National Association of Plan Advisors| National Association of Plan Advisors

Fight the Friction! | National Association of Plan Advisors

Friction is anything that causes your prospects to stop applying for 401(k) insurance. Hesitate. Stop. Stop. You can make your business grow faster by quickly identifying and resolving any friction points. 

Let’s turn your sales process into a well-oiled machine by remedying these seven areas of friction: 

  1. Prospecting 
  2. Check out the Schedule
  3. Continue to keep following 
  4. LinkedIn 
  5. Newsfeed
  6. Website 
  7. Blog 


FrictionInconsistent marketing campaigns  

Advisors admit that prospecting is the lifeblood of their business but also their Achilles’ heel. For many, the prospecting process can seem overwhelming. How do I begin? What’s working? What should I do with my time? 

Here’s an idea: If 70% of your new business introductions come from current clients and centers of influence, then start with your known relationships. 

Connect to each client, COI, and company via LinkedIn. Remind your network (i.e. Your clients and coIs of the great work you have done as an advisor for retirement plans. 

Your best prospects for retirement plans are a great way to increase the number of contacts in your prospecting campaigns. Next, connect to them on LinkedIn. Every week, connect with at least two-to four people. 

Check out the Schedule

FrictionIt is difficult to coordinate.

Have you ever found yourself trapped in a cycle or set of calendars? You know—that back-and-forth volley of trying to find an opening on two hard-working professionals’ calendars at once. Many business prospects work very hard. It will be easier for everyone to send a link and schedule a meeting. Both companies have high compliance standards.

Both scheduling companies scan your calendar to find available slots. Sponsors of plans choose the time and date that works for them. The calendar invite is automatically generated. Information for the conference calls can also be included. Ta-da! It’s over! 

Continue reading

FrictionNot enough reminders to make sure the retirement plan is on the agenda. 

The process of selling a retirement program is complex. Over 80% of the plans are sold You can touch from the 5th to 12th point.   how are you following up with prospects? If it’s a CRM reminder, honestly, how diligent are your efforts? It’s likely best to automate it. 

The following email marketing platforms comply with all compliance standards 

All contact information should be included in all emails. When prospects join the sales funnel, track them. Automate the rest.

Implement “set it and forget it” campaigns that are prepopulated, scheduled and triggered as your prospect advances through the sales process. 

You can nurture prospects with newsletters, plan sponsor guides, best practice and infographics. You can automate this process to keep in touch and stay connected with your contacts. This can be automated.

PRO TIPAdd your Open Calendar link to make scheduling simple. 


FrictionTo confirm your departure or to make a reservation, click here

If you had two seconds to make an introduction, you’d want to present your best, right? LinkedIn makes it easy to quickly research your skills and experience. 

Double-checking your LinkedIn profile can help you to improve it.

  • Profil picture for professionals (less than three years)
  • Background banner with logo/sketch (usually in background)
  • Gray boxes are not available. You can scroll down to complete any gaps in your profile.
  • After a quick glance, people make a snap decision. They can either leave your profile page or do more research on you. They will read through your profile, visit your website and then get in touch with you. 


Friction: Plan sponsors are not 401(k) experts—that’s why they need you. Are you able to assist your clients with the right knowledge? Yes, indeed! 

Your social media accounts can be used to notify contacts about current events (e.g.SCOTUS). NorthwesternTrends (e.g. ESG), news, (e.g. ESG), news, (e.g. retirement income illustration statements) and other topics relevant to plan sponsors. 

Your network will benefit if you share pertinent information. You also have confidence in knowing that you are working with the best retirement advisor. 

Rebecca Hourihan has more to say.


Friction: Website doesn’t have enough information about retirement plans, causing the prospect to become unsure about advisor capabilities.

Ever wonder how many people never reach out for referrals? It is well-known that referrals make up the majority of all business activity. We are now asking the question: “Do you see any missed opportunities?” 

These are some ways to increase your website’s visibility online. 

  • A page should be added that highlights the services you offer in retirement planning
  • Keep your blog current 
  • A link is added to help you make it easier to set up a meeting.


Friction: Confidence or Concern 

About a third of all websites include a blog—it’s the third most visited page after the homepage and About Us. Blog visitors are more likely to stay on your site longer if they like reading your blogs and engaging with you. You can also use it to bring your visitors back to your site for longer durations of time. Buyers from B2B: 71%Blog content can be used as part of a buyer’s journey. 

An up-to-date blog shows site visitors that you’re aware of what’s happening in the retirement plan industry. This builds trust between you and your prospects. If the blog becomes outdated, visitors might be interested. Is your business still viable? 

Inactive blogs (i.e. Blogs that are not updated for more than 2 years should be deleted until their re-instatement is possible. It’s better to have no blog than something that doesn’t represent your brand and expertise well. 

PRO TIPRepurposing your blog on social media and through email campaigns can double its reach. 


The retirement plan business is competitive, so it’s important to keep your prospects in motion by eliminating any friction. You can remove barriers to help your prospects become better qualified, and you’ll be able attract new clients more quickly. 

We appreciate your time! We wish you all the best in marketing

Rebecca Hourihan, AIF, PPC, is the founder and CMO of 401(k) Marketing, which she founded to assist qualified experts operate a professional business with professional marketing materials and ongoing awareness campaigns. This column was originally published in the spring issue. NAPA Net magazine. 


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