You Win… When They Win

How do you get prospects’ attention?  The media’s attention?  Think about running a contest.  People love to show people how good they are at things.  A contest generates excitement and can easily get picked up by the media and get you some free press.

There are plenty of sites and software that can help you create this type of contest if you just Google “contest software”.

Here are some different contest ideas:

Photo Contests:  These are easy for both you and the public.  Take a look at Harpoon Brewery’s Instagram account as an example of how easy it can be.  How do you steer it toward wealth management or financial advice?  Here’s some ideas… ask them to send in pics of their best dollar origami… or their best pics of the Monopoly Game “rich guy”… or best pics of vacations their money bought… there are all sorts of ways to leverage this idea.

Just a plain, old lottery contest:  Want to get contact information on a bunch of people in your target demographic?  Run a contest giving away five separate $100 gift cards.  I know an advisor that does this constantly, and always gets hundreds of entries and a couple of pieces of business every time he does it.

Submit your Vote or Complete the Quiz contest:  People love to share their opinions and show how smart they are.  These types of contests capitalize on that need. 

Picture Caption Contest:  Tap into people’s creativity and humor by asking them to create a caption for a picture that you post.  This can really create some traction with people sharing the contest and the funniest captions.

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Hello? What Happens Next Can Make or Break the Sale

The use of cell phones and voice mail in today’s world can sometimes make you wonder if you’ll ever talk to a person live, ever again.  This reality can often lead to you having a sense of complacency.  And when this happens, you could find yourself surprised and unprepared when someone actually DOES pick up the phone.

So now, instead of rolling out your perfectly rehearsed and practiced voicemail, you are surprised.  You try to say something smart and intriguing that will keep them on the phone.  What happens instead?  You stumble and what comes out is, fumbled and jumbled.

Example:

Big client actually picks up the phone and says, “Hello?”

Advisor: “Hi! This is Bob with Bob’s Wealth Management.  How are you today?”

Big Client: “I’m busy.  What is this about?”

Advisor: “I’d like to talk to you about how we are able to help our clients lower their taxes, increase their income and have more peace of mind in retirement.”

Big Client: “I already have an advisor that does that.  I’m really busy.  Thanks for calling.  And oh yeah, put me on your do not call list.”

End of call.

What could have made that call more effective?  Here are several tips to help you turn and uninterested prospect… to an interested prospect on the phone.

  1. Have a UNIQUE selling proposition—after introducing yourself you NEED to have a simple proposition that they WANT… and that they have NEVER heard before.
    1. Here’s an example my advisor’s use:
      I get homeowners born before 1957, in Olmsted County, 21 little known benefits they are owed… but not receiving—Including:
      – A program to protect your wife from losing 1/2 her Social Security Income at your death.
      – A program to cover 2-years of long-term care costs… without paying a cent in annual premiums

  2. Be polite but serious—prospects are suspicious of people who are over happy and enthusiastic. 
  3. Ask them a provocative question—after using the USP above, you might ask, “Have you ever applied for the program that will replace your spouse’s Social Security income when they pass away?”
  4. After they give you the answer you want—ask them if they have time to speak now, or would they like to schedule a time that would work better for them.

The beauty of this formula is that it will help you develop a more effective voicemail message as well!

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How You Can Increase Response Rates to 3.2%

How you can use the same Tipping Point, Hush Puppy shoes utilized, to sell 400% more shoes in just one year.  I used it to make $360,000 from referrals alone.  Get the white paper, “Increase Your Income by $360,000 a Year” courtesy of 5Q Group.  It will walk you through why this approach works so well… and more importantly, how to make it work for you!

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If you have this ONE thing… there has never been a better time to get your message out there

There has NEVER been a better time to advertise than right now… IF you have a Unique Selling Proposition that works.  There are so many places you can post your USP for free!  Local chat rooms… neighborhood blogs… church bulletins… door flyers…local newspapers are offering dirt cheap advertising rates right now, as are local specialty magazines.

With a fantastic USP, there has never been a better time to get it in front of people.

BUT… if you do not have an effective USP, advertising will not work. 

So, how do you create a USP that will get people calling you?  You can find my step-by-step guide to create a USP that will get people asking…

  • How do you do that?
  • Would that work for me?
  • Can you show me?

Get it here, courtesy of 5Q Group.

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How to Write an Effective Postscript

Studies show that people read the salutation first… and then skip to the bottom and read the p.s.  So it is essential that you write a powerful post script.  Your p.s. should refer to your most bewitching benefit, and your call to action.  You should also handwrite your postscript.  It proves to the reader that this is truly a one of a kind and not mass produced. 

Here are 10 things to keep in mind for your postscript (only use one or two to create a great p.s.):

  1. Motivate action.  Tell the reader to act now.
  2. Restate the offer in the letter again… but this time instill urgency
  3. Introduce a bonus if they take action immediately
  4. Talk about an additional benefit you didn’t talk about in the body of the letter
  5. Emphasize why your offer is unique
  6. Mention the financial benefit of them taking action
  7. If you have a guarantee… eliminate any risk they have by working with you
  8. Tell them how many satisfied clients you already have
  9. Mention your phone number or email again
  10. Stress that time is short… the date the offer expires or the reason why waiting can hurt them

There are many ways you can write a postscript.  Experiment and keep track of the ones that prove most effective.

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Does Marketing Have You at Your Wits End? Grandma’s Favorite Tool Will Get You in Front of People

Is this a cure-all?  It requires work… both mental and physical… and many advisors are allergic to both.  But… if you are willing to put in the effort, this tool works!  How well?  Here are the numbers you should work with…

  • 5 out of 10 pieces will be ignored… that means 5 pieces WILL be noticed
  • One out of 10 to 20 will generate business… so worst case that’s a 1 out of 20 (or 5% success rate).  How does that stack up with your current marketing?

So… if this tool is so great… why isn’t everybody using it?  I already told you!  It requires effort! 😊

What is Grandma’s Favorite Tool?  The handwritten note… or personal letter.  These two tools are the most effective, easy, inexpensive… and overlooked marketing tools.

Why to they work? Because they get people’s attention.  How often do you get a handwritten note in the mail?  It stands out.  The whole message can be handwritten, like on a post card.  Or you can write a handwritten postscript at the end of the personal letter (more on this in the article below).

And it works because it is personal.  If done right, it is going to seem like you are writing to them personally, and not just a generic letter. What would a personal letter look like?  Here are some general rules:

  • Keep it to just one-page
  • Make it personal.  You can do this in several ways even if you do not know them…
    • Talk about the street they live on
    • Use the information you have from your list (either warm or purchased)
      • Talk about their age group
      • Birth month (yep, you can buy lists with this)
      • Home ownership
        • Length of residence, home value
      • If they have an elderly parent
      • Occupation
      • Donor to charitable organizations
      • Presence of children
      • Lifestyle interests (YES!  Talk about dogs, sailing, cycling, etc. by buying a list that identifies these people)
      • There are so many other things you can target… but the best thing for you to do is talk to a list broker and tell them what you are trying to do and brainstorm ideas in their lists
  • Make paragraphs short
  • Indent your paragraphs
  • Use… just a little bit of underlining and writing in the margins… but not too much
  • Do everything in your power to keep it from looking mass produced
  • Do NOT enclose a brochure or business card
  • But do enclose something unique… a newspaper clipping, an interesting paperclip (Google it 😊), fortune cookie message, a dollar, etc.
  • Sign your letter in a color different from what you used to print the piece
  • Write a handwritten p.s. (see next article)

Should you write just once?  No, write them 3 or 4 times and then pick up the phone and give them a call (you can get this from your list broker too).  They will recognize and actually be happy to hear from you.  All of them?  Nope.  Most of them?  Yep.  Will they all buy?  Nope.  Will one out of 20 buy?  Yep.

And how much money did this cost? For 20 targeted people… around $50.  How much could you make from one sale?  A bit more than $50?

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Latest Science on Selling via Video Conferencing

COVID-19 has changed how we market and sell… maybe forever.  Have you changed?  Have you honed the new skills necessary to succeed? 

If you want to see what the newest research tells us about selling and marketing via video conferencing… watch this 35-minute video that walks you through the do’s and don’ts.  To get right to the information, fast forward 2-minutes into the video.

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What 2 Magazines Have the Largest Circulation in the U.S.?

AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin have over 22 million subscriptions.  Number 3?  Costco Connection at 13 million… and number 4 is Better Homes and Gardens at 7 million. 

What do 3 out of those 4 have in common?

Their readers are mostly older.  Hey, did you notice I used the word older?  Research has shown people prefer the phrase “older Americans” to Senior Citizens or Seniors.  What term are you using in your marketing and selling?

Also, instead of 55 and older… use age 55 and better.  These things seem trivial, but they could be the difference between people reading or throwing your marketing away. 

If we look at both AARP publications… you’ll see that the articles are dominated by Health, Financial Security, and Family.  This makes sense because after reviewing several surveys of people age 55 and up, the University of Michigan found that the top four concerns of this age group are:

  1. Health
  2. Financial Security
  3. Religion
  4. Family

Obviously, our marketing centers around Financial Security… but what are you doing to tap into the other three topics as well?  If you want to set yourself apart from your competitors… learn to leverage Health, Religion and Family in your marketing as well.

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What are the Top 5 Things People Use to Decide Whether to Engage Your Service… or Not?

In recent research, buyers of professional services were asked, “What are the most important things consultants and professionals can do to influence whether you work with them or not?”

Their answers were surprising…

36%     Said Communication

22%     Said being Effective at providing solutions

17%     Said Costs

17%     Said Experience

17%     Said Personal characteristics like honesty and friendliness

That is terrific news if you leverage it.  You have ABSOLUTE control over how you communicate and less control over things like cost and your experience level.

So, let’s touch on how these buyers identified good communication, in order of priority:

  • Follow up
  • Being a Good listener
  • Clear and concise conversation
  • Gets back to us in a timely manner
  • Answered my questions and did not evade
  • Asked good questions

How would you grade yourself on these characteristics… better yet, send out a survey to your clients and have them grade you!

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They downsize… you upsize

One of the best ways to grow your business is to put yourself between a client and the transfer of money.  Here’s a great example of how to do that.

Many empty nest baby-boomers are considering downsizing to a more maintenance-free, independent home.  Have you thought about the kind of value you can bring to the table before… during… and after they do that?

  • Help them figure out what their home is worth
  • Show them how staging their home could increase the value
  • Walk them through how expenses would change for the better… or worse
  • Walk them through the advantages and disadvantages of paying off their home 100%
  • Create a more efficient retirement income plan for once they move
  • Etc.

Create a workshop that goes through these and any other value-added issues you can think of.  When you do, you have now put yourself between the prospect and a major transfer of money.  As an added bonus… people are psychologically inclined to make other big changes and decisions when they sell a home.  Use this to make changing their advisor… TO YOU… one of those big changes!

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