1. Designate a WOW czar on your staff to champion amazing client experiences that set you apart. It can’t be the advisor. It has to be an experienced, trusted staff member who has the personality to deliver outstanding service.
2. Create a written human capital strategy that explicitly states where you want your firm to be in one, five, and ten years.
3. Build and retain a great office team by compensating well and offering results-based bonuses. Your business will benefit by keeping employee turnover low.
4. Worried about losing advisors? Don’t create a non-compete agreement. Instead, sign a business agreement that puts a value on each client the advisor takes away from your firm. Your best defense against losing staff is providing a work environment they’ll never want to leave.
5. Put the ‘why’ first in how you communicate your message to clients. Most people know what they do and how they do it, but they don’t know how to explain the why. Reverse the order in your message; people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
6. Create a value proposition for your business: What do you do? Why do you do it? How do you do it? Who do you do it for? Your benefits must be concise, compelling, and creative.
7. Clients do business with you because of you. Define yourself professionally, not as a financial advisor, but as someone who helps specific people solve specific problems. Make sure the message is clearly stated in all of your marketing and branding. Train your team to know and communicate your message. Deliver on your brand promises.
8. Earned media, defined as an interview by a trained journalist to educate the public on a timely topic, is much better than paid media because it is:
- Increasing the reach of your marketing
- Leveraged on your website, in seminars, newsletters, and social media
- Connecting you to your local audience
9. 55% of American adults still watch local news, making local media a powerful tool for reaching a wider audience of potential prospects. National media can bring you respect, but local media brings in the prospects.
10. Want to get earned media interviews? Skip the sales department and go directly to the news department with a timely pitch and talking points. Show them that you’re an expert and that you can help their audience understand a recent issue.
11. Big questions you should ask before accepting any media opportunity:
- Is the media source legitimate?
- Is the source in my area?
- Will my target demographic see it?
- Will this further my business goals?
- Could it be perceived as negative?
- What time will the show broadcast? Is it a legitimate news time?
12. “93.6% of financial planning is behavioral management.” – Hugh Massie, DNA Behavior.
13. Decode client behavior using the Human Lie Detector’s, Janine Driver, 3-Step Process:
- Develop a baseline for a person’s behavior.
- Identify “hot spots” when behavior deviates from the baseline. This occurs when a question or conversation strikes a nerve.
- Think like an investigator. Ask a powerful question to dig deeper into the person’s response and determine the source of their discomfort.
14. Michael Levin says: “The biggest mistake I see people making is trying to be all things to all people.” Earn the respect of your market by staking a position and showing what you stand for.
15. Dealing with a lot of interruptions in your day? Batch phone calls and email checking to avoid multiple distractions. Leave detailed messages and schedule callbacks.
16. Want to inspire your employees to buy into your vision for the firm? Promote investment in your business by paying well and bonusing well.
17. 4C’s of Social Media:
- Customization: Make sure that all of your content on social media is customized to your firm.
- Content: Post a variety of content, including photos, blog posts, videos, whitepapers, and links to curated content.
- Calls to Action: Always include a request to complete some action. Examples: Click to register for our event. Watch our video.
- Connection: Use gated content to capture information from visitors in exchange for a free, valuable download.
18. Get the most out of Twitter by following people you’d like to have as clients and following reporters. With reporters, “if you see something, say something.” Reach out with comments on interesting stories or a useful perspective.
19. Get the social media basics right: at a minimum, your platforms must have quality photos, a well-written bio, website integration, and be used consistently.
20. Be a giver on LinkedIn: Congratulate, Endorse, Recommend, then Ask.
21. Find prospects on LinkedIn by using the advanced search function to filter by location, industry, specific, seniority level and many other factors. Don’t just introduce yourself over LinkedIn. Find common connections, pick up the phone, and ask for the best way to meet the prospect.
23. Leverage Facebook marketing by photographing clients and tagging their photos on Facebook. Platinum’s client feedback forms asks permission to add client photos to advisor Facebook pages.
24. Photos & videos get double the engagement of text-only posts. Leverage this preference in your emails and social media activity.
25. To clients, an advisor is a:
- Trusted advisor
- Wise man or woman
- The final word on money
26. Don’t be afraid of conducting client portfolio reviews over the phone. Many clients are too busy for in-person meetings and will appreciate the convenience of touching base over the phone.
27. Some scary advisor succession statistics: 99% of independent practices die in the first generation, <5% have had a formal business valuation, <4% have a written continuity plan. Attrition is the number 1 killer of independent advisors.
28. You will know that you have mastered your market when you get a call from someone saying, “I heard you specialize in…”
29. Of the 49% of advisors who acquired clients via social media, 29% gained assets over $1 million says an October 2013 Putnam Survey.
30. Having a video on the landing page of your website makes it 53% more likely to show up on the first page of a Google search.
31. Customers that watch videos of products or services are 85% more likely to make a purchase – AdAge.
32. Is your website ready for mobile? Mobile computing is quickly surpassing desktop and laptop use.
33. Specialists earn more than generalists. To future-proof your business and earn higher revenues, find your niche and dominate the market.
34. The 9 principles of identifying and mastering a niche by Robert Fross:
- Analyze your best clients to find commonalities
- Provide world-class service
- Outsource non-value-added tasks
- Remain agile to take advantage of opportunities
- Network with other professionals that share your niche
- Invest in personal branding and marketing to your niche
- Engage employees in your niche
- Remain consistent and focused
- Provide leadership by thinking big but being obsessed with the details
35. Carve out your niche by looking at your interests and unique skills to find people you enjoy working with.
36. Need niche ideas? Medical field professionals, C-suite executives, Special needs families, Airline pilots, Educators, or Engineers. Find opportunities by looking vertically and horizontally.
37. Think public seminars don’t work? One Fross & Fross advisor gets an average of $3 million in new assets for every event he holds.
38. Effective public seminar topics must be relevant, emotionally compelling, and targeted to your audience. Here are some ideas: “When’s the market going to crash?” “Where do we go from here?” “Is a new recession coming?” “Protect and Grow Your Assets in Troubled Markets” “Women & Investing”
39. Don’t be afraid to reuse the same event invitations. The average person needs to see an ad 17 times before they take action. Platinum members get access to client invitations for all kinds of social events.
40. Don’t give the wrong impression during your seminar. The cost of food at a seminar is a fraction of the total cost. The nicer the restaurant, the better the response will be and the more impressed high-net-worth prospects will be.
41. Never ever be desperate for a client’s business. Desperation leaks out of your pores like garlic.
42. Most advisors have an aging client base that threatens their future revenue. Targeting clients who are in the accumulation phase of their lives is an insurance policy against the future of your business.
43. Why advisors should be using online leads: Who is your perfect prospect? Who is your favorite client? Let’s find their clone. Where do they live? Do they own a home? What are their interests? What’s their age? Online ad campaigns can target prospects based on all these qualities and deliver high quality leads.
44. 5 major trends will change the face of the financial services industry:
- Consolidation as advisors age out of the industry
- Generational shifts as retirees begin drawing down savings and advisor revenues decline
- Compensation changes in response to changing consumer preferences
- Automation challenges from online competitors
- Regulation in the form of heavier compliance burdens and the fiduciary standard
Adapting to these changes will determine which advisors succeed in the next 10 years and which ones will fail.
45. People don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care.
46. Recruit younger advisors and staff to take advantage of technological know-how and the ability to connect with younger clients.
47. Client segmentation helps you identify your best clients and focus every ounce of effort into delivering memorable experiences and finding new clients through referrals.
48. Here’s a great client event idea from one of our members: Invite 10-15 of your best clients to a golf tournament. Make them captains of a golf team made up of 3 additional friends. Take candid shots of each team and mail a thank-you photo to each client and new prospect.
49. Have you ever invited clients to your home? Seeing where you live and meeting your family turns clients into loyal friends by showing them who you are as a person.
50. When developing client events, include a mix of “I Know” events like State of the Market updates and educational seminars, and “I Care” events like wine tastings and golf outings.