A big mistake that most financial advisors are making in their reaction to the recent Merrill Lynch decision to ban cold calling for all new advisors and have them focus on @LinkedIn is this: FA's seem to be thinking that this only applies to prospecting for new business by brand new advisors.
In a word: No.
Merrill going all in on social means that almost all their communication with anyone is going to be on #social and they are going to spend millions getting that communication right...because they are a bank and will measure everything. You need to adapt to this asap in how you are creating new business opportunities and just as importantly, how you are engaging with your clients and centers of influence on social.
Let's get one thing straight, #socialselling is about creating conversations.
Moving from online engagement to phone and/or in person conversations with prospective clients is at least somewhat logical wouldn't you agree? How many of you are actually doing this foundational part of social selling and what are your results?
Talking to prospective clients is only part of the power of conversations on social for financial advisors.
Here are the 2 critical things FA's must consider right now to compete and win versus Merrill:
1. How is your engagement with current clients and centers of influence (COI's)?
There is no substitute for in person relationship development, but, that has a severe time cap and doesn't scale well.
On social, however, you can not only develop dozens more relationships at the same time...but, when done well, a good part of that process is public and will bring even more relationships to you. We can develop trust at scale with social at a level far beyond in person alone if done strategically and within a plan.
- How many of your current clients are you connected to on social?
- How many current and prospective centers of influence are you connected to?
- How many of your posts do they comment on or 'like'?
- How often do you comment upon and like their posts?
You need to be present on their social if you want them to remember and introduce you to their network. However, unlike in the offline world, we can do this at scale on social and allow you to engage with exponentially more conversations with the same amount of effort as you would trying to book meetings the old way.
2. Are you having enough conversations with prospective clients right now?
I see a few advisors on social doing creative and interesting things. The question is this: Is it working?!?
Sorry, that compliance approved article from 'X Wholesaler' about IRA withdrawals isn't bringing the 'fire'...with anyone that you would like to hire you.
Here are the real ?'s you need to answer:
- Who is engaging with your posts right now?
- Are you having prospective customers reach out to you because of your social presence asking for and having conversations with you?
- Are you getting $$ from your social media efforts?
If not, you need to change because I and you have something in common: We don't get paid to be 'on social'! We get paid to have conversations that result in appointments that convert to clients. Everything that isn't measurably advancing this is nothing but fluff and crap.
Are you talking to the right people for the right reasons for the right results?
We have an entire module and 1-1 coaching session in our Social Selling & Influence program (12 weeks of training, coaching and transformation) dedicated to conversations. To be fair, the whole thing is about effective communication. We teach how to engage anyone strategically and effectively without being rude or being abrasive.
To summarize: You need to have a strategic social selling plan that you execute consistently for your current clients, strategic alliances/centers of influence and your prospective clients. If you aren't getting measurable results from what you are doing and you understand that with Merrill going all in on social that you have to as well, let's have a conversation.
This is a key moment in your career.