Financial Advisor Marketing & Technology

Marketing & Technology For Independent Financial Advisors

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Six Marketing Ideas From A Guru

I recently called marketing genius, Harry Beckwith, to find out what he thinks advisors should be doing to respond to the terrible market drubbing.

Beckwith has authored several marketing classics, including “Selling The Invisible,” “The Invisible Touch,“ and “What Clients Love.” I’ve interviewed Beckwith before and he can be depended upon for common sense fundamentals. While brilliant, he admits that there are no cure-alls, no panaceas, no instant answers to succeeding in these tough times. But he does have sound advice for coping with the economic maelstrom.

1. Tell Your Story. Send clients articles written by third-party sources that explain there is no escaping the damage to your portfolio. “Take the opportunity to educate clients so they know there just has not been a safe asset class,” says Beckwith. “It’s all been battered.”

2. Publish. This is an important time to reinforce your status as an expert with clients. Write an article about the financial crisis for a trade publication, local business publication, or the local newspaper. Then distribute the clip to clients. Sure, you’re not a professional writer. But if you can get one article published every few months, It will enhance your credibility. Beckwith and I both agree that books by William Zinsser are the best primers written on writing. He suggests “Writing To Learn.” Beckwith also recommends contacting the local journalism school to find a student who can write articles for you.

3. Note This. Beckwith says sending a personal note to clients is a smart touch. If you’re mailing statements, articles, or newsletters to client, attach a handwritten note. Adding personal touches to client communications now is important.

4. Never Eat Lunch Alone. “This is a business where you need to be face to face with people,” says Beckwith, invoking the title of a successful book. “Ultimately, people are buying you.”

5. Set Expectations. Clients don’t expect you to pull off unnatural feats. “As long as you set realistic expectations about what you can do, people will be satisfied,” says Beckwith. Don’t promise too much. But deliver what you say you will.

6. Seize The Moment. Independent advisors are in an unusually strong position to capitalize on the crisis. “The biggest brands in financial services have been sullied,” says Beckwith. To take advantage of your competitive strengths, Beckwith says advisors must emphasize the personal nature of their relationships and their personal service.

Beckwith says he remains optimistic despite all the bad economic and financial news. “This is a historic confluence of unique factors that will require more work to dig out of,” says Beckwith. “We got out of Hooverville and we’ll get out of this."

Beckwith’s most recent book, "You, Inc.", was published in 2007. He is now writing his fifth book, which is about positioning and due for release in 18 months.

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