Success in the financial services industry today revolves around marketing just as much as it revolves around selling. We must be mindful of this and restructure the approach of our business to appeal to today’s consumer.
To be proficient in marketing, it is important to realize that our work is 98% people knowledge and 2% product knowledge. You must, however, know 100% of that 2% to even begin to experience success. Once you’ve established this, you may begin exploring marketing techniques to set yourself apart from the pack.
Whether you’re new to the business or a seasoned professional, you must first know your product inside and out. You have to understand what you’re selling to sell it! I’ve found that education is of paramount importance to possess this necessary knowledge.
Read, continue your education by pursuing advanced designations, practice strategic coaching – these are just a few excellent ways to expand your understanding of the products you wish to sell. Once you “know your stuff,” it’s just a matter of marketing to the right people.
Marketing doesn’t just happen outside the office, but through the environment in which you perform your day-to-day work. I’ve implemented such marketing tools to build my business and have found them to not only be lucrative, but simple. Because a typical day in this industry is purely selling, you must learn how to make people happy to give yourself that edge.
When you walk into the waiting room of my office, coffee tables are not cluttered with financial literature. Instead, we provide reading material that appeals to my target market – people aged 50 to 70 – including books and magazines on gardening, golf, wine-tasting and travel. When a client shows particular interest in a piece, I allow them to keep the book or magazine and I sign it to remind them who shared this interesting information.
To enhance our office atmosphere, we also bake fresh chocolate chip cookies each morning and make cappuccino and espresso, which is available in our waiting area as well. The wonderful aroma that greets each visitor as they walk through our door ensures that they feel welcome and valued.
Over the years, I’ve discovered other methods to make the experience of visiting our office a pleasant one for clients and prospects. Upon entering my personal office, you won’t find any plaques hanging on the walls, but rather family and vacation photos. Also, the tables throughout my office are round instead of rectangular or square-shaped, to create an atmosphere that is low-key and non-threatening. By sharing a round table with my clients and prospects, I avoid the perception that I am sitting at the head of the table and leading or controlling the conversation and decisions.
Also, when a call comes in to my office, it is always answered within the first two rings and by a live person, not a recording. I feel everyone should have a personal experience when they interact with my business, whether it’s in person or just on the phone. Furthermore, every morning I check a database of client birthdates and place individual calls to express my good wishes to whoever is celebrating a birthday that day.
To take the personal experience of my practice a step further, everyone in my office plays a vital role in helping our business run efficiently and be well-organized. I am a stickler for notes and take them throughout every client meeting. After each meeting, I dictate my notes into the phone and transfer them to a service.