This One Question Tells You Everything You Need to Know About Referrals

We all love referrals… they don’t cost anything, and they are much easier to get onboard.  So how would you like to predict how many referrals you’ll get next year?  Knowing this can help you in a couple of ways… first, how much you should be marketing… and secondly, whether you need to work on your ability to generate referrals.

One of the world’s foremost experts on Loyalty, Fred Reicheld, has spent 10 years analyzing the actual referring behavior, of tens of thousands of customers. To determine how many referrals you’ll get next year.

Here’s what he found out.  You have a calling service call your clients and ask just one question:

“On a scale of 1 to 10… 10 being absolutely… and one being no way…
How likely are you to recommend [ABC Financial Services] to
a friend, neighbor or relative?”

The reason for the calling service is so that the clients are comfortable answering with a 3rd party and anonymity.

Break down the answers given into the following groups:

  • Promoter’s—give answers of 9 and 10
  • Satisfied’s—give answers of 7 or 8
  • Detractor’s—give answers of 6 and below

Now, ignore the Satisfied’s… and substract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters.  What do you end up with?  The companies with highly loyal clients score higher than 50%.  Companies with poor customer loyalty score in the 5% to 10% range.

Where does your firm stack up?  Guess how accurate companies were at predicting client loyalty?  Over 80% of companies believed they would be in the 50% or higher range… fewer than 10% of companies actually were.

You should only be counting on referrals from the people that answered 9 or 10… And you should be aware that you are in danger of losing anyone that answered 8 or below, because they will leave you when they find something better.

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Show Your Belly if You Want Your Marketing to Work Better!

Show vulnerability… it shocks your prospect.  Admit your limitations… talk to the skeptic in your prospect… it is a basic scientific principle of trust.  Nobody believes anything is perfect!

Remember Volvo’s great sales pitch?

“We’re Boxy but We’re Safe”

OK, you got me… that Headline is actually from the movie Crazy People… but if Volvo HAD used it… science and psychology says that it would have had a high likelihood of working.  So, why don’t they use it then?

Because like us… nobody likes to admit their weaknesses.  But science says if we DO admit our weaknesses… people trust us more and we’ll be more successful!

What’s are some examples we could use?

  • This might not be for you…
  • We can’t help everybody but if you are…
  • This isn’t the highest return you’ll ever get…
  • This is NOT perfect…
  • Many people don’t want to work with me, only people that…
  • We can’t help you if you were born before 1947…
  • I will never offer you the best investment, I don’t know what that is…
  • Etc.

So, when you are preparing your next marketing piece… go ahead and admit a limitation that will surprise people and make them trust you more.  And in today’s ultra-skeptical environment… we’ll take all the trust we can get!

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“How to pay less than 1% tax on your investment income” Marketing system

It’s a lead generation system that shows a client how to pay less than 1% tax on their income.

This has been a fantastic lead generation tool both as a stand-alone system and with seminars. There are very few consumers that are not interested in reducing the tax on their income to less than 1%. You get a full explanation of how to do it with this system and, more importantly, how to profit with it.

Yours free, courtesy of 5Q Group.  Enjoy it HERE.

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When Prospects Get These… You’ll See Your Callbacks Skyrocket

Even with a very targeted list… still, only 10% of people will see an immediate need for what you offer.  The other 90% may have a future need, but not right now.  So, how do you make sure they are thinking about you when the need does arise?

To stay front and center in a prospects mind, you need to do two things.  First, make sure you have a good drip program to touch them with helpful contacts on a regular basis.  The second is have a great Whitepaper that they will put aside and reference on a regular basis.

Why a Whitepaper?  Recent studies have found that more than 68% of prospects called a provider looking for additional information after reading a Whitepaper.

The reason whitepapers work is that great prospects are hungry for information rich documents.  They’ll turn to these documents to:

  • Use as a reference if guidelines or checklists are included
  • Stay on top of new research and trends
  • Determine whether a service or product fits their particular needs

Here are 5 things that make up a great Whitepaper:

  1. Don’t sell.  Don’t exaggerate.  You need to keep the hyperbole to a minimum. It CANNOT be self-promoting.  It must be about helpful information.
  2. Make sure the value is easy to see and understand.  Follow the rule that top reporters use… ALWAYS LEAD WITH THE LEAD!  Which means, put your most compelling value right up front.  Do NOT bury it… not on the 3rd page or even the third paragraph.  You need to lead with it!
  3. Make it worth their while.  Give them proof of their Return of Investment.  Make it irrefutable.  The reader must know… but also believe… that your solution will put them in a better position with concrete evidence.
  4. Make it sticky.  Make sure that they will want to keep your Whitepaper around.  The easiest way to do this is to provide things that they will likely use as a reference.  These could include guidelines, checklists, Tip sheets, etc.
  5. And of course, the whole reason you are writing and distributing your Whitepaper is to get new business… so have a compelling call to action.  Tell them what their next step is and why they should take it.  And give them as many ways as possible to contact you… phone… email… Facebook… text… etc.

Does writing a Whitepaper require work, time and research?  Yep.  And that’s why you should do it.  Your competitors aren’t willing to make that investment.

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This Mailer Pulled a 50% Response… Not Once, But 6 Times!

A lumberyard chain mailed out, to all the contractors and builders in the area, an 11-inch piece of 2×4.  On it was a sticker mentioning a drawing for prizes at a local store.  It was mailed.  Prospects had to RSVP by phone… to a specific person.  This person then began forging relationships with all the people that called.

Granted, this is a lumber company and not a financial company.  But their previous best was just a 3.97% response.  Jumping up to 50% plus, all six times they did it, shows the power of LUMPY mail.  If you want to get someone’s attention… be unusual!

Here’s some ideas that might work for you as an advisor:

  • A packet of seeds – “to grow your money”
  • A padlock – to “keep your money safe”
  • Worry doll or stress ball – To lower your stress
  • Poker chips – tired of gambling on the market?
  • Aspirin or Tylenol – great for headaches… not so much for the pain of market crashes
  • Rubik’s cube – trying to figure out your next move?
  • A wallet – Want to know how to fill this without saving more, or spending less?
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How You Get Them to Move Forward

You know you can help them.  You can see exactly how you can reduce their fees… reduce their taxes… increase their returns… or maybe all three!  And yet they hesitate.  They don’t know if they want to move forward with you.

You need to change the conversation fast.  What better way than to show how confident you are in what you can do.  Here’s how you demonstrate your confidence.

You say, “I think you are right to think things through… to make sure you are comfortable with moving the process forward.  I do the same thing with decisions.  Can I give you a quick example of how confident I am that you will find the whole process worthwhile and enlightening?”

And of course, what will they say?  “Sure.”

Then take out your wallet… pull out a $100 bill… tear it in half (and watch their eyes bug out) … and then hand them ½ of the torn bill.

Then say, “If we go through this process and for any reason you don’t think it was worth your while… if we don’t find things that SIGNIFICANTLY improve your life… not little things, but things that will significantly better your lifestyle… then I’ll give you the other ½ of this hundred-dollar bill and worst-case scenario, you are $100 richer.  Can you think of any reason not to at least see what I have to show you at the next meeting?”

Is this bold? ABSOLUTELY!  I never had a problem making that challenge, because I knew that I could improve their situation… without a doubt in my mind.  If I couldn’t, then I wouldn’t make the offer, but that was a rare occurrence.

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Here’s One to Get Your Letters Read…

In the age of 140 characters and Twitter, many people will see a letter on letterhead and just give it a once over before chucking it.  How can you slow them down and actually get them to pay a little more attention to your letter?

Here’s two ideas that have worked for me and the advisors I coach:

  1. Print your letter upside down on your letterhead… this absolutely stops them in their shoes.  Now make sure you reference the upside-down printing so that they know it wasn’t a mistake.  You could say something like, “Yep, upside down is the new right-side up apparently.”  Or, “This will turn what you though on its head.”  Or, simply, “Yep, I printed this upside down to make sure you read this.”
  2. Put something inexpensive in the letter to make it lumpy.  I’ve used quarters saying, “Apparently your phone isn’t working, so I thought I’d send you a quarter to get hold of me on a payphone… good luck finding one!”  Or a shoestring with, “Investing can be as exciting as buying shoe laces… and that’s a good thing!”  Or an eraser with, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a way to erase any investing mistakes we made… both now and in the future?”

Are these outside the norm? YES! YES! YES!  We are a commodity!  We all look and sound alike.  We all talk about and promise the same things. If you want to get somebody’s attention, DARE TO BE DIFFERENT!

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Get People to Return Your Calls!

Have you ever had a situation where you have tried and tried to get hold of someone, but they either won’t answer or call back after a voicemail?

Try tickling their funny bone.  I’ve used a version of this a few times when I really needed to get hold of someone… and it works like a charm.

Leave a message like this…

“Hi [Prospect Jim], this is Mike Kaselnak and I was trying to get hold of you because… Wait a minute!  I know why he isn’t getting my voicemails!  His phone doesn’t like me and is refusing to pass the message along to [Prospect Jim].  Mr. Phone… I’m sorry if I somehow offended you but I’d really love to talk to your owner.  Could you please have him call me?  I promise to be brief and to the point.  And I won’t tell [Prospect Jim] you’ve been withholding my calls.  It’s between you and me.” 

Then hang up.  This is a fun way to let the prospect know that they are being impolite and not returning calls.

What will happen?  They will either call back and you get the call started with a smile.  Or, they don’t… which is where you began in the first place.

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What Are the 3 Things People Need BEFORE They Buy?

  1. Validation
  2. Reciprocity
  3. Safety

Validation—People want to know they are doing the right thing.  There are a number of ways you can help alleviate this worry.  The best thing to do is to give them a case study like their personal situation.  You can provide 3rd party proof.  You can show how many other people have invested in what you are recommending. Or… If you are allowed, you can give them testimonials.

Reciprocity—They are not going to do anything for you… until you do something for them.  You must give them something of value before they will reciprocate.  What can you give them of value?  Most advisors try to use knowledge.  Unfortunately, most prospects think knowledge is readily available on the internet… so knowledge doesn’t work as well as it used to work.  The more tangible and concrete you make what you give them… the better it will work.

Safety—Safety comes in many flavors.  And the more flavors you offer them… the more likely they are to buy.  It can be safety of choice… offer a money back guarantee if it ends up they do not like their choice, they are still safe.  It can be safety of principal.  It can be safety in numbers (which is why people will more likely attend a seminar than come to a 1-on-1 meeting).

Think about how you can work safety into everything you present and you will see your closing ratio climb.

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This Is How You Can Guarantee Your Client Fortune

How would you like to get people to your website?  Here’s an idea you could use in many ways, which I’ll discuss in a second.  Go to the internet and Google – Custom Fortune Cookies – and you’ll find many companies that will create custom fortune cookies for you.  They cost about 30 cents each.

You have them print your free offer on one side and your webpage where people can access your free offer on the other.  What should your free offer be?  It can be any number of things…

  • A guide or case study—“Here’s a way to eliminate taxes at retirement (see back)”
  • A tip sheet—“10 ways to make your 401k work better (see back)
  • An offer for gift certificate if they come meet with you—“Learn how to get $100 gift to your favorite restaurant (see back)”
  • Something cryptic –“See how to turn this cookie into a fabulous retirement (see back)

And like I said, your website is on the back.  You need to have whatever you are referring to in the fortune cookie, prominently displayed on your website.

There are a lot of ways you can use your fortune cookies:

  1. Have a handful nearby to hand out to possible prospects
  2. Give them away at seminars
  3. Give them away if you have a booth at an expo
  4. Give them to client to give away at their parties
  5. Give them away at your client/prospect appreciation events
  6. Get them into realtor gift baskets
  7. Cater a lunch at a business or organization and hand them out
  8. Put them into the care baskets you drop off to your favorite CPAs during tax season
  9. Think outside the box… and you’ll come up with even better ideas yourself!

Remember, as Confucius says, “He who is different, wins the day.”

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