What financial advisors can learn from online marketers

Opinion

These online marketers realize that the real money is in their email list. These online marketers realize that the real money is in their email list.

Have you ever had this experience before? You’re surfing the Internet when something catches your eye… it’s a free special report about a subject that interests you. The only thing you have to do to get it is enter your email address.

And so you do. You type in your email address and hit “Submit.” Within seconds the free special report is in your inbox and you’re reading it with great interest.

But when you finish reading the report, is that where it all ends? Of course not. The next day you get an email from the guy who wrote the report. Surprise! He’s got more valuable information to share with you.

You begin getting one email every week. Every one of them is interesting to read and provides information that’s valuable to you. You also notice that almost every email offers something else for you to request. Often times, at a discounted price.

At first, you don’t buy anything. You’re too busy, the timing isn’t right, you’re not interested, you tell yourself it’d be silly to spend money on a digital product… you’ve got all sorts of excuses.

But fast forward a month or two down the road and all of a sudden you’re filling out a form to buy a product that a short time ago you thought you’d never buy. You received the perfect email about the perfect product on the perfect day for the perfect price — and you simply couldn’t resist.

So what happened?

The online marketer nurtured the fledgling relationship he started with you. He demonstrated his expertise and earned your trust. He stayed in front of you consistently so you couldn’t forget him. And after a period of weeks or months, you finally decided to buy.

These online marketers realize that the real money is in their email list. Once they get your name, they will stay in front of you “forever” knowing you will eventually either opt out of the list or become a customer.

And so they’ve built highly profitable businesses simply by nurturing their lists over time and staying in touch. They’re not looking for the instant sale (even though they get some of those). They’re looking to nurture relationships with prospects. And they do that by sending out at least one valuable email every single week.

Think about this lesson for your business. How many good prospects have you met with over the years that didn’t buy immediately? Did you stay in touch with them so that they would think of you when the time was right for them?

If not, chances are the next financial advisor they met is the one that they did business with. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

This business is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because you can make a lot of money off just one or two sales, and revenue per client is high. But it’s a curse because it can make you lazy and inattentive to all the little inefficiencies in your business. The many opportunities that fall through the cracks.

If you’re like most advisors, it’s easy to just chase the next sale and forget about all the prospects who weren’t ready to do business with you at the time. But I encourage you to not get stuck in this trap. You can run a much more optimal business by chasing the next sale, and also, incorporating systems in your business to stay in touch with those that weren’t quite ready. By nurturing these relationships over time, you will find yourself getting “free business” that is harvested from your past work to add into the normal marketing that you are doing right now.

This week, go through your list of prospects from the past and identify the “good ones.” Put them on a “seed list” so you can start communicating with them on a regular basis. Continue to add to this list as you speak with more and more prospects.

What should you do to stay in touch with this list? Here are a few ideas:

1. News and updates

Send them a weekly email, the same updates you most likely send your current clients would work. By adding a few more names to your email list, it won’t cost you a thing but you will be staying in touch each week.

2. Newsletter

Send them your company newsletter each month. You can build a relationship over time this way and it will help if you include personal information in that newsletter.

3. Announcements

Are you hosting any upcoming seminars or Q&A sessions? Add this list to your mailing list occasionally so you give them a chance to come back in and see you when the timing might be better.

At a bare minimum, send out at least one email consistently every single week. You’ll be amazed by the results you start to get just by making this simple practice a habit.

If you want a more calculated approach, you can start a campaign just for prospects through a combination of email, postal mail (or direct mail), and phone calls from your staff.

Either way, the better job you do of staying in touch with your prospects, the more likely it is that they will think of you and contact you when they decide to hire a financial advisor.

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