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8 TIPS: SALES AT ITS BEST IS REALLY ABOUT GIVING

* “Selling” is giving.

* Giving time, giving attention, giving counsel and education, giving empathy and value and understanding that it is impossible to “make a sale.”

* The concept of giving is very good news, because it means that anyone can be great in sales. You might think to be great at sales you must have a great personality or understand closing tactics really well. These ideas miss the point.

* Because it’s not about you, it’s about them.

* You can define your job description in three words: I create value. You don’t create value in order to create a sale or “in order to” anything. The idea is to create value, period.

* So we must willingly suspend our self interest and not act generously in order to create a strategic result. It’s to act generously period. The concept of giving is very good news, because it means that anyone can be great in sales.

* It’s a paradox. If you go about creating value for others with the ulterior motive of receiving more value yourself, it tends to show through on some level and sabotage the result.

* So, our focus shifts from getting to giving.

( *edited from the writings of Seth Godin, preeminent member of the World Marketing Hall Of Fame)

 

Client Centric Marketing
 It's about them

If You Want More Quality Appointments, Develop A Modern Marketing Story

If you are an Advisor you undoubtedly have a group of best clients. Clients who are friendly, appreciative and cooperative. And they generate great revenue.

Wouldn’t business be easier, more profitable and more fun if these clients regularly and personally introduced you to their qualified friends and colleagues?

Advisors come to us wondering why these best clients will sometimes give a referral name but are not making quality personal introductions. When we ask how many first appointments they’ve had with quality friends of their best clients over the last year or two, the answer generally is “very few”.

The very first thing we look at is their story. Because for starters, if their story isn’t “remarkable”, it really isn’t worth talking about.

A remarkable story is about who you are, not what you do. It’s not about your facts and figures. That’s just the same old talk and it doesn’t stick.

We’ve spoken with countless Financial Advisors whose stories are basically all the same; 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 feel in their gut.

When you have the right Modern Marketing Story, your clients will respond to you far differently. We have found that as soon as an Advisor moves away from their old (read: tedious) marketing story to an effective client centric story – one that has meaning to the listener – everything begins to shift. Their qualified activity goes way up, their confidence goes up, and their revenue upticks.

Developing an effective Modern Marketing Story is a deliberate process that shows you understand your market and how to address their predominant worldview… a well documented general distrust of the entire industry, including advisors. (See Darth Vader Post) That’s why puffery works against you.

If your story is not authentic (and you don’t live it every day), your clients and prospects will not be fooled. But when it’s done well, it’s what will make your clients dedicated advocates who want to tell everyone about you. Because they see you as remarkable.

So, ask yourself this question. Do you have a lot of quality warm prospect meetings and first appointments warmly introduced to you by your best clients? If not, take a good, hard look at your story.

Client Centric Marketing
Great Marketing Stories

ASKING YOUR BEST CLIENTS FOR PERMISSION TO DISCUSS PERSONAL INTRODUCTIONS IS VERY COMFORTABLE

Almost all of your best clients will give you permission.

These clients have made you their Financial Advisor – they have taken a leap of faith with you. At the same time you feel privileged and grateful because over time you have earned their trust. You protect and nurture it.

When you have your clients’ trust they will give you permission to talk about warm personal introductions, their most important asset. Different from referrals, open permission removes the discomfort and fear of asking – it’s the key to a personal introduction and endorsement. It’s the reward for earning their trust.

Client Centric Marketing
 Innovative, Simple, Cost Effective

What Would Your Ideal Strategy For New Business Development Need To Look Like?

Have you thought about what your ideal strategy for new business development would need to look like? I’ve asked countless Advisors this question over the years.

Listening to the consistent themes Advisors shared, it was clear that an innovative, straightforward, common sense “approach” to new business development and business growth was needed.

Advisors said they wanted an approach that:

  • Is simple, quickly learned and implemented.
  • Integrates seamlessly into their practice and provides measurable results.
  • Eliminates or reduces prospecting but somehow generates new high quality clients.
  • Allows them to control the pace of their activity while reducing stress and increasing business enjoyment.
  • Is easily budgeted and provides a very high ROI.
  • Is a business differentiator.

Our Client Centric approach was developed as a response to these specific Advisor needs. It creates for an Advisor an ever growing group of Client Advocates… clients whose advocacy consistently generates new 1st appointments as they personally introduce and endorse their Advisor to their high value, high quality, best friends and colleagues.

 Client Centric Marketing 
 Innovative, simple and cost effective

A Great Marketing Story Will Inspire Your Clients

If you’re not getting introduced to a lot of your best clients’ best friends and colleagues, it’s because your marketing story is not worth talking about. It’s not remarkable.
Being remarkable means two things.
One, it means it’s cool, it’s neat.
Two, it means it’s worth making a remark about.

If you or your service is worth making a remark about you are 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.

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. So does revenue. 

Because when you have a great marketing story, not only will your clients respond to you, they will also talk about you and your service to their friends.

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.

An effective marketing story reveals your true authenticity. If your story is not authentic (and you don’t live your story every day), your clients and prospects will not be fooled. 

Done well, it’s what will make your clients dedicated advocates, trumpeters who want to tell the world about your service. In their eyes it’s remarkable and so are you.

So, think about it.  Have you completed a lot of warm, personally introduced meetings and first appointments with quality friends and colleagues of your best clients?  

Client Centric Marketing
Tell Us Your Marketing Story

 

The 5 Initial Steps To Consistent Quality Activity

Think for a moment about the steps an individual takes when he or she is ready to approach their financial situation… how do they go about it?

They begin with research, talking to valued friends and family about experiences and recommendations.

Then they engage with an Advisor or two to discuss their needs, hopes, and dreams. Finally, they look at the Advisor’s plan.

If it doesn’t feel right, they start the process over again. It happens everyday.

It’s the same for Advisors and business. Consider these simple steps as you focus on identifying your important goals and develop a solid plan to get there:

Ask yourself the same types of questions you typically ask your clients, just those related to your business.

A good place to begin is “what would the business of my dreams look like”?

Wouldn’t your dream business consistently develop, almost exclusively, new qualified activity and increase business growth?

Wouldn’t it focus on your existing best clients, the ones you’d like to duplicate, who would consistently, personally and warmly introduce you to their qualified friends and colleagues?

Wouldn’t it decrease or eliminate the need to prospect and cold call?

Look for an business consultant who will help you develop a your plan for success and who will keep you focused on achieving these results. One who will help you identify your specific issues and help develop a strategy for you that will address them.

Keep in mind that one size does not fit all.

Be sure to look outside your everyday financial bubble, i.e., look beyond the usual suspects, keeping in mind simplicity, effectiveness, and cost.

Don’t settle for broad sweeping programs. Keep a laser focus on your most important issue: consistently duplicating your existing best clients.

Remember to ask the question, “Will I achieve positive, measurable results within a set time frame – say 60 days or 75 days”?

If you don’t get the clear, straightforward answer you need, keep looking. Don’t settle.

But if you do get the answer you’re looking for, make sure you can give the approach a “test drive” before committing your time and dollars.

If after the test drive you don’t achieve positive measurable results, repeat steps 1-4.

Client Centric Marketing
Test drive is available

Don’t Just Be A “Giver”. Market It. Here’s Why.

Many Advisors “give freely” to clients and prospects. It’s a core principle.

However, they don’t effectively market that they “give freely”.

Financial Advisors who learn how to market “freely giving” into their practice don’t change what they do – they just talk about it and frame it differently.

It’s simple. But it’s not obvious. 

It’s subtle. No facts and figures.

And it’s incredibly effective.

Their results are extraordinary:

  • Their quality warm introductions and new quality first appointments increase dramatically
  • They market while they work with their clients
  •  Their best clients talk to their friends and colleagues about them
  • They no longer “need” to prospect
  • They are much more productive and efficient as they work
  • Their revenue increases
  • They do more of the work they love with the people they love to work with – quality clients who are friends and colleagues of quality clients
  • They run their business, it doesn’t run them
  • They have more free time
  • They have less stress

Practicing and marketing “giving freely” makes your clients feel good about themselves and about you.  And when people feel good, they are open. They see you as a giver, not a taker, a differentiation puts you miles ahead of your competition.

Client Centric Marketing
Build your business from the inside out

Developing Social Capital Is Incredibly Important

Social Capital is the key to developing Client Advocates. It’s an asset Advisors already possess, but when left unused, it represents a significant opportunity loss.

The best way to understand Social Capital is by thinking about your relationships with your clients.

Your clients trust you with their financial assets. However, do they trust you enough to go far beyond referrals, to warmly and personally introduce you to their circle of friends and colleagues, people who are just like them?

That’s Social Capital, the outcome of the strong relationships you already have with most of your best clients.

So, how do you activate your Social Capital?

It’s driven by having a compelling marketing story (see post – The Bad News. Your Marketing Story Sucks!) that subtly addresses your clients’ worldview of Financial Advisors and the Financial Industry. (see Darth Vader post)

A compelling marketing story is what differentiates you and makes you remarkable.  It’s what will move many of your qualified clients to become Client Introducers, advocates who will share your story with their qualified circle – sharing with them who you are, not telling them what you do.

ClientCentricMarketing
Simple and Effective

Wake Up Your Dormant High Quality Client Assets

Developing your dormant high quality assets will significantly increase your quality 1st appointments, productivity and revenue… and markedly reduce new Advisor trainee burn rate.

  1. Most Advisors of all income levels capture less than half of their quality clients’ assets.  The other half, the qualified friends and colleagues of the Advisors’s best clients, get left behind – dormant and undeveloped.  The same applies in an even bigger way to Financial Advisor trainees.
  2. The productivity potential of these dormant assets is enormous and dwarfs the revenue Advisors already have in hand.
  3. This had long been a problem without any real solution. No simple and effective process had ever been developed to successfully capture these assets.
"Client Centric Marketing™
 "Building Your Business From The Inside Out"

THE UNEQUALED POWER OF WARM PERSONAL INTRODUCTIONS

(*Edited portions from Open Forum – American Express)

Why are warm personal introductions the thing that’s absolutely necessary to business world interaction and the ultimate currency of all business networks? Don’t referrals accomplish the same things?

Well, at its core, a warm personal introduction is an endorsement wherein the one introducing is explicitly vouching for the value, authenticity and character of the person being introduced, and making an implicit statement that there is mutuality in the sense that he or she is worth the time of the person to whom an introduction is being made. That’s a pretty high standard indeed.

Warm personal introductions are literally the most important currency for Financial Advisors. Referrals don’t even come close to these introductions.

Client Centric Marketing
 Warm personal introductions