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Practice Management > Marketing and Communications > Social Media

Is laziness affecting your business?

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Every day brings calls from advisors asking what type of marketing is working. “What’s the best?” They ask. There are many who have a definitive answer to that question.

Some will say the referrals are the best and all you need. Perhaps, but how mature is your practice, how’s the performance, how much do your clients like you, what’s the size of your practice, how well are you known for what you do? All of these factors affect how much you can rely on referrals.

Young advisors who are new to financial planning feel that some form of electronic marketing holds the secret sauce. Electronic media, social media and other online contact methods are the latest shiny new object that catch the bass (that’s you – agents and brokers).

A great deal of money is being made on the gullibility of agents who are buying into the electronic media frenzy. Eventually, their millennial friends will get fed up with being hoodwinked into being “friended” only to be marketed to. But, bashing marketing ideas is not the point of this article. Actually, almost any marketing method will work to the degree that it is capable of working. Pay careful attention to that last statement.

A responsible advisor wouldn’t advise a client to put all of their eggs in one basket, so why would you put all your marketing efforts into one method? That doesn’t even make sense. My former partner would say I am “the master of the statement of the obvious.” My response has always been that the obvious is often ignored. There must be some kind of magic formula or secret sauce. Some method that works like a charm permanently and consistently. Not so!

Here’s the most common reason most advisors are mediocre or fail: they are lazy. They don’t work intelligently, persistently, consistently and full time. They spend their valuable time thinking about the least important components of their practice and ignore the most difficult component: prospecting. Even advisors who are managing portfolios of assets must either create growth on those assets or consistently acquire new clients. They will lose clients through death, dissatisfaction or just a promise elsewhere (competition).

Even though this may sound sexist, I’m going to chance it. My personal observation through the years are that men tend to be less industrious than women. By and large, women just plain out-work men. I’ve no clue as to why this is, and I don’t have any data to back up this statement; merely experience. In my 64 years that’s just what I’ve noticed.

Since our industry is predominantly male dominated, the lack of industriousness is a problem. Another problem is instant and spiking success. An agent sells an annuity that pays him a $40,000 commission, then he relaxes and takes the rest of the month off. His marketing stops or slows down. His prospecting takes a holiday and many times struggles to regain momentum. That’s one of the reasons I like to spend money marketing, because it won’t quit when I quit. It just keeps on working. Also, planning marketing well in advance (six months or more) helps with the laziness issues.

Since I have now insulted a major portion of my readers, I’ll close by saying that I really want you to succeed and being frank and honest with you should encourage you to be honest and frank with yourself. Since you’re self-employed, the only person who can effectively motivate you, is you. Without self reflection and an honest look in the mirror followed with action, mediocrity will continue to be your middle name. Anyone can be average. After all most are.

Someone told me years ago that “average was the top of the bottom in the bottom of the top, the cream of the crap.” Certainly that’s no place to be for an intelligent and capable agent or advisor. 


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