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Part 1: The 7 deadly marketing sins that’ll cost you money and slow growth (plus how to fix them)

Any business looking to grow must invest time and money in its marketing.

The right mindset and habits are needed as well.

No amount of money will overcome limiting beliefs or a negative mindset, that prefers to believe in myths and misconceptions, rather than face reality.

Unfortunately, we see many advisers and planners make the same mistakes time after time.

The result?

  • Slower growth
  • Enquiries from the wrong type of client, leading to inefficiencies
  • Higher marketing costs, which squeeze margins.

Combined, these lead to frustration which can, in extreme cases, cause business owners to completely pull the plug on all their marketing activity, when all that’s needed are relatively simple changes.

This week, discover the first three of the seven deadly marketing sins we see advisers/planners make.

And, because understanding the mistake is only half the job, we’ll explain the solution too.

1. Not recording all new enquiries

The problem:

When we first speak with them, most advisers and planners don’t record all new enquiries. Some will keep details of the “good” enquiries, but most do nothing at all.

The consequence:

There are two consequences of not recording all new enquiries.

Firstly, without their contact details (including email addresses) it’s impossible to nurture prospects who don’t immediately become clients.

That means the money and time you spent generating the enquiry is wasted.

Secondly, if you don’t record any new enquiries or only the “good ones”, you’re making decisions about your marketing based on incomplete data.

The solution:

Record every, single, new enquiry.

That’s right.

The best enquiry, who you can genuinely add value to and is ready to become a client immediately, as well as the worst enquiry you can possibly imagine.

We know that recording enquiries which won’t go anywhere feels like a waste of time. It isn’t.

It gives you a complete picture of the results of your marketing.

It shows whether your marketing is producing enquiries from the right type of people.

It shows patterns that you wouldn’t otherwise see and allows you to make changes to improve the quality of new enquires that you’re generating.

There are three places where you can record new enquiries:

  • Your back-office system, for example, iO
  • A sales-based CRM, for example, Pipedrive
  • A simple spreadsheet.

We’ve developed an enquiry recording spreadsheet template, which shows the 12 data points you should record for every single new enquiry. (And, if you’re not sure what those 12 data points are, this blog will clear things up.)

If you’d like a copy of the spreadsheet, please click here, and you’ll get it by email.

2. Websites that lack empathy

The problem:

Empathy is a financial adviser/planner’s superpower.

Often though, at least when it comes to marketing, it’s in short supply.

Let’s consider websites.

As we’ve said many times, your website is where prospects start to get to know you. It’s where they make decisions about whether you’re the right adviser/planner for them.

That means you must show that you can solve their trigger (the problem, challenge, or aspiration that means they need help).

However, too many sites bypass empathy and launch straight into selling.

The most extreme example we’ve seen recently included a call to action on the homepage, above the fold, which said: “Become A Client” – that really is a case of coming on too strong!

The consequence:

Prospects feel that you don’t understand them and, consequently, that you aren’t the right adviser/planner for them.
That means they’ll move on, continuing their search, until they find someone who is.

The solution:

We get it, we really do.

At its best, financial planning changes lives. It’s only natural that you’re enthusiastic about it.

That doesn’t mean you should launch straight into a sale though.

Instead, start by developing a deep understanding of the problems, challenges, and aspirations that your ideal clients have:

  • What keeps them awake at night?
  • What gets them out of bed in the morning?

Then, show on your website that you can help them tackle the first list and achieve the second.

It really is as simple as that!

As an aside, our recent webinar with the wonderful duo of Brian Portnoy and Neil Bage of Shaping Wealth contained a fantastic discussion about the importance of empathy.

Click here to watch it back.

3. Telling people about the value you offer, not showing them

The problem:

Showing always beats telling.

However, too many advisers have no social proof to show the benefits of financial planning or working with them. That means they’re always in telling mode, which will never be as powerful.

The consequence:

Without social proof, a prospective client has to take your claims at face value.

For many, that leap of faith in someone they don’t know will be too much.

Remember too, many prospects consider more than one option. They might have been recommended to a couple of advisers/planners. They could have narrowed down a wider online search to several choices.

Who are they more likely to select, an adviser/planner who tells them about the benefits of working with them or one who shows them?
In our experience, telling leads to fewer website conversions, a lower number of overall enquiries, and a smaller proportion of enquiries from ”right-fit” prospects.

The solution:

Invest in developing three types of social proof:

  1. A client survey
  2. Client videos
  3. Online ratings and reviews using Google and VouchedFor.

Then, use the social proof to show the value of what you do by scattering it around your website and including it in your wider marketing.

To prove the point, here are some examples we’ve seen from randomly chosen websites:

Example #1: The adviser’s website said: “we are committed to providing the highest levels of customer service” but didn’t include anything to prove the point.

Instead, it could have made that claim and then quoted stats from their client survey to show how satisfied clients are with the speed and quality of responses from their advisers and the support team.

Example #2: This website claimed, “we will sit down with you to understand your needs.” That’s great, but I only have your word for it.

It would have been more powerful to develop a series of videos with clients explaining how the amount of time the adviser invested in getting to know them meant they felt listened to and understood. Consequently, that led to a better and deeper relationship.

Take this video we recorded for Expert Wealth. There’s a lovely line in it where the client says, “They asked us questions which financial advisers don’t normally ask.” It’s the perfect example of when showing beats telling.

Example #3: This website said that they had “wonderful staff who are always approachable and ready to listen.” Again, that’s great. But I’d rather not take your word for it.

Why not show me that you have wonderful staff by encouraging clients to talk about the team on video, collecting online reviews that mention the team, or releasing the results of your client survey?

None of the three sites we’ve quoted above included client videos or online reviews, or displayed the results of their client surveys.

That means testimonial pages aside, (we know these are pointless as only 1-2% of all visitors ever look at them), there was nothing to prove their claims.

Here to help

As someone wiser than me once said, it’s better to move forward a metre in three directions than a millimetre in 10.

So, we’re only giving you the first three of the seven deadly sins this week.

You’ll discover the other four next Friday.

If what you’ve read resonates with you, we’re here to help:

Click here to request our enquiry recording spreadsheet (it’s free!)
• We build award-winning websites that empathise with your visitors
• We have a whole team dedicated to developing social proof.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, please email or call 0115 8965 300.

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