The essential systems that every advisor must have
By Peter Montoya

All the skill, knowledge and experience in the world can’t impress someone if they know nothing about it. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if motivated, qualified prospects could just “know” you were the best Advisor for them and magically appear?

Financial Services marketing is nothing like it was twenty (or even ten) years ago. In the modern landscape …

  • New client acquisition strategies are relationship-driven. New business is rarely generated by ancient transactional marketing techniques (such as cold calling or advertising). Today, referrals, client events and networking lead the way.
  • It’s a web-centered world. The internet has fundamentally changed the way today’s consumers browse, research and purchase. In the past, most consumers were sold products or services. Today, they surf the web, self-educate and carefully compare advisors before meeting with them.
  • Technology helps to manage networking, as well as the building and maintenance of business relationships.

Potential clients are no longer limited to seeking the services of the few names they see in the yellow pages. Now, they can easily access information on hundreds of Advisors within minutes.  For Advisors who ignore technology – this could put them at a great disadvantage. But for those who embrace it, the benefits are phenomenal.

Beyond creating a value proposition stating the services you provide to your clients and what makes your offering unique, you must create a consistent program to reach people and build brand awareness. You need to maintain ongoing, worthwhile contact over long periods of time (two to five years) and wait for the prospect to contact you. It may not be your grandfather’s strategy, but grandpa’s clients didn’t have today’s tools at their disposal – and neither did he.  However, technology is the one thing that makes these drip campaigns work.

Here are the essential marketing technologies that every advisor must have:

  1. Client Relationship Management (CRM)
    CRM’s are an absolutely essential tool for every Advisor to effectively track prospects, existing clients, and your marketing strategy’s next steps.  Many CRM features are common across all platforms, but perhaps the single most important factor in choosing a CRM should be this … be certain it can properly integrate with your other technologies. 
  2. Internet Presence (Website)
    The value of a website for Financial Service professionals is not merely “lead generation”. Meaning that a cold prospect is not always going to stumble onto your web site, read it, call you and enlist your services. It’s more likely that a client or colleague would refer your name to a friend, and that person will research you online before making contact. Your website is a credibility-building tool on the way to making a sale.  YOU MUST HAVE A HIGH QUALITY WEB SITE. Right or wrong, often your worth will be judged by the quality of your site.   Some website providers offer the option of template or custom design, financial articles and (most importantly) integration with your compliance department. The most dominant and widely-utilized providers in the industry work with a host of website creators and produce great-looking, compelling sites as part of a larger copywriting, design and consulting engagement.
  3. Direct Mail and Email
    Probably the most recent and exciting new form of marketing for actually attracting new clients. There are a wide variety of players with wildly different services. The main search you have to consider is how they fit into your niche market, are they reliable and do they provide a robust selection?

The bottom line? Modern technology is here, whether we choose to embrace it or not. But with the significant majority of qualified prospects being technologically-savvy, attempting to harness the power behind these new technologies is most likely your best move. The good news is, with new technology comes new opportunities – not only for attracting and maintaining relationships with your ideal clients, but also opportunities to automate and increase the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, while saving both time and money.

© 2010 Peter Montoya Inc.