This post was contributed by David Sage of Brokerville
The worst idea you can have is that you can’t do business during the holidays. The gentleman who brought me into the financial services business as a stockbroker was a huge success. On the last trading day of December one year, his trades accounted for 4% of the New York Stock Exchange volume. Yes—he had plenty of large clients but keep him in mind if you think there is no business to do.
Several business ideas are perfect for the year end:
Capture Year End Tax Benefit
You can contact clients and remind them to sell any security on which they have a loss. To not sell such securities is just foolish. If they purchased a stock at $10 and it’s now $6, they can deduct the $4 loss (up to the amount of their gains or $3,000, whichever is higher). If December 31 comes and goes, they miss the chance to get the government to share their loss. They can always repurchase the security 31 days later if they want to keep it for the long term.
Send your email with the subject line: IRS Will Send you this money but only if you act by December 31
Estate Planning Perfect for Year-End
If any client wants to start a gifting program, they can gift $14,000 per donee in December and another $14,000 on January 1. Only this time of year can you take two annual gift exclusions this close together. And since people will be seeing family, what better time to mention this?
This is also the perfect time of year to begin estate planning. People travel on planes (and take extra perceived risks) and see family. These are two occurrences that make estate plans more important. If you don’t bring it up, they won’t either. So you’ve got to call your clients and prospects and ask:
Will you be traveling this holiday season?
Heaven forbid something happened to you, is your estate organized so that family members would not have heartache sorting out a mess?
While asking such a question may seem forward or intrusive, you will never help people with the things that really matter unless you ask questions that generate some discomfort.
Send your email with the subject line: The most important step to take before you see family members this holiday
Of course, there are other year end deadlines for establishing certain types of qualified plans, for doing a Roth conversion, and for taking mandatory distributions. You could easily create a checklist of the above items and have each client in for year-end review or do it over the phone. They will appreciate such reminders more than a call to sell them something, and a sale may just be the result of this attention.
These People Are Excellent New Clients During the Holidays
Conventional wisdom is that you won’t gain clients during holiday season. But your holiday business-building efforts have failed because you targeted the wrong prospects. Who are the right prospects? The right prospects are the people who could care less about the holidays – to them, December 25 and May 25 are no different. These are all the people with no family, the agnostics, the atheists, people of other religions – about 30% of the US population.
While others are on the Internet seeking the best price on fuzzy slippers for niece Judy's Xmas gift, these prospects continue to look for the best ways to
- save for retirement,
- how to get more life coverage for the same cost,
- if they can trade-in their annuity for a better rate,
- how to get a better return on their investment portfolio,
- looking for long term care coverage before their next birthday and
- how to cut their income tax in 2013.
We know because we continue to get 500 responses a day from Internet ads right through December 31, with questions and requests for information on these topics.
So while all of your competition has decided that they cannot do business during the holidays, would you like to have these local prospects all to yourself? If yes, we can introduce you.
For many financial professionals, December is their best month of the year. If not so for you, it's your choice. You can have another year go by, missing out on 1/12 of your business with a goose-egg of revenue in December, or you can do something different.
To get matched with the people more concerned about their money than the holidays, view this 9 minute video: http://www.brokerville.com/insurance-lead-generation.html or phone 888-893-2990 to see the ads that can be promoted for you to gain holiday business.