they are dead in the water. While that may sound like an extreme statement, I am quite certain that our industry is much like the medical profession. We all know that the general practitioner is a dinosaur. Specialization is the name of the game in medicine, and it’s the wave of the future for financial advisors.

Niche marketing not only enables you to become well-versed in the needs of your chosen market segment. It also allows you to build systems and processes into your practice that help increase your efficiency and improve profitability. This is especially true if you serve the mass-affluent, whose needs, for the most part, are not highly complex.

In my firm, for instance, we focus on employees in the telecommunications and utilities industries. We make it our business to know the details of the companies’ retirement plans so that when the employee retires or when an offer for early retirement is on the table, we can help them make the best decisions and complete the necessary paperwork. Because of the depth of our expertise, we have been able to connect with employees prior to their retirement, providing education and building relationships so that we are the advisor of choice when an individual is ready to make the move. We view what we are doing in these companies and industries as “ground-swell marketing” - a few people in a company get to know us and word spreads rapidly. Employees eagerly attend our retirement education seminars because they know that what they learn will apply directly to their situation. This approach has enabled us to keep the pipeline full, which, as you well know, is the key to a thriving practice.

Whatever niche you choose to serve, whether it’s based on client segmentation or technical expertise, you want to be sure that you are proactive in learning all there is to know about current and perspective clients’ needs. If you’d like to learn more about how we do that at Hanson McClain, visit www.moneymatters.com, or read about one of our network members, Patty Larrimore, in What's Next, the cover story in the September issue of Financial Planning magazine.

There are no secrets to what we do. But, like anything else, it’s all in the execution.
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