Why Do Marketing?

Why Do Marketing?

MarketingI’ve long been a proponent that marketing is the single best determinant of financial services success.
Sales. Profit. Client Satisfaction. Referrals. Happiness. Confidence. All of these things start with marketing. Often the best marketers make the financial advisors. Why? Because their ability to apply more marketing at the right time in the right manner under controlled tracking makes them efficient in hyper-busy seasons and in slower times; smoothing out peaks and valleys. I have long stated that if Seth Godin, Scott McKain, Marc Benioff or any decorated marketing mind picked up financial advising earlier in their career they’d be dominant.

Furthermore, I have always believed that the best developer for new advisors, those mildly successful, grizzled veterans and Top of the Table MDRT qualifiers is marketing. When strategies are taught properly, implemented well and tracked –  often the skills developed are unparalleled by other methods of development. This is why we focus so much on the marketing at Advisors Excel and have since the beginning. You want to acquire more clients? Do marketing. You want to be more profitable? Do marketing. You want to be the most confident, certain, empowering financial advisor you can be? Do marketing. And do it often.

However, some marketing techniques have recently been promoted as an “everything for everyone” solution in a box. With that comes adverse effects to everyone in the profession. Instead of marketing being looked at with the importance and personalization it deserves, it’s in fact working against you and in many cases, becoming a business drain. (I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard, “_____ just doesn’t work for in my area.” When in fact, I know it works because we consult someone 30-40 miles away who’s wildly successful doing exactly _____.) But if marketing is performed well, with time and personal attention given, it separates the successful from the unsuccessful and those who are just in the game from the legendary. Done poorly, it puts you on a side of the equation you can’t afford.

People have asked me why Advisors Excel would put on 2 ½ day events that focus so much on marketing. The answer is simple…because people don’t have time for 3 ½ day events. The Journey, World Series of Sales, Ultimate Advisor Practice and Game Changer trainings are designed for the exact purposes I described above: to make sure that attendees are performing marketing seamlessly from every angle and that the advisors responsible for success are getting the desired results from their work.  Advisors like Mike Reese, Bill Smith, Chad Slagle and Chris Hobart, Joel Johnson and Rob Russell attend nearly every marketing event they can with Advisors Excel and experience record years as a result. We focus 2 ½ days on marketing because most people need every minute they can get.

For many of you the 2013 marketing calendar is already set and the year’s momentum is already leading towards final 2013 results. Whether you know it or not, 2014 prep work has begun. That means it’s time to set your focus on maximal marketing from today forward. It is a known fact that nobody can be a successful advisor without first being a good marketer. The results every year on our leaderboard speak for themselves. That means now is the time to hone your marketing skills, techniques and tracking and begin getting ready for 2014. You CANNOT achieve all your goals in this profession without first being a good marketer. Good enough to compete on our leaderboard and nationally. The ability to compete on that level comes from technical proficiency and a basic understanding of what is happening every time you put together a marketing strategy. If you want to go higher in assets gathered, profitability and overall certainty and confidence next year… try working on the biggest developer for your success; marketing.

We’re offering a couple events at our place and at different areas the rest of 2013. If you’re serious about getting good at marketing and thus at this business, check one of them out. Our staff is phenomenal and comes with more experience at developing successful advisors than any IMO in history. The bottom line is this: marketing develops overall sales, client satisfaction and success for everyone. To ignore technical faults or to never press for a proper understanding of how to market successfully is to leave untapped potential on the table. Whether it is your desire to become the nation’s #1 asset gatherer or just be a better advisor; the planning, execution and tracking of marketing are the premier tools to that end. Take the time to learn them.

Top Seminar Restaurants

Eating-Money-Food-SavingFinancial workshops…seminars…classes…group consultations…whatever you call them.

To be successful, a number of factors are vital. Mess just one element up and it can ruin the ten you got right!
For example:

  • You mail a first class invitation
  • The presentation (PowerPoint or not) is updated, topical and powerful
  • Any PR is leveraged to the highest degree
  • Your procedures to prompt appointments are refined and
  • The appointment book next week has been cleared to prepare for new appointments
  • But…….you’re hosting the event at the wrong restaurant

Regardless of how hard you worked and prepared you might be, make one mistake of this magnitude and it’ll cost you $5000+; and valuable weeks of time!

What’s the solution?!?
The number one (by volume) seminar direct mail house in the nation just provided me access to a list of the top-response-driven restaurants of 2012, by state!  (And no, it’s not Ruth’s Chris at the top regardless). If you’re conducting seminars in 2013, maximize their results!

Comment below if you’d benefit from seeing restaurants in your state. I can assemble the appropriate list – showing restaurant, city, state and mailer reservation response rate from 2012.

Advise with Passion.

Women are “Head of Household”

Are you currently sending direct mail and seminar invitations to the man in the household? Or the woman?
If you’re like 99% of advisors it’s the man and I’d like to share simple logic to make you rethink that…

An advisor we consult from Florida recently shared how he started addressing seminar mailers to the woman in the home and instantly saw increased responses on his mail piece(s). Instead of finding another zip code, restaurant, age demographic, etc. to use on his next invite; he mailed to the same list but addressed everything to the women of the household. And it worked extremely well!
Admittedly, I don’t have a large amount of data yet to back this up, but the logic makes sense. Whether your response rates are lagging or thriving, this is worth considering as part of your seminar strategy.

Why should you send direct mail to women of the house?
1) Women typically open the mail more than men.
2) Women are usually more worried about finances than men. This is especially true due to women’s concerns about finances post their spouse’s death.
3) Women are in general more conservative by nature than men. This means they’re more likely to respond to your messages of safety, protection and guarantees.
4) Women are less afraid to ask for help. Men are known to be too stubborn, proud, etc. to seek the help you’re offering.

Think about addressing your next mailers to the woman of the household and let me know how it goes. Make it a successful July in all you do!

P.S. Hearing this idea another advisor we consult in Texas immediately implemented it. She typically struggles to fill seminar dates, but this one (same invite and restaurant as 10 weeks ago) sold out in 2 days! She’ll be speaking to sold out rooms next Tuesday and Thursday. It appears to be working great for her and she’ll continue to execute! Hopefully this small tweak does the same for you.

Worn Out Presentations [3 Items]

The retirement landscape (and marketing into it) is evolving at breakneck speed. One of the top producers I consult always says “If you’re not evolving, you’re dying.” So ask yourself:

  • Am I currently showing clients materials that are timely and relevant today?
  • Or am I using sales materials that are 12-24 months (or even longer…) old?!?
  • Do my handouts, supporting docs and videos feel a little worn out?

Not after today…

My simplistic role in the retirement landscape is to empower. Empower financial advisors to efficient marketing, additional clients and a larger bottom line. Do all that while putting more American retirees in a safe and secure retirement environment. To support that cause, below are 3 incredible client pieces. All 3 were shared by your financial advisor peer group and are already being used successfully in the field.
Steal at your leisure and refresh your support materials ASAP!

Sales Support Item #1
Barron’s “Best Annuity” Article – June, 2011

This 2 page article provides a fair view of annuities & their value proposition. Given how well-respected Barron’s remains for financial news, this should be an article you immediately put in front of clients & prospects.

Sales Support Item #2
PBS NewsHour Video – Is Your Pension Safe? – June, 2011

9:38 video produced by PBS (non-polarizing to most people) about the 50 state pension crunch. This video lays the groundwork to prompt taking action. Don’t rely on the government, your employer or your state to bail you out. Take responsibility for your own retirement security now!

Sales Support Item #3
Insured Retirement Institute’s 2011 Fact Book – June, 2011

190-page fact book with updated details, stats and trends in retirement income planning! You can never say you’re at a loss for information with this in hand. There is more seminar content, presentation ideas and client letter statistics than you could ever use (embarrassment of riches)!!!

Push strong into this summer and I’m a phone call/email/post away to help with anything.