We believe in letting principles guide decisions. A principle is a universal truth that can be applied to any situation. Here are a few principles that guide how we work.
Authenticity over ambiguity
If you remove your logo from the guide that is on your website, will the reader be able to tell it is you? Chances are, probably not. Too often we tell ourselves that we are the best thing since sliced bread and cognitively distort our success. Most clients of financial professionals were obtained because a mailer landed at just the right time. Don’t confuse timing for genius. Continuing on, they came to your event and it felt good. They came into your office and connected with you. Now, after enough time, there is mutual trust and respect.
What if you could connect with someone in such a way that they don’t need to come to an event to feel you out? What if prospects came in the door and spent their time convincing you why you should take them on as a client? Sounds crazy? When you let your authenticity shine, and make a stand for what you believe in and how you invest, you become polarizing (in a good way). Those who believe what you say will find you faster. Those who don’t believe in what you say will not show up in your office wasting your time.
Authenticity, or a brand that takes a stand, increases the probability of success from a marketing and sales perspective. Are you comfortable taking a stand for what you believe in?
The principle of change
Why do people change? What a loaded question, right? Why would someone change from one advisor to another? What would cause someone to switch from AT&T to Verizon or PC to Apple? The answer is found within the principle of change.
Have you ever heard the phrase “hitting rock bottom”? Many people use it in reference to the lowest point in someone’s life. The phrase comes from back in the day when you were digging and you hit bedrock. At that point, you would have to change your objective or direction.
The principle change suggests that when the pain of change is less than the pain of what you are currently doing, you will change. In other words, when you hit rock bottom, you change your direction. As humans, we will take the path of less pain. What does this mean when it comes to marketing?
It is the responsibility of the advisor and their marketing team to either help them discover that what they are doing is more painful than they realize, or that what you have to offer is less painful than what they are currently doing. Both outcomes would suggest a natural progression to make a change.
As a general rule, humans hate change. The principle of change can be found in any situation where change occurred. How will you position your message, marketing, and sales process to help facilitate change with your prospects?
The principle of permission
Have you ever run a Facebook campaign that asked for appointments to a geographic area without any previous marketing or due diligence? Were you disappointed with the results? Asking for appointments before they know who you are is like asking someone to marry you on the first date. The odds are not in your favor.
The principle of permission is the first step in obtaining leads. Unless someone gives you permission to talk to them, they are not listening. Stop spending time and money on people who are ignoring you. Focus on those who want to hear what you have to say. How is this done?
The first step is to put yourself out there and offer something of value. If they perceive there is value, you both proceed to the next step, which is your value in exchange for their email (or a placed cookie if they visit your website). Now you proceed to the third step, which is to sit back and collect data. Once you have sufficient data, and you understand what they want, you can enter back into the picture and extend an offer, based on the next principle… The principle of direction.
The principle of direction
The principle of direction suggests that unless you tell someone where to go or what to do, there is a high probability that they will get lost and leave. If you get someone’s number and you never call them, what is the point of getting their number. If you get someone’s email address and you never email them, what is the point of getting their email address.
The application of this principle is found when you invite people to do something based on data that you have previously acquired. If they want to talk about Social Security, are you going to invite them to talk about risk minimization? No! You invite them in to talk about Social Security.
Clarity sells. Being clear as to what you offer and what is expected only helps. The question remains… How do I take someone’s information and give them direction to schedule an appointment? Here are the steps.
Step one, introduce yourself and what you want to offer (based on the data). Don’t hide behind small talk. Remember, clarity sells. If they want to talk about Social Security, introduce yourself as a retirement planner that specializes in Social Security optimization.
Step two, create a safe space for them. Do not let them assume you are going to act like a high-pressure sales person. According to the Gallup report, Bankers, Brokers, Insurance Sales People, and Executives are in the top 10 most distrusted professions. Your position puts you at a disadvantage. Level the playing field and offer clarity as to what you are offering, what is expected, and let them know it is OK to say no.
Step three is providing a clear path for them to act. That could be a phone number, an email, or a link to your calendar. Unless you tell them what to do next, the probability of them acting go down significantly. Be clear and guide them through the next steps. It will help lower any anxiety they may have in meeting with someone new.
Consider the principle of permission and the principle of direction when you build any marketing plan. It can only help you build sustainable and effective marketing efforts.
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