Longer is Better?

In their book, Boomer Consumer, Matt Thornhill and John Martin lay out exactly what Boomers want and how to get them into your office.  There is a wealth of information in the book, but I’d like to just talk about one point here.

Prospects are only going to pay attention to your ad if it directly affects them and their lives.  It is important to provide them with information they need and make it easy for them to get more information.

Providing that information in ads and other marketing material requires more words, not fewer.  In the direct mail business, historically the mail packages with the most component parts and longer copy generated better results.  Think about the Publisher’s Clearing House Mailer… it’s chock-full of pieces… and they’ve made billions.  AND, they are still doing it the exact same way.

A four-page letter will pull twice the response as a two-page version.  An interested (remember if they weren’t at least mildly interested, your ad would be in the trash already) … an interested prospect wants as much information as possible to make a decision. 

So, figure out what your target market wants… and then go all in with information about the who, what, where, how and why’s of how the information will put them in a better position.  Better yet, make it interactional.  Have short quizzes… checklists… tell stories that they can relate to.  The great thing about this type of marketing is that they come in excited to talk to you.  They want what you have.  And they will be more trusting.

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If You Build It, They Will Come

One of my favorite movie quotes from Field of Dreams.  It applies to so much in life… including our business life.  So, what do you need to build for clients to come to you?  Value.  But here’s the kicker… you must provide value BEFORE they even meet you and especially before they do business with you.  Value builds trust.

When I was shopping for a home security system, I invited two different companies to come quote it for me.  The first salesman was highly professional… had beautiful brochures… and gave a stellar presentation.

The second was 10 minutes late… but when she arrived, she explained she was late because she needed to stop to get some supplies and she opened her hand and showed them to me.  In her hand was a handful of mechanical restraints for windows, to prevent bad actors from entering my home unwanted.  She walked with me around my house and showed me where to put them to get the most protection and then handed them to me.  Remember, this is BEFORE the presentation.  We then sat down, and she did her presentation.  It was good, but not nearly as smooth or professional as the first salesman.

Who do you think I went with?  The second, because she provided value right up front.

So, what value do you provide before the sale?  You need to have free resources that give people information that will make their lives better BEFORE they even work with you.  These could be “How-To” videos… checklists… a helpful resource guide, etc. 

Once you have these, you need to put them front and center on your website.  Remember, people are only interested in their problems and needs… NOT in your need to feel important.  Too many advisors spend too much time trying to brag about themselves on their website.  People don’t care about you and your ego… they want to know, is there anything here that I need?  Anything that will make my life better? 

Your fancy mission statements, and three letter designations aren’t going to make their lives better.  Free resources will.  The value you provide is the fuel to get people into your office.

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Fun Way to Find More Business and Bring on More Clients

As we near summer, many of us tend to take our foot off the gas in our business… and spend more quality time with our families and having fun.  BUT… why not do both?  Your clients would love to meet your spouse and kids.  When they do, they feel like your family… is their family.  This, in turn makes them want you to be more successful which means more referrals.

An inexpensive, fun way to accomplish this bonding experience is to have a summer barbecue for your clients, their families, and their friends.  I did one every summer and had over 80% attendance. The new money it generated paid for the barbecue 3 times to one. 

If this sounds like a good idea to you… I’ve laid out exactly how to do it and how to leverage it into more business for you. 

You can find it here: BBQ Client Appreciation “How-To” video, Event manual and invite.

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What Do Clients Really Want When It Comes to Their Decision on Whether to Work with You or Not?

In the book Boomer Consumer, by Matt Thornhill and John Martin… they delve deeply into this very question.  It is an excellent read, but one table was particularly helpful. 

The Percentages of Boomers who answered “Very/Somewhat Important” for these attributes:

91%     Get me the information I need

91%     Make it easy for me to get additional information

91%     Be believable

87%     Make your information easy to follow and read

85%     Be enjoyable

84%     Increase my interest in your product or service

82%     Understand my needs

73%     Show me how it will benefit my lifestyle

73%     Specialize in people just like me

19%     Target people younger than me

The big take away here is you need to focus on a target market and not have a practice that caters to everybody.  If you specialize in just retirees for instance, you will find it much easier to hit the vast majority of attributes Boomers are looking for. 

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I Know I Should Do This… but I’m not very good at it!

Does your website need improvement?  Need help writing your press release?  Is your business card boring and forgettable?  You’d like to begin creating video content, but you aren’t sure how to get started or the best way to do it?

Hey!  I get it.  You are an expert on how to help your clients build a better financial future… you don’t have time to become an expert on all these other things.  Good thinking!  You shouldn’t waste your time trying to become an expert on things that don’t directly affect your clients positively… BECAUSE those experts already exist!

If you would like to really up your game in any number of areas to help build your business, look to a freelancer to help you do just that.  Two great sites to help you find someone with expertise to help with your project are FIVERR and UPWORK

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Best Advertising You Don’t Pay For…

Do you know something that you wish you could tell prospective clients about?  Do you want to get hundreds of thousands of people to pay attention to what you have to say?  Is there an idea you have that you know would get your phone ringing?  Consider ideas like:

  • It’s tax season and you have a terrific idea to reduce taxes or a tax prep checklist
  • Inflation is up and you know exactly what clients should be doing to protect themselves
  • The market is volatile, and you have a point-by-point method to help people alleviate their fears
  • And the list goes on…

If you are creative and well spoken, why not talk to the public about it.  The most effective way to do this is to be interviewed by your local news, be it TV, radio, or newspaper. 

And they are always looking for unique and interesting takes on “front of mind” topics. If you want to pursue this, and I think that you should, you need to be awesome at writing press releases.

Remember that, just like in sales, it’s a numbers game.  If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.  When you finally get your chance, it will be far worth the effort.

Here’s a terrific “How To” on how to write press releases that get noticed.  https://www.cision.com/2020/02/7-tips-we-love-for-writing-a-press-release-that-gets-noticed/

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Emotional selling works… but which emotions are the most powerful?

Any good salesperson knows that emotions are what motivates people to buy… much more so than logic.  So, the question is, what emotion works best to get people to buy from you?  Well, lucky for us, smart people (Stanford University) have been researching that very thing!

Since most of us work with mature adults, the results I’m going to mention today applies to them.  The results are slightly different for younger adults.  It ends up those mature adults typically recall twice as many emotional components from a discussion or advertisement than younger folks.  

The first thing you must understand is what today’s Boomers pay attention to… and what they ignore.  They tend to ignore negative messages.  They are less likely to respond to neutral or negative concepts and messages.

The author of the study, Dr. Carstensen, concluded that, as one ages, a developmental pattern emerges: the willingness to process negative images and ideas decreases as one ages. 

Dr. Carstensen’s work suggests that older adults have subconsciously trained their brains to ignore negative messages.  So, when marketing or selling to today’s Boomer, it is essential that you keep your messages positive if you want them to pay attention!

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50% of Clients Want This… are You Giving It to Them?

According to leading research by HubSpot, more than 50% of clients want to see videos from companies they are considering. 

There are many advantages to utilizing videos as part of your marketing and branding efforts:

  • As just stated, people want them
  • Videos are powerful ways to get Google to move your website further up the page
  • It’s a great way to provide value
  • You can use videos to showcase your Unique Selling Proposition in a way you can’t do it on paper
  • Good videos are shared… which is the best form of marketing

So how do you create a good video?  Whether you want to create one yourself… or hire someone to help… Simply type — How to create a great marketing video — into Google and you’ll get all the help you need.

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This Tool Can Close Large Cases… it’s been around for hundreds of years… and most advisors ignore it

What is the tool?  A handwritten note.  The year I made $967,000 I sent out over 200 handwritten notes a month.  In fact, many of my large cases I credit to those handwritten notes.  Not sure of how handwritten notes close business?  Or, exactly what to write on those notes?  Why not download this simple 4-page white paper that walks you through it… courtesy of 5Q Group.

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Are You Accidentally Hiding from Your Clients?

In a recent conversation with Prezmark, a digital content marketing firm designed especially for financial advisors, social media and your digital footprint have jumped to a new level of importance.  The founder Devin Taylor shared with us his insight and experience of the industry and why is a critical part of business moving forward.

When so much money is spent on advertising and lead generation it would be quite the blow to realize all your marketing money has been going out the window. Even worse, you might be missing prospects who are searching for you on their own. Unfortunately, many advisors are unknowingly in this position. This major blind spot advisors are neglecting is their online presence. Some may be on top of it… and some may be sick of hearing about it, but I cannot stress enough how important it is for advisors to be online these days.

Online platforms like Social Media and a Business’s website have become a major cornerstone of financial advisors’ branding and marketing. Most prospects’ first interaction with your business will now be one of these sites, or at the very least viewing them in a Google Search result page. These pages can no longer be treated as auxiliary marketing pieces. They are now seen as your secondary office. Would you feel comfortable inviting a client to a meeting if your office was in your grandma’s unfinished basement? Unfortunately, in sales, appearances matter. And if your material looks cheap, neglected, or dilapidated your client is going to have made up their mind before you can even open your mouth. 

Online platforms and search results have become synonymous with brick-and-mortar offices. This is because the way prospects are researching and utilizing services has fundamentally changed in the last 10 years. And this change has been accelerating in the last 2 years. The days of Yellowpages and newspaper ads are long gone and overlooking an internet presence is quickly becoming a fatal error for advisors’ businesses. This behavior isn’t limited only to the younger generations. The Pew Research Center has found that 50% of US citizens over the age of 65+ have reported they use Facebook. Future models done by Pew show this number steadily increasing into the future. 

With aging generations adapting to online, there needs to be an effort by advisors to meet them there. Recent research from AdvisorEngine shows that even though 66% of prospects’ research started with a referral a client will google the advisor before ever reaching out. Matt Kress who worked on the AdvisorEngine study elaborated, “Even if they start with their referral, they’re still typing into Google … the name and firm or name and location. And then starting to evaluate all those different advisors.” The information or lack thereof, appearing in the prospects’ search is the deciding factor in whether they will pursue contact with the advisor or not. Even more surprising is that the remaining 34% of prospects were starting with a “cold” online search. Kress added that “[These] prospects were going online and just searching on search results — typing in Google words like ‘retirement financial advisor Atlanta’ or ‘top financial advisor New York.’” The search results these prospects see could be the deciding factor on whether your office receives a call or not. 

And, prospects aren’t the only ones looking for your information online. Social Media and Search Engine algorithms are getting more advanced by the day and are determining whether they should show your information to new prospects. It sounds unfair, but nowadays we must prove to the algorithm our pages are worth showing to people. If you aren’t posting consistently, or the quality of your posts is deemed poor, your pages are going to be swept under the rug. This not only means your page will be harder to find… but that any online marketing you do is going to be more expensive and less effective. 

I’m not writing this article because I want to worry anyone, but I truly think financial advisors need to take their online presence more seriously. There are countless horror stories of digital marketing going wrong for advisors. But, after listening to the experiences of many, the main issue was attempting advanced projects too early. If you can start off by covering the basics of creating a few social media pages and posting to them consistently, you’ll soon build a fantastic base presence online to make everything you try in the future easier and more effective.

Sources: https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/social-media/
https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2019/01/10/prospects-rely-on-internet-to-find-an-advisor/?slreturn=20220018155644

This Article was written by Prezmark and is being republished with permission granted to 5Q Group.  

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