Northeast Planning Corp., a comprehensive financial services firm committed to helping individuals, families and businesses improve their long-term financial success, announces that eight of its financial representatives recently achieved The Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America’s (Guardian) coveted Client Builder Award (CBA). The award recognizes new financial representatives who get off to a strong start building relationships with prospective clients and creating a foundation for future success. The award is based on an agent’s performance during the first 90 days on the job. The following NEPC associates have been recognized for attaining the CBA:
· Lawrence Augustine, Irvington, N.J.
· Jeff Baumann, Cranford, N.J.
· Matthew Malc, Egg Harbor Twp., N.J.
· Dan Perry, Sayreville, N.J.
· Ron Reed, Bayonne, N.J.
· James Sozzomenou, Holmdel, N.J.
· Corey VanOrden, Wantage, N.J.
· James Villari, Clark, N.J.
The CBA is a major draw for prospective employees: Incoming sales talent knows they will be rewarded for putting in the effort necessary to lay the groundwork for long-term success. It also has become a critical tool for improving NEPC’s retention and recruitment efforts. Historically, CBA qualifiers are shown to be three times as likely to remain in the business; are two-and-one-half times more productive; and are 10 times more likely to attain Guardian’s Leaders Club status, which recognizes the company’s top 600 financial representatives.
“Among the goals we want new financial representatives to focus on are getting off to a strong start and having high expectations for themselves,” said Michael Salvatore, associate general agent at NEPC. “The CBA helps new hires focus on creating opportunities and gets them completely engaged in prospecting and relationship building.”
The success of NEPC’s recruitment efforts and its industry-leading retention rate – the firm retains 59 percent of new associates (data based on all FR’s appointed 2001 – 2010) – are indicative of its ability to offer a rewarding career to prospects from different backgrounds. Many of the firm’s financial representatives are career changers from a variety of other fields such as the legal, banking or mortgage industries.
“Career changers don’t necessarily need prior sales experience, but we do look for individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit, strong communication skills and a desire to help others,” said Salvatore. The company’s well-defined training and mentoring program allows new financial representatives, regardless of their prior experience, to receive the support necessary to build a meaningful career.
“The success we are having with associates reaching the CBA is directly tied to how we train, develop and onboard each new hire,” said Steven Ferrara, Northeast Planning’s CEO. “We have evolved our training strategy to focus less on the ‘science’ and more on the ‘art’ of the business, which is communication and relationship building, and the long-term value this will bring to their careers. As a 50-year-old company, we also have a deep network of relationships they can tap into as they build their practice.”
NEPC’s well-structured mentoring program matches incoming financial representatives with seasoned company professionals who help them gain relevant business skills and prepare for the job’s responsibilities. “Our mentoring program puts new associates directly in the hands of a successful advisor,” Salvatore said. “Mentors are Leaders Club producers who have the desire to help our firm grow and help others become as productive as possible. By doing casework with their mentors, our associates are gaining more valuable knowledge and experience working in the field than they might in the classroom.”
As a result, NEPC is retaining more agents and their production, work ethic and satisfaction levels are much higher. “We are very careful in our employee selection process, and are passionate about helping new hires find success in this business,” said Ferrara. “It’s not an easy career, but investing the time and resources into those who come on board with us can pave the way to a rewarding and prosperous career.”