September 27, 2018
Referrals, referrals, referrals. We constantly hear how important they are and how it’s one of the best ways to obtain new clients. But, how exactly do we achieve as many referrals as possible? What can we do to differentiate ourselves to ensure that we’re receiving those referrals? One thing I want to discuss is the importance of providing exceptional customer service. If you switch your focus from trying to obtain referrals from every client you see to focusing on providing the best experience possible, your referrals will come naturally. In fact, just one happy client could result in 9 referrals for your firm. Whenever a client feels that a financial advisor is making a genuine effort to understand the client and provides valuable recommendations, they’re more likely to spread the word about you. Therefore, a positive experience is a must when trying to obtain referrals. With that being said, I’d love to provide some basic tips on ways to enhance the customer experience that will result in more referrals for your firm.
Don’t forget the little things about your clients. Is today your client’s daughter’s birthday? Send a birthday card! Keeping the little things in mind will make the client feel special and cultivate a healthy, engaged relationship.
Consistency. Don’t tell the client you will follow up constantly and only do it once. If there is a mistake on your part, don’t continue making the same mistake. Consistency is key when working with clients.
Don’t be intimidated to ask. Of course, providing excellent customer service will be the first option for obtaining referrals. However, don’t ever be afraid to ask for it. If you have worked with your client for quite some time now, feel free to mention something like “If you’ve enjoyed my service and you’re happy with the outcome, don’t hesitate to tell a friend.”
At the end of the day, ensuring a positive customer experience will result in more referrals for your firm.
August 30, 2018
In today’s society, one of the best ways a company can be successful is to provide great customer service. But, is that really enough? Working in customer service goes deeper than just ensuring it is “good.” We want to make sure that we deliver a value to the customer through our services or products. Some of the best companies worldwide have developed a culture within the organization around the value they deliver to their clients; companies such as Apple, Ritz-Carlton, Disney, Amazon, and the list goes on and on. So, how should companies go about creating a culture focused on delivering value to clients?
- Customer knowledge. As you build your book of business, really get to know your customers and especially their expectations of you. A lot of the times we deliver our services but forget to check if they align with the expectations from our customers.
- Create a customer service strategy. Often different segments of an organization aren’t aware of the company’s strategy or their understanding of it doesn’t align with the company’s. Therefore, creating a customer service strategy focused on delivering value to customers and spreading it throughout the whole organization will allow for consistency.
- Listen to your employees. The employees are on the frontline of daily customer interaction. Therefore, they may have customer insights that could be valuable for your customer knowledge. It will also provide a framework of ways to develop your customer service strategy.
- Loyalty. Don’t say you’re going to contact a customer in a week and then never contact them. Follow through with your promises and check up on customers regularly. What this does is it creates loyalty which means that you have provided a level of customer service that has exceeded expectations.
Not only will these actions steps result in higher customer satisfaction, but it will also greatly differentiate your business from companies who simply “deliver” their services or products.
June 14, 2018
In the business world, it seems that it’s always a company’s goal to be better – better price, better product, better service. However, that’s not always the best way to go about your business. Whenever a customer says “why shouldn’t I just go to the financial firm across the street?” and your answer is “because we’re better,” does the customer necessarily believe that?
What truly matters and what we should all be focusing on is being different. Think about what’s unique about your company. Most of the time, customers choose your business because of you, not knowing the products you offer because they loved what’s unique about you. If you look at really successful companies, they didn’t become successful because they wrote “WE ARE BETTER THAN THE OTHER GUY” as their headline. They outlined what’s unique about them and shared it with the world. And people bought their product because of them.
So, you’re probably wondering: what’s something that could be different about your firm? The people, your leader, and staff. No other firm has the same people as yours does, and that’s one of the best ways to describe your uniqueness.
I’d like to leave this post with a few questions for you to think about:
- What’s something that you are doing that your competitors aren’t?
- What are you doing that’s exactly like your competitors that you could change?
May 24, 2018
In this blog, we talk a lot about all of the different ways you can market your business: social media, website, cold calling, referral programs, etc. However, one major marketing practice that I think is often overlooked is event marketing. What if my event goes horribly? How do I go about planning it? Am I just going to waste all my money? These are valid questions and the thought process in terms of event marketing for a lot of financial advisors. But what if the opposite happens? And you gain a good amount of new potential clients. Or if you are putting on a marketing event for current clients, this could allow for them to feel truly appreciated.
Now that you understand why I think you should definitely include event marketing in your strategy, let’s talk about how you can actually get people to attend.
Firstly, when planning your marketing event, it’s important to create an invitation that shows what’s in it for them. State the benefits they could receive right away!
Give a call to your prospects! Another way to make potential clients feel important is to actually invite them yourself. Nowadays, everything is automated. So anything personalized goes a long way.
Another thing that’s often missing nowadays is follow up. It’s important to follow up right after the event. You need to plan this in advance so that you don’t feel overwhelmed when the time comes. Some ways you can go about doing this is by sending follow up hand written notes, a professional picture of the individual from the event, or scheduling an appointment and calling.
What successful marketing events has your company hosted? Let us know in the comments below!
January 25, 2018
Marketing Ruts… If you haven’t experienced one throughout your business’s life cycle, then please share your secrets with the rest of us. Rather you’d like to admit it or not, marketing ruts happen and they can be frustrating, discouraging, and honestly irritating. Why isn’t this working? Why am I not getting any responses? However, it’s a new month, new quarter and you’re ready to try something different but you don’t know how. You’ll always have the option to look back and review what worked and what didn’t in your previous marketing strategies. But, how can you dig deeper? Let’s look at some advice on helping your process of getting out of a Marketing Rut:
- Brainstorm the worst ideas possible. In a way, this sounds like it would be fun to do, am I right? When your marketing isn’t going the way you were expecting, it’s time to brainstorm your worst ideas possible with your team. Google search some marketing disasters and look at things that companies have done that they completely regret. Doing this will allow for us to notice what success looks like and makes us think, “what’s truly important in marketing?”
- Research outside of your industry. What are some companies that aren’t in your industry that are executing extremely well on describing their product?
- Research inside of your industry. Look at some of the most successful firms in your industry even if they are 20 times bigger than you. This will allow for you to notice things you don’t incorporate into your marketing strategy. Additionally, it will allow for you to see how they are describing their value proposition and other points, which in return will give you ideas on how you can successfully communicate information to your audience.
Getting out of a Marketing Rut can be what you make of it, so make it fun! Let us know what types of things you noticed in your research in the comments below.
December 28, 2017
As 2017 comes to an end, it is the perfect time to look back on annual reports and evaluate your progress. Although it is important to look back on your performance, it’s also just as important to plan for the upcoming year. The new year can be intimidating, especially when competition is heavy. While planning your marketing for the new year you should make sure that it is: strategic, measurable, attainable, and cost effective. There are various ways to develop your marketing plans on a budget but one of the best ways is to provide a “personal touch” and connection that most clients don’t expect, but certainly value. This means going above and beyond for the customer by showing extra care and doing things out of the ordinary that the customer doesn’t expect. Here are 5 methods in approaching a “personal side” of marketing:
- Have someone in charge of marketing. This doesn’t mean you need to develop a whole marketing department. Is there someone in your office that you consider a “people’s person” or someone who likes to put events together? Assign them to the marketing tasks. The tasks could vary from arranging seminars and events to updating the website and blogs. Rather it’s having a marketing consultant, an intern, or someone from your office, having someone assigned to the job will ensure that it gets done.
- Arrange a reverse seminar. Instead of you presenting to your client, have them present to you. This will put the “spotlight” on the client and will allow for them to feel engaged.
- Conduct an annual event. We all know of a few companies in our areas that are associated with certain charity events. That’s the goal for your firm. Having an annual event, especially involving charity, will not only help out your community but will also provide advertising opportunities.
- Pick up your phone and call! Sounds like something you should already know, but it’s one of the more effective (and free) ways to market. Instead of sending an email, give your client a call. Have the call be from the financial advisor or attorney that is working with the client. Discuss with them any business updates and ask if they have any questions. This also allows for the client to develop a relationship with the firm and feel like they are a part of the process, instead of being left in the dark. Make sure to personalize each call and switch up the subject.
- Go above and beyond with the simple things. This means whenever a client is in the office, make a fresh cup of coffee and add a snack with it. Have a welcome sign whenever the client is entering the office. Provide a welcome package, make parking arrangements, give a map, etc. Go the extra mile so that the client feels truly appreciated. And this will not only help your “personal side” marketing, but will also provide word-of-mouth marketing. The clients will tell their families, friends, and coworkers about this.
Have more ways on providing a “personal side” to marketing? Tell us by leaving a comment below:
November 30, 2017
It’s getting to that busy time of year where there’s projects and deadlines, or maybe you’re trying to market your self to a potential new employer or new clientele. Plus you have the holidays to worry about! That can overwhelm the best of us. So the question is, what can we do to combat that feeling of being so overwhelmed? Here a few tips that might help you come out on top, and maybe you won’t break a sweat in the process.
- Recognize your tools. I know that this has been brought up in previous blog posts as well, but you will be so successful if you recognize and utilize the tools available to you. There are a million online resources, and think about the people that you know as well. Who is out there that can give you a step up, provide new strategies or idea, give you resume tips, etc. The list is probably endless.
- Get organized. Figure out which of your goals are the most important, especially in the short term. There’s nothing more overwhelming than looking at a to do list that is a mile long and feeling like you need to accomplish it all immediately. Once you do that you can figure out a game plan to start checking off the boxes.
- Use a planner. This has been said time and time again, I know. It’s so important though. Block out your day and give yourself time slots to complete your specific tasks. You will always be on track and accomplishing something, without trying to do everything at once. It will change your world, I promise.
- Be satisfied. One of the worst things that you can do is tell yourself that you aren’t doing enough or being productive enough or getting enough done. At the end of the day look at what you accomplished and feel good about those things instead of bad about the things that you didn’t get to complete. Tomorrow is a new day!
- Take the first step. This is maybe the most important step. Everyone will have tactics and strategies that work for them and you will have to figure that out on your own. Getting started is the hardest thing for everyone though. Of course everyone is going to want their plan to be perfect and executed as best possible, but sometimes you need to take the leap. If you spend too much time worrying and planning and re-planning you will go crazy! You just need to start even if you don’t have everything worked out exactly as you want.
So as the holiday season gets kicked off, take the time to relax and think about your strategy. When the new year rolls around you’ll be ready to hit the ground running.
What are you best tips to beat the overwhelm?