Successful retirement advisors are the result of a very unique recipe: one part financial planner, one part salesperson, one part business owner, two parts marketer, and three parts glutton for punishment. When people say to me: “I’ll bet you really like numbers,” I have to let them in on the secret of our business that all the math skills and planning skills in the world don’t matter if we’re not in front of enough highly-qualified prospects. The whole “I’m my own boss with unlimited earning potential” honeymoon is over as soon as we have worked through our natural market of friends and family. It’s at that moment that we’ve reached a turning point. We must either become an expert in marketing or become just another failed business statistic.
Having built a successful firm from scratch, focused solely on the needs of people who are nearing or in-retirement, age 55-75, I can tell you that I have been a serious student of marketing. In pursuit of the best strategies, I have learned both very painful and very profitable lessons. Whether you’re just getting started or are a seasoned advisor looking to tighten up your messaging to current and prospective clients, the following information includes several nuggets in survival and success that may help you in your own journey.
As you embark on this journey, you will inevitably have major and embarrassing marketing failures. However, if done correctly, your failure can be followed by victory. Yes, you’ll host an event that nobody attends, but you’ll also have successes that shock you. Three strike outs, then a home run; welcome to the big leagues. Here’s the key to making ALL of your marketing efforts profitable: stay on-message every time.
Why? When you communicate a clear, compelling and targeted message to the right people, and when you do it consistently, with integrity, they are listening. If they are not responding, often they just aren’t ready. The timing just isn’t right for them. When the timing is right, they will seek you out if and only if you haven’t strayed from your mission and your core message. In fact, every marketing message and every effort you have made has a cumulative effect. Each builds upon the last with the effect of becoming more powerful each time it was heard– even if it wasn’t acted upon at that time. Here’s an example: