People visit our blog, download our materials, and work with our office because they have a problem they need to solve. Maybe they don’t have the best solution for a client and ask one of our consultants for help. Or, maybe they have trouble with generating leads for their business, which they hope to grow and expand. Others rely on our case management team to ensure the right papers are signed and follow-up procedures are met. Most of our advisors are people who have a good business strategy, but they just don’t have enough help on the backend to get them to the next level.
Every now and again, we run in to people who we just can’t work with; these are people who don’t have a strategy, and worse, refuse to develop one.
If you are someone who struggles to meet their sales projections/quota and believe that just adding the latest and greatest “tool” (email marketing, digital media, radio, pay-per-click advertising) will help you increase sales, you might want to take a seat (or, swallow your coffee) before you read on…
THERE IS NO TOOL (OR SERVICE) THAT IS GOING TO FIX YOUR PROBLEM.
Imagine you’ve just invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to get your hands on a NASCAR supercar. It is the BEST racecar that has ever been made. But, you’ve never driven a NASCAR supercar in your life. You’re not comfortable with how fast the car goes, how it handles, or how to shift. Heck, you're not even remotely familiar with the track you’re driving on. When it comes time to race, you might have the best car on the track, but you’re probably not going to win.
::I don't get it, the marketing team told me this would work, but I haven't seen a single lead yet!::
Strategy, Strategy, Strategy
In The Art of War, author Sun Tzu states “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” Impressively, Sun Tzu's work is still as relevant today for marketers as it was for ancient China's military.
If you’ve ever met with a marketing team and thought, “I don’t have time to go over a process. I just need to: meet more prospects, close more deals, host more seminars, etc.” then it won’t matter if we:
- Get you a radio show on the most popular station in town.
- Set you up with a top-of-the-line marketing automation system.
- Create hundreds of ads to place in the digital market.
Raiding a marketer's toolbox won't create more business for you, because you’re not solving your underlying problem: You have a terrible marketing strategy for generating new business.
But, you don't have to take my word for it. Insidesales.com revealed in a recent study that smarter pipeline management could result in revenue increases of over 27%. Take a look at your current marketing process. Don’t have a marketing process/strategy? Keep reading…
“I need to meet with more clients this year” might be the goal you’re aiming for, but a solid strategy is the arrow that will help you hit your target.
Fire, Ready, Aim
A list of goals or objectives isn’t a strategy. A strategy is a clear, specific explanation of HOW you plan to reach your goal. A good goal is S.M.A.R.T.
- Time-bound (or, Trackable).
You can read more on developing SMART Goals here.
Let’s say you are an advisor who has an email marketing system.
Every month, you send an email to 1,000 prospects, usually with a guide or white paper that will help your prospect with their retirement planning or financial future. Through those email blasts, you are able to book 2 or 3 additional consultations per month.
Now, in an effort to grow your database and try to get more business, you add all of the new emails you receive each month to that database, regardless of whether the contact came from your recent seminar, an online form giveaway, or you just flat-out bought a list of names (which you should NEVER do if you plan to email them without their permission!).
Take a moment to imagine yourself as that new contact.
You attended an event to learn how “informed Social Security choices can give you the best payout options during retirement,” but you didn’t sign up for a consultation at the end of the event. Three weeks later, you receive an email from the company that hosted the event and the subject line simply states, “March Newsletter.”
(How motivated are you going to be to open that email?)
Or, let’s say you do open the email, and realize that it didn’t offer any content that is remotely relevant to you (download your free “Tax Guide for 2017” today!).
What is the likelihood that you would open an email from that company in the future? (When was the last time you opened an email from the retail store that required you to input your email address to get a discount?)
Now, can you see why your email marketing efforts aren’t working?
A goal without a plan is just a wish
This is where developing a process/strategy BEFORE you take action can really help your business. A far more effective plan would have been to develop lead nurturing emails that were created with a specific audience in mind (segmentation) and sent in a timely manner (automated).
In fact, did you know:
- According to Hubspot Marketing research, lead nurturing emails (marketing automation and email segmentation) generate nearly three times more clicks than email blasts
- Jupiter Research revealed that relevant emails drive EIGHTEEN TIMES MORE REVENUE than broadcast emails.
Talk about ROI.
Work smarter, not harder.
To recap, taking the time to strategize and structure your marketing process can help:
- Increase your sales
- Reduce the chance of good leads from falling through the cracks
- Shorten the sales cycle
Are there tools and services available that can help your process? Absolutely! Many of them are worth every penny. But, if someone is selling you on the latest and greatest marketing craze but can’t articulate a strategy or process behind it, don’t be surprised if you’re just hearing a lot of noise before the defeat…
Not sure where to get started? We created this nifty checklist to help you get organized as you create your marketing plan. Download it today and start attracting the people who are looking for YOU to solve their financial problem!