3 Keys to Successful Marketing

How you spend your marketing dollars, is one of the most important determiners of your profitability.   Your marketing needs to work to bring in profits… instead of draining your bank account.  The good news is that ultimately, marketing is simply a math problem.

Here are the 3 things you must do to get your marketing headed in the right direction:

#1—Make sure your marketing DISQUALIFIES prospects… as well as qualifying them.

Too many advisors throw out as big a net as possible for new clients.  Hey!  Money is money, right?  No.  Think about how much specialists make as compared to generalists…

How much does a doctor make?
As compared to a surgeon?
How much does a general surgeon make?
As compared to a heart surgeon?
How much does a heart surgeon make?
As compared to a pediatric heart surgeon?

The more specialized you are… the more those needing your services will pound on your door… and the more they will pay you. 

So, who is your best client?  The best way to approach this is not through words… but instead pictures.  Put together a picture board of what your best client looks like.  The picture board could include pics of:

  • People
  • The types of restaurants they go to… fancy or burger joints?
  • The types of cars they drive
  • Where they go on vacations
  • What their families look like
  • What they do in their spare time
  • What their house and neighborhood look like
  • What kind of clothes they wear
  • And, on and on and on

Now create marketing around those pictures.

#2—You MUST be Consistent

Now that you have a better picture of your best client… you have to let go of your urge to bring on anybody BUT your best client.  You must begin turning away people that don’t fit your practice.

The key to marketing is identifying the one thing that you do better than any of your competition.  Then, fiercely zero in on that strength, and who that strength most benefits.

Keep your message and marketing simple.  Make sure it ALWAYS revolves around your Unique Selling Proposition.  And then use it consistently… over and over.  Become THE advisor that EVERYBODY who needs THAT thing comes to, or immediately thinks of, for THAT thing.

#3—Marketing is Simple Math

Crunch the right numbers.

What are the wrong numbers?  Open rates… website hits… and many other things many marketing companies’ tout.

There is only one number you should be tracking in your marketing… how many prospects landed in your office based on the dollar amount you spent on a piece of marketing.

$ per prospect.  That’s the number.  If it’s good… keep doing it.   If it’s bad… you gotta try something else.

It’s that simple.

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Learn from the World’s Greatest Salesperson (According to the Guinness Book of World Records)

According to the Guinness Book of World records, as audited by Deloitte & Touché… that person is Joe Girard.

Joe sold 13,001 cars in 15 years—and I’m talking 13,001 cars, belly-to-belly…face-to-face…NO fleet sales.  When adjusted for inflation, Joe was making over $1,000,000 a year selling cars to one person at a time.  That is simply incredible.

Do you get how much money YOU would make if you had the same success?  What’s the average commission on a car vs. what you sell?  And be patient here, I’m going to show you exactly how advisors have turned Joe’s ideas into lots and lots of money.

How did he do the Impossible?

This guy was a motivated machine.  When he was at work, if he wasn’t selling a car to someone, he was busy FINDING someone to sell a car to… 

He wasn’t:

  • Reading the paper
  • Surfing the internet
  • Checking email
  • Dropping the kids off at dance lessons
  • Sleeping late
  • Leaving early
  • Talking to friends
  • Taking long lunches
  • Working out
  • Running errands

This guy worked 40 to 50 hours a week, and when he was there, he worked… period.  Can you say that about the way you approach your business?

He did it by hand

Joe was able to do what he did without any of the tools that we now take for granted…he grunted out the activity that we can automate.  And the sad thing is, many advisors are even too distracted to take advantage of automation.  I mean, come on!

I’ll walk you through what he did in a second, but I want you to understand that if this guy could do it without the tools we have… we should be able to do it without breaking a sweat.

  • He didn’t have lists of possible prospects like we have available—he made his own lists from phone books!!!
  • He didn’t have automated mailing like we do—he had to write, by hand, all his letters or notes one-at-a-time
  • He didn’t have email—he had to write, stuff, stamp and mail each communication
  • He didn’t have the ability to create his own marketing material right on his own computer
  • He didn’t have smart phones with all the information they give you at your fingertips
  • He didn’t have access to dozens and dozens of marketing systems that are available to financial advisors today…

Joe did it the old-fashioned way, by talking to people… always, always talking to people.

The Rule of 250

One day when Joe was attending the funeral for a friend’s mother, he asked the funeral director how he knew how many memorial cards to print.  The funeral director said that over time he found that the average number of attendees was 250.  Joe asked another funeral director that he knew, how many people normally go to a funeral.  That funeral director also, said 250.

While attending a wedding, Joe asked the caterer about how many people he normally served at a wedding.  The caterer told him about 250.  And thus was born, Girard’s Rule of 250.

Everybody knows 250 people well enough that they would attend a wedding or a funeral.  Why is this important?  Because you now have access to 250 times each person you meet.  You meet:

1 person X 250 = Access to 250

10 people x 250 = Access to 2,500

100 people x 250 = Access to 25,000

“Wait a minute!” you say. “How am I supposed to GET access to those other people?”

Easy.  Always have your elevator speech (Unique Selling Proposition) visible… even when you aren’t working.  For example:

  • Have brochures with your elevator speech always lying about in your car.  If you give someone a ride…there it is!
  • Always have a brochure “accidentally” sitting by your front door… somebody comes into your house…there it is!
  • In your boat…there it is!
  • On reusable grocery totes…there it is!
  • Get note pads made up with your business contact info and your elevator speech prominently displayed.  Anytime you write a note or write down a phone number to give somebody…there it is!
  • A lawn sign easily visible in your garage, (like you’re storing it) …there it is!

You get the point.

When somebody asks you, “How’s business?”

Reply with a mini-case study that revolves around your elevator speech.  Tell them how you just solved a problem for somebody just like them.  For example:

“It’s great!  Earlier this week I worked with a couple that just retired and was able to get the tax they pay on their investment income down to 1.5% tax rate.  You should have seen their faces when I walked through how to cut their tax by 90%… it was priceless!  Boy are they happy campers.  It’s just a shame that there are so many people walking around that don’t know how to use Internal Revenue Code 72 to chop their taxes by 90%.  Luckily, every time I do it for someone, they give me a referral.  Like these people I was telling you about, they immediately referred me to a friend that had just retired from the same company and I’m going to see him next week to do the same thing!”

How Joe “met” enough people to make it into Guinness

Joe said it simply, “Do Something.”

Never be sitting around wishing you had somebody to see…do something.

Here are the things Joe did:

  1. Called people
  2. Wrote people notes
  3. Handed out business cards…everywhere!

Call People –It’s free

  • Call your clients to check in and share an idea or ask if they know anyone that needs your “elevator speech”.
  • Call your prospects with an idea or how they can protect or capitalize on something in the news.
  • Call your clients’ CPA with an idea and make sure they have everything they need from you for tax season.
  • Call your clients’ attorney to ask if they think any of your mutual client’s affairs should be updated.
  • Call local business owners with an idea to help them with their business
  • Get a list of people not on the do-not-call list and call them… just do something!

Email –It’s free… and Joe didn’t have the advantage of being able to do this!

  • All of the above, plus
  • Email journalists with comments and compliment them about a story they did.
  • Email your buddies in the industry for ideas to help their clients.

Write notes –All containing your elevator speech on the back of the card.

  • Every client’s anniversary with my firm
  • Every birthday I could find… prospect and client
  • Thank you for attending
  • Thank you for a referral
  • Thinking about you
  • Saw this idea and thought about you
  • Saw you in the paper, here’s a clipping
  • Happy Thanksgiving, 4th of July and Easter
  • Have a safe Memorial Day and Labor Day Weekend
  • Merry Christmas
  • Happy Hanukkah
  • Funny riddle or joke I heard—I usually tie these to a holiday like Halloween or St. Patrick’s Day
  • Handwritten note on top of a copy of an article
  • Handwritten note on account summaries

Congratulations on an achievement or milestone

  • Happy Retirement
  • And, all sorts of fun and crazy cards

Business Cards

Here’s a quote out of Joe’s book, “How to Sell Anything to Anybody.” 

“If I had to pick just one thing to get business, I would probably pick my business card. Just about every salesman has business cards.  But I know a lot of them who don’t go through a box of 500 in a year.  I go through that many in a good week.”

He handed them out everywhere he went:

  • Every meal out…along with the tip went his business card
  • Every bill he paid… a biz card went in
  • Every time he had to write some info down for something, he wrote it on his biz card
  • Every time his football team scored a touchdown… he threw up a handful of biz cards.  Crazy? Maybe, but it worked.
  • Every time he bought something… he handed the salesperson a biz card.
  • Every time he walked by a bulletin board (hardware store, school, health club, Panera’s, etc.) a business card went on it.
  • Talk to someone on the plane… handed them a business card
  • Help someone on the street… a business card
  • Every business that has a business card “contest bowl”… in goes his business card
  • See somebody in the paper…cut out the article and send it to them with, you guessed it, a business card.

What if you only got one sale for every thousand cards you handed out?  Really nice business cards are about $20 per thousand.  What do you make on a new client? 

You’ve got tools Joe never had

  • Email
  • Handwritten font so realistic that it would fool your own mother—you can now send out thousands of handwritten notes in the time it took Joe to send out 50.
  • Marketing systems designed to get you in front of more than one person at a time

To name just a few…

Activity is the key.

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8 Reasons Why People Will Hire You as Their Financial Advisor

In our business it is easy to be viewed as a commodity.  We all sell, promise and offer pretty much the same as our competitors…at least that’s the case if you ask the general public.  So, I think it is worth looking at why and when people are willing to pay for information.

There are basically 8 reasons people will pay for information:

Convenience – Hey, we can all read maps…we can even get a map drawn for us on Google Maps online, but what does almost every car have today?  GPS devices.  It’s just plain easier (and more fun) to have a device tell us where to go.  It saves having to stop on the side of the road to look at the map.  It saves us from having to search all over the car or house for the map.

Same thing with our lettuce and carrots… is it really that hard to wash our produce?  And yet, virtually nobody does it anymore because it’s more convenient to just buy it already washed and bagged for us.

So, what are you doing to make your practice more convenient for your prospects and clients? 

  • Do you give prospects maps to your office?
  • How convenient is your parking?
  • Do you provide information that is easy to understand and access?
  • Do you provide one stop shopping for all their financial needs
    • Tax preparation
    • Legal needs
    • Banking

Some say that the future of our industry is to have all the clients’ financial needs under one roof.  Whether you believe this or not, it still pays to sit down and think about how you can make your practice more convenient for those that you serve.

Efficiency – We could probably all change the oil in our cars if we wanted to, but with today’s cars, it is more efficient to have it done for us.  We do not have to spend time finding the right tools, setting up, taking down, and finding a place to dispose of the used oil.  It is just more efficient to drive in and have it done for us.

What are you doing to make your clients financial situation more efficient?

  • At tax time do you give your clients a tax package to save them from having to gather the info themselves?
  • Do you offer your clients easy to read, consolidated statements so they can see at a glance how they are doing?

Make sure you pay attention to even the smallest complaints that your clients or prospects have about dealing with their finances.  Use that information to come up with ways to make things more efficient for them.

Organization – People pay thousands of dollars to organize their closets and garages. People love services that can help them be more organized in the crazy, busy world we live in today.  Are you helping your clients stay organized?

  • Do you help your clients with their filing by letting them know what records they should keep and what they should throw?
  • Do you provide them with some sort of “filing system” to keep their statements?  Whether a three-ring binder or something fancier?
  • Are you their quarterback with other professionals to make sure they get their legal, property casualty and other services done?

When you combine Convenience, Efficiency and Organization together, you have a powerhouse service that people will be knocking down your door to get at.

Guarantees – Professionals often think that they cannot legally offer guarantees.  You may not be able to guarantee return.  A doctor may not be able to guarantee the success of an operation. But professionals can guarantee service.

What guarantees are you providing in your practice?

  • Do you guarantee that your clients can access you 24/7 by giving them your cell phone number? Or a call back within 2 hours during normal business hours?
  • Do you guarantee that people will find their introductory meetings with you helpful and non-salesy?
  • Do you guarantee your seminars will be helpful or you will donate $100 to the charity of the attendee’s choice?

In our industry, you just need to be a little creative… but you can come up with all sorts of guarantees if you put on your thinking cap.  People will pay for guarantees.

Authority – People pay for authority, plain and simple.  What are you doing to enhance your authority?

  • Have you written a book?  Or had an article published in a magazine?
  • What professional organizations are you actively participating in?
  • What designation or certification are you currently pursuing?

A series 7, 65 or insurance license does not make you an authority.  It merely makes you licensed.  Never stop pursuing greater knowledge and expertise.

Quality – People pay for perceived quality.  We do with our cars… our coffee… our vacuum cleaners… virtually everything that we buy.  When viewed from the outside, does your practice convey quality?

  • What does your office building say about you? Is it run down? Is the parking lot clean?
  • What does your office say about you?  What does your furniture look like? What type of lighting do you have?
  • What does your stationery and business cards say about you?  Did you print them yourself or did you spend a bit more and create really high-quality pieces?

You don’t need marble tile in your entryway to exude quality, but you do need more than threadbare carpeting.  Have someone classy that you know go through your practice and give you their impression.

Presentation and Format – Presentation and format combines many of the things we’ve talked about within how you present your information.  Do your presentations contain the following elements:

  • Organization – Is it easy to follow and understand?
  • Efficiency and Convenience – Is it demonstrating that working with you will be convenient and easy?
  • Guarantees – Is your guarantee prominently displayed?
  • Authority – Did your biography precede them seeing the proposal? Are you using 3rd party expertise?
  • Quality – What does your proposal look like… like you just ran it off your copier, or does it have gravitas?

Your Presentation will be your representative when they leave your office. What does your presentation say about you?

Balanced Information – Consumer Reports has made an empire off this one factor.  People will pay for someone willing to give them the advantages and disadvantages to aid in their decision-making process. 

Do you only present one side of things?  Or do you:

  • Clearly explain the advantages and disadvantages of every product you recommend
  • Give clients more than one option, even if one of the options causes you to make less money
  • Spend time covering things of importance to your client, even though you make nothing by covering such information

Of all the things we talked about, this is the one quality that people will pay the most for, all things being even.  Always ensure that you and your practice are known for your balanced, non-biased advice!

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How are You Leveraging This Free Audience of 1.8 Billion?

1.85 billion people log into Facebook every day AND that is a 16% increase from last year!  How are you leveraging this fact?

Do you have a Business Facebook page?  If you do, how much thought have you put into what your page looks like?  How do you curate your content?  How do you interact with your readers?

Knowing how to leverage this free “advertising” can create a never-ending line of people reaching out to you for your help.

You can use your Business Facebook page to:

  • Engage with your clients and target market
  • Listen to what’s on their minds and their real-time concerns
  • Have contests and giveaway strategies to gamer interest in you and your practice
  • Promote your events, webinars and seminars
  • Leverage any Facebook advertising that you do

How do you create a Business Facebook page… here’s a great resource that walks you through it in 7 easy steps… https://blog.hootsuite.com/steps-to-create-a-facebook-business-page/

Stay tuned because in future newsletters we’ll talk about ways you can leverage this tool to create really effective, ongoing marketing.

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What is the One Characteristic that Most Billionaires Have?

Just Google “Billionaire failure”… you will find resource after resource detailing how billionaires failed before succeeding.  Now, here’s the important part… when they failed, they tried again, but in a very specific way.  They tried to do the EXACT same thing but incorporating what they learned from their previous mistakes into their next attempt.

As humans, when we fail, we tend to want to say, “Oh I’m no good at this.  I should try something completely different.”

No!  The key is to try the same thing, but to not make the exact same mistake again!  You might make a different mistake, and then learn from that one and try again.  Then, keep doing this until you finally succeed!

That is exactly how I went from making $50,000 a year, to well over $1 million a year.  I came up with a script for my first meeting with clients… and a script for my closing meetings with clients.  Then, I started to record all my meetings.  I listened to them with the express purpose of looking for something in the meeting that did not work.  

When I found it… I came up with a different approach to try on my next meeting.  If it worked… TERRIFIC!  I kept it in the script.  If it didn’t work… I kept revising it until I found something that did work.

Fast-forward 20 years… not only did the script that was created by doing this process work for me… it has worked (and continues top) for hundreds of advisors who have used that exact same script to triple and quadruple their production.  Some have even seen 20-fold increases in their incomes. 

This is all because of a script was devised by fixing one failure after another, until there were no more failures to fix.

Are you learning from your failures?

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How to Leverage Your Expertise to Find New Clients

How do you effectively let people know that you are an expert?  How do you let them know how you can help them? 

People will just assume you are like all the other advisors out there unless you can demonstrate what makes you different… why meeting with you will put them (the client) in a better position.

One way to demonstrate your unique expertise and difference is to write an eBook.  eBooks are a great way to both generate and convert leads.  You can use eBooks to educate clients and encourage them to give the eBooks to friends and relatives thus boosting referral opportunities.  And eBooks can give you credibility which can be leveraged by distributing them to local newspapers, TV, radio and podcast outlets.  If it is interesting, you may just get some great advertising for free!

Writing an eBook is not as daunting as you might think.  It doesn’t have to be long to be effective… in fact, shorter is probably better.  Also, there are many resources that can make writing your eBook a snap.  Here’s a link to a great resource to get you started!


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Grab Their Emotions

A Stanford University Study found scientific evidence that emotionally compelling messages work better than just presenting straight facts.  Yes, we all know people buy on emotion vs. facts… but when I look at advisor’s advertising… guess what it is full of?  Facts.

A very successful Carnival Cruise magazine ad campaign featured a couple embracing on the deck of a cruise ship.  It was shot so that the only part of the ship you saw was the railing they were leaning on… and the beautiful blue sea and sky beyond.

It had NO headline… but instead just a list of phrases:

  • Mike and Sandy Moore
  • Thrill seekers
  • Piano bar regulars
  • Dancing fools
  • Fine dining aficionados
  • Underwater explorers
  • Sun lovers by day
  • Star gazers by night

These are 7 emotionally motivating reasons to take a cruise.  Not a factoid to be seen.

So, how do you advertise?  Facts or emotions… 

Here is a few ideas to get you started:

  • Best grandparents in the universe… took their grandkids to Disney World
  • World explorers
  • Conquerors of their own destiny
  • Sleep easy every night
  • Not a care in the world… when others are fretting over retirement
  • Excited that they found a way to take a 6-month European trip and it didn’t put a dent in their retirement… they found the money!
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Find Money for People and You’ve Got a New Client

Leading advisors find creative solutions to their clients (prospects) problems.  They create plausible avenues of escape from financial shortcomings.  Very successful advisory firms have been built around this concept.

How can you do this?  One idea is to develop strategies that can help clients liquidate nontraditional assets to help those struggling with retirement.  Focus and become an expert on ways to creatively convert assets into retirement income and you’ll have people seeking you out and then sending friends and family.

Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing…

  • Become an expert on Reverse Mortgages and how they can boost people’s income by 25% or more
  • How to take loans against anticipated inheritances
  • Converting unneeded life insurance into needed retirement income
  • Family business succession planning or sale
  • Farmland and undeveloped land conversion
  • Estate sales planning and assistance

Find a niche… become your area’s foremost expert… and you’ll never struggle for new clients

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You Gotta See the Big Picture

Movie theaters are big.  Movie theaters are empty.  Movie theaters are hungry.  And your clients are longing for something to do.  Yes!  I know we are having a Pandemic, but theaters are big, and it is easy to social distance.

Theaters are offering an entire movie theater for $99!  AMC theaters… Marcus theaters… (just Google—”rent movie theater”). Give your local theater a call and tell them you’d like to host a movie for a small group of clients and their families.  Ask about some oldies but goodies… Jaws… Babe… Close Encounters… Fidler on the Roof.  Most theaters are going to bend over backwards to help you.

Then, contact your best clients and tell them that you’ve rented a theater just for them and 4 or 5 other clients and their friends.  Let them know how many seats there are, how many people will be attending, and that you’ll be obeying all social distancing criteria. 

Also, let them know there will be free popcorn… candy… and drinks!  They are welcome to bring friends that are in their bubble as well, but you are limiting them to just one other couple.

This will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you will find many of your clients will jump at this fun idea.  AND, they will bring their friends.  Now guess what you’ve done?  You’ve shown your client’s friends that you are the kind of advisor THEY want, because their guy doesn’t do anything like this. 

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Be Music to Their Ears

Want your marketing message to resonate with retirees?  There is a simple way to reel them in, almost immediately.  They respond to inspiring images and words, communicated simply.

Can you finish these phrases?

  • With a little help from my ________
  • Turn on, tune in, drop ____________
  • Only the good die _________
  • Burn baby, ________
  • Do you believe in ________
  • You’ve come a long way ________
  • The thrill of victory, the agony of _________
  • Like a bridge over troubled _________
  • I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect _____
  • Does anybody really know what ______ it is
  • Born to be ______

Most of these phrases are from iconic boomer songs.  If you want to get their attention quickly… and grab them emotionally… wrap your marketing message around the phrase of a song that gets immediate recognition and reaction.  Rock and Roll is the unifying thread of the boomer generation. 

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