May 29, 2023 / by Don Connelly / Marketing Yourself / 0 comments
Highly successful advisors have long determined that the traditional shotgun approach to prospecting using blast emails no longer works. They have found that prospecting with a more targeted approach, focusing more narrowly on clearly defined ideal client types based on a readily identifiable market segment or niche, increases both efficiency and results. These segments or niches are identified by demographics, businesses, careers, interests, or shared financial concerns that distinguish them from others.
We’ve written about the many advantages of niche marketing, including the more efficient use of resources, the ease of establishing one’s authority within a niche, and the built-in networking apparatus of well-connected clients residing in a niche.
However, the most significant marketing advantage is the ease of conducting research to gather intelligence about your market. Through market research, you can uncover critical information enabling you to develop more effective communication methods that appeal to your target market while honing your value proposition to touch their pain points.
To Win More Prospects, Show Them You Are the Goals-centric Advisor Clients Want
January 16, 2023 / by Don Connelly / Marketing Yourself / 0 comments
As a financial advisor, you have one job and one job only—to help your clients achieve their financial goals. At least, that’s how your clients see it. That’s according to a research study by Morningstar, which revealed what clients value most in an advisor. Advisors would be well-served to keep that in mind in their efforts to win over more prospects.
Next on the list of what clients value most from an advisor is “skills and knowledge,” followed by “maximizing returns.” Unquestionably those are essential attributes. However, the study indicates that prospects may put less weight on them if you fail to check off the one they deem most important—helping them to achieve their goals.
What Advisors Need to Do to Help Set Client Goals
September 26, 2022 / by Don Connelly / Managing the Relationship / 0 comments
According to a Morningstar study, what clients want most from their financial advisors is to help them reach their financial goals. That should be good news for financial advisors because, generally, people with clearly defined goals and ambitions for the future have the conviction to adhere to a long-term plan to achieve them.
However, it could also spell disaster for advisors who fall short in helping their clients articulate their most important goals and fail to gain their commitment to achieving them. To inspire action, client goals must be well-defined and quantifiable with genuine intrinsic value. Anything less is a hopeful aspiration, and hope is not a strategy.
Keep Your Clients Focused on What’s Knowable and Important
May 9, 2022 / by Don Connelly / Managing the Relationship / 0 comments
The media has always run rampant with scary headlines. That’s how they increase readership or website traffic. However, in this period of increased market volatility, economic uncertainty, geopolitical upheaval, mixed COVID signals, and deepening political divisions, the headlines can be incredibly overwhelming or, at the very least, extremely distracting.
Trying to consume all the news coming at us 24/7 is like trying to drink from a firehose. It’s critical to understand that the barrage of bad news and hype around market events can trigger emotional reactions that often lead to making costly decisions around their finances.
When Presenting Clients with Options, Less Is More
February 28, 2022 / by Don Connelly / Managing the Relationship, Presentation Skills / 0 comments
We live at a time when people like to have choices. The internet affords people a seemingly unlimited number of choices for anything they desire, and they will surf the Web for hours searching for the perfect option. That may be fine when searching for consumer products, vacation options, or the best roads to take to their destination. But, when it comes to finding the right financial solutions, too many options often lead to “analysis paralysis.” In the financial realm, where the stakes are often high, too many choices can make people fearful of choosing the wrong one, increasing the likelihood they’ll choose to do nothing.
Financial advisors are sometimes complicit in creating analysis by paralysis by offering their clients too many options. It’s not intentional. There very well could be several good options for addressing a particular situation they feel their clients need to consider in many cases. Sometimes, advisors think it’s necessary to present multiple options to let their clients know they’ve covered all the bases. And in some cases, advisors have the impression that clients like to have options.
The Slippery Slope from Empathy to Role Reversal, and How to Avoid It
June 28, 2021 / by Don Connelly / Managing the Relationship / 0 comments
Successful financial advisors know that expressing empathy is critical in helping them to connect with clients and solidify their relationships. Clients need to know you understand their circumstances and what they may be going through at any given time. However, empathy taken too far can backfire when advisors find themselves sharing the same emotional distress as their clients, which can threaten their objectivity and compromise sound planning advice.
At the extreme, this can lead to advisors relinquishing control of the relationship to their clients and acquiescing to their desire “to fix the problem” in the short-term at the expense of their long-term plan. This type of role reversal is not uncommon for advisors who become emotionally vested in their clients, wanting to do what they can to ease their pain. Suddenly, the relationship is no longer being guided by rational, objective advice; but rather the behavioral impulses advisors are supposed to prevent, such as selling into a steep market decline, or abandoning the long-term strategy just to alleviate the immediate suffering.
4 Things You Can Only Achieve with Effective Communication Skills
June 3, 2019 / by Don Connelly / Best Practices / 0 comments
Effective communication skills are essential if you are to achieve successful outcomes for your business. Here are 4 relationship goals you should be striving for, along with the requisite soft skills you must possess if you are to realize them.
4 Things Clients Need to Know about Volatility
June 18, 2018 / by Don Connelly / Investing Wisdom / 0 comments
When markets are volatile investors can get spooked and start to question their investment strategies. Especially if they’re new to the process of investing. This could prompt them to withdraw from the market and wait on the sidelines until things get better.
As their financial advisor you’re there to help them see things in perspective. By helping them understand the nature of volatility they will find it easier to stick to their plan.
Here are four things about volatility you need to explain to them right away.
5 Steps to Improve Your Sales Skills
April 9, 2018 / by Don Connelly / Marketing Yourself / 0 comments
Advisors often dislike being known as ‘sales people’ – they see the act of selling as somehow disreputable. In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Selling is essentially the art of persuasion. If you are to get people to open accounts with you, you need to convince them it’s the right thing to do. You need to become proficient at selling if you want to grow your business.
Top advisors are inevitably skilled salespeople. Make it your aim to become great at selling by taking the following steps.
You Need both Hard and Soft Skills to Succeed as a Financial Advisor
February 12, 2018 / by Don Connelly / Best Practices / 0 comments
You can’t offer financial advice until you have the necessary training and education under your belt. Learning the technical side is fundamental to your career, so that you can recommend appropriate products as well as adhere to the increasingly strict industry regulations.
But hard skills alone won’t secure you success. Even if you’re highly competent with technical information and product knowledge, unless you also possess the right soft skills, you won’t get your message across. Without excellent communication and interpersonal skills, you won’t get past the first post. That’s because prospects won’t understand what you’re saying or see why they should do business with you.