When it comes to generating financial advisor leads, most advisors want investors who are ready to make an immediate hiring decision. They want investors who are ready to sign a contract and start using their services right away. However, some of the best financial advisor prospects are investors who are not ready to make an immediate decision. First, they want to learn more about advisors. Then, they want to learn more about particular advisors before they are ready to meet. The Internet makes all of this possible – it is a definite game changer.
The more money investors have, the more they have to lose. So they are naturally cautious when they select a financial advisor who will influence or control their investment decisions.
The same can be said for investors who are selecting their first financial advisors. They are cautious because they do not want to make a mistake. Plus, prudent investors will want to learn more about financial advisors before they select one. They have all read about or heard about investors who have had bad experiences with financial advisors.
Cautious investors will start their homework early so they are prepared when they begin the interview process. They want to select the best financial advisors, not the advisors with the best sales skills. Prudent investors will interview four to five financial advisors and select the one with the best credentials, ethics and business practices. This creates a challenge for investors who use this process. They may interview five advisors, but they only want to select one. They have to exclude four. The more they know about advisors, the easier the process will be for them.
The best financial advisors will adapt their marketing strategies to this reality.
Instead of getting frustrated that a lead is “non-responsive,” financial advisors should use a high-quality CRM system and nurture the leads until they are ready to take the next step. Some members of the Paladin Registry have won multi-million-dollar relationships by being patient and diligent with their communications.
Financial advisor leads come in many different forms and phases in the buyer’s journey. Even if investors are not ready to select financial advisors right away, they still have significant value. That’s because the principal issue may be timing and not the investors’ need for financial advisors. These investors should not be ignored, they should be nurtured until they are ready to meet.
A major key to success is how advisors communicate with investors on their drip list. The communications should be relevant and timely. This encourages readership and continuity. Investors may opt-out if advisors send them generic newsletters that contain irrelevant content.
4 Types of Leads for Financial Advisors
There are 4 common types of financial advisor leads.
- Investors are in active search mode and want to select advisors in the next 30 days.
- Investors are identifying top quality financial advisors in their communities.
- Investors are researching advisors who will replace current advisors.
- Investors are seeking general information about financial advisors.
As you can see, timing plays a significant part in all of the investors’ selection processes. Some investors have immediate needs and short timelines when they select financial advisors. Other investors have longer timelines, but that does not make them any less valuable. Sometimes the best prospects are the ones taking their time because they have substantial asset amounts.
It can be difficult to identify investors who are seeking advisors and investors who are seeking information about advisors or particular advisors. But looking at the big picture, it should not matter:
- Some leads will result in immediate appointments.
- Other leads will require follow-up over time.
- You need an effective marketing system that can handle both.
Investors Research Financial Advisors
It’s no secret anymore: Investors use the Internet to find, research and contact financial advisors. When they have a need, they do not wait to hear from advisors who contact them. In fact, they may no longer accept this type of contact (solicitations). The Internet makes it easy for them to find and research advisors without relinquishing their contact information until they are ready to be contacted.
You should assume that investors will use the Internet to learn more about you before they respond to your telephone calls and/or emails. Chances are, before an investor contacts you, they will:
- Visit your website
- Google-search your name
- Search your name on the FINRA, SEC and/or Paladin Registry websites
- Look for you on social media and/or in a local listing like Yelp
The Internet gives investors access to vast amounts of public information about financial advisors and their firms. You may not even know they are conducting this type of research. You may only see the results when they do or do not schedule a call.
What investors see on the Internet forms their collective first impression of you and that impression impacts who they interview and select.
Your Marketing Practices
In the past, you may have controlled most of the information that investors relied on to make their selection decisions. That control is eroding, as investors begin to gather increasing amounts of information about you on the Internet.
Your marketing strategy today should be based on the following steps:
- Investors have to be able to find you on the Internet.
- Investors have to find the information they are seeking online.
- It needs to be easy for investors to submit contact information on your website.
- You have to have an efficient follow-up process for both types of investors:
o The advisor-seekers
o The information-seekers
- You need to be able to convert prospects into revenue-producing clients.
The purpose of initial contact is to establish communications and determine if there is mutual interest. Paladin recommends a 5-step process for following up with leads:
- Conduct your own screening process
- Determine if you want to meet with the lead
- Answer any questions the lead may have
- Provide compelling reasons why a lead should meet with you
- Schedule face-to-face, telephone or Skype appointments
Make sure you have a flexible approach for selecting the location of your first meeting with a prospect. You do not want the location for that meeting to be a barrier for winning new business.
The initial meeting should always be based on investor preference. Remember, that includes virtual interviews. Who wants to travel long distances on busy freeways during rush hour? In fact, many investors will not travel significant distances to meet advisors they do not know. Also, our experience shows that referrals with larger sums may be less inclined to travel. Older clients may not travel significant distances and employed investors may want to meet at their offices. Because of these factors, you may want to suggest a virtual meeting or offer to travel to the investors’ preferred locations.
Remember, your competitors may not require office meetings, and a flexible approach shows you are truly interested in what is best for your clients.
The distance between your respective locations is not always the primary issue. Paladin research shows investors’ biggest concern is your accessibility. They believe local advisors are more accessible than advisors who are farther away. You may have to overcome this concern to be competitive in remote markets.
Other prospects may want to meet at your brick-and-mortar location. Visiting your office can be part of an investor’s due diligence, for example, judging the quality of your firm when they meet your team of professionals.
When building your online presence, make sure you use local SEO marketing strategies. Good local SEO will ensure you are listed on local directories. For those investors who do want to work with someone local, you need to appear in search results based on city and zip code.
If you’re working with a Digital Marketing agency, the firm should offer geo-specific keyword analysis customized to your business, online directory monitoring and comprehensive on-page SEO reviews of your website pages.
Contact Paladin Digital Marketing to see how we can help you increase your financial advisor leads. Paladin can generate the leads for you or it can build Digital Marketing platforms so you can produce your own leads.