If you have targets to hit before Christmas and you’re looking for the path of least resistance from a marketing perspective, give me three minutes and I’ll share a killer technique for finding opportunities hidden in plain sight.
Most importantly, when you nail this, it will fuel the insight that marketing advice is a lot, lot easier than most realise.
The story starts with a tool from our Leveraged Advice Firm program called FinMan.
It’s simple tool I’ve been using for many years in its various incarnations, and it does 3 things;
- Predicts future revenue,
- Joins the dots between activity and results, and
- Gives insight into what clients are doing when it comes to new advice.
This is about the third thing.
Dan Sullivan (a coach hero of mine) has a saying that says, “All progress begins by telling the truth”.
The truth is this. Most financial services marketing isn’t fantastic.
It really only talks to one type of prospect; someone who has already realised they have a problem, decided they need to act and, by design or accident, have concluded that getting financial advice is something to consider.
In essence, whether we like to admit it or not, most businesses employ a passive marketing strategy.
They wait for the need to arise, instead of creating demand.
They work on the basis of being in the right place at the right time, rather than building an audience and cultivating a pipeline by design.
This isn’t a criticism, by the way. There’s a whole bunch of issues at play here and, if you’re already generating sufficient traffic (aka eyeballs), and what you’re offering matches what your market are already seeking, then this article won’t apply to you.
Same deal if you’re 100% happy with your current volume of leads and retention prospects, and growth isn’t a particular ambition.
For the rest of us, there’s the challenge that marketing advice doesn’t always work when you want it to.
When all you need is leads, many firms find themselves putting in a bunch of effort to create a campaign (often trying to guess at what might attract prospects), instead of asking or researching what’s actually in demand.
Some people are good at it – great marketers for example (though they often are the most avid researchers of all) – but most of us, unless you ARE your target market, can find the process a bit hit and miss.
Cue disappointment, disillusionment, empty pipeline, ageing client base, financial pressure and maybe even a miserable Xmas. Not ideal.
Here’s the circuit breaker.
Sometimes it’s easier to work out what’s already going on and tap into that, rather than try and create your own gravity.
If you’ve ever read the book Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (a man whose voice was made for audio books), you’ll know one of the big concepts is the idea of triggers. Groups of people collectively working at a micro-social level to inspire action.
Well, this works in a marketing context, and it works in your advice firm.
See, every single client who ever made the decision to seek advice, did so because of a very specific trigger that helped them cross the line from “I might get some advice” to “I’m getting help right now.”
Usually, it’s a conversation they had, something they read, a story they were told or an event that changed in some significant way their view or attitude about getting help.
It’s also how it works in my world too. It’s always some very small sub-element of what we put out there that inspires someone who has been part of our wider audience to finally reach out, make contact and have a conversation about what it is they want.
Even if they’ve read 100 articles, or been following a blog for a year, it’s still that single thing that tips them from inaction to doing something.
Triggers are usually small. They are almost always specific and (this is where it gets good) if you can replicate them, you have a ready to rock, already proven marketing strategy that you can replicate.
The letter received telling them their insurance premium has gone up.
The conversation with a wealthy friend about buying property in super.
The offhand comment made to their accountant about how they wish they had someone do for their personal finances what has been done for their business’s.
To find this gold, all you need to do is arm yourself with your pipeline, analyse the flow, and ask 1 magic question…
What happened in that client’s world that turned a ‘maybe one day’ thought into an ‘act today’ situation?
Answer that and you’re a drill sat atop an oil well.
In summary, the big idea is this.
When you’re looking for a way to encourage clients to “tip” into getting advice, sometimes the easiest, fastest and most straightforward way to do it is simply to look at what’s already going on, until you can see at a very granular level the triggers that take your clients from a place where they don’t get help, to the decision to reach out.
And that, dear reader, is just one of three core reasons to make 2018 the year you starting viewing the habit of monitoring your pipeline as a marketing investment, instead of an accounting one.
Action stations time
If you want to turn this into results, the simple way is to grab a piece of paper, review your last 3-6 months of new advice (new and existing clients) and ask that magic question “What happened in that clients world that made them act?”
Look for trends. Then turn those trends into marketing strategies, instead of guessing what might work.
If you’d like to get the 10,000 foot view of the trends I’ve already spotted from working with firms on pipeline, and fast track the process of learning how to do this stuff by months (possibly years), I’d like to help.
The button below is one of the simpler routes to making 2018 your best ever.