News article

A rant about the marketing “gurus” who will cost you money and harm your return on investment

I’m getting really bored of marketing “gurus” selling solutions that advisers and planners don’t need. 

Hear me out (and forgive the rant) as I explain more.

We all know that recommendations from existing clients are the best type of new enquiry. 

Despite that, there are countless marketing gurus who are happy to flog you their chosen solution whether you need it or not.

  • The LinkedIn guru will sell you LinkedIn outreach
  • The Facebook expert will disagree and sell you advertising on there instead
  • The SEO salesperson will disagree with both of them and talk up the benefits of being on page 1 of Google (there are a lot fewer than you think)
  • The PPC expert will dismiss SEO and insist you need to hand over your hard-earned cash to Google
  • The video producer will disagree with them all and try to convince you that YouTube is where it’s at. 

Don’t get me wrong. All these tactics are valid and often necessary (as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy) where you can’t achieve your new enquiry target by recommendations alone.  

But none of them should come before a recommendation strategy.

Recommendations beat:

  • LinkedIn outreach
  • Facebook advertising
  • SEO
  • PPC
  • Video. 

And everything else!

Ignore the noise and focus on recommendations

The problem is getting worse. 

Every day I see adverts on Facebook promoting lead generation for financial advisers and planners. I’m regularly approached on LinkedIn too (hardly an endorsement of their services if they’re targeting a competitor!). 

Anyway, back to my two main points:

  1. Recommendations are better than all other sources of enquiries
  2. If someone only sells hammers, everything will look like a nail to them.

So, why are advisers and planners falling into the trap of spending money on marketing tactics that are proven to cost more and convert less?

There are probably three reasons:

  1. All advisers and planners get some level of recommendations (very few maximise the opportunity) which means they often look to other marketing tactics instead of focusing on recommendations.
  2. It doesn’t occur to many advisers and planners that there’s more they could do on the recommendation front. The evidence for this? We often get advisers/planners asking for our help with tactics such as LinkedIn, social media, and SEO, but rarely get asked to help with a recommendation strategy.
  3. Slick marketing gurus selling their preferred solution (in effect, they’re no better than the tied salesmen of the 1980s and 90s).

Here’s the proof this works

So, enough of the rant. Let’s have some proof that focusing on recommendations works. 

I chatted to two firms at the end of last week. We reviewed their enquiry data, and the results clearly show the benefits of developing and implementing a recommendation strategy. 

  • Firm 1: Has no recommendation strategy in place. Instead, they passively take what comes their way.  

The result? A recommendation rate (the number of recommendations received divided by the number of clients) of 2.67%. 

  • Firm 2: Has a defined recommendation strategy in place, including regular discussions with clients about their charitable referral incentive scheme.

The result? A recommendation rate of 24%. 

It gets even better. There’s still more the second firm can do. In fact, it’s feasible that they could push their recommendation rate above 30% in 2022.

The benefits to them are huge. They will:

  • Work more efficiently (because they need to see fewer prospects to achieve their goals)
  • Spend less money on other marketing tactics 
  • Improve profit margins. 

Okay, so you’re convinced (at least I hope you are!). What next?

You need to develop a recommendation strategy and you have two options: the easy way and the hard way.

What’s the easy way I hear you ask? (Warning: here comes the “sell”!) Sign up to our next recommendation workshop on Wednesday 9 March at 10 am.

What will you learn?

During the workshop you will:

  • Learn how to create the two key assets you need before developing your recommendation strategy
  • Discover the two gaps you need to close to maximise the recommendation opportunity 
  • Develop a detailed understanding of the dirty dozen (the 12 reasons why advisers and planners don’t get more recommendations) and learn how to solve them 
  • Learn how to hold better recommendation conversations with your clients
  • Discover the key phrases that encourage clients to recommend you to others (and those that turn them off)
  • Find out about the processes you need to build and the bad habits you need to break.

The workshop will be followed by a Q&A session. No one will leave with their questions unanswered! 


Wednesday 9 March, 10 am to 12 noon.

How much?

£95 plus VAT.

That’s a tiny price to pay compared to the return on investment you’ll get if you implement our recommendations!

So, if 2022 is the year that you start to take recommendations seriously click here to reserve your place.

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