How do consumers like to receive first contact from a financial advisor?

According to a 2004 study, “… consumers are more receptive to referrals than unsolicited contact.” In fact, the survey revealed that the top three preferred methods of initial contact include friend/family referral (55%), company referral (29%), and meet at a seminar (25%).1

Further down the list were: receive a letter (15%), receive a phone call (6%), or receive an e-mail (2%).2

Yet, when most financial advisors and insurance professionals think about “getting in front of more people,” they often focus on the consumers’ least desired methods for making that first contact – a “cold” letter, phone call, or e-mail.

Don’t get me wrong. These methods can play a role in your overall marketing plan. However, it’s unlikely that they’ll generate the same kinds of responses that the top three preferred methods might.

Research suggests that this is the case. Top producers prove it.

If you want to get in front of more people, you may want to consider investing more time in relationships versus investing more dollars in mass direct marketing.

What if you had a roadmap that showed you how to:

1. ASK for referrals.
2. NETWORK with other professionals, like CPAs and attorneys.
3. OFFER your workshops to professional groups, clubs, and organizations.

My next three articles will focus on each one of these topics giving you tips and tools for accomplishing these tasks within the scope of your overall marketing plan. What questions do you have about these topics? Ask your questions now, and I will answer them (to the best of my ability) throughout this three-article series.

Have questions? E-mail them to me at aakennel@gmail.com, and I will address them through my upcoming three-part series.

Footnotes:
1. Consumer Preferences for Retirement Planning Advice, Swanson, Drinkwater, Chamerda, and Selby, 2004, LIMRA International, Inc.
2. Ibid.

Amy Kennel is a communications consultant who specializes in insurance, financial services, and retirement planning. She owns Insurance Marketing Concepts, LLC, based in Des Moines, Iowa. You can contact Amy Kennel by calling 515-289-6413 or by sending her an email at aakennel@gmail.com