Search This Blog

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hope Floats. Fear Sinks!

Have you ever considered using a "hope-based" sales technique instead of using fear?

There's no doubt that showing a grieving spouse next to a casket is an effective way to motivate a prospect or client to buy life insurance; or, showing a 70-year-old woman working at a grocery store to make the case for having a solid retirement income plan.

But, consider the impact of using FEAR to justify your financial solutions. Do you really want the relationship you have with a client to be based on - and mentally linked to - fear?

I would argue that for every fear-based scenario there's a hope-based image or scenario that will work just as effectively. Think about it. When you’re meeting with a new prospect, instead of scaring them with statistics about how inflation can turn their retirement dreams into a nightmare, place in their mind images of being with their grandkids for their soccer games, dance recitals and holidays.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never is, but always to be blessed:
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
 Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man

Ultimately, isn't the goal of every well-drafted financial and retirement plan to give your clients peace-of-mind?

Hope-based marketing - give it a try!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Leverage the power of testimonials – written, recorded and live at your seminars!

Whether looking for a new dentist, contractor, plumber or even a pet sitter, millions of consumers visit Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List and other consumer advocate-oriented websites to read comments and reviews before making important purchasing decisions. Even more consumers will ask their friends and neighbors for referrals – all because they value advice from trusted sources and want avoid making the wrong decision and wasting time and money.

Knowing that, consider joining many of the best marketers in the country by personally inviting some of your best clients to provide a testimonial letter, attend your seminars or record a video testimonial. Tell them to be honest about their experience of working with you. Encourage them you to tell their story in their own words – not scripted.

A personal testimonial can do more to help you generate new prospects, set more appointments and gain more clients than almost any other non-marketing technique. Why? Because consumers are more likely to believe a fellow consumer when it comes to making such an important decision – like choosing a financial advisor.

It’s leveraging the reality that word-of-mouth by a client carries more credibility in the eyes and mind of a potential client than all the awards and designations this wonderful business can bestow on us.

And if that isn’t enough, you can also use this as an opportunity to share new concepts and solutions with these clients. Solutions that might not have been available when you last met with them. Call it cross-selling. Call it cementing an already-strong client-advisor relationship. Just do it!

NOTE: Based on your licences,  there may be restrictions and guidelines on using testimonials. Please refer to your compliance department to make sure you're following the rules! 

Bob Wilgus is the Director of Corporate Communications and Social Community Manager for RME360. You can reach him at:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Successful Advisors and Successful Farmers have a lot in common.

I grew up in a small rural town in Massachusetts. There were many small and medium sized farms in the area and my first job was working at a tobacco farm. I was reflecting on my October 30th post calling for November to be "Pay It Forward Financial Planning Month” and I was searching for another way to make the case to help at least one prospect who didn’t meet the “ideal client profile.”

Then it hit me! Letting a field go fallow!

Leaving a field to lie fallow simply means leaving a field to be unseeded and unspoiled for a season or more. Farmers let fields lie fallow because it is one of the best ways to allow the land to replenish its nutrients and regain its fertility without resorting to the application of fertilizers. It also helps prevent erosion as the roots of the plants left to grow on the land help to hold the soil in place against the ravages of wind and rain.

How does this apply to working with prospects who might not have the “minimum” amount of money to justify you working with them? Well, all I have to do is take definition above and swap out some key words.

Paying it forward simply means empowering a prospect to grow their savings independently and support and educate him/her during this maturity. Advisors who help prospects that don’t have large amounts of investable assets is one of the best ways to allow the prospect to establish basic saving, investing and planning skills, replenish its their financial and retirement assets and regain their confidence without resorting to making the prospect have to make significant  – and often premature financial sacrifices. It also helps prevent losing this client to other advisors (once the amount of assets have grown to a level where they are now a target of competing financial advisors) all while helping protect the clients financial position against the uncertainty of the market and economy.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

I hope you’ll consider making November "Pay It Forward Financial Planning Month.”

Friday, November 1, 2013

Unleash the Power of Common Courtesy in your Prospecting

In the never-ending task of lead-generation and prospecting, many sales people are forgetting an underused concept—common courtesy.

In a survey conducted by PCPL (Daytona, FL based market research company, only 50% of financial advisors had “any” form of sales lead and follow up program and only 1% are sending ANY form of communication to a lead past the initial request for information.

When you look from the client’s perspective, the evidence continues to mount – lack of respect and common courtesy is a serious problem.

This, along with other striking facts were uncovered in a survey, Aggravating Circumstances, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, Public Agenda takes a detailed look at what Americans are thinking about courtesy, manners, rudeness and respect.

According to the survey, not only do eight in 10 Americans in the study say a lack of respect and courtesy is a serious problem, but six in 10 say things have become worse in recent years.

With the buying public’s awareness and sensitivity about respect and common courtesy, today’s salespeople need to set themselves apart from that perception by moving away from high-pressure messages and towards simple courtesy-based message.

Just saying “thank you” or a quick note or post card to a prospect can be the difference between a dead lead and an appointment.

In fact, according to the Pew Survey, just under 50 percent of those responding said that people only say “Please and Thank you” some of the time!

What does this all boil down to? OPPORTUNITY.

It’s time to re-think the way you communicate with your prospects and clients. Yes, it’s business. Yes, it’s helping people make informed financial decisions, but clearly the buying public is telling us that common courtesy is lacking when it comes to how they are being talked to. This simple gesture can make a difference!