Industry Leader Interview, with Michelle Marsh, Chief Visionary Officer, Retirement Plan Concepts & Services
Dawn Hynes Question:
You have been a pioneer in adding a sales staff to your organization and pioneering marketing and social media outreach, how did you start years ago with the salesperson and how has that evolved in a continuing effort to just grow your organization?
Michelle Marsh Answer:
Bringing on a sales person started because one of my consultants, her husband was in the industry, and was sending us business. He was an advisor, but where he was his hands were quite tied. He was working in a banking situation rather than an advisory firm. We talked several times, and I just said “you brought us a fair amount of plans in the last three years, what do you think you could do if you were just selling for us and what does that look like?”. So, he and I sat down to talk and figured out what that would look like, and how it would work. Unfortunately for me he did move on after about 6 years, but I was blessed to then hire another salesperson immediately. He’s an absolute rock start.
Right now the dynamics have changed so much from where wholesalers used to call us and say they had opportunities to really we’re generating our own opportunities. We have advisors calling us directly and honestly in many cases the wholesalers are now on the outside looking in, because the TPA and the advisors have the relationship rather than the advisor and the wholesaler. The wholesalers are trying to talk to both of us and try to get us to work with them, which is a nice place to be.
We have done some direct solicitation to clients as well, so we’ve done some direct marketing. I have an internal sales and marketing person heavy on the marketing. She does help my salesperson put together proposals and run paperwork, but the majority of her time is spent in the marketing realm for our firm, a lot in social media but a lot of creative. She is a Millennial, she is very good at what she does.
We do have an outside consultant in the realm of marketing. They’re not industry specific, but they help us determine how often we should be posting and they actually search things, like we just did a paper on rollovers. Watching the analytics, there were so many people searching for information about rollovers and there weren’t any real good guides out there. So, I just reviewed and approved that yesterday. So really, finding out what content people are searching for that then we put out and when they do those searches, they find us.