Marketing tips for financial planners in their quest to seal the deal

Perhaps no industry relies on the trust of its target market more so than the financial. Highly personal information and sensitive materials are the nature of every transaction between financial planner and client, and the trust necessary for these exchanges is substantial. The sales element involved in financial services can prove arduous — and often fruitless – if trust is not established before an attempt at closing the deal.

Marketing is an underused tool in building the client-planner relationship. Both traditional techniques and online strategies can foster a credibility in your service and a sincerity in your approach.

Consider the tactics you’ve been using to instill trust up until now. Chances are good that some are working well for you. Chances are even better that diversifying or updating your game plan will work more successfully. Offered here are some guidelines for building trust before the arrival of that crucial close-the-deal moment.    

Pinpoint Your People
Before giving a single thought to marketing techniques, ask yourself this question: “Who is my ideal client?” (NOTE: “Anybody that can afford my services” is not a winning answer.)  The goal is to define your ideal client. A specific target market will foster specificity in your marketing and prevent vague messaging and bland content. Consider the people who make up your current client roster. Does a large segment share a common trait? Perhaps you tend to advise entrepreneurs more than any other demographic. Or divorcees. Or entertainers, doctors, sports figures. If you feel passionate about the type of client you’re drawing in, then you’ve identified your ideal. If not, take an inventory of your own interests and people you enjoy working with. Perhaps you’ve got an altruistic nature and would like advising people in social services. Maybe you’ve served time in the armed forces and would like to serve a military clientele. In identifying the clients you work well with or those who seem drawn to your personal brand of financial planning, you can begin building a niche market (and a niche area of expertise to go along with it).

Minimize Your Message

A savvy professional in any field should have an elevator pitch on his or her service ready at all times. Financial planners are no exception. Keep it brief, keep it informational, and keep at it—everyone you come in contact with on a daily basis should know your name, the name of your company, and the specialized services you provide. Get the word out whenever the chance arises (a crowded elevator, does, in fact, serve as a winning stage) so that you’re always extending your brand. A referral from a stranger, after all, is still a referral.

Nurture Your Network

From the traditional to the digital, there are plenty of ways to build professional contacts and maintain them. Your local Chamber of Commerce supports any number of networking groups and events hosted by economic development companies. Offer to speak at an event likely to draw your ideal clientele and showcase your personal expertise during the presentation. Afterwards, practice your masterfully crafted elevator speech as you mingle with attendees. Encourage those present to visit your company website or better yet, to give you a call.

If you’re feeling especially ambitious, host your own event. A Client Appreciation Party will spotlight your personal dedication to serving your customers and offer a chance to further intimacy with your niche. A wine tasting, a cocktail party, or a casual lunchtime gathering—perhaps with a guest presenter—will speak volumes for how much you value your clients.

Your digital network nurturing begins with LinkedIn. As a means of building credibility and building new connections, LinkedIn Groups are an easy first step. Begin by utilizing the service’s Search feature to find Groups relevant to your industry or your niche market. With nearly 1.5 million LinkedIn Groups already established, you’ll have no trouble finding several that suit your needs. Additionally, professional societies including the Financial Planning Association welcome your membership and are a great resource for networking, finding employees, and brainstorming ideas with other financial industry pros. Most importantly, perhaps, the credibility attached to professional affiliations will take you far in boosting trust.

Tell A Tale
The mass popularity of social media in the last decade has taught marketers one invaluable truth: people love stories. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have capitalized on our need to share personal anecdotes and to bear witness to the stories of others. Take a cue from the digital world: tell stories. A previous client’s journey from financial hardship to economic independence will draw any prospect in. Share stories that you’ve found inspiring, or poignant. Craft a tale that is relevant to your listener and their own current situation. Intimacy is inherently built into any personal exchange and a connection is formed. Your stories will go far in cultivating trust from your prospects.

Client trust is a hot commodity for professionals in every industry. When your profession involves negotiations and transactions involving a client’s hard-earned savings, that commodity is scorching. A mindful approach to the marketing of your financial planning services will minimize the heavy lifting required in establishing trust between you and your prospects.  

 

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