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Workshop snapshot

Advisers and mortgage brokers looking to diversify revenue streams were given a helping hand at Aegon’s protection workshop in London last week.

Be it advisers already operating in the protection sector or new blood looking for an alternative income stream, Aegon national account manager Roy Watkins was looking to attract advisers, and in particular mortgage brokers, looking to refocus their businesses.

The main thrust of the seminar was to bring advisers “back to basics”, and make them question whether there are little things they can do to improve profitability next year.
The aim was also to look at business volumes and see how protection fits in to each delegate’s business proposition, starting with their reasons for attending.

One adviser at the workshop told me the investment side of his business was not performing too well and he was hoping to make up the short-fall with protection.

Another said the day was his way of “revising what he may well have forgotten”, while a third said she was “trying to get the protection side nailed down”.

One financial planner said the day was about picking up “tips on how we can change our current system to get more business in”, while another said he was “more interested in how to attract protection business rather than search existing clients”.

Discussions centred around issues in the market place, ways of generating new protection sales ideas, and how to put such plans in place.

Watkins used the seminar to encourage more advisers to revisit their existing client bank, and look at specific types of groups and separate their needs.

He said: “First thing to understand is everyone is not an ideal prospect for you. Look at your client bank, look at people who give you business and look at the clients who are profitable rather than just on your books and see if you can replicate them.

“The other way of looking at your client bank is looking at specific sorts of groups. Some groups need to be sold to more than others. In your own head, do you know how you’re going to break them down, what are their needs going to be?”
Watkins suggested going through bank statements with clients to see how they can save money and address the issue of affordability. Trust forms were also flagged up as a way of generating more people.

To wrap up, Watkins used the four p’s as a guide – Price, Product, Promotion, Place.

He added: “How do you promote yourself? There are lots of ways of promoting yourself and it doesn’t cost a lot of money. There are networking opportunities, you can buy leads in and get referrals. Also the place. You can vary the place you work. For example, a lot of people take offices in London to give them extra kudos. By playing around with those four p’s you can change the dynamics of your business quite substantially.”

With the bleak economic conditions set to last through next year many advisers will be looking to follow Watkins advice as a way of generating extra sources of income.

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