The Retirement Asset Management (RAM) Group is a national firm specializing in group marketplace qualified plans. Hal Harrison is Senior Vice President. Its primary sources of business are 401(k), 403(b) and 401(a) plans. The RAM Group has affinity marketing relationships with national associations and offers retirement plans to their membership.
At Retirement Asset Management Group, our marketing is done in two separate phases: first, we attempt to get the business. We sell an employer on the idea that we can do a better job than anybody else communicating the retirement plan to the employees. Second, after acquiring the business, we sit down with the employees one-on-one using TRAK to educate each employee on their retirement plan. This is a critical step towards increasing the plan’s participation rates and employee contribution percentages. TRAK software helps us be successful in both phases.
In the first phase we will find out what their matching schedule is and create TRAK illustrations ahead of time. We personalize illustrations with a sample paycheck analysis, future value illustration and a distribution illustration. We then will illustrate the cost of waiting to invest. We present all these to the plan sponsor management as the tools we will use to communicate the value of the plan to employees. Although we usually have an hour to present, with our personalized approach using TRAK, we’ve usually made a conclusive case to the employer in fifteen minutes. TRAK’s illustrations clearly show the employer how we’ll help their employees understand the value of pre-tax savings as well as the value of the employer’s match on their behalf. This makes the decision process for the employer much easier.
We also use TRAK in phase two of the sales process, beginning with enrollment. Before we do the group meetings we pre-load all employees’ information in TRAK. That upfront work pays off because when we do the one-on-ones, we can quickly load their file--not wasting our presentation time with typing data. Instead, we use our time with the employee showing the value and opportunities in their employer’s plan. Each employee sees their paycheck illustrations are already finished. In about twenty minutes, we can complete a typical application, all due to how simple TRAK makes participant decision-making.
We do after-enrollment evaluations and give them to the employer. A few recent comments we heard were typical examples: “This is the first time anybody ever sat down with me and really cared about what I’m going to have in retirement” and “I finally understand what the whole retirement program is really about.”
As a result, largely due to TRAK, we get eighty to ninety percent participation during enrollment. We also find that employee contributions average a little over six percent.
If you look at some of the biggest investment advisers out there—if they get forty to fifty percent participation, they’re ecstatic! But with TRAK, we get almost all of the employees signing up. Also, we typically see a significant increase in deferrals. For example, with a recent Connecticut employer, we saw a 267% increase in deferrals.
TRAK differentiates us from our competitors. When we use TRAK for case development, more often than not we get the case. This puts us in front of the employees, making money.
To sum it up, I think any advisor who doesn’t use TRAK is crazy. Why go through all the work of prospecting and then fail, just because you didn’t use the best tool out there for that most important moment—when you actually make your money?
Hal Harrison resides in Phoenix, Arizona.
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