We know about the 3 mantras of the financial advisory sales. Referrals, referrals and referrals. It is a tried and tested method of tapping your network for qualified sales prospects. But if you want to grow your sales or leads pipeline beyond your immediate referral network, you need to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy. We know of some financial advisers in India who have been successfully using these strategies for a long time and have got excellent results.
- Brand building:
Your financial advisory practice, whether it is a one person show or a team of advisors, needs to build a strong brand. Strong brands are specific characteristics that customers can relate to, when they do business with you. To create a strong brand for your practice, you should identify the attributes about your practice that you want your customers and prospects to associate with it. These attributes can be trust, solid advice, product portfolio, excellent customer service etc, basically any attribute or a group of attributes that make customers do business with you. How will you build the brand? You build a brand, by reflecting its attributes in each and every interaction that you or your team have with your clients and prospects. You should also ensure that everything about your business, from the smallest things like visiting cards and letterheads, to your newsletter, website and even your office decor should reinforce your brand. Brand is not built overnight. It is built over a long period of time by ensuring high degree of consistency in the quality of your customer’s experience.
- Build a great website:
Your website is an important element of your digital presence. There are several attributes of great website, like visual appeal, rich content, ease of navigation, useful features for the users, cross browser compatibility, cross device compatibility etc. If possible, you should take help from an expert in designing your website. We mostly love our own website, but others may have a different view. You should always take honest feedback from your customers and people in your network, and then, if required, take expert help in fixing issues, the feedback may have highlighted.
- Become an expert:
Investors like to work with an expert who understands their specific needs. Take a look at your product portfolio and identify a few products that you would like to become an expert in. You should develop a separate prospecting and servicing strategy for your target segment. You should offer customized solutions to your target segment and consolidate your position as an expert. This is a complex strategy and takes a lot of time, but will yield tremendous benefits to your practise in terms of referrals and leads.
- Organize an event in your investor community:
You can organize an investor awareness event in your investor community. Try to get a strategic partner from the industry (e.g. MF house, Insurance Company etc.) as a guest speaker. You can even get them to co-sponsor the event with you. You should make the event informative and interesting for the attendees. Invite your clients and ask them to bring a couple guests who might be interested. These events will help in increasing your engagement with your customers, while bringing in new leads. You and your team should use this opportunity to network with the attendees over refreshments at the end of the event. Advisers who feel uncomfortable sounding too “salesy” over such interactions, should do a simple registration process for all the attendees, whereby the attendees will provide their names, phone numbers and email addresses as part of the event registration. This information will then serve as leads for future prospecting.
- Build Strategic Alliances:
You should try to build network of alliance and referral partners with chartered accountants, lawyers, other financial advisers with mutually exclusive product portfolio. It is a good strategy to cross-sell each other’s services and also deepens the relationship with your client by providing comprehensive care.
- Blogging is a useful strategy:
Blogging is a time tested strategy to bring visitors to your website. According to research findings, among small businesses, regular bloggers get 50% more traffic to their website, than those who do not blog regularly. More traffic to your website means more leads.
- Use Social Media:
The reach of social media, like Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter is immense. It can provide you with opportunities to develop relationships with members of your target markets and expand your network of potential investors. It also provides you with networking opportunities with other financial advisers and industry experts. Generation Y (or people born after 1980) are hooked onto social media. These young people are the new generation of investors and therefore your presence in social networking will help you connect with this set of potential customers. Many people question the business value of social media marketing, but there are countless success stories that can inspire you. How to build a successful social media marketing strategy is a vast and complex topic. There is a lot of material on this topic available on the web that you can benefit from. You can also consult with social media consultants and experts. You should follow a very structured approach towards social media marketing by setting up social media goals for your practice and developing a strategy to achieve those goals. You should not expect immediate results from your social media marketing efforts. However, if you devote time and effort towards an effective social media marketing strategy, you are likely to get excellent results.