It’s a weird time.
With all the recent market volatility and social distancing, it’s hard to know how to reassure your clients. And every client is different. You’re probably hearing from your more vocal clients. And they are most likely demanding your attention first. The squeaky wheel…you know the rest.
But what about those wheels that aren’t squeaking? You also have clients with concerns that aren’t reaching out. At least, they aren’t reaching out to you.
Be careful of the quiet people. Have you ever heard that phrase? In today’s climate, that’s good advice. With market volatility, it’s easy to focus in on the people who are calling us to calm them down. We take the necessary time to talk them through the market’s ups and downs and focus in on the long-term. And that’s an important part of our job. But we also need to talk with the people who are not calling us. Often, these clients are introverts.
Introverts tend to rely on their own research. And because they’ve taken the time to research, they tend to be more confident. But, even though they’ve done the research, they will seek out other people’s opinions to shape their own. That's significant for us as financial planners. They may very well be seeking out other financial professionals for ideas during these rocky times.
So regardless of your client base, whether they're calling you or not, you need to systematically reach out to all your clients.
The ones who are calling you, and, most importantly, the ones who are not.
Develop a consistent, scalable message. And use it to reach out to all your clients. Especially those who may be calling somebody else.
Websites. Commercials. Advertising. Mailing lists. All of these are tools used to chase the elusive goal of having exactly the right amount of exactly the right type of client. It’s a challenge every advisor faces.
Few of us have enough clients to feel satisfied with our business. And even if we get the number right, we then shift our focus to duplicating the top 20% while delegating the bottom 20% to a successor. Every business feels this pressure to add new sources of revenue in the form of new clients.
So, what do we do about it? In the past, the answer has been to throw tens of thousands of dollars into anything that sounds like it would work. But there are limits to what we can do with traditional types of advertising, namely:
But it doesn’t have to be like that.
Success in marketing starts with a focus on the prospective client and their problem, not with our solution.
Think about the story you want to tell. Is the hero you, or your client? If the answer is you, it’s time to adjust the marketing message. We aren’t marketing our process — it doesn’t attract people. The message needs to be how we improve their lives and make their family situation better. Knowing your audience is important. You want your message to match their definition of success. It may seem difficult. We think we must be innovative, different and unique to attract clients. We don’t.
Crafting the Right Message
It’s actually easier than you think. We know what our prospective clients want. But we aren’t giving them specifics on why they should want to work with us. Here are some examples of general statements about potential pitfalls:
Experience has shown that these types of statements don’t motivate people to meet with us. In fact, I’d argue that they scare people away. Be honest. Would they motivate you?
Instead, we need to think about the emotional and deeper meaning of why clients choose to invest, and what factors contribute to picking a firm. To figure that out, we need to look to the past.
Past Success Leads to Future Success
Consider your five favorite clients. Make a list. What makes them your favorite clients? I’m sure the money they bring to your firm is a factor. But more than that, there is probably positive engagement – you enjoy working with them. And they trust your judgment when it comes to their finances. It’s a perfect situation. These are the people you want to duplicate.
There’s no big mystery to why these clients do business with us. It’s simple. We transformed their lives. We provided solutions to their problems and helped create a secure future.
Let’s conduct a little experiment. Pull your files for these five clients. Then take out a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left side, write down all the adjectives that described the client when you were still trying to earn their business. (This is where the files come in.) Most likely, your adjectives include words like worried, uninformed, lost, lacking confidence or fearful.
On the right side of the paper, list adjectives that describe how the client feels about their finances today. Words like safe, secure, confident, comfortable, aware, in control and satisfied should be on this list.
This transformation is your marketing message. Taking clients from worried to secure. From uninformed to in control. From fearful to confident. Think about a marketing message that focuses on changing their lives. In short, the type of messaging that resonates with people. A message that provides hope. And enables the prospective client to make a significant change – one that affects every member of their family, including the next generation — without using scare tactics.
Transformational Tactic: Look more closely at why your top clients chose you. Those reasons are the key to a marketing message that attracts the right prospects.
© 2018 Ash Brokerage LLC.