If You Are Good at This… Prospects Are 4 Times More Likely to Buy

Before I tell you what “this” is, let me say that we all know we should be good at it… but very, very few of us are.  Why?   Because we have been given horrible advice on how to do it well.  Thousands of articles have been written about it over the last 25 years… all of them garbage.

But… there is now a way to finally make “this” work. 

So, what is “this”?  It is referrals… and here’s why they don’t work based on the advice you’ve received and articles you’ve read.  We’ve been told to ask for referrals based on 2 criteria, both HORRIBLE:

  1. Give me a referral to help me the advisor—something like, “I get paid in two ways” or “When you give me referrals it allows me more time to concentrate on you and my other clients”.  This does NOT work well.  The client either thinks, “Hey, I’ve given you all my money to manage, what more do you want?” or “WHAT?  You aren’t going to be watching my accounts closely?”
  2. Give me a referral so that I can help your friends, neighbors and relatives—and they think, “Right, my friends, neighbors and relatives are going to love me to sic a salesperson on them”.

We know these things deep down in our gut, which is way many of us don’t ask for referrals as often as we should. 

However, 7 years ago I created a referral system that has averaged a 50% success rate.   So, if you ask 10 people for referrals, you could expect 5 referrals.  How do you like them apples?

Here’s the setup and the script I give the advisors that work with me at 5Q Group…

  1. We give and walk through 7 key documents that most people have not done… or have done wrong.  We talk about how not them having them done can cause big problems down the line… but we help them at no cost.  The clients realize that we have just saved them the possibility of big hassles, money and time wasted.  And it only takes us about 40 minutes to do this for them.
  2. After helping them with the documents we ask, “How much time, hassle and money have we saved by getting these things done?”  And they always respond, “A bunch!”
  3. “I ask because do you have anyone in your life that looks up to you… comes to you for advice… or runs things by you?”  Some say no… but for those that say yes…
  4. You say, “Would you like me to sit down with them for 40 minutes… help them fill out the same paperwork we did here… so that THEIR problems never become YOUR problems?”  And they can’t wait to get you in front of those people!

So, why does this work… because instead of asking them to help YOU… or their friend, neighbor or relative… you are asking them to help THEMSELVES!  Yes, a referral would help you and their friend. But, in addition (and it’s a BIG addition)…they are helping themselves by avoiding having to help their mom, friend or neighbor that relies on them, because you are going to help prevent all those problems!

What you need to do is find those problems that you can fix… that DON’T involve selling products, because this does not work by selling products.  You have to find some problems you can fix with simple solutions that do NOT involve products or selling something.  This creates a referral that makes your client feel much safer about making the referral because you are not going to be out slinging products, but instead, providing solutions to the person they referred.

What are those problems?  It depends on your niche market.  If you are having trouble figuring out what those things are, brainstorm with your colleagues, your coaches and your marketers to zero in on those value added… hassle saving solutions, you can provide to the client base you focus on.  Then, watch your business grow because research says that referrals are 4 times more likely to invest with you, than a typical prospect. 

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This Headline (and technique) Gets Quality People in Your Office

How many of your prospects would like to know how to pay less than 1% tax on their investment income?  So, instead of paying 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35% or 37% on their returns and interest… paying just 1%.  Do you think that would get people asking, “Hey!  How do you do that?” It’s a technique that you know… but probably haven’t thought about in a while.  You can find out how to do it in this short 2-page document, courtesy of 5Q Group.

You can use this Unique Selling Proposition EVERYWHERE to get people talking to you.

  • In a letter to your prospects
  • In a letter to your clients to find additional assets or get referrals
  • As a bullet or even headline in a marketing piece
  • As an “elevator speech” anytime somebody asks what you do

You’ll see in the explanation that it works for all non-qualified investments.  The big comment I get from advisors is, “But Mike, most of my clients’ money is in qualified accounts.”

Yep, but remember, this USP is about bringing something new to your clients and prospects… getting new conversations going… finding new non-qualified money… and guess what all this leads to?  Their big retirement accounts.

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Do This to Finally Get Retirees to Read Your Marketing

Most retirees fall into the category of Boomer.  A lot of research has been done on how to catch a Boomer’s attention.  It ends up, it’s music.  Not actual music, but lyrics that bring them right back to their youth.  You need to work the “catch phrase” from the song into your headline (a few examples below). It reminds them of the excitement of meeting their partner… the great times they had with their best friends… or a life changing event.

Think about a song from your formative years… I bet you know EXACTLY where you were when you first heard it.

Here are some ideas:

  • I want to hold your hand… as you set up a retirement plan that gives you peace of mind
  • This one income technique has my clients “Dancing in the Streets”.
  • Do low interest rates on your savings have you singing… “I can’t get no satisfaction?”
  • This great retirement income plan will be giving you “Good Vibrations”!

You get the idea!  Now rip off one of these or come up with your own to finally get the retirees in your area paying attention to your marketing!

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3 Ways to Create a Positive Sales Experience… that work for Marketing as Well

New sales research from this year gives us a window into what clients want from us.

69% – Want us to listen to their needs

61% – Tell us NOT to be pushy

61% – Want us to provide relevant information

I think we all know how to incorporate these things into our sales process, but how do you use these things clients want in your marketing?

First and foremost, if you want to have a successful marketing campaign you must know your target market, backwards and forwards.  You need to know EXACTLY what the need, but more importantly… what they desire.  How do you find out?  Well, most importantly, listen to your own clients and prospects. Then, conduct your own research… or find other research that has already done it for you.

“Don’t be pushy” and “Give me Relevant Information” go hand-in-hand, when it comes to marketing.  If you want to be believed in the skeptical world we live in today… you must first give valuable information that people can use even before they meet with you.  They will NOT respond to promises of help… you must GIVE them help first… then your additional promises of help will hold more water.

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What Grade Would You Give Your LinkedIn Page?

Your website, Facebook page and LinkedIn are the modern equivalent of your brick-and-mortar store front.  What do your clients and prospective clients see when they research you online?

And how are you using social media to grow your reputation and find new clients?

I found an excellent article that will help you leverage at least one part of the Social Media puzzle.  HubSpot has a great article on How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Sales.

You can find it here:  https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/optimize-linkedin-profile-social-selling-infographic-template?utm_campaign=Sales%20Blog%20-%20Daily%20Manual%20Emails&utm_medium=email&utm_content=174965362&utm_source=hs_email

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Are You Marketing to LOHAS?

LOHAS is the acronym that stands for Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability.  It is represented by 26 million Boomers in the U.S.  These people are concerned about personal health and the well-being of both themselves and the environment.

These people have money and opinions.  They make things happen.  They have a much greater influence on the direction of their peers and the marketplace, than the typical retiree.  If you learn how to market to these people, you will be getting in front of people with money to invest and the ability to help you grow your practice through referrals.

How do you market to them?  There is no one-size-fits-all… but you could focus your expertise on Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing. 

Or you could appeal to their lifestyle tendencies by having an ad with an exuberant older couple on motorcycles with the headline, “Because you’ve waited long enough.”  This is an ambiguous headline, but Boomers could read in their own experience and desires (and let’s face it… entitlement) into the ad.

An ad of this type taps into the Boomer’s desire to live life to the fullest… and not wait until it is too late.  It calls for an awakening… enjoy that retirement now!

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How Fit are Your Finances?

How old are people with the most money?  Yeah, 50 and up.  If you have been paying attention to the fitness industry, they get it.  There is more and more attention being paid by the fitness industry to those 50 and up.

Why not capitalize on this?  What happened to the fitness industry during 2020 and the Covid19 crisis?  It basically shut down.  Where is it now?  Has everybody returned to the gym?  Are their membership rolls as big and healthy as they once were?  A resounding no!

Why not approach local gyms and offer to team up for mini symposiums at their facilities?  A physical AND financial fitness check designed to cater to seniors?  You speak for a half hour… the fitness expert speaks for an hour.  You can both have booths set up with helpful information.

Also, you have a built-in list!  Their clients!  They can mail their client and prospect list saving you marketing dollars.  So, what are you waiting for?  Exercise that finger and start calling those gyms!

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I Ain’t Got No Time for That

Research and surveys show some interesting statistics when it comes to how salespeople spend their time during the workday:

33% Talking to clients

21% Writing emails

17% Entering data

17% Prospecting and marketing

12% Conducting internal meetings

This is for salespeople in all industries and not just for financial salespeople, but you get the drift.  Where should all your time be spent?  95% of your time should be spent in just two of the categories above… Talking to clients… and finding new ones, that is, marketing.

But Mike!  I have to do all those other things to make my business run.  YOU don’t have to do them.  Train somebody to do them for you.  When I was in personal production making $1.5 million a year… I spent exactly 2 hours a week creating proposals… the rest of the time I was meeting clients or finding new clients to bring on.  I didn’t help clients fill out paperwork.  I didn’t maintain compliance records.  I didn’t write emails.  Though, I did have a 10-minute daily internal meeting with my assistant… that meeting was specifically designed to offload all the other daily tasks to staff.

I had 2 wonderful staff that handled EVERYTHING else.  I paid them well, but it was only because of them that I could make the money I did.  How are you spending your day? 

One of the most fruitful tasks I give to my coaching clients is to have them keep an hourly record of what they do each hour of the day… for an entire week.  100% of advisors that I have done this with are flabbergasted at how little “work” they actually do each week.  The best of them, was only spending 50% of their time constructively… most were much lower than that.

Are you brave enough to try this exercise for a week?  If you are, count on your income going up.

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A Sale from This Market Can Instantly Double Your Profits

Where do the biggest cases come from? I’m talking about the five, ten or even 20-million-dollar cases.  From a small businessperson that sells their business or retires.  AND, these are the easiest sales when you can find them.

But, finding them is difficult because generally the first time you hear a business is selling… is AFTER it is sold.  That’s too late.  That’s why I’m offering a guide on how to find them (see the link at bottom of this article).

But first, why are they the easiest sale?  While a small business is operating, the owner will spend almost all their time running the business.  It IS their investment, so they don’t spend a lot of time or money investing outside the business.  Thus, when they sell, a couple of things happen.

First, they have a pile of cash, millions of dollars, way more than they’ve ever seen in their life.  And they are nervous about what to do with it.  Second, they don’t have a lot of experience in investing because their business has been their investment up to this point. 

So, they are extremely easy clients to bring on… if they trust you. 

That’s why 5Q Group is offering this free guide to you.  Download the guide that will show you 1) How to find the businesses that are being sold… and
2) How to get them to trust you.

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Creating a “Good” Epidemic

Most disease outbreaks never make it to epidemic proportions.  So what actually causes a disease to reach epidemic proportions?  If you understand this, you understand how epidemic marketing works.

An epidemic starts with one person. If the conditions are just right, a chain reaction occurs, building slowly at first – ebbing and flowing…ebbing and flowing – until reaching a certain plateau. Then because the conditions change a little bit in favor of the disease, it takes off again: hundreds of people infecting many hundreds more and those many hundreds more infecting thousands more until it becomes an unstoppable epidemic.

And it does not matter that you did not know the first person with the disease…did not run in the same circles as the person with the disease…even if you tried to isolate yourself from the disease (as the nobles attempted to do with the peasants during the Black Plague). You cannot hide! The epidemic will get you.

Create a Marketing Epidemic

We know that we cannot reach the untouchable 87% by normal means, so we must reach them via an epidemic-like scenario. They must be reached even though they try to isolate themselves from us. The only way to do that is to have your marketing create a sort of epidemic. It must feed on itself and grow exponentially.

Most marketing plans do not grow exponentially. You spend money on a campaign and when it is done…it is done. It does not continue to feed on itself. For example, you spend $4,000 for a seminar. Some people come to the workshop. You bring on some new clients. And then it is done and you start all over again. The original $4,000 has now essentially stopped working for you. Up until now, you could do business that way. Now that the seminar market is in rapid decline, that no longer is good enough.

Your Marketing Must Grow Exponentially

The best demonstration I have ever seen for exponential growth is the penny demonstration. The question is asked, “Would you rather have a million dollars or a penny that doubles every day for a month?”

You all know the answer: the penny that grows exponentially. It compounds on itself and ends up being millions of dollars by the end of the month. When Albert Einstein was asked what the greatest mathematic discovery ever made was, he simply replied, “Compounding interest.”

Isn’t it interesting that as financial advisors we consider this a fundamental concept that we use every day?

What’s even more interesting is the most phenomenal marketing concept ever to be developed has been under our noses from the day we understood compound interest.

Epidemic marketing is simply making sure that every dollar you spend…every invite you send out…every contact with your client…every time you speak in public…that it all compounds on itself, instead of being treated like an isolated event.

By treating your marketing plan as a living, growing phenomenon, you will be able to create exponential growth (similar to an epidemic) by making sure each piece of marketing you use leverages the next piece of marketing you use. Building and building until it starts to grow on its own.

This type of marketing does require upfront planning, but after you have the plan in place, it grows by itself with little further monetary or time investment. It expands on its own and no one (including the untouchable 87%) will be able to avoid it.

The Basics to Creating an Epidemic

  1. Sit down and map out your message.  It must contain your “Unique Selling Proposition.”  The 5Q process works fabulously for creating a killer USP
  2. Determine who you want to receive the message.
  3. Research that demographic and determine at least five prime “infection” points for your message. Places that have the right environment for the message to grow.
          a. A fun event geared toward your target market
          b. An internet marketing plan
          c. Clients
          d. Warm list
          e. Influential
                      1. CPA’s
                      2. Attorney
                      3. Property and Casualty Agents (PC Agents)

    You must choose five because not all “germs” will germinate and begin to grow – but if you start with at least five, then two-three will begin to grow. Even if two-three of them hit dead ends, at least one of them will take off to become a full blown epidemic.
  4. Once you have infected the five points, you need to begin to nurture them by supporting the message (germ) planted at that point. This will require small investments of time (one to two hours per month, per point) and money ($40-$50 per month, per point).
  5. Monitor each point monthly. As it becomes clear that a point is “dying out,” move the time and money spent on that point to the other four points and so on until you have just one infection point left.
  6. Once you have found the successful germination point, you can either help it to spread or let it spread by itself. With exponential growth, it really makes little difference once you reach this point as to whether you push it or let it grow by itself…the growth is so rapid that we have little effect on it individually at this point.  It grows out of control, which in the case of marketing is…ABSOLUTELY PERFECT! WE DO LITTLE, BUT THE MARKETING CONTINUES BY ITSELF!
  7. An epidemic marketing campaign like this will generally run its life course in about three years. In other words, it goes from zero to more people coming through your office in a year than you’ve had in your entire professional lifetime…after approximately three years, the stream of clients will slowly trail off if it is not attended to.
  8. To ensure the epidemic continues for years versus dying out is quite simple. You simply need to do what the flu bug does. You need to continue to mutate or come out with a different strain. Not a huge change…just enough to make sure that people cannot become immune to the message you are promoting.

As with any major innovation, once developed, the process is quite simple. It is only difficult if you haven’t been privy to all the research, trial-and-error, and time and money spent on developing it on the front-end. The easiest way to get started is to simply find a message that has already been developed and “mutate” it to fit your practice.

It’s only a matter of time before seminar marketing sputters and runs its course to those willing to listen. It cannot reach the 87% of those that will never attend. It’s expensive…every marketing dollar spent dead-ends the day of the seminar. You get what you get, and then it’s over.

Following the steps outlined above enables you to create an epidemic that even the 87% of those who don’t respond to seminars can’t ignore or hide from. It leverages every marketing dollar spent so that they compound on themselves and continue to generate leads and clients through the entire year and beyond.

And while it requires some effort on the front end, your message begins to spread more and more quickly until it reaches epidemic proportions. “Mutating” your existing message guarantees that your system will work years and years into the future, making you more money, and making your business more profitable and saleable.

CASE STUDY: Coordinate and Conquer

An advisor I work with was marketing seminars in a gated retirement community in his area.  He had a lot of success there, but he would mail 3,000 invitations to get 26 or 27 people to attend.  That means 2,970+ people weren’t responding in any given month.  We divided those 3,000 into six groups of 500.  Each month he would take 2,500 of those clients and use the epidemic marketing techniques to contact them in nice, friendly, non-financial ways. 

For example, one month he sent out a postcard for national clock month that said, “Seems like time seems to fly by so fast…especially the older we get!  Hope you’re enjoying your time spent with family and friends!”  That’s one message.  He generated three coordinated messages per month to maximize their effectiveness.  It didn’t necessarily get the phones ringing off the hooks.

However, he constantly rotated the groups of 500 through the “call to action phase.”   Each month he would take one group of 500 and he would initiate three coordinated contacts with a call to action!  For example, he would send out an article on how Congress has revised the rules to make more people eligible for a Roth Conversion at less cost.  In a handwritten note, he would then ask, “If you know anyone who will be turning 70 shortly (or now it’s 72), have them give me a call to see if some of these things will help them as they begin pulling money from their IRA’s!”

By simply using this system of coordinated messages and rotating groups with coordinated calls to action, he was soon getting people in his office who said they’d been getting his seminar invites for years, but had just never thought to go to a seminar!

*Source: AARP/ North American Securities Administrative Association Research

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