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.

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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!

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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!

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be the Whistle Blower!

You need to show them all the tricks that bankers, brokers, accountants and attorneys play on them. It’s like this:

If a magician shows you how he cuts a lady in half, can he ever trick you with that again? No way! So, for example, if you show them how brokers and bankers purposely do things to harm them for the banker’s or broker’s own benefit, they know that you would never do it to them because you’ve just shown them how the trick works. You wouldn’t try to trick them with something that they already knew about! You look like their knight in shining armor.

Let me give you an example: Let them know that the banker or broker could have easily titled their account to bypass probate but didn’t. No cost. No hassle. But they didn’t do it. Why?

Explain to them that the reason POD’s and TOD’s weren’t disclosed was so that their account would stay with the banker or broker during the 6-month to 2-year + probate process. Why? So the banker and broker could make money on them when they are dead. These skeptical retirees are ticked at everyone but you. By letting them know how the whole system works, you have a friend for life.

The 87% That Are Untouchable!


That is the point Malcolm Gladwell makes in his book, Tipping Point. The only way to reach these people is to create a marketing system that spreads like an EPIDEMIC! Can you ignore the Black Plague by simply not answering your phone or not going to a seminar?

No. If the Black Plague existed today in epidemic proportions, you would not be able to hide from it anywhere. Not in your home, your basement or under your bed. Nowhere.

So you must create the equivalent of an epidemic. (See next article on how to create an Epidemic of prospects)

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Reach the 87% of Retirees that Don’t Respond to Marketing

Beating a Dead Horse

It is has been stated in many studies about the retirement market that, depending on the study you look at, only 13% of retirees will ever attend a seminar.* This fact has been staring us in the face for years now, and we’ve been ignoring it. We only get a 1% response rate to our mailers (if we’re lucky).  People that attend tell us that they have been to 5 or 6 seminars over the last year or so. That means it’s the same small percentage of retirees attending seminars over and over. NO WONDER seminar marketing isn’t working any more.

We’ve been beating that horse to death for years now!

What About the Untouchables?

I’m assuming that you are in the financial industry, so you must have crunched the numbers by now…THAT MEANS WE ARE MISSING THE OTHER 87%! These are the same people that have put their names on the “Do Not Call List.” The same people that throw all of your marketing dollars in the trash every time you do a seminar mailing:

     5,000 piece (at most) mailing @ 65 cents per piece = $3,250

     Only 50 reserve a spot meaning that 4,950 do not

     4,950 * 65 cents = $3,217 of your mailing went right in the GARBAGE

They have completely insulated themselves against you and your message. That’s the bad news….

The good news is they’ve insulated themselves from everyone else too!

Stop Ignoring the 87%!

Why does 87% of the retirement population make themselves untouchable? They don’t want to be bothered. They don’t want to be screwed. And they don’t want to talk to anyone who might do either to them.

They also feel that what they don’t know won’t hurt them. That is why they are such a great market! We can have the biggest impact on them. We can help them fix and achieve things that they never knew were possible! We will be the first people to share concepts that have been around for some time and that we consider basic…but to them they will be eye-opening and extremely impressive.

To us, who are surrounded by everyday conveniences, a microwave may not be impressive…however, what would a 1950’s housewife think if you popped back in time and gave her one? ”It’s a bloody miracle!  How does it do that!  I need one of these right now!  I can’t wait to tell every single person I know about this godsend!”

What those of us that have been relying on workshops or lame lead programs have failed to recognize is that we have the equivalent of the 1950’s housewife staring us in the face and have been ignoring it as a possible market. 

If you could sit down with someone that had ignored all “financial messengers” for the past 15 years, do you think they might be surprised and impressed by a few things like…

· A method to increase your clients income by 25% or more

· Techniques to pull money out of their IRA’s without increasing their taxes

· What kind of mess they would be in if they didn’t have a Power of Attorney

· How to reduce their taxes with a bit of financial planning?

· Or, any of your other unique solutions?

Sure, you and I look at these techniques as “old hat,” but to them it is magic. They are impressed and amazed because not only do they not know how to do it…they didn’t even know it was possible. They have never let an advisor in to inform them of these things. They have never been to a seminar to learn these things even exist!

Not only that, but you can actually feed into their natural skepticism by showing them the “tricks of the trade.” When you show a skeptical person how someone was trying to take advantage of them, they are your best buddy for life.  It’s now you and them against the world! And you form a bond like you’ve known each other for years. (See the next article… Be the Whistle Blower)

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Getting the Millionaire Next Door… Part Deux

Tapping into the Small Business owner market can be one of the best things for your practice.  It takes very little effort, but it requires patience.  It’s well worth the effort in the end.  IF… you do it the right way.

What’s the right way?  To get in front of Small Business Owners the day they sell their company for $3, $5 or $15 million…

How good would that be?  If you are lucky enough to land a Small Business Owner that just sold his/her biz, they are great clients!  They are great to work with.  They don’t claim to know anything about financial issues; they don’t read financial magazines or want to do the planning on their own.  And most importantly…they’re loyal. 

Plus, they represent many opportunities:

  • They have money
  • There is an opportunity for Life Insurance
  • There is an opportunity for investment planning
  • Many times, they have connections to other small business owners

How do you get in front of them? 

Timing is everything.  Small Business Owners are used to working a ton of hours, they don’t come to seminars and these people often do not have money to invest until they sell their business.  Small Business owners don’t have a Financial Advisor… until they need one, which is usually at the sale of their business. 

There are ways to get in front of Small Business Owners:

  • Go to your local Chamber of Commerce presentations
  • Network Groups (i.e., Linked in)
  • Cold calling
  • Referrals (but that doesn’t happen very often)
  • Property Casualty

Some of the ways to find these people may be more appealing than others to you, but keep in mind there are many opportunities to find Small Business Owners. 

But the best way to capture Small Business Owners…

Is by dripping on them.   You can find lists of small business owners in your community by becoming a member of your local Chamber of Commerce or through business directory listings. 

We don’t know when they are going to sell.  It could be one year, it could be three years, it could be seven years or maybe only a month.  Many times, they don’t know when they are going to sell their business and therefore, we don’t know when they are going to sell, either.   So, there is only one way to be in front of them at the right time. 

ALWAYS drip on them! Be in front of them at least once a month with issues that pertain to their business.  You can’t drip on them with the same, typical pitch you would use to your prospects it can’t be financial! 


Small Business Owners are unlike your other clients.  They have some specific characteristics:

  • They had an idea and started a business
  • They spend all their time in the business
  • They put most or all their money in their business
  • Their business is their retirement plan
  • All their risk is in the business

Since all their risk is currently in their business, they are very conservative with anything that is left.

They aren’t interested in what we have to offer, while they are actively working in their business…

It’s only AFTER they sell their business, that they want investment help from us. 

If you drip on them the same way as you would your prospects, you won’t be successful.  They don’t need any of that stuff right now…they will need it when they sell their business, but not until then. 

So, what kind of information would they find helpful?  What kind of information would demonstrate our expertise with small business people?  What do they need information on? 

Here’s some business management ideas:

  • Help finding new customers and marketing
  • Protecting their business
  • Tax savings ideas for small businesses
  • Property casualty related issues
  • Help lowering expenses…like the fees they have to pay on credit card transactions
  • Banking, credit, loans, cost savings ideas
  • Legal issues with their business
  • Employee retirement plans

Where do you get information on those kinds of topics? 

There are many resources to get this type of information, but to give you an idea; here are a few different suggestions.  Keep in mind, this is just a scratch of the surface, there are many, many resources like these. 

  • Finding customers

Examples: http://www.ducttapemarketing.com (you’ll find a whole library of articles that are pertinent to small business owners.)

  • Taxes

Examples: www.irahelp.com  (Also has a newsletter for purchase)

  • Banking

Examples: https://www.bankrate.com/

Your drip needs to focus on those topics

Now, don’t get me wrong… you do want to throw in an occasional financial topic about:

  • Tax planning
  • Income Planning for the future
  • Retirement Planning
  • Key Man insurance planning

What do I mean by occasional? 

You can have a financial contact once every 7 or 8 contacts.   After 6 or 7 contacts of helpful advice, things that they can use every day in their business, then it is okay for you throw in a financial touch. 

Frequency and type of contact is critical

Keep in mind, the frequency of the contact and the type of content are the important parts (not the delivery method).  Get in front of them often and consistent with helpful content.  It could be with a newsletter, email, postcard, or direct mail…it doesn’t matter, but it better be helpful information that comes consistently.    

Now, this takes some time to start to become successful, but it is inexpensive and takes very little effort to do. 

Just think if you had a list of 100 small businesses in your community and you sent them each a 1-page newsletter every month for a year…how much would that cost you? 

Let’s do the math

100 @ $.50 per piece = $50 per month * 12 months = $600 a year

So, for $600 a year and a small amount of your time (or better yet, your assistants time), you can get in front of 100 Small Business Owners, 12 times during the year. 

Again, it won’t happen overnight, but one Small Business Owner that sells his business for $3, $5 or $10 million could pay for your Small Business drip 1,000 times over.  Not to mention, it gives you added credibility in an area where there isn’t a lot of competition.  Don’t let your competitors be out in front of you, start dripping on Small Business Owners today. 

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment