Editor’s Note: This is the second in a ten-part series identifying the best sales techniques for 2016. To view the rest of the series, click here.
90. “So what do you do?”
“This is the number one question we all get asked on a regular basis, maybe hundreds of times a year. But these aren’t just questions — they’re ‘buying opportunities.’ And no marketing campaign on Earth can get you this huge amount of buying opportunities in so short a space of time.
So when the question arises be prepared — your answer is critically important to your business. For starters don’t simply reply “I’m a financial advisor.” That’s just ‘what you are’ not ‘what you do.’
Find an answer that resonates with that particular person’s life. Read them and work out what are their top issues. Are they approaching retirement, or could college fees be a looming milestone? Reply with something that impacts on the questioner/prospect in a way that piques their curiosity.
Smart reps market by getting inside people’s heads and finding out what they need. Create a mental picture of what you do and provide a vivid example. Be creative, respond in such a way that they ask for more.”
— Don Connelly, co-founder of Don Connelly & Associates
89. Embrace the unknown.
“As an industry, we have a habit of fearing change. A shift in trends or a change in legislation could dramatically alter the way we do business, and that scares us.
When you see change coming on the horizon, don’t buckle down and wait it out. Attack it. Find the opportunity in your obstacles so that your businesses can be one of the first to capture newly uncovered ground. If you wait to see what everyone else will do in the face of uncertainty, you will find yourself behind the curve, trying to catch up to the advisors that had the foresight and the courage to embrace the unknown.”
— John Pojeta, Vice President of Business Development, The PT Services Group
88. Find the right email marketing strategy.
“It seems more natural to use a no-reply or some kind of generic company email, but by using a real person’s email (who is running marketing for your company), you will increase the amount of feedback you get. When you ask a question in the newsletter, people will be more willing to reply and engage with you. In addition, if they forward your email along to a friend, the friend has a more direct way of getting in touch with you. That could lead to sales or PR.”
— Salvador Briggman, Founder of CrowdCrux.com
87. Manage your brand, not just your business.
“A good brand program speaks for you when you’re not there. We work with one independent advisor who travels quite a bit and runs his business from the road. We rebranded his firm, launched a new website and created a video series. He’s now able to leverage his website as a digital storefront, so he can serve clients all over the country and all over the world.
You want to make sure you have your brand positioned in the best way. Sometimes it’s as simple as updating your logo, or it might be a conversation about changing your business’s name to be more reflective of what you do.”
— Christopher Norton, Creative Director, Blu Giant Advisor Studios
86. Build a great product or service.
“The balance of power is shifting toward consumers and away from companies…the individual is empowered… The right way to respond to this if you are a company is to put the vast majority of your energy, attention and dollars into building a great product or service and put a smaller amount into shouting about it, marketing it. If I build a great product or service, my customers will tell each other….In the old world, you devoted 30 percent of your time to building a great service and 70 percent of your time to shouting about it. In the new world, that inverts. Your brand is formed primarily, not by what your company says about itself, but what the company does.
The essence of business is the ability to cost-effectively acquire customers. The very best businesses acquire customers ‘organically’ without advertising. Great products and word of mouth drives sales at these companies. By contrast, companies which must sell their wares with huge advertising budgets are losing their edge in the Internet era. Television advertising enabled the creation of mass market advertising driven brands, but the Internet is undoing this in many cases.”
—Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, owner of The Washington Post and tech investor