It’s March Madness and we are sharing the “Final Four” marketing strategies for financial advisors and insurance professionals There are a plethora of marketing strategies and tools available, but when you try to execute them all, things can get haphazard. We are sharing the “Final Four” tactics that should be part of every effective marketing or business development plan.
#1 Get Your Value Proposition Correct
If your value proposition is not clear or relevant, this will often cause your other marketing strategies to fall flat. Too many advisors focus on what we like to call the “Ps”. They will talk about their:
- Products or
- Their People
The problem with this type of messaging is it is all about you. You need to focus on the client. It is about making clients and prospects understand the outcomes you create it. In other words, you want to make your prospect or client the hero of your messaging.
Communicate What Clients and Prospects Truly Want
Clients and prospects are hoping to hear several things from you. They want to know how you can help them have more security and stability in their financial lives. Will you help them have less stress and worry in retirement? Can you help them arrange the money aspects of their life so they can focus on other things? Can you help them be a good example for their children?
Most financial advisors and professionals use too much jargon when articulating their value. They use traditional sales language to communicate features and benefits. However, let’s flip the script and talk about the benefits first, then let the client or prospect ask how you do things.
If a prospect comes to you and says, “What makes you different?” You can say to them:
“What our clients say makes us distinct is we help young professionals like you make good decisions for your financial future.”
“Our clients who are retiring tell us we explain things in clear terms. We help them understand how to have less stress and less worry in retirement. There is a sense of security they feel knowing their investments are being watched over.”
“What our business owner clients say makes us distinct is we help them stay ahead instead of running behind. We help them balance their personal and business cash flows so they can focus on other things.”
The above statements articulate the value, outcomes, and benefits you create for clients. They are not about your process. Statements like these articulate what people want in their lives. Once you properly communicate your value, you then open the door for prospects to ask about your process, etc.
#2 Niche Market Analysis
The second March Madness marketing strategy is niche marketing. Successful financial professionals often have many clients from different walks of life. This usually happens over time through the utilization of different marketing strategies and tactics. At some point, as time goes on, advisors start to ask, “What should I be doing next for marketing? How do I go up-market or work with a specific client profile?”
Determine Which Clients You Want to Replicate
To get started with niche marketing, you need to go back to your practice and do some analysis. Perhaps you already have niche markets or target markets in your client base. You may have multiple clients from a particular industry, corporation, faith, ethnicity, etc. If you don’t see any commonalities in your client base, you can also analyze which clients you want to replicate. This requires you to look beyond working with retirees, business owners, or women – that is too general. You need to look vertically.
Perhaps you work with several construction professionals or have several clients who are dentists. This type of niche market analysis will help you gain clarity on who you want to work with and the networks they belong to. Tapping into a client’s networks helps you find more clients just like them.
Ask Your Clients:
- Where do you go for information about your industry?
- Which organizations, groups or clubs will you rejoin when COVID is over? Perhaps you could serve as a guest speaker for these organizations, participate in their podcasts, or contribute financial articles.
Once you gain traction in a niche market, you can further hone your value proposition for that specific type of client.
#3 Elevating the Client Experience
The third March Madness marketing strategy in our “Final Four” is elevating the client experience. This is about making your clients feel more personally valued and appreciated. Many financial professionals do not have an effective, proactive approach for client outreach and cultivation. Often, their strategy is to look backwards. They might ask themselves or their team, “Who did we not see this past quarter? Who should we be talking to that we haven’t heard from lately? We have not heard from Ms. Jones in a while, let’s give her a call.” This is what we call reactive outreach, not proactive.
Reactive vs. Proactive Outreach
Elevating the client experience is about being proactive with your client communications, outreaches, and appreciation activities. This may be difficult to do if you have 200, 300, or 500 clients. But you can certainly focus on personalizing the experience for your “A” or top clients.
Appreciating Clients in Unique Ways
Elevating the client experience is about knowing things about your clients that other advisors might not take the time to uncover. It is reaching out to clients in unexpected ways. For instance, if you have several widows or widowers, you can reach out to them with a phone call or send a card on Valentine’s Day. This lets them know you are thinking about them on what could otherwise be a lonely day.
At the end of every March is National Doctor Appreciation Day and National Dentist Appreciation Day. There are online sites such as greetingcarduniverse.com that offer cards specific to these holidays. Imagine sending a card or a gift to your client’s medical practice on Doctor Appreciation Day. You could get talked about around the office, because you might be the only person who is recognizing that doctor on their special day.
Teacher and Nurse Appreciation Day both fall in May. November is Veterans Day. You could recognize your clients’ business anniversaries. If you know the anniversary that your client joined your practice, this is an opportunity to recognize and thank them.
Fostering Client Loyalty, Advocacy, and Referrals
Client appreciation and cultivation drives loyalty, which drives advocacy, which drives more referrals. Imagine if you sent a cake to your ten best business owner clients on the anniversary of the date they opened their business. It could be a congratulatory cake to commemorate another successful year in business. That would impress everyone in their office and get you talked about.
The Onboarding Process
Another way to elevate the client experience is during the onboarding process. There is a barrage of paperwork and signatures clients must complete as part of onboarding. You can help prepare them for what to expect over the next 30 to 90 days. This increases their comfort level. You can let clients know if they have questions on the paperwork they receive, or other topics, they can always give you a call.
As part of elevating the client experience, you will want to capture all of your clients’ preferences, hobbies, and special interests in your CRM and make sure every client has a profile in your database. This allows you to capture opportunities for client appreciation or elevation activities.
#4 Create More Wins in Your Planning Process
The last March Madness marketing strategy is creating more wins for clients in your planning process. For example, if you are a property and casualty firm assisting clients with workers’ compensation or business interruption claims due to COVID, you can create additional wins by solving more personal risks with life insurance, disability, or long-term care insurance. If you are a wealth advisor, and your clients have children about to enter college, you can help them fill out the FAFSA form to add value and ease their paperwork burden.
Many advisors want to focus on multi-generational planning or gaining introductions to their clients’ children. It is important to open these doors; however, many children often feel they do not have enough money or wealth to qualify for your services.
Opening the door to meeting a clients’ adult children can be as basic as communicating a simple statement. You might say something like, “Many of our clients have asked us to speak to their adult children when they have questions or need basic financial advice. We are always here to answer questions or give advice for people who are up-and-coming in their financial lives. You, and they, can always use us as a sounding board. We want your children to make good decisions that put them in the best possible position for their future. Our door is always open for them to have a conversation with us. Even if we may not be able to help them, we will always point them in the right direction.”
Let your clients know that family is very important to you and your team. Perhaps you employ different advisors from different age groups who work with clients of all ages. In other words, you cater to all members of your clients’ family.
These “Final Four” marketing strategies during March Madness can help you manifest more opportunities for your business. In a world that has gone haywire this past year, clients want to know they are in the right place with you. Prospects and clients want their sense of balance and structure back. Utilize these strategies to focus on what is important – bringing value and elevating your client experience.
Focusing on these four March Madness strategies can help you find your focus and advance your marketing momentum.