Slideshow 10 Easy, Actionable Marketing Tips for Advisors

  • May 17 2012, 11:16am EDT
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10 Easy, Actionable Marketing Tips for Advisors<br><br>

At any given point in their careers, wealth managers will find themselves faced with multiple strategic paths to choose from and difficult choices to make. Advisors can waste time, stagnating, trying to find the perfect moment to choose the perfect path and hope that it is the right one.

But the perfect strategic path to go down is less important than selecting a viable path and then focusing on flawless execution.

This is the essence of marketing. Find a need and fill it, repeatedly. Marketing is not about one and done, and is not about a perfect solution, nor finding a silver bullet. It is about consistency, perseverance and repetition so that you can generate predictable results.

Here are 10 actionable marketing ideas to help get you and your firm headed in the right direction.

Remember that marketing is important because whether we like it or not, assets are going to walk out the door and new client acquisition is important to offset distributions, grow AUM and increase income/equity in the practice.

Source: Eric Sheikowitz and Michael Silver, senior managing partners at Focus Partners, LLC.

1. Create a Practice Focus Statement<br><br>

Develop a finely tuned awareness to meet new people and share what you do for a living. Essentially, this allows you to leverage your Practice Focus Statement to consistently generate new leads while performing daily tasks.

Interestingly, all of us know about elevator speeches but how many of us have them? After all this time, don’t you think it’s time? Here are a few examples:

-- I have a great job. I help people retire with peace of mind.

-- I help busy and successful people organize their finances.

-- I help successful professionals and small business owners make sound financial decisions.

-- I teach people how to keep their financial lives on track.

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2. Identify Your Ideal Clients<br><br>

List your top 15 clients in the following areas:

-- Clients you like

-- Client that like you

-- Refer you to others on a regular basis

-- Assets

-- Revenue

Review all five lists and ask:

-- Which clients are on all five lists?

-- What traits do they share? (demographic, psychographic, financial)

-- Is there a niche that is working for you?

-- How can you further develop that niche?

3. Form a Client Advisory Board<br><br>

This is a group of ideal clients who are willing to meet regularly to provide you with advice and direction on your practice. In addition, it:

-- Builds stronger relationships with your clients.

-- Gains critical insights into the “client experience” with your practice.

-- Creates “advocates” and build referral sources from clients truly invested in the success of your business.

-- Allows you to receive direct client feedback on how your services are delivered and perceived.

-- Provides face-time with a number of key clients at once.

4. Client Appreciation Events<br><br>

-- Leverage your ideal clients by offering to host an event in their honor.

-- Invite affluent or receptive/supportive clients. Ask them to invite two or three couples as their guests.

-- Introduce the idea during client reviews.

-- Offer to provide a small event to celebrate a milestone (birthday, retirement, etc.).

-- Choose a high-profile location (i.e. private club, exclusive restaurant, etc.).

-- Let your clients tell the story.

-- Follow-up with guests.

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5. Have a Formal System for Referrals<br><br>

Most planners and advisors at best do this ad hoc – if at all. To really harness the power of qualified introductions, build a formal system around the following questions. But remember, you must first know the client is very satisfied with you (a separate discussion):

-- What is it about this relationship that would have this client be my advocate and introduce me to their best and wealthiest friends, colleagues, clients, etc.?

-- Exactly how would I ask this client for an introduction, word for word?

-- How will I narrow the request for introductions so particular names will quickly pop up in the client’s mind?

-- What are the exact conditions under which I will initiate the introduction conversation?

-- Where will we be when I initiate the introduction conversation?

-- What do we deliver to this very high value client that will increase the likelihood of receiving the requested introductions?

6. Hit the phones<br><br>

Cold calling does not have to be a chilly proposition, and it is back. However, it’s not about “dialing for dollars.” These days, cold calling is about identifying a market that you can identify with (read “target market”) and figuring out how to approach it.

You have to do your research first. Find out everything there is to know about the market. What makes it tick and most importantly, what are the areas of opportunity for financial education. Once you have a handle on this, think about your approach. You can go with seminar invitations, second opinions, or even a survey approach where you just try to strike up a conversation with the person on the other end of the line.

Whatever approach you decide to use, make it your own, and remember, cold calling is still a numbers game, so track your dials, contacts and qualified leads.

7. Network to success<br><br>

Networking groups are great, and we highly recommend getting involved in one if you have the chance. However, if you really want to take your networking to the next level, think about starting your own. You have more control of the membership, so you can really shape the group the way you want it. Here’s how you do it:

-- Start with the “Core 4”: You, an estate attorney, a CPA and one more (property and casualty, mortgage banker, etc.) Find people who are just as hungry to grow their business as you are.

-- Meet formally and on a regular basis to discuss the goals of the group.

-- Educate on what you do, how you do it, who you do it for, the benefits, and what’s a good referral for you.

-- Talk about joint marketing opportunities where you can really help each other grow your respective practices.

-- Over time, grow the group to between eight and 12 professionals.

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8. Use Education as a Marketing Tool<br><br>

The timing is right for educational marketing. Clients are open to another option and they are looking for answers. Properly educated prospects don’t need to be sold. Rather, you mostly need to agree on how best to proceed. Seminar topics should focus on solving a specific problem or need. Avoid product-specific content.

There are many approaches in this area such as an Educational Dinner Seminar Series with “client bring a friend” and even mass mailing seminars. An idea we like is Workplace Education (Lunch & Learn sessions) where you discuss 401(k) rollovers or “How much do I need to retire?”

9. Offer a “Second Opinion”<br><br>

Many clients are receptive to a new approach. In your client meetings offer a second opinion for family members, others in the same niche, etc. “Call me to schedule a practical, straight-forward conversation about the areas that concern you the most. Together, we can review your goals, and help ensure you are on track to meet them.”

10. Live by a 12-Month Marketing Calendar<br><br>

Most successful advisors don’t win at marketing by dabbling at it. They create a marketing calendar and plan for consistent marketing activity – and they generate controllable marketing results.

Also see:

7 Marketing Tips Used by Elite Financial Advisors

9 Marketing Tips for Retirement Plan Advisors and TPAs

10 Critical Social Media Tips for Advisors

Chicken and Egg: How to Grow Your RIA Practice From Scratch