Word-of-mouth is less important to the unique individuals with natural sales talent. The traditional sales model works very well for them. But for those who lack the sales “gift”, word-of-mouth is key to developing qualified prospects consistently.
The best and highest form of word-of-mouth is where warm qualified individuals – the qualified friends, colleagues and family of your qualified clients, the clients you’d like to duplicate – learn about you from your current qualified clients.
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? 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 referrals are far different from warm qualified introductions. How many of those referrals actually converted to qualified clients? If any of this sounds familiar then perhaps it’s time to reconsider your approach.
A great way to begin is by making yourself remarkable. This is what happens when you freely share your knowledge and you’re not focused on selling as the endgame. It’s a word-of-mouth force of nature because it’s a business a qualified client will tell a qualified friend or colleague about.
Your qualified activity will spike when you shift from a sales to this service approach, educating your qualified clients and qualified prospects and being their go-to financial person – their financial advocate. You’ll still do the same work you’ve always done but your clients and prospects will see you differently.
This applies to Advisors of all income levels.
Select five of your best clients – your qualified clients. The clients you’d like to duplicate. Ask each client to create a list, with your help and guidance, of three qualified friends or colleagues – people just like them. Then ask each client to arrange a meeting between you, your client and one person on the list within the next 10 – 45 days. At the meeting make sure you tell your marketing story, a story your client and the prospect will believe differentiates you from the crowd of Advisors in your community.
- If you can accomplish this, you are on your way to growing your business dramatically with the qualified friends, colleagues and family of your existing clients and new clients for the rest of your career. As your business grows, so will your income and the value of your business. We call this building your business from the inside out.
- But, if you can’t accomplish this, there is help.
- Our clients get great results quickly because we mentor and teach them a simple and effective way to communicate with their qualified clients and new qualified prospects.
About 9 out of 10 advisors say they are growth challenged. Like most businesses that focus on sales, Financial Advisors require a robust sales pipeline in order to grow. But, if you look around, the numbers show very few Advisors have this pipeline in place. This is because for years the traditional industry wide sales model, which has been practiced by a great majority of Advisors, produces mostly sluggish growth and ultimately a small number of new qualified clients. In addition, Advisors have been burned by expensive “sales guru” programs and sales oriented marketing programs. Advisors have become skeptical.
Skepticism about anything new or different limits the opportunity for success. It gets in the way. So, many Advisors remain on the same sales treadmill, at the mercy of the markets and left with a small number of referrals for growth. The business controls them rather than the Advisor controlling their business.
However, there is good news. Many Advisors are looking for more productive ways to do business. They have traded their skepticism and frustration for optimism and opened their minds to new possibilities for success. They’ve discovered a new marketing model that is not about sales. And their business is growing.
"The Bellis Method™ – Simple And Effective Marketing For Financial Advisors"
Here’s What We Know:
Over 90% of Financial Advisors report they are new, qualified activity challenged. How could this be? We all assume that almost everyone needs a good Financial Advisor – one they trust and respect.
So why – with a potential market of about 80 million baby boomers, plus millions of those already retired and many baby boomers in the client book – aren’t Advisors overwhelmed with new activity?
We’ve Done Market Research, Most Of It Hands-On, In The Form OF Focus Groups
We learned that…
- The boomer market is either financially under educated or uneducated.
- They are frightened about money and retirement. They need and want help. They want advice and guidance;
- The Financial Services Industry suffers from a very negative reputation;
- Many in the boomer market segment have a fixed bias or viewpoint that perceives Advisors as working for “their own self-interest”, akin to a “used car salesman” or seeing the Financial Industry as the “Evil Empire” – Financial Advisors as “Darth Vader’s”. (See Post “The Darth Vader Complex”)
- While individuals in this market are looking for help, they complain about what they’ve encountered – Advisors who are takers, always selling, selling, selling.
We’ve Interviewed Financial Advisors One-On-One
We continue to learn that in spite of solid sales training and training from well-respected sales oriented marketing programs, Advisors still have difficulty getting in front of new qualified boomer prospects on a regular basis.
While Advisors know that boomers are among their most important centers of influence and are among their best and happiest clients, most admitted they do not know how to effectively utilize this currency.
A marketing approach built on service, giving, reciprocity and permission, not sales, will serve Financial Advisors and Financial Services Industry well. Training Financial Advisors to be effective marketers, to be the Luke Skywalker’s to those dreaded Darth Vader’s, will grow an Advisor’s business exponentially. It is a simple learned skill that will quickly provide positive results that can be measured in the baby boomer market and the market in general.
It just takes mentoring, training and a little time.
It's The Bellis Method™.
“What if I could get in front of 1-4 new qualified prospects every month, people who are friends, colleagues or family members of my best clients, the clients I want to duplicate? What would it do for my business?”
“What if I could have done this from the beginning, after my Advisor training and before I became stuck in a sluggish sales rut? What would my business look like today?”
“What if there were a marketing model – not a sales model – that could help me achieve this now and going forward? That could teach me how to duplicate my qualified clients today? That could easily measure my results?”
Whether you are an experienced Financial Advisor or a rookie, your training was likely centered around opening and closing. Around sales. And, like most Advisors, you’ve been on that same treadmill for most of your career.
Here’s an invitation for you to slow down, step off, and begin to simply and efficiently grow your business and increase the value of your practice.
(Read the Previous Post: Most Financial Advisors are Kind of Insane.)
Take a look at The Bellis Method™.