Here are some of the best tricks from SMA staff, readers, and contributors, to keep the method of your message on top of the charts.

1. Shake things up– in a good way: “When someone asks us how we are different from our competition, we reply, ‘We are in the purple cow business. We help our clients stand out in the crowd.’ Then we add, ‘That’s how we will position you with your competition.’ They immediately ‘get it.’” -Stephanie Ursini, Capital Momentum LLC

2. Know your limits: “We like the personal touch when it comes to direct marketing. But if your handwriting sucks, then don’t send me a handwritten letter. Type it up.” -Grace, a panelist from a Senior Market Advisor Expo

3. Explore the impact of celebrity: “Positioning yourself in the media as an expert – a quotable, featured authority on the business – is entirely possible by creating and hosting your own weekly radio program.” -Writer Nick Hartshorn

4. Take the lead: “I do not carry business cards… If someone asks me for a card, I say, ‘Sorry, I just gave my last one out. Why don’t you give me your card (or number) and I will call you?’ Then I have control of making the call and a much better chance of getting the appointment.” -The Million Dollar Round Table

5. Give a little; get a lot: “Little things can add incredible value to your client and help you stand above the crowd. When the client comes in, there is a sign: ‘Kelly Shaw welcomes Mr. & Mrs. Jones.’ People love that. I think the sign and the letters cost us less than $100.” -Kelly Shaw, president and CEO of Links Asset Management Group, Inc.

6. Take the time to make it worthwhile: “When we receive a call from someone who doesn’t know about our firm, they are almost always online. So we say, ‘Let’s go to our portfolio on our Web site and we can show you samples of our work.’ They don’t have to wait for us to mail them something. They get immediate attention and information.” -Stephanie Ursini, Capital Momentum LLC

7. Be aware of your image: “If it looks like junk mail, it’s headed for the garbage. Avoid the junk mail trap by sending mail in plain white window envelopes with a first-class stamp.”
- Larry Klein Author, “Marketing Financial Services to Seniors”