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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

5 sales strategies for the African American market

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After so many years in the financial services business, you’ve probably heard just about every reason and strategy on how to, and how not to, build a successful career as a financial advisor.

Unfortunately, most advisors don’t have a marketing and/or business plan in place, so they strive to be all things to all people. They fail to implement creating a profile on their ideal client or lack working in a niche market, so their agenda is to survive another day.

Having and working in a niche market should be one of your most precious priorities because it can lead to increased odds to making more money and growing your business. That said, I’d like to share some of my tactics with you to possibly building a lucrative niche within the African American market.

After reading tons of books on niche marketing and sales, I figured out that there were similarities in the better books that stressed the benefits of niche marketing. It requires you to answer a few questions such as:

  • Can you build your own brand, presence, community strong-hold?
  • Can you find customers who can afford your services?
  • Is there a niche that doesn’t require heavy advertising?
  • Is there a niche where most people congregate in the same place?
  • Does this niche have soft competition, the potential for long-term demand and is it profitable?

I thought that if I could answer these questions with some solid answers, this would be a good indicator that my niche had potential. After careful planning, thorough research and providing my best efforts to answering these questions, I was confident I would find my niche – and did.

The African American market is not only underserved, but untapped. Here are five proven strategies to build a lucrative niche in the African American community and why it could be a good niche for you:

two baby boomers walkingIs there a need or demand for your product or services?

Every day for the next 19 years, 10,000 baby boomers will reach the age of 65. While many boomers are likely to have defined-benefit pension plans, personal savings, and social security, they are in great need of financial advice. Of the 76 million baby boomers expected to retire in the next 20 years, 9.9 million of them are African American. Do you believe they need some help in planning for their retirement? You bet!

Prudential completed a research study in 2011 called “The African American Financial Experience.” It indicated that the majority of people want financial advice, but concerns about finding a qualified professional they can trust and relate to prevent many from hiring an advisor. That means there is a significant demand for financial literacy, which puts financial advisors in a good position to help.

Do you think this could be a pretty good niche market to go after?

churchIt will be easier to find clients

By establishing a niche market in the African American community, there are numerous ways to meet, interact and find clients.

A great start would be by participating in community events, attending church where many congregate, sponsoring expos and sports teams, and conducting financial seminars, workshops, and teaching wealth-building classes. There are social and business organizations that you can join that’ll provide opportunities to network and seek speaking slots at many of their functions. 

I have discovered that the African American church is an ideal place to meet hundreds of potential clients. Offer FREE financial educational sessions every month and have them sign up for your free digital newsletter or blog so that you can capture their email and personal information. Now you have a warm number of leads that you’re able to stay in touch with. When they are in need of financial advice or need to talk to someone about retirement, who do you think they’re going to call?

Two businessmen arm wrestlingIs there a lot of competition?

Not only is there a shortage of African American financial advisors in the industry, but the majority of these communities are severely underserved and in most cases, untapped. If you’re a financial advisor who has the time, energy and commitment to serve this particular demographic, you basically have no competition.

As an African American advisor, it surprises me that the majority of African American advisors I speak with don’t claim their own natural market as one of their niches. Out of curiosity I would ask who they market to, who their ideal client is and do they have a niche market. Most of them would normally say, ‘I help everyone because I have a real hard time getting black people to listen to me and many of them don’t invest.’ I can’t count how many times I’ve heard that, but they just haven’t learned the psychology of African Americans. Get to know this demographic well and you’ll have no competition.

Money raining downWhat are the chances of making lots of money?

As an entrepreneur in the financial services industry, if you are able to meet and see many people, solve financial planning issues, help people retire, build strong relationships, network, communicate and service existing clients, get referrals, and work in a few niche markets you have the opportunity to do very well financially if you specialize.

In just about any industry in the U.S. today, those who specialize and work in a captive niche generally make more money. In the medical field, an orthopedic spine surgeon makes much more than a general practitioner. The surgeon typically sees fewer patients in a day than a practitioner because the work requires a high degree of skill, time and knowledge, and he is paid top dollar for solving problems at this level of difficulty. The practitioner’s job is equally important, but the orthopedic spine surgeon is a specialist and that’s what we should strive to be as financial advisors.

In the African American community, my mission is to become the retirement specialist advisor that they seek out because over time I have established an identity in the community where they have seen me, heard me, corresponded with me, attended my classes, and heard that I have helped others plan strategies to live an extraordinary retirement. I want to be that specialist in this niche market.

Adults taking a classIs it possible to grow the business in the future?

The beauty of working in a niche market is that it provides an ideal situation where you can build systems torepeat the process. Let me give you an example. In my community, we are holding semi-monthly lunch-n-learn wealth-building sessions. For 20 or so attendees, we provide lunch and wealth-building techniques that they’ve probably never seen or heard before. We know it blows their mind and they will tell other people about the experience.

This is one of the most effective ways to build a lucrative business and put systems in place for future growth, as well. But you do have to be very patient and consistent in the beginning as word slowly gets around the community. 

Our largest clients tend to come from referrals we receive from existing clients and from students who attend our classes. It is amazing to see this on a consistent basis. As long as you are providing quality service to your existing clients, following up with prospects, and getting out in the communities by teaching and helping people understand money and strategies to build wealth, your business will continue to grow. 


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