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War Stories From The Trenches That Financial Advisors Can Learn From

January 08, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 121

Here are two businesses whose lessons apply very well to financial services. These are from real businesses here in New Zealand that happened in the past twelve months.

A builder: This business had been static for some time, his advertising efforts being in all the normal media such as radio, press and directories. Wanting to grow the business, the builder analyzed the last 20 jobs and was stunned to find that ALL were from referrals! Until he had looked closely at them he just assumed that the advertising must have been generating the work.

So, he made up a list of potential and existing Centres of Influence, being architects, structural engineers, developers, the local authority staff, real estate agents and previous clients. He then arranged breakfast meetings with them in small groups. He called them (surprise, surprise) "Friday Breakfasts," so EVERY WEEK he invites two or three of them to meet informally with him and his staff over croissants and coffee.

Business has gone up 100% in just twelve months. His profit has risen as not only is he saving on advertising but he does not have to compete with as many when tendering. The staff love them as well and as an unexpected bonus, motivation and productivity have increased.

The lesson: What are the real drivers of your business - referrals, advertising, sponsorship or something else? If it's referrals, do you have a proactive plan for cultivating more of these? The builder in this case study has obviously found a low-cost and apparently very effective plan.

A consulting engineer: This engineer's clients are local government and large developers. Advertising to date was primarily in relevant industry journals. He undertook a small amount of informal research, which revealed that his clients did not know the range of services he offered. So, he created a simple monthly newsletter that went to his clients explaining the full range of services.

Issue #2 generated a phone call that lead directly to a $40,000 contract, while issue #7 generated a $120,000 contract! Both contracts were from existing clients who had not realized until then that he offered that particular service.

The lesson: Do your clients know what you do? There is a good chance they only know you for the single product you may have sold them in the past. What are you doing about this?

Nothing beats personal contact, be it by mail, email, phone or in person. The trick is the frequency. It must be very high and relevant to the recipient. I think this builder and engineer have shown some lessons here that are directly applicable to other professional service providers such as financial advisors.

Paul Watkins has helped financial advisors grow their businesses for nearly two decades. The secret to growth is not a single silver bullet but appreciating that the best techniques are simple, small, inexpensive activities that can mostly be put on auto-pilot. Paul has more details on his web site

Source: EzineArticles
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