I'm declaring November as "Pay It Forward Financial
Select one prospect who doesn't meet your ideal client
profile (ie: investable assets, 401(k), etc.) and help them plan for their
retirement. If every financial advisor did this, nearly 300,000 individuals and
family would have their first financial planning experience this year alone! That's called
making a difference.
The "pay it forward" concept was popularized with
the book Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde, which was later made into a
movie with the same title. Simply put, it's doing something for someone without expecting something in return - a random act of kindness.
Every time I talk with financial advisors looking to plan a lead generation campaign, they say something
like, "I'm only looking for prospects who have (insert a large dollar
amount here) who are ready to make a financial decision in the next 30-60 days."
I get it, we all have to make a living. But imagine the impact on the public's
perception of the financial planning profession if, just once a year, every
financial planner helped ONE prospect - without regard to compensation!
We ARE a noble profession! This is one way to prove it!
mail continues to be the preferred method of receiving information by Baby
Boomer and Senior prospects. The way you look in the mailbox will say a lot
about you, your firm and the services you provide. That is the very first
impression that you make with your targeted audience. What do you want them to
think or perceive? I see financial professionals with expensive business
clothes, nice cars, nice homes, nice offices, nice presentation materials and
yet, their direct marketing looks CHEAP!
It’s ironic to me that the same financial advisor who only wants to meet with affluent prospects
($100k+ in liquid assets) thinks that saving a few cents by sending out flimsy
flyers or cheap postcards will attract this type of client. There’s a direct
correlation between the investment you make in your direct marketing materials
Remember, you’re marketing solutions – not products. That means the first impression
you give in your direct marketing needs to immediately start generating a
feeling of TRUST and CREDIBILITY.
Top performers in the financial services industry understand
how important their image – their brand – is when they are asking prospects to
take time out of their busy schedule to discuss the most intimate details of
So, before you send out your next marketing piece, take a
critical look at it and ask yourself, “Is THIS
the first impression I want to give to a potential client?”
Tax season is quickly approaching. For most of your
clients and prospects, that means dealing with the headache of collecting and organizing
documents, crunching numbers and facing the often painful reality of seeing
what they've paid – or will have to pay Uncle Sam.
Tax time takes on a different
meaning to thieves. Helping your clients and prospects by showing them ways
protect their identity during tax time will help cement your relationship and
role as a trusted advisor!
Most of the documents needed for taxes are very
revealing. They contain client’s name, address, credit account
information and most importantly, their Social Security number (SSN). For the identity thief, it
means that there is a treasure chest of information to be targeted in the next
two months. This provides you, as a trusted advisor, with a reason to meet with
your clients and prospects to share the following ID Theft prevention checklist
– ways help prevent their personal identifying information out of the hands of
Feel free to use the copy below when meeting with a
client or prospect
disposal: Once you have
gathered the receipts, paperwork and the various forms you need to
calculate your taxes, make sure that any papers you no longer need go
through a good, cross-cut shredder. Papers with credit card account
numbers, Social Security numbers (health benefit payment forms), loan
papers, etc., all have information that a thief can convert into a new
credit account in your name. This tip also applies to all the papers you
decide to dispose of from previous years. Just because a receipt is
7-years old does not mean it cannot be used to your detriment.
Security: Many of us do our
taxes or prepare our information for tax accountants on our computers. If
your computer links to the Internet it must have firewall software to
protect it from invasion.
Theft Prevention Tip: Since
these tax forms have a lot of information on them, the best advice is to
take the forms directly to the post office, dropping them in a box INSIDE
the post office. It is best to not drop them in an outside box after last
pick-up of the day since that gives a thief more opportunity to steal the
mail. Do not leave them in the outgoing box at work, drop them at the corner
blue box or leave them in an unlocked box for pickup.
Number on the Check: Should I or shouldn't I? Since your check goes through so many hands, it is best not
to print your entire SSN on the face of the check. The last 4 numbers should
suffice if you decide to put any part of the number at all.
Preparers: Be selective about
who works on your taxes. Check out companies with the Better Business
Bureau, especially if they are new or seasonal offices. The first thing you should do is look around. Do you see other people’s papers sitting around? Ask questions of
the managers. How will your information be stored? What type of computer
security do they use? Has the person who will be working on your taxes
gone through a thorough background screening?
If you feel uncomfortable or believe this is not a
company that understands security issues, take your business elsewhere.
This being my first post in my new blog I wanted to share with you my vision for what I will be sharing with you.
I've been a marketing professional in the financial services industry for nearly 25 years (you can read my full bio by clicking the WHAT ABOUT BOB link on the right for more information about my experiences in the business). Prior to joining RME in 2001, I worked in the home offices of large and small insurance/investment companies and some of the most successful financial advisors in the country. And, throughout this time there's been one very constant need - across the board: THE NEED FOR NEW PROSPECTS!
So, I'm going to make this commitment to from the outset: I'm going to use this forum to share thoughts, insights, ideas, facts, trends and solutions that can help you generate more prospects.
Oh, one more thing. I welcome your comments and feedback on my posts. I don't want to be a "voice crying in the wilderness." I'm looking to you to help make this blog interactive - alive!