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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Sell Independence to Women Boomers

According to Barron’s, what percentage of women leave their advisor when their husband dies?  Over 70%.  That is important for two reasons… you don’t want your clients to leave you at their husband’s death… and it opens up a huge marketing opportunity for you if done right.

Women own about 1/3 of all financial assets in North America… that is $72 TRILLION dollars according to RBC Wealth Management. 

What’s your plan to make yourself a trusted advisor for women?

The best way to figure that out is to create a client advisory board.  In today’s climate, it can even be done online via ZOOM online.

Find out what your best women clients want.  What events would they attend?  What activities would they consider doing?  How do they determine whether they trust a professional… a marketing piece… or information?  What exactly makes them tick? 

Figure these things out and you’ve unlocked a wonderful marketplace you think that you are currently servicing… but, according to the numbers… may have been missing by a large margin.

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People Remember People Who Make Them Smile

If on a date… the only thing you talk about is sex… what does the girl or guy know about you?  If the only thing you talk about with a client or prospect is money… what do they know about you?

There has been a huge amount of research done in the last 20 years on the language of trust.  It seems that people aren’t as trusting as they use to be.  Go figure, right?  In order to build trust, the person you are working with has to come to the conclusion that you are NOT just focused on YOUR agenda… getting them to move money, so that you can make money on them.

“But that’s not the case, I’m really here to help the client,” you say.  I know you are… but Boomers (and everyone born after Boomers) are not going to believe you.  They are suspicious and always looking for your agenda.

So, how do you overcome that suspicion?  There are several ways, but here is one way that is easy and fun.  Do things that make them smile.  When I was in personal production making well north of $1 million/year in income… I still took the time to write 200 handwritten notes a month.  How many have you written in the last year?

What kind of notes you might ask?  All the standard ones like birthdays, anniversaries of when they became a client, retirement congrats, etc.  BUT… the cards that got the biggest response were the ones that made them smile.

I would send postcards to clients and prospects alike that would give them a chuckle. Here are some examples:

Front of card: Pic of a sheep and the verbiage “Why don’t sheep shrink in the rain?”

Back of card: Handwrite—I will never shrink in my duty to you!  Hope you are having a great day!

OR

Front of card: Pic of a fly and verbiage “Would a fly without wings be called a walk?”

Back of card: Handwrite—Makes you think doesn’t it? Just thinking of you. Please call if you need anything!

I had dozens of versions of these cards and they worked wonders.  Everybody loved them… everybody commented on them… and everybody, especially clients knew who I was when I reached out to them.  This meant I started with a warm… not a cold, suspicious… prospect.

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It’s Working… even when it’s not working

This is from one of my favorite marketing authors, Jay Levinson and his book Guerilla Marketing.  He quotes Thomas Smith, one of the first people that looked at advertising as a science in 1885.

“Think of this when you consider altering your marketing plans after a short time.  Lest you misunderstand, think about the following list each time you run an ad and get a response that doesn’t meet your expectations:

  1. The first time a person looks at an ad, they don’t see it.
  2. The second time, they don’t notice it
  3. The third time, they are conscious of its existence
  4. The fourth time, they faintly remember having seen it
  5. The fifth time, they read the ad
  6. The sixth time, they turn up their nose at it
  7. The seventh time, they read it through and say, “Oh brother!”
  8. The eighth time, they say, “Here’s the confounded thing again!”
  9. The ninth time, they wonder if it amounts to anything
  10. The tenth time, they ask their neighbor if he has tried it
  11. The eleventh time, they wonder how the advertiser makes money
  12. The twelfth time, they think it must be a good thing
  13. The thirteenth time, they think it might be worth something
  14. The fourteenth time, they remember that they wanted such a thing for a long time
  15. The fifteenth time, they are tantalized because they cannot afford to buy it
  16. The sixteenth time, they think they will buy it someday
  17. The seventeenth time, they make a memorandum of it
  18. The eighteenth time, he swears at his poverty
  19. The nineteenth time, he counts his money carefully
  20. The twentieth time, he sees the ad, he buys it because he can’t live without it
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