The Standard is the marketing name for StanCorp Financial Group, Inc., and its subsidiaries. StanCorp Equities, Inc., member FINRA, wholesales a group annuity contract issued by Standard Insurance Company and a mutual fund trust platform for retirement plans. Standard Retirement Services, Inc. provides financial recordkeeping and plan administrative services. Investment advisory services are provided by StanCorp Investment Advisers, Inc., a registered investment advisor. StanCorp Equities, Inc., Standard Insurance Company, Standard Retirement Services, Inc., and StanCorp Investment Advisers, Inc., are subsidiaries of StanCorp Financial Group, Inc., and all are Oregon corporations.
4 Strategies to Keep Your Business Thriving
Give yourself a high-five if you’ve completed a marketing plan for 2021. (Did you see 4 Steps to a Crystal-Clear Marketing Plan in November’s In the Loop?)
If it’s still on your to-do list, don’t worry. This month, we’re focusing on key strategies to help you build a sales pipeline and grow your business. Start by carving out time for marketing, then explore the other strategies. Let’s get started.
Strategy No. 1: Dedicate time to market your business
It takes time to promote your products and services, but consider this time well spent. A crystal-clear marketing plan can elevate your business by helping you communicate your value to clients and partners.
Complete your marketing plan, then review it on a regular basis. Your goals are the heart of your plan, so dedicate a consistent time — like an hour each month — to assess your progress toward them. Soon it’ll be routine for you and your team to check your plan, refine your marketing activities and celebrate your wins. (More high-fives.)
Strategy No. 2: Create a content library that shows your expertise
Make sure your written and digital materials align with your marketing plan. When you have a solid content library, you’ll always have the right information to share when you need it. Match the content to the three stages of the pipeline — awareness, consideration and intent:
- For the awareness stage, create materials that provide value to your clients without explicitly promoting yourself.
- For the consideration stage, include materials that talk about the value you bring and your differentiators.
- For the intent stage, share content that really plays up your differentiators and helps you make the sale.
If the idea of creating a content library sounds daunting, remember that you can reach out to your provider partners (like The Standard) for materials. Review and update your library regularly, and make sure your materials do more than shine a spotlight on you and your business. Provide value to your clients whenever you can.
Strategy No. 3: Build awareness at events
Think about your prospects, then plan to attend or host events that target them. Check out this list of virtual and in-person options:
- Client/prospect roundtables
- Joint client meetings with centers of influence, like CPAs or ERISA attorneys
- Speaking engagements at industry conferences
For each event, decide how and where you’ll engage with prospects. Will you host a dinner during a conference? Greet attendees at a booth? Send emails after a webinar?
Strategy No. 4: Turn to prospecting resources
In the early stages of lead development, certain resources can save you time and help target the right prospects. For example, The Standard can connect you with tools that leverage data on retirement plan opportunities in your area. Take advantage of market share analyses, plan searches and employer plan reports, which can help you decide if a lead is the right fit for your practice.
We’ll look even more closely at each of these key strategies in future articles. For more help building your business, contact your retirement plan consultant at The Standard.
Confidence and Compassion
A Note from Greg Ness, Chairman, President and CEO
At The Standard, we’ve been helping people achieve financial well-being and peace of mind since 1906. As the global health crisis continues to disrupt lives, communities and the economy, I am confident we’ll continue helping people when they need us the most. Our company has been through hard times and market volatility before and we will navigate through this challenge as well. As our customers face tremendous stress and uncertainty, we will continue providing support and stability to those who rely on our products and services.
This pandemic is tough on everyone. Our communities are hurting, our families and friends are distressed and some of our most vulnerable neighbors are at risk.
The crisis and the way we collectively respond to it will define a generation. We are rising to the challenge. I know every single employee at our company — along with staying focused on keeping our business running and serving our customers — is looking for ways to make a difference for those most affected by this pandemic. That’s proving true in businesses and homes across the community, the country and around the world.
Part of the tragedy of this disease is that even as we come together to help those most in need, the unique nature of COVID-19 is forcing us apart. We all understand the importance of —social distancing— to slow the spread, but we should remember that’s just physical distancing. I encourage you to find ways to safely connect with those in your neighborhood who may require extra help and with groups in your community that are making a difference and support them however you can. And now is the perfect time to reach out to friends and others and just check in.
To our health care providers, first responders and everyone selflessly setting aside their own fears and concerns to help others during this time — thank you hardly seems enough. These people are true heroes. This crisis reinforces how reliant we are on the many essential services we too often take for granted. We are grateful to so many for continuing to show up with focus and commitment.
We will get through this, especially if we are sustained by the examples of those who make us the proudest right now — family, friends, neighbors and colleagues working together — rather than allowing our fears to guide us. No matter how unsettled we may feel, remember we are not alone. There are so many people in this world trying their level best to help others. And I am certain we will get through this — together.
In times of crisis, we are defined by how we react. Let’s continue to be defined by compassion.
And to our customers, thank you for putting your trust in The Standard. What we sell is a promise to be there when you need us, and that promise is unwavering.
Be safe and well, and stay connected.
Jared's Story: Time for Family
Age: 36 - Occupation: pediatrician - Married, one child
How the Family Care Benefit provided the ability to care for a loved one
Jared's daughter was born with a heart defect. They visited multiple specialists to diagnose the condition and determine the appropriate treatment. Then his daughter underwent surgeries, hospital stays and months of follow-up appointments. Benefits from Jared’s Platinum Advantage policy helped make up for the income lost when Jared spent time away from work to attend physician appointments and to be with his daughter in the hospital and throughout her extended recovery — providing peace of mind during a trying time.
Supportive Office Equipment
Age: 42 - Occupation: accountant - Married, no children
Assistance on the road to recovery through a rehabilitation program
Jody's role as an accountant at a small firm requires a lot of computer work. After sustaining a serious back injury from a car accident, Jody was totally disabled under her Platinum Advantage policy. Jody’s doctor recommended she purchase assistive equipment to help her work comfortably at her desk without aggravating her condition. She was able to return to work full time after participating in a rehabilitation program in which expenses for a sitstand desk and other ergonomic accommodations were paid for under her Platinum Advantage policy. These modifications helped ensure she could return to work safely, without hindering her recovery.
David's Story: Starting a Medical Career
Age: 33 - Occupation: dermatology physician - Single, no children
Benefits that match career growth through the Benefit Increase Rider
David is completing his dermatology residency and just accepted an offer at a private practice. Before the end of his residency, he purchased a Platinum Advantage policy that included the Benefit Increase Rider, knowing his income will rise significantly after he starts his first post-residency job. The benefit also will allow his policy to grow with him as he progresses in his career and receives additional salary increases. David values the fact that his coverage going forward will match his developing career.
Jason's Story: Accidents Happen
Age: 35 • Occupation: orthopedic surgeon • Married, two children
Finding work in a new occupation with the Own Occupation Rider
Jason injured his right hand in an accident and was unable to return to his job as an orthopedic surgeon because he couldn't perform surgery. Due to his medical training, he was able to return to work as a family medicine physician. Jason was considered totally disabled in his regular occupation as an orthopedic surgeon — even though he earns an income from another occupation as a family medicine physician — because of the own occupation definition of total disability included in his Platinum Advantage policy. Because of this, he receives the policy's full basic monthly benefit, in addition to the income he receives in his new position.
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