The question of the optimal financial advisor marketing strategy is not an idle one. Most advisors launch their new firms from a place of a modest financial reserves. At the same time, they get thrown into the deep end of the pool with having to handle any problem, big or small, that comes up at the office.
Admin assistant quit?
Printer out of toner?
Angry client on the phone?
You get to solve it all.
When time and money are both limited, you must be strategic and careful about where you spend what you have. I often hear this question from advisors who are about to launch their firm: “Patrick, how can I make the best decisions with the budget I’ve got?”
When it comes to workflows, website design, technology, business cards, etc. — get the most basic setup you can’t live without. If you spend anything above and beyond the bare minimum, you are wasting your money.
Instead, you should spend everything you have (time, money, energy) on getting in front of the people who can help you get past the launch period.
Yes, sales and marketing strategy will become your saving grace … that is, if you want to make it to the other side.
Here’s a high-level outline. All of these steps and concepts will be fleshed out in our course on sales and marketing strategy that I am developing as we speak. Until then, this framework is enough to get you started on the right path.
Call it a niche, an avatar, or specialization — it doesn’t matter. Who is the person you have the expertise to help? What are their pain points? How do they see the world? Who do they spend time with? Where do they get their advice from? You must get granular in order to really get inside your ideal client’s head.
See also: Beyond a Logo: Creating a Brand that Resonates
Once you attract your ideal clients, how will you peak their curiosity? How will you get them to agree to that initial conversation? You need an entry-level offering that’s easy to say “yes” to — and irresistible to your prospects.
For example, a business owner might be interested in a business valuation offer, a tax strategy, of a session to help them figure out how much they should be paying themselves. A tech exec in the Bay Area might be wondering about stock option strategies — or the wisdom of buying a condo as opposed to renting. Get creative, experiment, and learn as you go.
See also: Building a Financial Advisor Marketing Plan That Works
At the start of the conversation, you need to meet your prospects on shared ground. However, you don’t have to stay there. The whole point of meeting people where they are (and discovering their goals and pain points) is to move them to a new place.
So yes, every business owner wants to save money on taxes and optimize the use of their free cash. But there are deeper motivations at play, as well. They may want to make sure they don’t go out of business. Or to provide a secure life for themselves and their families. Or to see their business reach its full potential.
What tools can you use to connect with your prospects on that deeper level?
The answer depends on what drives them.
For those who are certainty-driven (many traditional W-2 employees and pre-retirees fall into this category, although there are exceptions), consider guiding the conversation towards a financial plan.
If your prospect is all about hitting the cover off the ball, then drive the conversation towards their vision — for themselves, their family, and their businesses. We have found that a mind-mapping exercise can be very effective at demonstrating that you “get” all the pivotal pieces of their complex puzzle.
If the conversation is flowing well, you might be tempted to jump straight to the close. However, bringing up investment advice or wealth management too early in the process is a mistake. You must make sure that your prospect has had ample opportunity to be involved in the discovery process. They need to tell you where it hurts. They need to share what they want and to explore how they plan to get there.
You must stay in the conversation and encourage the prospect to share as much as they are ready to share. With those information pieces on the table, you will be equipped to explain your recommended solution in a way that aligns perfectly with who they are, how they think, what their problems are, and what they feel will solve their problems.
Jump too soon — and you risk being labeled a salesman who doesn’t understand.
We already know that you have the technical chops to do this job well. Unfortunately, that’s not enough. In order to survive that all-critical first year, you must have the right financial advisor marketing strategy.
Your success will depend on three key factors.
And then, there’s mindset. But that’s a topic for another blog post.