You’re a good Financial Advisor, perhaps a great one. You know your business, you perform for your clients, you appreciate your clients and your clients appreciate you.
Generally speaking, most of your revenue is generated from work with a small percentage of your clients – the 20%ers. It’s the 80/20 rule.
You understand that there are two kinds of business growth.
There’s internal growth, consisting of growth in the markets and new business growth with existing clients.
And there’s external growth, cultivating new business with new clients.
You know you’ve had internal growth but not enough external growth.
You would like all of your external growth to be with clients who mirror your 20%ers and you would like lots of it. But this is not happening and your numbers tell the story. You are not developing new 20%ers as consistently as you would like.
You’re frustrated. You have a business system that over the years has worked well for you and your clients. But you don’t have an effective marketing system – a marketing system that puts you in front of many 20%ers. You’ve tried some marketing ideas and systems but nothing seems to really work. Some ideas work for a short period of time but then fizzle out. With everything you’ve tried, you still haven’t found a practical marketing system that works for you, one that is integrated into your day-to-day practice.
Does some or all of this sound like you?
We suggest that you begin thinking like an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs look everywhere and talk to everyone. They never give up. They solve problems.
Entrepreneurs understand that if there is no solution inside the bubble, they go outside the bubble. They have a mentor or an adviser.
Think about it.
Wondering why your best clients are not introducing you to their qualified best friends? Wondering why you have so few brand new warm qualified first appointments? It’s probably because your marketing story is not worth talking about. It’s not remarkable. Being remarkable means two things. One, it means it’s cool, neat. Two, it means it’s worth making a remark about. If you make stuff that’s worth making a remark about your 99% of the way there.
However, we’ve talked with countless Financial Advisors and for the most part, their stories are the basically the same. They mention how their firm is different, where they went to school, the degrees they’ve earned, how great their numbers are, their charitable work, their families. There is nothing about their story that clients and prospects feel is remarkable.
When you have a good marketing story, not only will your clients respond to you, they will also talk about you to their friends. We have found that as soon as an Advisor moves away from their old marketing story to a new client centric story, everything changes. They’re qualified activity goes way up.
Developing an effective story is a detailed process that shows you understand your market and their predominant worldview… distrust of Advisors and the Industry. (See Darth Vader Post) So, any form of puffery or selling razzle-dazzle will literally or figuratively slam the door.
So, think about it. Do you have a schedule that’s consistently filled with warm prospect meetings and qualified first appointments introduced to you by your best clients? If you don’t your story probably sucks.
Those who are truly gifted have plenty of qualified first appointments, all the time. Being productively busy and growing business is no sweat for them. In fact, it comes easily. They can do it in their sleep. The prospecting, sales and referral model works just fine for them and their numbers show it.
But unless you’re one of those unique individuals with natural fluid sales talent, you need to stop selling. Because it’s keeping you from getting in front of qualified prospects.
There’s a good test to determine where you are in this equation. Just look at your numbers. How many brand new first appointments with warm qualified prospects have you completed in the last four to six months? Warm qualified prospects are the qualified friends, colleagues and family of your qualified clients, the clients you’d like to duplicate. If that number is not at least in the double digits, then the traditional sales model is not working for you.
Here’s another test. Look at the business you’ve closed over the last several years. You got the sale, you made the money but how much did the sale really grow your business? You may have gotten a few referrals but how many of those actually converted to qualified clients? If any of this sounds familiar then perhaps it’s time to reconsider your approach.
Fact: Your financial knowledge is extremely valuable. But did you know it’s actually worth considerably more when your clients and prospects perceive that your primary focus is freely sharing that knowledge and not focused on selling as the endgame.
Your qualified activity will spike when you shift your marketing approach from sales to service, educating your qualified clients and qualified prospects and being their go-to financial person – their advocate. You’ll still do the same work you’ve always done but your clients and prospects will see you differently. It doesn’t just happen, but rather it has to be driven by you and the marketing story you tell and live [See Previous Post – A Great Marketing Story Is Not About You] and it establishes an entirely fresh channel of trust with a market whose worldview of the financial industry presents an uphill battle. [See Previous Post- Guess What?] You’ll see that removing the intention to sell or close, opens the door to qualified introductions (not referrals) and business growth on a consistent, predictable basis.