Many financial advisers and planners are too cautious with their marketing. That means they’re missing opportunities to impress potential clients and losing revenue.
Their caution is often rooted in a fear of rejection. Nervousness about trying something new is also a significant factor and many advisers/planners impose their own views and misconceptions on clients: “I wouldn’t do it so neither will they”.
Finally, some “don’t want to bother their clients”.
Here are six occasions when an abundance of caution will damage your marketing.
1. Following up with prospects
Most firms only convert 25% to 50% of all new enquiries into clients. As we’ve written about before, that means up to 75% of your marketing budget/resources is wasted.
Overcaution and ineffective follow-up are key reasons behind low conversion rates. While we’d never recommend pressurising prospects into becoming clients, careful nurturing is essential if you’re going to improve conversion rates.
And, if a prospect is ghosting you and you’ve tried everything else, don’t hesitate to deploy Chris Voss’ “magic email”.
You’ve got nothing to lose and, in our experience, it switches prospects back on about 80% of the time. Page 92 of Never Split The Difference reveals the words you should include in the email and the psychology behind them.
2. Sending newsletters too infrequently
Many advisers and planners default to sending newsletters every three months. If that’s due to financial constraints, we understand. However, we’re less understanding if it’s because the adviser/planner “doesn’t want to bother their clients”.
Our research shows that open rates are broadly the same for monthly and quarterly newsletters. Furthermore, average unsubscribe rates are significantly below 0.5%. If clients were “bothered”, we’d expect to see higher unsubscribe rates and lower open rates on monthly newsletters.
Remember too, the content of your newsletters should be relevant to the recipient and add value. If you’re ticking both of those boxes, you should send newsletters as frequently as possible and at least monthly.
Conversely, if you’re not adding value or including relevant content, then why are you sending newsletters in the first place?
3. Client surveys
Client surveys are hugely valuable. There are at least 10 key things that they will tell you and many ways you can use the results.
However, caution stops many advisers and planners from sending surveys. Others are held back by that thorny issue of “bothering” clients. That’s frankly ridiculous; clients are probably paying a significant amount of money each year, why wouldn’t they want to give their views on the service that they’re receiving?
Even if they don’t complete the survey, the very fact you have asked for their views demonstrates openness and desire to improve.
4. Social posts
A few weeks ago, a financial planner told me she planned to post once a week on LinkedIn as she didn’t want to flood her connections’ timelines. It was a valuable insight into the caution that some advisers/planners have when it comes to social media.
However, her anxiety is misplaced.
To begin with, social media moves so quickly a single post each week isn’t going to flood anyone’s timeline. In fact, the opposite will happen. It’s going to get lost. She might as well not bother.
Secondly, if you’re consistently adding value, your connections will welcome your posts. So, give them more!
Finally, if you’re not adding value, you shouldn’t be posting anyway.
5. Not putting yourself forward for awards
There are very few things that divide advisers and planners as much as awards. Actually, who are we kidding? There are loads of issues that we like to obsess over, but let’s stick with awards right now.
We’ve heard some advisers/planners say that they won’t put themselves forward for awards. That’s fine. But it’s not how these things work so they’re going to miss out.
The organisations running awards don’t have the time or resources to consider every firm eligible for a specific category. Practically, self-nomination is the only way it can work. We’ve also heard it suggested that this somehow diminishes any future victory. That’s not the case. In our experience judging is rigorous and competition is fierce.
If awards are important to you (and they’re an important part of your social proof mix) you need to throw caution to the wind and nominate yourself. If you’re waiting for someone else to do it, you’re probably going to be disappointed!
6. Client videos
It’s often easy to see an adviser/planner’s body language change when we recommend client videos. Arms are folded, brows furrowed and objections flow:
- “How do I ask them?” (It’s easy, we’ll show you)
- “I wouldn’t do it” (That’s fine, we’re not asking you and it doesn’t mean your clients won’t)
- “They won’t want to talk about how much money they have” (No problem, we don’t want them talking about money either).
Client videos are the thing that makes advisers/planners most nervous, sometimes to the point where they decline our recommendation despite the obvious benefits.
All the evidence shows that if you ask the right clients in the right way, they will do it. Many see it as a way of giving something back to their planner or spreading the word about the benefits of planning. By not asking, you’re not giving them that opportunity.
So, if we ever recommend client videos to you. Don’t be nervous. We’ve got your back!
A final story to finish
We’re not saying that you need the self-promotional superpowers of Elon Musk or Richard Branson. However, following the evidence and throwing a little caution to the wind will certainly help improve your marketing.
To prove the point, we’ll finish this week with a story about Charlie, a financial planner we’ve been working with.
Earlier this year we developed a marketing strategy for Charlie, which included a recommendation to increase his online reviews. Over the past few months Charlie’s thrown himself into the task and has:
- Received 24 Google reviews. To put that into context it’s more than 90% of the (much larger) firms in the New Model Adviser Top 100!
- Added 22 VouchedFor reviews and now has 57 in total.
None of those reviews would have been received if Charlie had been cautious and not asked.
A far more impressive online presence that delivers results. Just this week Charlie’s had two new enquiries, both of which indicated that his reviews contributed to their decision to choose him:
“I just Googled local financial advisors (we live locally) and you popped up with some lovely reviews. Hope you didn’t mind me contacting you.”
“We live near you, and I like using local people, after looking at lots of reviews you came out very highly recommended.”
The $64,000 question: Are you ready to cast caution aside and follow in Charlie’s footsteps?
If you are, we’re here to help, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0115 8965 300.