Let’s start with the premise that most everyone you want to work with has half a million dollars and up, and a fool and his or her money are soon parted. Therefore, the people who have accumulated significant assets in America are, as a group, pretty smart folks–and when they are looking for a financial advisor, there are several specific things they want to know. In order to attract great clients, you need to tell a compelling marketing story about yourself and your firm that answers the following five questions.
o What is your higher purpose? What purpose do you have beyond making money off your clients?
o How did you evolve to this way of thinking?
o Who can benefit most from your services?
o What are your services, and what are the benefits and payoffs for your clients?
o What step-by-step processes do you have for helping clients achieve their goals?
Let’s look at each of these questions one by one, and consider how you might answer them for your clients.
1. What Is Your Higher Purpose?
There’s a great story about three brick masons laying bricks, and a marketing consultant who asks each one of them what they are doing. The first one says, “I’m making $10 an hour.” The second one says, “I’m laying down bricks and building a wall.” The third one says, “I’m building the finest cathedral in the world.” Clearly, the third brick mason is more inspired and dedicated to his work than the other two are, because he has a higher purpose. Scientific research now shows that if you have a higher purpose–a win-win purpose, where you benefit and your client benefits, and hopefully the world benefits, too–you will be more fired up and enthusiastic about your work, and, by extension, your clients will be more fired up about you.
You need to determine the level at which you want to engage your clients. In other words, what is the purpose for your business? Are you there to analyze investments, insurance, and financial strategies? Or are you there to enable clients to fulfill their dreams? No one buys investment or insurance products or advice for today; they buy it for tomorrow. Thus, most advisors are really in the business of creating better futures.
2. How Did You Evolve to Your Higher Purpose?
Clients want to know your story. The four basic points you must make are:
1. I originally got into this industry to…
2. I became disillusioned when…
3. I decided to …
4. Now I have developed a process to…
You need to be able to explain this. Why did you get into the industry? To make money? Because you thought you could have a great lifestyle? To help people? At what point did you decide to do something different from the rest of the industry? My belief is that the industry teaches new advisors, both insurance and securities salespeople, to build dysfunctional models based around one basic goal: Making a lot of money. Maybe you made a lot of money, maybe you did not. But at some point you must have become disillusioned, or you would not have changed your practice into a fee-based business.