Finding good referral sources can be a challenge for advisers particularly if referral partners are unsure about what makes the ideal advice client.
Yet, advisers don’t need to embark on complex marketing campaigns to provide the information to referral partners.
As Rachel Staggs from SRSCC writes, a simple, focused and repeated campaign can bring new prospects seeking advice as long as the adviser is clear on who they want.
Rachel provides a real-world example of a campaign she developed for an adviser that was easy to execute, and that actually brought in new clients.
Most of my articles offer simple practical advice and that is exactly what this article aims to do; give you a campaign that we’ve used that works. It might not be the sexiest of campaigns or the most complex but it’s a campaign that will get noticed and get you results; isn’t that what you want your marketing to do?
It doesn’t involve automation or social media. It doesn’t involve hours and hours of labour, it really is a simple idea that works, and it deals with a common issue many advisers face.
That issue is not receiving the right type of client from a referral partner or networking group. Instead you receive clients who don’t suit your business which can cause major dramas for the you, as the adviser, the client and person who referred them.
There’s a reason some of the greatest marketers in the world think of joint venture relationships as the most effective marketing strategy.
with the right message and campaign, you can quite easily fill your pipeline with the ideal clients your value proposition supports
Someone else has spent years and money building trust with a list of clients and prospects that are also your ideal clients. Joint ventures make it possible for you to access their clients, tap into the trust, and position your advisory services.
So I’m going to share a marketing campaign that we have recently used with an adviser because it’s simple, doesn’t cost a fortune and works!
As with most brilliant marketing strategies, it’s not always the easiest thing to pull off. Even when the other professional party appreciates the value of your advice and services, they often lack the right mindset and understanding to promote you to another.
However, with the right message and campaign, you can quite easily fill your pipeline with the ideal clients your value proposition supports. Which I know is music to many ears!
Before you can launch this excellent marketing campaign though, you need to find the right partners. I’m not necessarily talking about accountants and solicitors (although this marketing campaign will work with them too) but other professionals who would be open to a JV marketing opportunity. Who? That will depend on who your target client is. Ask yourself, who do they trust? It could be a business coach, a personal trainer; the list is endless depending on who you want to work with.
Right from the start, you need to identify the perfect people you want to work with; people who share the same values, culture and ideal clients as you do. You might think that their values and culture doesn’t matter to you, but if there is one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that shared values and culture make the JV stick, and campaigns work!
Remember the WANTED/REWARD posters from old Western movies? The ones that show the face of someone that the sheriff is looking for? In this campaign, the posters were pinned to walls and trees around town. We made a WANTED poster of ‘the ideal client’. This is the exact campaign that we created, and it worked.
If you tell a referral partner that you can help anyone, you become a commodity not a specialist
Have you worked out who your ideal client is? Remember, it can’t be all Australians! If you tell a referral partner that you can help anyone, you become a commodity not a specialist, and you’ll simply be forgotten and never referred to.
This is how the campaign looked:
I recently worked with an adviser who is part of a Business Network International (BNI) group which helps members build referral networks. BNI groups might not be your thing, but you might be part of another networking group which is why I want to share this idea with you. If you’re not part of a networking group, I would encourage you to join one. There are lots around, and if you really can’t find one you like, you could start your own.
This adviser was having a problem articulating who his ideal client was to the BNI group. He is a risk specialist, and the group understood what he did, but they either couldn’t understand who his perfect client was or just forgot as soon as the meeting was over. So, we devised a plan so that they wouldn’t forget!
Knowing that most people are visual processors; meaning they prefer to see something than just read it, we created a WANTED flyer for this adviser to use at his BNI group.
The flyer had the words WANTED written at the top and a picture of a small business owner who was working on a farm. He looked successful but stressed. He had a young family; wife and three children. He had people who worked for him. The adviser named the farm business, the family and listed out seven other characteristics about this person.
Each Tuesday when the group met, the adviser handed out the flyer so that the group was reminded exactly who he wanted to see. Simply giving it to them once and never again wouldn’t have achieved the results. That’s an important tip! The group thought it was a great novel idea!
The result? He started receiving the ideal client referrals.
This simple idea can be used in your networking group, with your existing clients and your referral partnerships.
Marketing doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive or hard. Sometimes the simplest of messages work. There are many ways in which you can use this campaign. You could use it internally to help your team understand who your ideal client is. Use it on your website to clearly explain who you work with, although you might want to remove the words, WANTED! And you might look at using the concept in your corporate brochure.
In her regular Practice Marketing column, Rachel Staggs provides insights to help advisers market their business to potential (and existing) clients.
Rachel Staggs is the founder and Managing Director of SRSCC, a specialist financial services consulting firm.