If you could read your prospect’s mind, how many of them would you sell?

I’m betting a boatload. Well, now you can do just that… read your prospect’s mind, in a recent in depth study on how clients buy called, “How Clients Buy: Benchmark Report on Professional Services Marketing and Selling from the Clients perspective”.

The marketing portion of the study looked at the methods clients use to find their advisor. It looked at 27 different marketing methods. What they found may both surprise you AND save you a ton of money!

Here are the top 4, most effective methods clients use most often to find you (ask yourself how you are capitalizing on each):

1. Referrals from colleagues, family and friends—No surprise there
2. Referrals from other service professionals—No surprise there either
3. Personal awareness—Wow! I didn’t expect that!
4. Seminars—Many advisors will argue with this one… of course, all the advisors I know making $1 million or more a year (15 and counting) know this… because they all do seminars!

There are some cheap and easy ways to capitalize on these top 4 methods that I will talk about in a second, but first let’s look at the info that may save you some big bucks.

How did some of the methods being pushed by marketing companies as, the miracle marketing cure, fare in this study?

-Online prospecting webinars—came in at #17 out of the 27 methods
-Postcards–#19 of 27
-Being an author–#22 out of27
-Social Media–#25 out of 27
-Radio–#26 out of 27 methods (only a blog was worse)

So how do you capitalize on the top 4 most effective methods of marketing?

Referrals from colleagues, family and friends—Your clients love you and would love to refer to you but here’s what happens… they tell their friend they should use you because you are a great retirement expert! Guess what their friend says? So’s my guy. Guess when your client is going to bring you up again? Never.

But what if you capitalize on people’s human nature to be smarter than the next guy. People love to demonstrate that they have something that nobody else has. That’s exactly what I do, and the advisors I coach do, by using the 5Q process. It works like a charm. (Last month’s newsletter gave you a link to learn exactly how to do this. If you missed it or need the link, just contact my office and we’ll get it to you.)

Referrals from other service professionals—The holy grail of referrals are from attorneys and CPAs. It, as far as I know, remains the holy grail because I have yet to find a way to get them to refer. However, do not give up! I’ve found 3 service professionals that are extremely eager to refer to me… and the guys I’ve coached have had the same success finding eager professionals, using my approach in their territory. So don’t give up! Keep at it and you’ll find professionals that are not only willing, but eager to refer to you.

Personal Awareness—Being known. It is a lot easier and cheaper becoming famous in your territory than you may think. I use letters-to the editor (free), press releases (free), ” breakfast clubs” ($15), Epidemic marketing (less than $1 dollar a month)… all to create a huge brand and a steady flow of new clients. The guys I coach LOVE becoming famous on the cheap!

Seminars—We all hate the idea of spending thousands of dollars to mail out invitations, only to have nobody show up. That’s why I highly recommend the “Whites of their Eyes” method of seminar marketing. Do NOT pay for the mailing! Only pay for the people that actually show up. That’s the way my advisors market. It takes all of the stress out of it, and instead leaves just the many clients they bring in from it.

I’ve also had some advisors have great success using focus groups. They are getting in front of highly qualified prospects that don’t respond to any other type of marketing. These are great prospects because they haven’t been in front of other advisors before. Your ideas are new and exciting to them!

So the lesson you should take from this enlightening study is don’t waste time on the new fangled marketing miracles like radio or being an author… instead just be really good at the 4 top methods clients use to find you. For the most part they are nothing new—but we probably all know advisors making a lot of money excelling at them.

About Mike Kaselnak

Michael Kaselnak is considered one of the top marketing and sales experts in the financial services industry. He has personally mentored over 300 financial advisors in the past 10 years. These financial advisors saw their average production increase by 62%. Many saw increases of over 300 percent. He writes articles that have appeared in many mainstream magazines and has written the popular report 300 Financial Headlines that sell.
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