Episode #122: Are You Charging Enough for Your College Planning Services?

Episode #122: Are You Charging Enough for Your College Planning Services?

Are you struggling to covert your college planning clients to college funding clients? It’s possible that your current fee structure is attracting clients that don’t have the resources necessary for college funding, or more importantly, retirement planning opportunities.

In this episode of Money Script Monday, Gabe presents a strategy for structuring your client fees to lead to more college funding opportunities and ultimately earning more revenue.


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This post is intended for financial professional use only.

Video transcription

Welcome back to another episode of Money Script Monday. My name is Gabriel Lindemann.

I'll be your host today. Today we're going to be talking about are you charging enough for your college planning services?

This is a topic that I get probably five to a dozen times per week by different agents. And honestly, most of the time I have to tell people you're not charging enough.

If you're not charging enough what's happening is, you're getting different type of families that don't appreciate your services, but more importantly, less likely to do funding plans.

I know a lot of times new college planners will go through a training from a college planning organization and they they'll tell you to advertise pay $500 to $1,000.

But the truth of the matter is that's because they're more interested in them making a profit because how they make money is by servicing families.

They're more interested on quantity versus quality whereas at LifePro, at our college planning division, we're about quality.

We'd rather get you in front of 5, 10 families that have more of opportunity, likelihood of doing a college funding plan versus 50 families where maybe one or two could do a college funding plan.

It's just a little bit different in philosophy.

Charge $500 - $1,500

Today let's talk about what happens when you are charging $500 to $1,500?

charging 500 to 1500 for college planning

This is a really low price point. When you deal with that kind of price point, you get people that are more EFC families.

Now, there's nothing wrong with doing just a pure EFC move but what happens is if you're just moving assets around to qualify for EFC, you're really missing out in those top tier two or three type of college funding families that we'll talk about later.

So there's relatively no real college funding opportunities.

A lot of times these policies result in a lot of MEC plans which MEC plans are great if that's the only opportunity the families have and it's short term.

But because you need to structure the MEC plans correctly, you take out most of your commission.

We do max term blends, max paid-up additions and so a policy if you design correctly, with a family has a little bit more money, where you can earn $10 to $15,000 commissionable premium, you're only making maybe $2,000 to $3,000, it's a big difference.

From a college plan perspective is just the amount of work.

I have a lot of college planners who don't take on those types of families or those types of plans purely because they have a staff.

They have a team and so they pay their team and their staff the same amount of money to work on a MEC plan that it's going to generate $2,000 to $3,000 versus a college funding plan, which incorporates college planning, college funding, but more importantly, retirement planning and those pay anywhere from $10 to $15,000.

It's all about how you position yourself.

If you aren't charging enough, you're going to get more of the families that are not making as much money.

Typically, under $100,000 which don't have the opportunities or the resources to do more of the college funding, college planning, retirement planning, which we specialize in here at LifePro.

Charge $2,000 +

Now this transitions over to my next point. Now I recommend people doing about $2,000 or more.

charging 2000 plus for college planning

$2,000 honestly is pretty much the very low tier of what you should be charging.

Every area's a little bit different but $2,000 is the very minimum.

At $2,000 you're going to get yourself families that make a little bit of money, that maybe a appreciate you and your team a little bit more because they value what you guys are going to bring to the table.

Know what common question is, "Gabe, I don't offer enough services for $2,000 I'm just doing an EFC planning and that's it."

Well, let's be honest, if all you're doing is doing an EFC plan, you probably shouldn't be charging $2,000.

Secondly, if that's what you're really doing as far as college planning, you're not really a college planner.

One of the things here we do at LifePro is we examine your front-end services.

Unless you're giving the family enough value to warrant what you're charging you, we're not going to help you with your digital campaigns, your marketing or college funding plans.

Again, the most important thing in college planning is helping the families, helping the kids get into school.

You have to have to bring value.

So, if you're not doing enough to justify that more income, do more, offer more handholding, maybe throw in a sponsored trip, take the students to one a local college just to get that experience and walk them through a couple of classes, throw in some test prep.

There's a number of resources and opportunities out there and if you don't have ideas how to do it, contact me.

We partner up with a lot of great college plan service centers that can offer you services that you can increase your premiums, get a better family, but more importantly, help the kids get into school.

That's the most important thing out there.

Then also by charging more, you're going to get a better net worth of families that are going to have more funding opportunities with you will be able to hit more of those $10,000 to $15,000 commissionable premium cases that we do here at LifePro every day, all day.

Which gets me into the last point.

No Charge

A lot of college planners, they'll do a seminar, they're excited and they'll find out, "Oh, the kids that showed up they're too young, they're in sixth grade or elementary school or even newborns do you have anything like the Gerber plan?" Absolutely.

The transition point is you obviously at that point you can't do college planning.

You're not going to be working with a counselor, you're not going to be working with an admin team, you're not going to be working on doing picking selection and AP classes and all those designs.

no charge for college planning

What you can start doing is the college funding because we know if you start working with us when the kids are in early middle school, late elementary school when you're only putting $500 to $1,000 a month, that we have 10, 15 plus years to let it grow so it's less strain on the policy.

When you work with younger students, there's a lot of opportunities as far as college funding that they could, so that way it's not so aggressive.

We don't have to put in a big lump sum, we don't have to be worry about getting the rates to return to manage those portfolios because we have time on our side.

No college planning only college funding, more time, better preparations, and like I said before, less strain on the policy that's the most important thing.

Because we know if we're trying to get 5% to 6% or 7% rate of return after 1 year, it's hard.

We have a great Monte Carlo designed in our wealth builder that shows that from 1 year, 5 year and 10 years.

But more importantly, if we have to get something on a 1 or 2-year basis, that's, that's tough. Over a 5-year period, it gets easier but over a 10-year period, statistically speaking, we know we have an idea what these policies will return.

The more time we have in the policies, the better they'll be for your clients and less stressful for everybody involved.

So again, I thank you for attending today's episode on Money Script Monday on charging more money to your college funding plans.

And at the end of the day, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your FSR at 888-LIFEPRO. Happy selling.

About Gabe Lindemann

Gabe Lindemann is the Director of College Planning and Senior Field Support Representative at LifePro. He coaches hundreds of financial professionals on how to build effective financial strategies that achieve their clients' long term goals and helps them stay educated on the latest industry trends.


This information is meant for educational purposes only.

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