Earth behind a radar image (Image: Bram Jannsens/Hemera/TS)

Bob Dylan might not have been thinking about advisors, but he was right when he said, “Times they are a ‘changin’.”

Our landscape is changing. In many ways, it has always been changing, forcing us to reckon with product changes, new regulations, and shifting tides in market forces and consumer preferences. Recently, however, change has been more rapid, and the influence of technology has grown more intense.

Best practices across your business are evolving, and that includes marketing and prospecting. Because of our work, we get to work with advisors around the country, and we have assembled some key insights into sales and marketing that are driving new levels of success. The good news here is that even in the face of challenging conditions, advisors are breaking into markets and capturing new business.

(Related: The Value of Prospects Who Don’t Close)

The changes required to get there might be uncomfortable at first, but the rewards are clear: new prospects, new business, new revenue.

Here are the three major developments in advisor marketing that are driving sales pipelines today:

  1. Prospects are demanding a higher caliber of marketing. You might laugh, but classic marketing tactics like direct mail are still effective if you elevate the standard of your marketing execution. The reason these tactics have become less useful over time is the same reason more modern marketing tactics like social media are also challenging: There is a lot of noise. You need sharp marketing to cut through it.
  2. Active prospecting trumps passive prospecting. Referrals will always be a win for advisors, but they are less common as choice increases, and they have always been unpredictable. If you want prospects, you have to go to them, so you should plan to up your activity in areas like networking, events, partnerships, and cold calling.
  3. New prospects want new technology. Your core insights as an expert may not change all that much, but top prospects are often looking for a better client experience. Just as you might be less likely to use a bank that does not offer mobile banking, your prospects may be hesitant to engage with you if you are not using social media or perhaps offering access to your own app.

If you take these three changes to heart and apply them to your business, what we covered here in a few brief paragraphs can have far-reaching implications and require significant changes in your business. You may need to overhaul your brand and your website. You may need to engage a marketing agency or an appointment setting firm. You may need to explore a client app.

You do not necessarily have to do all of these things simultaneously, but if you are not making any headway at all, you are likely to see your prospect traffic decreasing, your current clients expressing frustration or leaving to work with other advisors, and the rate of referrals declining.

Even if you take small but deliberate steps forward to upgrade your marketing, you will begin to see returns, and those returns will compound as you pour more and more gas into the tank.

— Read 6 Ways to Capture the Rewards Hiding in the Unknownon ThinkAdvisor.


John Pojeta

John Pojeta is vice president of business development at The PT Services Group. Before he joined PT, he owned and operated an Ameriprise Financial Services franchise for 16 years.