Thrive in Any Regulatory Environment with This 4-Step Growth Framework

In April of 2016, the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule rolled out and many financial advisors began making changes to their practice. No one really knew exactly how it would impact financial professionals and their practice, however, everything pointed to a fundamental shift in the areas of financial and insurance advice.

Since the 2016 U.S. presidential election, there has been a lot of discussions, such as the potential of a reversal. Ultimately, the DOL Fiduciary Rule went into effect June 9, 2017.

The industry continues to work diligently to help financial professionals know the right steps to take and provide resources to make it an easy transition…but one key question remains:

Where can I turn to determine the correct way to properly communicate with my clients during this time of change?

In today’s day and age, having the right tools, resources, and technologies can help significantly streamline your practice. The right platform should help you meet applicable fiduciary standards; while offering a wide range of customized client solutions, such as life insurance, investments, and annuities. This will allow you to focus on your client’s best interest and make recommendations that enhance their financial futures and instill trust in you. This approach is key to evolve in any regulatory environment.

In order to adapt, LifePro has provided a 4-step growth framework in order to solidify your client’s trust and be able to thrive in any regulatory environment.

Step 1: Understand What the Fiduciary Rule Means to You

On June 9, 2017, the DOL Fiduciary Rule went into effect; declaring that any financial professional recommending products for a qualified account will have to comply with the Impartial Conduct Standards. This fiduciary requirement differs from the industry standard in the past which was based solely on suitability.

Essentially, the new ruling was enacted to bridge the gap between financial professionals and consumers by requiring conduct standards and putting the consumers’ best interest first.

At the core of the rule lies the best interest standard. This standard mandates that when financial professionals make recommendations for qualified retirement accounts they must act in the client’s best interest. This means the advice is based on the investment objectives, risk tolerances, financial circumstances and income needs of the retirement investor - without regard to financial professional or financial firm compensation.

When determining reasonable compensation for a recommended product, it is paramount to make sure that it is in line with going market rates of commission with other products of similar features... Products that pay unusually high commissions vs. other products with similar features are the types of products that may be singled out by regulators for closer inspection.

As of now, knowing that nothing is certain, it’s important to look for opportunities and best practices to help meet clients’ best interests and operate a growing book of business.

Step 2: Learn How to Operate Effectively in Any Regulatory Environment

It goes without saying, but you must be prepared to address any regulatory changes now or in the future. To operate effectively, you’ll need the right tools, resources, and technologies to navigate through the ever-changing regulatory environment with ease.

Let’s consider two areas that will help streamline your practice…

Enabling Yourself to Reach Your Full Potential
Financial professionals using a platform that places stability at the center of a client’s financial plan, while using investments to target wants and wishes beyond the core, non-discretionary needs of the client, are able to create a clear and strong financial roadmap.

If you implement this approach, this will help you gain peace of mind in the protection of your business (knowing that you are always looking out for your client’s best interest), deliver more value to your clients and uncover additional revenue opportunities.

Building Lasting Client Relationships
Too often, financial professionals direct their focus and resources solely towards client acquisition. However, new business doesn’t always have to mean new clients. Building strong relationships with existing clients sets you up for repeat business.

One of the best ways to build strong relationships is to develop a reputation as an independent financial professional who delivers exceptional results and truly cares about his or her clients.

Always under promise and over deliver. Keeping promises will build the foundation necessary for maintaining and evolving relationships. This will put the client first by fostering their sense of trust and longevity – and possibly, in turn, increasing their referral potential.

Step 3: Choose and Implement the Right Solutions

In order to succeed in any regulatory environment, you must implement the right solutions. Financial professionals that effectively find new clients, maintain current clients, and uncover additional new business channels are ones who have come to an understanding that they cannot do it all on their own. They have found a “back office” that provides the right tools, resources, and technologies to navigate through any regulatory environment.

In doing so, acting in the clients’ best interest, having the correct forms, tracking client interactions, running correct case designs, managing cases, and implementing marketing strategies comes with ease.

You must have a home that has more than just a “good” commission. It’s important that your “back office” is looking out for you, your clients, and your future.

Step 4: Prepare for Future Challenges and Changes

What worked yesterday, may not work tomorrow. Whoever you decide to place your trust in to help you through the DOL landscape - besides being prepared for today - must be ready for tomorrow. We’re certain your practice 10 years ago looked completely different than it does today. Regulations, policies, products, marketing and so many more elements of the financial industry are always evolving.

The DOL Fiduciary Rule is a great opportunity for you to reflect on your practice and make sure you aren’t just ready for today’s challenges and changes but are ready for the future as well.

Remember, in the world of financial services, there is nothing more important than gaining your client’s trust. Your clients need to know they can rely on you to have their best interest in mind - despite any regulatory environment.

From understanding the impact of the Fiduciary Rule to choosing the right solutions, each step is key to enhancing your client’s trust and excel your practice.

Ready to take the next step? Talk to one of our Field Support Representatives (FSRs) by phone at 1-888-LIFEPRO and discuss how we can help you solidify customer trust while growing a thriving practice in any regulatory environment. You may also want to check out our DOL Resource Center here:

LifePro is a premier distributor of life, annuity, long-term care, and securities-based insurance products serving financial professionals nationwide. The company was formed solely to help independent insurance agents, financial planners, and other financial service professionals become successful.