There is no short term solution: A Realistic Plan to Market Your Financial Practice Like You Invest Your Clients Assets
As professionals in and around the financial services industry we know this to be 100% true when it comes to investing. Timing the market and trying to catch outlandish returns is generally a recipe for loss. Instead, we focus on fundamentals and aim to win over time through strategy and discipline. Real success in marketing your practice needs to follow the same plan.
The reason for this week's subject is because of recent coaching conversations with great clients. Life happens to us (distractions, adversity and burnout) and we all of the sudden realize that not only have we taken our foot of the gas…we might even be going backwards. At these moments of clarity, like anyone else, my clients want a short term solution…a quick fix.
I always acknowledge their feelings and then try to help them reframe the situation better. If you don’t take a moment to deal with the panic and anxiety you generally lengthen your stay with them. Let’s, instead, get strategic and get started.
Once you accept that you can’t fix your empty or slow pipeline fast you can get started on fixing it for the last time. That is right, my solution for you is one that if you keep doing minimal and consistent activity will continue to not only take care of all your needs, but will also grow with you into the future.
The solution: Move from ‘accidental’ to ‘predictable’ referrals.
Practical advice: most referral ‘systems’ are predicated upon skilled nagging (please give me all your relationships) and/or hope. This is taking the world’s best marketing plan (referrals) and making it eerily similar to cold calling. #notagreatidea
Instead, this is what you are going to do - have more conversations
The fuel that drives the engine of success for #financialadvisors at any point in their career is the quality and quantity of their daily/weekly conversations. This is and isn’t a numbers game. Meaning that the quantity of conversations is going to be determined and adjusted based upon your needs and goals, but the quality is going to remain high.
Here is a simple goal for you: 2 client calls per day.
These aren’t ‘business’ calls. Instead, you are going to be making calls to see “How are you doing?” with your clients. How? If you drive, you have time to make these calls. Turn off the talk radio, or in my case the fly fishing podcasts and start talking to human beings and more specifically, your clients.
On Monday/Tuesday call a few clients each day (as many as work for you, but at least two) to see how their weekend was. On Wednesday, call two of your strategic alliances/golden geese, to see how business has been so far in the week. On Thursday/Friday call at least two clients per day to see what they are doing that coming weekend.
Why? Because you are looking to leverage your time just like you leverage consistent investing strategies (dollar cost averaging becomes conversation quality averaging).
Sometimes, the conversations will be brief and cordial and that is just fine…no stopwatches here. Other times, however, if you make these calls a daily part of your routine you will ‘catch’ clients in a referral opportunity. “You know I should have mentioned to my buddy while we were watching the game that he needed to work with you.”
The predictable referral game is about collecting enough conversation time to find the easy introductions to specific people that your clients and strategic alliances already know AND are already talking to. Take notes of WHO those people are and look for easy and comfortable ways to get introduced to them (Hint: start with a low key social meeting).
Remember: we don’t want to wreck the car.
Instead of reacting immediately to opportunities and asking for the referral right then, see if you can have it be your client's idea to do the introduction. There is nothing wrong with saying, every time, the following: I would love to meet them.
If you get anything from this newsletter (I certainly hope you do!) I hope that you are more confident about what you can do to improve in the near and distant future. I get to work with other successful professionals like you every day and am blessed beyond measure as a result. You are capable of more AND you are able to enjoy the process of working towards it as well.
You can have success and a life that is full of joy. You do need to do some work to make that happen and to keep your life aligned (throw out that trash talk of work life balance…complete and utter nonsense).
What makes you most alive?
What really matters to you?
Why aren’t you doing that as much as possible?
Those three questions are 100% relevant to getting predictable referrals. This is because when you are the most alive…you are the most referrable. People want to introduce people that are enjoying their lives, especially financial advisors, to other people. Your BMW or Porsche isn’t going to make them want to refer you, but your passion for life will do nicely.