Happy Anniversary… You’re On My Mind! Can generate lots of business.

Every major marketing company and retailer can tell you how profitable a personalized… surprise contact is.  Why our industry doesn’t use this fact baffles me.  You NEED to do this!  It’s cheap and effective.

Here’s I use it.  I send out anniversary emails and personalized notes… over 100 a month.  I send them to clients, prospects and centers of influence.  What kind of anniversary you ask?  Any kind I can think of.  Here are some examples:

  • Anniversary of the date they became a client
  • 6-month client anniversary
  • Anniversary of the date they came to a seminar or first contacted my office
  • Clients Wedding anniversary (if you know them)
  • Retirement date anniversary
  • Anniversary of the date their child graduated college
  • Anniversary of the date they first subscribed to your newsletter
  • Etc.

If you have their email, then do it for free… BUT I’ve always been a big supporter of sending handwritten notes (like I said earlier, I sent over 100 handwritten notes a month—is that a good use of my time?  I don’t know, but I made over $1million a year, so I must have been something right).

Please set aside 4 hours a month to send out these anniversary contacts… put it in your calendar right now… it will pay you huge dividends over the next 12 months.  It’s amazing how many of these notes turned into additional sales for me.

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How to be at the Right Place at the Right Time (in other words put yourself in front of money when it is moving)

The easiest way to make more money with NO marketing cost is to put you in front of people when they are making financial decisions.  This simple form does just that.  You should have it in all of your client’s and prospects hands… and mail it out to them every year.  If you do, you’ll bring in tons of money with not a cent in marketing cost.

You can download it here: http://www.5qgroup.com/tools/9-POA-Issues-Checklist.pdf

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Commit to This and The Next 12 Months Will Be The Best You’ve Ever Had

There are 365 days in a year.  After you take out weekends, holidays and two weeks’ vacation you are left with 225 Days a year.  Heck, I’ll even give you Friday’s off which brings us down to 173 days.

So here’s what you need to do with those 173 days to blow the doors off your past year – commit to doing one, simple marketing activity each of those days.  By simply doing one little marketing thing a day (something that will probably take you less than 5 minutes)… you’ll build a pipeline that will be huge by the end of the year.

What kinds of things can you do?

  • Send a handwritten note of congratulations to someone that got a promotion (find their names in the section of your local paper that reports this)
  • Send a small birthday present to one of your client’s grandkids… you want a huge bang for your buck… this is it.
  • Write an endorsement for a local business and send it to them… or post a super positive comment on their website.
  • Write a letter to the editor about a topic that is near and dear to your heart, as well as your target market’s hearts.
  • Pick up the phone and call a prospect just to check in on them and make sure they are doing alright.
  • Make a business introduction that benefits both parties in a significant way (I did this twice a month and, I guarantee you will become the #1 financial advisor in your town by doing this).
  • And the list is endless…

Do one simple marketing task each day you work, and your marketing worries will quickly disappear.  Can you hold yourself accountable to do this?  You know the saying…

Successful people do what unsuccessful people are unwilling to do.

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Who is Your #1 Competitor?

New research should have us looking over our shoulder.  Even after the financial disaster of 2008… or maybe because of it, more and more investors are going it alone with online investment accounts.

In a recent study by Aite Group, LLC they found that online brokerages gained 3% over the year while retail brokerages lost 4%.  That means that while online assets grew by over $1 trillion dollars… yep, that’s with a “T”… retail brokerages lost much more than that.

So what do you do to make sure this doesn’t happen to you?  Make sure you have a “value ad” that has NOTHING to do with money.  You have to become irreplaceable to a client for non-investment related reasons.

You cannot win if you try to compete on a financial basis only!
• Online is always going to be cheaper
• Online is always going to be cutting edge on technology
• Online is always going to be the favorite of every magazine article that your client’s read… remember, we are the bad guys of every reporters and book authors copy.  (We are money grubbing thieves that have nothing of value to offer… not true, but they get a lot of mileage with that garbage point of view.)

So what are you doing to make your clients want to be with you for reasons in addition to your fine money management skills?  Do you have fantastic client thank you gatherings? Do you provide services for free that they would have to pay for elsewhere? (One advisor I know has his client’s car washed in the parking lot while he is meeting with him.)

What non-investment services do you offer? (i.e. notary services, free tax prep, etc.)

It’s these types of things that both insulate you from your clients leaving and get clients to choose you over online investing.

I use what I call a 21-Point Checklist that helped me close 232 clients in two years without a single charge-back or free look. If you’d like to see a quick video on how it works, you can view it here.

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Have People Pay You to Market to Them

This concept has been around for ages but few advisors take advantage of it. I know an advisor in the town I live in that has a huge practice and he’s never spent a dime on marketing… in fact, people paid him to market to them.

What does he do?  Community adult education classes.  He has brought on 20 new clients a year by using this methodology.  Now 20 clients might not seem like much to you… but remember he spent ZERO on marketing so all of the profit from those clients went right to his bottom line.

Does teaching classes take some planning? Yes.

Does it take some creativity to come up with a topic that people will actually be interested in? Yes.

Does it take some patience to wait for each new Community Education catalogue to come out? Yes.

Can it grow your business for free? Yes… ‘nuf said.

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Client says, “This article says your product is horrible”

What do you say?

AGREE WITH THEM!  Don’t get defensive… agree with them.  When you do this it always puts the client back on their heels.  They did not expect this.  Argument over… almost.

You are never going to win an argument with a client, so here’s how to avoid one and still win.  Follow these 3 steps:

  1. When a client says something you don’t like… don’t argue, but instead agree with them.  This shuts down their “fight-flight” mentality and gets them listening to you again… instead of prepping for an argument.
  2. Then get on their side.  Tell them why what they are saying is right.  This is difficult to do at first but when you master this skill… the world becomes your oyster.
  3. After you have convinced them that you TOTALLY get where they are coming from… then and only then have them take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
  • Here’s what I mean by this.  Every objection is valid in the client’s eyes… so first look through the client’s eyes (get into their shoes).  And after they feel validated then you simply say, “Now let’s look at the big picture.” – and here’s the miracle… they will!  They will because you didn’t try to prove them wrong.  You instead proved them right… and then had them look at it from a different angle.

This skill is so important I have practiced it religiously for 30-minutes a week for 16 years.  But the great thing about this skill is you can get better at it in just 5 minutes of trying… the reason I train weekly on this skill is the same reason NFL players train on tackling and blocking weekly… not necessarily to get better, but to make sure the skill doesn’t backslide.

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The “It’s Over” Checklist

Though we hope it never happens to our clients… sometimes they get divorced.  I’ve created a helpful checklist for those clients that are considering or pulling the trigger on getting divorced. If you’d like that checklist to add to your tool chest you can find it HERE … my treat.

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Please Leave a Message… But Make it a Good One!

Please leave a message.  How many times a day do we hear it from our client’s phones… or do we deliver the same message to our client’s ears?  Too many.

So here’s the question.  Are you treating it like a nuisance or as an opportunity to create business?  Whether it is you leaving a message or your client hearing your message, don’t miss this opportunity to be different… pique their interest or put a smile on their face… do anything but have them roll their eyes at your message.

Here are 3 different types of messages you can leave:

  1. Helpful tips: Give them an idea that they can put to use right away.  For example you could say this at the end of what you actually called for, “… and remember it’s spring cleaning time and that’s a perfect time to shred all your old financial documents.  There is a community shredding being offered at the library this Saturday between noon and 4 p.m.”
  2. Fun Facts: End your message with a bit of fun trivia.  For example at the end of your message you could say, “… and did you know that the US debt is now ten times larger than all the money circulating in the US right now?”  Or “… if you have $10 in your pocket and no debts, you are wealthier than 25% of Americans?”
  3. Favorite Quote: Or finish with your favorite quote like, “…as Will Rogers said, “Too many people spend money they earned… to buy things they don’t want… to impress people that they don’t like.”

Do this with your messages and people will remember you in a positive way.  You will stand out from all the other “noise” they receive every day… and they will want to speak with you.

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How Do You Simply Explain High Yield Risk

Have you ever had a client bring in some article or tell you that they’ve heard about some fantastic yield?  You know it’s rife with danger, but how do you explain it to them?

Here’s a great little drawing by www.behaviorgap.com that clients “get” immediately.Here’s how I would change it to make it even simpler.

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5 Ways to Capture Prospects Emails

Email is the easiest and cheapest way to market to your prospects but how do you get their email addresses?

Here are 5 ideas:

  1. First and foremost have an offer on your website—that could be a free book, a free report or a free trinket.  Place that offer front and center on your web page.  They’ll need to put their email address in to receive that offer.
  2. Promote your website everywhere!  On letterhead, envelopes, business card, all of your marketing pieces, your business sign on your building… everywhere.
  3. When you do a speaking engagement always have an evaluation form.  Make it clear that you would like them to fill out the evaluation form.  Tell them, “Folks, it obviously costs me some money to come and speak with you which being a smart advisor I write off for tax purposes.  Could I please ask you help?  Please fill out the evaluation forms completely so that I have proof for the IRS that I actually did spend the money to come speak with you… and not to go on a luxury vacation? J”
  4. Create an email newsletter and promote it heavily—my preference for newsletters is what I call the “church bulletin” newsletter.  What I mean by that is make it look hand made.  Most people read their church bulletin from front to back… why?  It looks simple.  It is written by someone they know… about people they know… doing things they find interesting.  What this means for your newsletter is that it should absolutely contain something personal about you or your family in every issue.  It should NOT be just about money… it should be about things that are helpful in their everyday life.  Remember they already know you know a lot.  They don’t care how much you know… until they know how much you care!
  5. Run a contest and tie the entries to providing an email address—People gladly supply their email in order to enter a sweepstakes.  The sweepstakes prize could be for dinner and a movie… a visa debit card… a free big screen tv… whatever.  Then advertise the heck out of the sweepstakes. You can collect hundreds of great emails this way.
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