Are You Answering the Right Question? This tweak can double your effectiveness

Our prospects are more skeptical than ever. They are hit by hundreds of thousands marketing messages each year… all promising more than the last.  How do you break through their skepticism?

A study in Harvard Business Review gives us some help.

First… DON’T pile on benefits.  You would think the more benefits the better… but in actuality adding more benefits actually dilutes the power of all the benefits.

Instead, find that one thing you do better… and different… from all your competitors.  You can do this by thinking like a client.  This is the question you need to answer:

What is the MOST important thing to keep in mind about what you are proposing?”

By focusing on this question, you’ll be able to create a much more effective Unique Selling Proposition because…

  • It will put a laser-like focus on the one or two things that make you different from your competition.
  • It will prove you understand the client’s real pain.
  • And it recognizes that people don’t have time to do a lot of research… they just want the bottom line.

To construct your answer to this question, think about structuring it around three points:

  1. How are you similar to your competitors? —By doing this you remove any arguments that your competitor is making about how they are different or better than you. You make the point, “Yeah, we do that too.”
  2. Make a point of how YOU ARE different. What are the one, two or three things that you do… or offer, that none of your competitors do?
  3. Make a point on how you view the client experience differently than all your competitors.

You must get to the point where the client no longer thinks, “Yeah, my guy does that too.”

And instead says, “Wow, nobody does that!  I need that!”

If you do not put the time and effort necessary to really lock this down, you will forever be just another voice… in the crowd of voices, screaming for your prospects money.

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The Power of a KISS

People returning items is costly, so there has been a lot of research about the cause of all those returns.  Here’s what they found…

50% of all “malfunctioning” products were actually working just fine.  Buyers just couldn’t figure out how to work them.

The average American will struggle with a product for no longer than 20 minutes, before giving up and returning the item.

So, what is your take away?

  • How simple are your explanations? Would a 5th grader understand them?
  • How simple are your products? Could your client explain how it works to their son?
  • How simple are your solutions? Do you have 3 steps where one would do?

As advisors, many of us have been trained to make sure the client knows how smart we are… get more credentials… use more in-depth solutions… be creative!

It ends up, that is bad advice.  Make things simple.  Make things familiar.  People like things they understand.  They want to do things that are like what they have been doing.  Yeah, I know you could eke out a little higher return… or lower taxes by utilizing that fantastic new and creative technique you learned about.  But present it to the client, and it is going to remain theory, because they will not pull the trigger.

Sometimes you must abandon what would be absolutely the best solution for the client… and instead go with what they are willing to do.  It’s better for them than doing nothing at all.

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Light Up Your Christmas with New Business and Happy Clients!

The Holidays are upon us.  What are you doing to capitalize on them?  One thing that I did every Christmas Season is to invite all my clients and prospects on a Christmas lights tour.  It is always a huge hit!  It always paid for itself and then some.

If you’d like to know the How’s and Why’s of using this fantastic tool… download your free copy of the Christmas Lights Tour System Manual…Courtesy of 5Q Group

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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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