Now let’s talk a little about your marketing “bait” or in other words, your marketing offers …
For example, I keep getting postcards, letters, and big packages in the mail about steak dinners offered by various wealth managers. I’m not sure all of the criteria that they are using, but clearly from home value, to age, and net-worth, I’m in the ideal target market for most wealth managers.
Hence, I’m on a lot of mailing lists. Now, between you and I, whoever’s putting together their marketing is really terrible at most of the basics:
- Get inside the conversation already going in their head.
- The most important aspect to any mailer (after getting it opened) is the HEADLINE that calls out powerfully to an existing concern. (Hence, the conversation already going on in their head.)
- There needs to be a powerful offer. Frankly, someone in my neighborhood and in my income category isn’t going to spend much time being enticed by a free steak. And for most, that’s their only real offer.
- There needs to be a “time-limited” reason to respond. A powerful offer.
- Another consideration, most of what I receive in the mail is “short-form” i.e., postcards with limited copy, huge photo covering one side, and minimal “sales copy” about the offer, and never even a simple testimonial. (Hell, “I thought I was showing up for a free steak dinner and ended up with 4 ideas that are going to totally change the way I think about my retirement planning” would help a lot.)
- Frankly, there’s rarely much about the actual subject of the meeting other than free food. Again, if someone’s time is worth $1,000 an hour, and they live in a multi-million dollar home that’s not particularly enticing.
Now there are two problems with this approach. One—I don’t really want to talk to people. Two—I don’t want to show up for an event unless it’s something I want or need, or interests me.
I show up to loads of webinars and events because the topics are interesting to me and I am going to learn something that I’m in need of. However, I also know how valuable my time is—$1,500 to $2,000 an hour—so it makes far more sense for me to just buy my own steak. I’m not showing up unless the event or meeting topic and presenter itself gets me really excited. And this comes down to one simple fact, the bait is wrong. Bait, by definition, is supposed to tempt us to nibble—yet I do not feel tempted in the slightest, and with good reason.
They are essentially improperly using the law of reciprocity. If I give you something, you would be willing to give us something back. It’s an improper use of that concept because it’s the wrong kind of bait for what you are trying to accomplish. Loads of people complain to us about failed bait attempts. Perhaps they offered a free steak dinner in an attempt to lure in potential clients who might have money to invest. Then they complain when someone shows up without two pennies to rub together just to get the free steak dinner. But that makes perfect sense. You have put up the wrong kind of bait that has no connection with what you have to offer.
Therefore, it makes sense that the percentages are low downstream because you are not offering anything unique or relevant. If you are trying to tempt someone who’s a C-Suite Executive or Independently Wealthy, they are likely to just buy their own steak dinner and skip your meeting.
Your bait should be tempting because it solves a real problem your potential clients might have or it offers something they want. For example, I’ve mentioned my friend who teaches dentists how they don’t need to need practice dentistry anymore, to replace their practice income with cash-flows from real estate. He offers an $85,000 package for the privilege of not having to show up for anything. Because his team takes care of everything for them. Recognizing that at the highest end of his client base, they really don’t want to take the time to learn the how-to’s, but just want someone they trust to handle it for them.
Does your offer help them solve a significant tax problem? Will it help them with their children’s college tuition? What real-life problem will it solve?
Dan Kennedy would say something like this: “I want it to be like I was eavesdropping on the conversation that they were having at the kitchen table late at night, what are their worries, what are they stressing about, what are they emotionally engaged in, and then I want to show them that I have the solution for it.” The right headline and copy should elicit the feeling that you’ve been listening into those conversations.
That is the big point that you need to understand and anchor in. What would your prospects be talking about around the kitchen table? What are they worried about in your niche? They aren’t going to come to you if you say: “Please come and listen to me because I’m a certified financial planner.” They can Google that kind of information. You want to bait them and interest them with something very specific to them and what they need.
Another quick aside: You need to decide how geographically centric you want your marketing to be. I’ve noticed that most advisors are somehow fixated on a 5 or 10 mile radius around their office. It’s probably a hold-over from believing that all sales need to be face-to face. Some of the most successful advisors that I work with have clients all over the United States or all over Canada. In some cases across multiple countries if their company and their licensing can accommodate that. There’s no reason that you can’t be effective with meeting prospects via Zoom or similar. That you can’t invite them to come to you for small group meetings. That you can handle their needs from a distance with little concerns.