Breaking News… Are You Ready?

Timing is everything.  How’s your timing?  If there are events in the news that cause large amounts of money to move quickly.  Do you have a plan to capitalize on them?

Are you prepared to send a postcard or email to all of your current and potential clients when any of the following happens?

  • When the market collapses?
  • When there is a significant interest rate change announced by the Fed?
  • When a significant tax change makes the news?

When the markets dropped drastically, a few of my advisors emailed the roughly 100 people on their warm list.  It was just a simple email that said… “Still trying to find safer places for your money? Give me a call. I’d be happy to share a few ideas.”

One of the advisors brought on 2 new clients from their 100+ emails… cost? Zero.  Profit?  Over $10,000.  The other advisor brought on just one client.  Cost? Zero.  Profit?  $17,150.

Guys and gals… when something breaks in the news, don’t just stand there with your hands in your pockets. Consider how you can benefit from it!

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Fun Way to Get People to Return Your Calls!

Have you ever been in a situation where you keep trying to reach someone and they either don’t answer or don’t return your calls? 

Try tickling their funny bones.  This has been my go-to method a couple times when I absolutely wanted to get in touch with someone. and it works perfectly.

Leave a message like this…

“Hi [Prospect Jim], this is [Advisor Name], and I was trying to get hold of you because… Wait a minute!  I know why he isn’t getting my voicemails!  His phone doesn’t like me and is refusing to pass the message along to [Prospect Jim].  Mr. Phone… I’m sorry if I somehow offended you but I’d really love to talk to your owner.  Could you please have him call me?  I promise to be brief and to the point.  And I won’t tell [Prospect Jim] you’ve been withholding my calls.  It’s between you and me.” 

Then hang up.  This is a fun way to let the prospect know that they are being impolite and not returning calls.

How will things turn out?  Either they will return your call, and you will smile and begin the conversation.  Alternatively, they don’t, which is where you started in the first place and you didn’t have a lot to lose by trying a different approach.

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3 Things People Need BEFORE Making a Purchase

  1. Validation
  2. Reciprocity
  3. Safety

Validation:  People want to know they are doing the right thing.  There are a number of ways you can help alleviate this worry.  The best thing to do is to give them a case study of their personal situation.  You can provide 3rd party proof.  You can show how many other people have invested in what you are recommending. Or… If you are allowed, you can give them testimonials.

Reciprocity:  They are not going to do anything for you… until you do something for them.  You must give them something of value before they reciprocate.  What can you give them of value?  Most advisors try to use knowledge.  Unfortunately, most prospects think knowledge is readily available on the internet… so knowledge doesn’t work as well as it used to work.  The more tangible and concrete you make what you give them… the better it will work.

Safety:  Safety comes in many flavors.  And the more flavors you offer them… the more likely they are to buy.  It can be safety of choice… offer a money back guarantee if it ends up they do not like their choice, they are still safe.  It can be the safety of principal.  It can be safety in numbers (which is why people will more likely attend a seminar than come to a 1-on-1 meeting).

If you consider how to include safety into everything you offer, you’ll notice an increase in your closing ratio.

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Are You Answering the Right Question?

Our prospects are more skeptical than ever. Every year, hundreds of thousands of marketing messages are sent to them, all of which promise more than the last. How can you overcome their doubt?

A study in the Harvard Business Review gives us some help.

First, DON’T overindulge in benefits. You would think that the more benefits, the better. However, in reality, adding more benefits actually lessens their overall impact.

Instead, figure out what makes you stand out from the rest of the competition and what you do better. 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 eliminate any arguments that your competitors might have about why they are better or different than you. You make the point, “Yeah, we do that too.”
  2. Make a point of how YOU ARE different. Which one, two or three things do you offer, that none of your competitors do?
  3. Make a point about 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 in 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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Get Your Letters Read

In the era of Twitter and 140 characters, a lot of people will glance at a letter on letterhead and decide to give it a quick read before discarding it.  How can you actually slow them down so that they read your letter with a little more attention?

Here are two strategies that worked for me and the advisors I coach:

  1. On your letterhead, print your letter upside down. They are completely stopped in their tracks by this.  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 thought on its head.”  Or, simply, “Yep, I printed this upside down to make sure you read this.”
  2. Fill the letter with something cheap to give it some lumps.  Send a quarter and say, “Apparently your phone isn’t working, so I thought I’d send you this to get hold of me on a payphone… good luck finding one!”  Or send a shoestring that read, “It’s a good thing that investing can be just as exciting as buying shoelaces!” Another could be written on an eraser and says, “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!  Everybody looks and sounds the same.  We all make similar promises and discuss similar topics. DARE TO BE DIFFERENT if you want to capture someone’s interest!

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How to make your Whitepaper powerful

To make your whitepaper as effective as possible, whitepaper expert Gordon Graham identified the following criteria:

  • It cannot be one-size-fits-all.  You must identify a single need or specific target market and address that one need or market.
  • Do NOT put your name in the title.  Instead of being a self-promotional piece, this is meant to be informative.
  • When it comes to self-promotion, make sure the whitepaper is actually informative.  The purpose of the whitepaper is to highlight the quality of the information to establish your authority and expertise. NOT you boasting about yourself.
  • Provide a very simple way for individuals to obtain your whitepaper.  Make it easily accessible at your place of business, online, on your voicemail message, etc.

Follow-up with the people who reach out to you with inquiries regarding the content in the whitepaper.  I realize this seems basic, but if every advisor was doing it, I wouldn’t bring it up!  As soon as they get in touch with you, take the time to follow up (not a day or two later).

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Interested in Getting Lucky?

There has been a lot of research done on LUCK.  According to research by the world’s foremost expert on luck (Richard Wiseman)—If you implement these things, people become an average of 40% luckier!

  1. Prepare your mind—Chance favors the prepared mind.  It sounds stupid, but if you believe you are going to be lucky, you have a higher chance of that becoming true.

  2. Make chance work for you—get out of your rut.  Try different things.  If you keep conducting your life as you are now… you should expect the same result.  You need to put yourself out there to allow luck to work its magic.  Think, act, and do differently!

  3. Relax—If you are anxious or stressed, you’ll walk right past golden opportunities.

  4. Get connected—The biggest factor in luck by far, is how many connections you have, how many people you know, how many organizations you belong to. The more connections you have, the luckier you become.

Don’t just think about these things!  That’s what unlucky people do.  Make an action plan to implement these things… and start getting lucky!

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Do This Be…”CAUSE!”

What is your “cause?” Do you know how much money it’s worth for a company to align itself with breast cancer awareness?  Billions.  And it works for more than just breast cancer awareness.  Aligning your company with a cause has worked for shoes (Tom’s Shoes), eyeglasses (Warby Parker), and on and on.

So, what cause is your company aligned with?  What cause do you give your time or a percentage of your profits to?  The local pet shelters? The city park system?  The bike path system?  The Boys and Girls Club?  The local Harley Club?

Find your passion and fuel your business.  Like attracts like.  Like works with like.  Aligning your practice with your cause can grow your business and be hugely rewarding at the same time.

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How Does Your Company’s Name Affect You?

What I’m about to say may upset some advisors… but hear me out before you judge.
What is the name of your business?  Does it have retirement… wealth management… financial advisor… or something similar in it?  If it does, what do people think about as soon as they hear or see it?

If you were at a party and you mentioned those terms when someone asked what you did, would people want to talk to you or try to get away from you?  If I don’t want to talk to someone at a party, I tell them I’m a financial advisor, and they can’t wait to get away from me.   Why?  Because they don’t want a sales pitch.  Whether you plan to give them one or not, they are afraid you are going to try to sell them something.

I recommend you use a business name that people associate with top-notch tax and law professionals.  Google the biggest, baddest, and most respected firm in those fields… the firms that people immediately respect… Deloitte and Touche, Baker and McKenzie, Latham & Watkins, Ernst & Young…

Do you see a theme?  Two names give a firm immediate credibility… and DOES NOT sound like you are selling them something.  Now, your firm might be too well established to change at this point… but if you could, would you?

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This Makes People Smile… and Pick up the Phone When You Call

Nothing happens until you are conversing with your target prospect.  If they are ignoring your marketing, emails, flyers, seminars, webinars… essentially giving you the palm… how do you bust through?  The best way to lower someone’s defenses is to get them to smile.

One of the best ways I’ve found to get people who ignore all contact to smile is what I call the “Interesting Questions” postcards.  It is a series of postcards I send to my prospects that will give people a smile and, most likely a factoid or thought they will want to share with a friend or family member. 

These postcards are NOT financial in nature, but instead fun things that get them to smile.  I’ve found that after receiving several of these, when I call or leave a message that identifies myself as the one sending the postcards… they will take the call and are nice about listening to my offer. 

Can we ask for more than that from somebody who previously completely ignored us?

What kind of postcards and messages am I talking about?  I’m offering them free, courtesy of 5Q Group.  Download it here.

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