As I mentioned in my last column, I have begun tweeting.
I did it in part because I like it, but more so, I did it to practice what I preach. I’ve been telling clients of Bill Good Marketing that they need to have an online brag wall. In short, if someone searches for you on Google, make sure that first page on Google is good stuff about you.
I am well aware of the restrictions placed by securities firms against blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites. However, you are a citizen and used to have First Amendment rights.
Example: A client of mine is passionate about “social entrepreneurship.” I told him he needs to have a blog on that subject. And he needs to update it frequently. He can also have a Facebook page dealing with hobbies, or whatever.
Now, when he gets referrals, and people Google him before calling, they will not only find his firm-sanctioned homepage, but they’ll find out something about him.
So read on as I give more explanation than the 140 characters allotted in a tweet.
If a prospect is not interested, it does not matter how well qualified. Don’t argue. Say “Thank you very much” and move on.
To put it another way, “Pick the cherries, not the pits.”
In the years since I introduced this concept to countless rookie brokers in the 1980s, there is no question that I have done some damage to the foundation of the “old way” of selling: “The test of the macho or macha sales professional is the ability to persist in the face of objections.”
No! The test is how many good prospects you can find per hour of invested time.
At a point in the 1980s, practically every top new account opener in every single company had attended and implemented the “cherries and pits” strategy, which I had developed.
As times and markets have changed, this truth has not. When you contact a prospect, whether that prospect comes from a cold call, seminar lead, referral, Web registration, trade show or whatever, you first qualify for interest. If there is no interest, nothing else matters.
Yes, I’ve heard your objections. “There was a time when I persisted through 27 consecutive turndowns, and then set the appointment that opened a $2 million account.”
Yes, and that’s one of the worst things that ever happened to you. Because getting you to hang up when someone says “We decided we’re not interested” will now never happen.
It’s easier to rewrite than it is to write, which is why sales people profit from model letters, e-mails and scripts.
Many moons ago, when today’s veterans were rookies, I posed the question: Is it possible to teach financial advisors to write good letters in a reasonably short period?
To answer, I rounded up about a half dozen advisors and conducted a weekend seminar. After looking at the results, there were only two possible conclusions: no, it was not possible, or I could not teach them. In any event, the practical answer was: no, it is not possible.
So I tested something else: If you provide model letters and scripts, can advisors rewrite and adapt? The answer to that was a resounding yes.
Where then do you get these? Some years ago, to make a point, I took an excellent article in a mutual fund brochure, and with permission of the fund company, made it into a direct-mail letter.
Need some marketing material? Look around you. Find something you like. Call and get permission to use it. Simple.