A sales funnel, with people on top leading to dollar signs at the bottom. (Credit: Allison Bell/ALM)

(Related: You Can Outsource Cold Calling)

If we’re unwilling to take a detailed approach to our marketing strategies, our companies will never see sustainable growth. This statement goes against the norm in today’s digital marketing efforts.

A perfect example: Each day, when I log into my email and my LinkedIn account, I have to delete several unsolicited pitches for new, amazing products and services. Various social media and marketing gurus are reaching out to tell me about their magic solution for email marketing, or for CRM systems, or for lead generation, or for website design. They come packed with case studies and grand promises around how quickly I can see results.

As “too good to be true” as these messages seem, we also can’t ignore why they are so prevalent: They work. Many people want the promises to be true, and either out of misplaced optimism or inexperience, they invest their budget in these magic bullets.

If we’re honest, many of us have made this mistake as well.

Worse yet, we are still making this mistake, even if we don’t realize it.

When we talk to clients about their retirement savings, their succession planning, or their life insurance policies, we focus on long-term returns and results. Now, as much as prospects want a 10% consistent return, with the security of an FDIC insured CD, tax-deferred growth, with penalty-free access to withdrawals along the way, that’s not how this works. You have to play the long game. You have to trust the process and build the big returns over time. That means being patient. That means waiting out dips in the stock market and still investing as you go. That means acting today to get results far into the future.

And then before the office door has even closed, we look at our marketing and ask, “How can I get more prospects today?”

This is the biggest lie advisors tell themselves about their marketing: The philosophy of playing for the long-term returns doesn’t apply to them.

And that’s a problem.

When we are new to advising, the small quick wins produce relatively big returns, but as our businesses mature and as we pursue prospects of increasingly higher value, the opportunities are harder to find, they take more work to capture, and the sales cycles get longer.

The advisors who continue to see exponential growth in their businesses all have something in common. They approach their marketing with a mindset that includes the following:

  • A long-term, methodical vision for growth
  • A willingness to invest in that long-term potential
  • The endurance to stick with the plan through thick and thin
  • The understanding that their success will require uncommon effort

These advisors go beyond referrals to find growth. They diligently push into markets and get in front of completely new opportunities. As a result, they see the kind of outcomes that make them not only financially successful but also sometimes thought leaders in the industry.

These are the advisors who are on stage talking about their work. These are not the advisors sitting in the audience wishing they were meeting new prospects. By reducing their reliance on referral-based growth, these advisors are able to explore new growth opportunities their current clientele may be unable to provide.

With a revamped marketing strategy, we can avoid becoming another one of those companies blasting their messages out about magic solutions to anyone with an email address. With the proper targeting and long-term strategy, we can generate sustainable growth for years to come.

— 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.