Last week, I explained how an automated marketing process can help financial advisors create a conversation and keep the connection alive until their prospects are ready to wade into the water with themThe inspiration was Kristin Harad’s NAPFA 2012 Conference presentation,Relationship Marketing in the New World: Where Conversation & Automation Meet.”

A former marketing executive with several big brand name companies, Kristin is now a CFP® who in addition to serving a select group of retail financial planning clients also provides a free video training series on marketing strategies for financial advisors.

In her presentation at the NAPFA conference, Kristin took us through the "Six Steps to Ensure (Easy) Follow-up Every Time." 

“The goal is to create an effective program that engages your lead, builds rapport, and converts prospects to lifelong clients,” she explained. “You only have so much time in the day so it’s important to leverage technology to systematize this critical follow-up and still keep your personal touch.”

This week I’ll provide an overview of Kristin Harad’s Six-Step Process for keeping in touch with prospects using an automated system. If you missed Part One, which discusses the use of auto-responders, capture forms and a multi-touch email campaign, be sure to read that now.

Here then is Kristin Harad’s six-step nurture process:

STEP #1 – CAPTURE

-- Make the introduction

-- Create awareness

-- Offer a “freemium” (premium content but they must register to get it)

-- Capture their information via a form on your site

Ideas for premium content include special reports, e-books, a speech you’ve recorded via www.Impact.AudioAcrobat or www.TalkShoo.com, a video training series such as “10 Steps to Eliminate Financial Anxiety” or a weekly Financial Tips for such-and-such-market (e.g., busy doctors, new parents, retired baby boomers) e-newsletter. The goal is to establish yourself as an expert for your target market.

“Create a net so they do not float away into the ether,” Kristin said. Make it more compelling than ‘sign up for my newsletter.’ Create alignment for what you do.”

STEP 2 – CONTACT

-- Create a series of communications using an auto-responder

-- Make sure they get the “freemium” you promised

-- Reveal a little of yourself in each communication

-- Build in some sort of screening methodology to weed out the wrong-fits

-- Use a personalized greeting (totally doable with an auto-responder system)

-- Deliver what you said you would deliver in the series

-- Don’t spend incremental time and energy recreating each time

In the final touch, suggest they schedule a consultation with you or do a video thank you or offer them another series of information or to come to a live event

“There is perceived value in a series of communications. Break your content into a series of communications versus one big piece,” Kristin advised. “The goal is to build share of mind. Position the final installment in the series – a suggestion to come in for a personal consultation – as a surprise bonus invitation.”

STEP 3 - COMMUNICATE

-- Create a one-to-one communication based on the action or inaction of the person

-- Try to elicit a response based on the likely mindset of the recipient

-- Bump the prospect into another bucket if still no response

“Look at what has or hasn’t happened,” Kristin said. “Whatever action hasn’t taken place is the most valuable piece of information. Send a one-to-one communication to get the desired reaction. For instance, send a note that says: ‘Dear Tony, I know you have not yet signed up for a personal consultation. Waiting could be detrimental to your financial health. Won’t you reconsider? Call my office today and schedule a time to meet.’

 

“If they respond, send something in the mail. For instance, when they are slated to come in for consultation, send a tangible welcome kit. That can create a better glide path. I like to send a pretty green envelope filled with materials saying ‘here’s what you can expect.’  Tell your pricing right there – some people will screen out but that’s okay. Don’t put your prices on your website. It’s too expensive to do the win back. Your mailed kit can eliminate objections for you; it does your selling for you.”

STEP 4 - CONVERT

-- Conduct an in-person consultation with the prospective client

-- Make sure you provide a good client experience

-- Convert the prospect to a client

Unlike many advisors, Kristin does not charge a planning fee or a percentage of assets under management. Instead, she has a membership model. She typically conducts three-four meetings before the prospect is invited to join the membership program.

Her client conversion meetings include:

-- Intake session (gather data and get acquainted)

-- Plan delivery (review the plan and get feedback)

-- Follow up meeting #1 and/or #2 (convert to paid membership program)

STEP #5 – CULTIVATE

Kristin sends out emails every quarter that remind the client to check in. She also sends communications that are calendar-based. She’s a fan of content as marketing, as educational pieces reinforce your expertise. She says sending something every week is ideal. You can even reference articles you wrote 1-2 years ago. The point is to keep the client engaged while you are doing other things.

“Make sure your communications go out as promised,” Kristin emphasized. “These are critical touch points. They can be automated but make sure they are personalized. What is it you want them to do?” she said. Make sure you are specific and clear.”

STEP #6 – CHERISH

-- Send additional communications that enrich the conversation.

-- Make sure to thank them and show appreciation for their business.

-- Invite them to webinars, workshops, social events, online education, etc.

Kristin calls this “loyalty marketing” and says this brings them through to being a lifelong client.

“Even if get they get the invitation and don’t come, it is a huge value. Invitations alone have as much value as the actual event,” Kristin said.

USING VIDEO TO CONNECT, ENGAGE AND INSPIRE

Like me, Kristin is also a big fan of using short video clips that connect, engage and inspire. Videos are a great way to interface with existing or future clients to tell your story.  A video can be created for almost any reason – to educate, to inform, to promote, to enlighten, to entertain – and on a fairly low budget.

You can see good examples of videos that connect, engage and inspire at:

www.andymillard.blogspot.com

www.oXYGenFinancial.net

www.financialadvicenetwork.com/christian-koch

www.kamsouth.com/video/fiduciary-video  

www.stone-financial.com/resource-center/videos

www.centerpointewealth.com

Professional resources for producing videos include:

www.comunicatovideo.com

www.fmgsuite.com/video-live

www.investius.com

www.BrightTalk.com

www.ImpactProductionsGroup.com

When you visit www.ImpactProductionsGroup.com, be sure to watch the Digital Noise video and study the Info Graphic on the home page, which does a pretty good job of quantifying the level of digital noise that existed as of December 2011 (it's probably louder now).  This helps to explain why it is so difficult to get people to return phone calls and make decisions these days. They are simply overwhelmed.  

Video communication solutions enable you to get your messages through the noise and into the hearts and minds of the people who need to receive them. Also be sure to look under the TalkFusion tab for low-cost turnkey solutions that can help you produce high-impact video emails, video newsletters, branded video posts and something called a Fusion Wall in fairly quick fashion.

Financial advisors who embrace videos, podcasts, recorded multimedia presentations and live online meetings can connect and build rapport with clients in a fraction of the time and more cost effectively than ever before.  

See also these articles:

How Advisors Can Use Video, Multimedia to Connect With Clients

The Producers: Advisors learn to get creative with online video, connecting with clients and prospects in a new way

Watch this AdvisorTV segment:

How Advisors Can Effectively Use Video to Expand Their Business

WHAT’S AHEAD?

Look for me at the following events:

-- Loring Ward’s annual advisors’ conference, Monterrey, California, June 6-7, 2012 (I will be speaking on Marketing That Works for Financial Advisors Today)

-- Securities America’s annual advisor’s conference, Denver, Colorado, June 9-12 (my team will be doing onsite media relations)

-- InvestaCorp’s annual advisors’ conference, Naples, Florida, July 9-11, 2012 (I will be speaking on Marketing That Works for Advisors Today)

-- Garrett Planning Network’s annual members-only retreat, Denver, Colorado, August 5-8, 2012 (I will be leading a two-hour Rapid Fire Marketing Ideas session)

-- Veres/T3’s Business and Wealth Management Forum, Denver, Colorado, September 13-14, 2012 (I will be doing onsite PR for the conference and serving as the team leader for the social media lab) – use SWIFTVIP to save $100 off your tuition

-- FPA’s national conference, San Antonio, Texas, September 29 – October 2, 2012 (my team and I will be providing PR support for institutional clients and advisory firms onsite)

-- Tiburon CEO Summit XXIII, San Francisco, California, October 16-17, 2012 (my team and I will be providing onsite logistics and media relations)

If you have ideas for the Marketing Maven blog here on Financial-Planning.com, please post a comment below or visit my Best Practices in the Financial Services Industry blog to access additional information and post suggestions there.