To Develop Top-of-Mind Awareness with Clients, Develop Your Authority

To Develop Top-of-Mind Awareness with Clients, Develop Your Authority

We’ve reached the fourth and final issue in our series on Critical Issues Facing Financial Advisors Right Now—Staying Top-of-Mind with Your Clients. Of the four critical issues presented, developing top-of-mind awareness is perhaps the most crucial because it is paramount to your ultimate success. If you are not the first person your clients think of when good or bad things happen to them, things that impact their financial lives or the lives of their friends and family, you could have a long, slow slog to the next level.

I’ve written on the importance of top-of-mind-awareness in past posts, along with the strategies you can use to develop it among your clients. The key to remember is creating top-of-mind awareness is not about pestering your clients with calls and emails just to keep your name in front of them. You don’t want to annoy your clients.

The key is reaching them in a way that heightens their perception of you as someone who’s not a typical advisor but rather as a genuine authority in their field. Authorities have influence. Some even develop a kind of star power that gets people’s attention. What makes an authority? Content.

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How Financial Advisors Can Stay Ahead of Industry Commoditization

How Financial Advisors Can Stay Ahead of Industry Commoditization

In our second in a series of Critical Issues Facing Financial Advisors Right Now, we focus on perhaps the most significant threat to advisor success, much less survival—the commoditization of the advisory industry. The threat is significant because most advisors don’t even know it’s happening to them. In this extremely cluttered and highly competitive advisory landscape, advisors who don’t find ways to stand out in the crowd get swallowed by a sea of mediocrity, where clients dare not go.

Sound overly dramatic? In fact, it might be understating what is happening. Striving to be a knowledgeable, client-focused, and trusted advisor is no longer enough because that is what clients expect. Advisors must work each day at providing their clients with the unexpected. Otherwise, why should they choose you over any other typical financial advisor? Equally important is why should they stay with you when they can find so many others like you from which to choose?

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How Advisors Can Inoculate Themselves from Fee Compression

How Advisors Can Inoculate Themselves from Fee Compression

In our last post, we highlighted four critical issues financial advisors face in the aftermath of the COVID pandemic, impacting the way they approach their businesses and the way clients are responding. In the next month or so, we will take a deeper dive into these issues, the challenges they present, and how advisors can meet them head-on for a greater chance at success.

At the top of the list—an issue familiar to all and well-covered here in past blog posts—is fee compression.

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Zoom Fatigue: 5 Steps Financial Advisors Can Take to Overcome It

Zoom Fatigue - 5 Steps Financial Advisors Can Take to Overcome It

Living in a virtual world as we have for the last year and a half has had its benefits as well as its drawbacks. COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of technology that has helped financial advisors become more efficient and productive with greater outreach to clients and prospects. But it seems that advisors are reaching peak “Zoom fatigue,” an actual medical condition that can have a debilitating effect similar to depression. If you think you may be suffering from Zoom fatigue, you can make some simple adjustments to adapt to the conditions that cause it while enhancing your virtual presence.

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Why It’s Vital to Join the Community of Financial Advisors

Why It’s Vital to Join the Community of Financial Advisors

“No man is an Island, entire of itself.” That excerpt from a 17th-century sermon given by a man named John Donne has become a popular proverb that describes the inherent connectivity of humankind. In essence, it says that humans cannot get along with their lives and succeed on their own—that we are all dependent on other people for support.

If you can imagine a conversation between two people, one of whom has ambitions of becoming a financial advisor, it might sound something like this:

First person: When I leave school, I’m going to start a financial planning practice.
Second person: That’s great, but how are you going to do it by yourself?
First person: I don’t need anyone else; I can do it alone.
Second person: No man is an island; you’ll need someone’s support at one point or another.

While that actual conversation may have never taken place, it’s no secret that many people who set out to become financial advisors do so because they like the idea of being independent. But it doesn’t start out that way. Most of us started our careers as trainees thrown together with other trainees to learn the business, typically by reading manuals or attending formal classroom presentations.

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How to Become Top of Mind with Your Clients and Prospects

How to Become Top of Mind with Your Clients and Prospects

As a financial advisor, you can’t always be there when a client or prospect has a need. You can only hope that you’re the first person they think of when they want to discuss it or when one of your clients is asked to recommend an advisor. That’s where top-of-mind awareness comes in. If you can develop it effectively, your name is more likely to be the first to come to mind when they have a need.

Chances are, when you crave a cola, you think Coca Cola. That’s because Coke spends hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising to ensure you do. You want that same reflexive thought to occur with your clients and prospects, but you don’t have to blow out your budget to create similar top-of-mind awareness. The objective of a top-of-mind strategy is to be remembered, and you can accomplish that with five easy steps.

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Why You Matter: Embracing the Difference Financial Advisors Make in People’s Lives

Why You Matter - Embracing the Difference Financial Advisors Make in People’s Lives

Allow me another movie reference because it’s crucial for the point I want to make. If you haven’t seen the movie, Oh God! or if you haven’t seen it in a while, I encourage you to track it down. The film is excellent – funny, full of life’s lessons and a joy to watch. But it’s the last ten minutes that is worth 100 times your time and effort in trying to find it.

You remember the story: Jerry Landers, an assistant manager of a supermarket played by John Denver, is convinced he has visits from God, played brilliantly by George Burns, who asks him to take on some worldly responsibilities.

Now, imagine telling your spouse, friends, and co-workers that you’ve spent a few hours talking with God, and you describe him as Jerry did, as a short, old man wearing sneakers, a fishing hat, and smoking a cigar. That his wife threw him out, his friends ostracized him, and his boss fired him shouldn’t surprise anyone.

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Email Newsletters for Financial Advisors: 6 Tips to Engage Your Contact List

Email Newsletters for Financial Advisors - 6 Tips to Engage Your Contact List

With the heavy emphasis on social media marketing, many have said that email marketing, and sending email newsletters in particular, is outdated. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Why do I know that? Because the financial advisory business is a relationship business and there’s no better method for cultivating relationships in a digital environment than email marketing. Why? Because it’s inexpensive, easy to manage, gets quicker than most results, and it reaches your clients and prospects where they spend a lot of their time—in their inbox.

It’s also effective. According to Litmus, on average, for every dollar you invest in email marketing, you receive $42 in return. Can you think of anything else you could do to acquire more clients that generates a better return?

Of course, that also assumes that you are doing email marketing right, employing all the best practices to ensure optimal results. Executing an effective email marketing campaign is not rocket science, but it does require adherence to some proven techniques that involve some effort and resources.

Here are six critical elements of effective email newsletters and other email marketing campaigns.

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For Great Financial Advisors, the Profit is in the Relationship

For Great Financial Advisors, the Profit is in the Relationship

The industry pressures that have weighed on financial advisors over the last few years will continue into 2021 and beyond, especially with the lingering effects of the pandemic. Fee compression, increasing regulation, heightened competition, and the commoditization of services are all part of an inevitable trend that threatens the survivability of many advisors. From now on, advisors who fall short of clearly differentiating themselves will have a difficult time bucking the trend, and advisors who fail to put their entire focus on their client relationships may be doomed.

Unfortunately, many advisors learn too late in their careers what I have stressed numerous times—that this isn’t a money business. It is a people business! For the first several years of an advisor’s career, the focus is almost solely on acquiring product knowledge, investment expertise, and planning skills. While that is essential for building necessary competencies, too few advisors come to realize that money management is not the lifeblood of their business—their clients are.

For financial advisors, the profit is not in the financial analysis or the transactions they conduct; it’s in the relationship.

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Prospect Objections Are Often a Cry for Help. Your Job Is to Help Them.

Prospect Objections Are Often a Cry for Help. Your Job Is to Help Them.

As a financial advisor, you are valued for your expert knowledge, but you are only as effective as your ability to get your prospects and clients to act on your recommendations. If you can’t, their situations won’t improve, and neither will yours. Many financial advisors in that situation might chalk it up to them being “bad” prospects and move on, but aren’t they abdicating their role as an advisor?

Certainly, advisors shouldn’t use strongarm tactics to turn their prospects around, but shouldn’t they at least understand the reason behind the objection? Could they learn some valuable insights that would help resolve the issue, if not for the prospect in front of them, but for similar situations they encounter in the future?

In the financial advisory business, objections come with the territory. They’re often just knee-jerk reactions from clients hesitant to make a change. Prospects often don’t understand the real reason behind their objection—they’re just not comfortable moving forward. As an advisor, your job is to help them acknowledge the real reason so they can place it in the context of what you have offered them.

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