Kelton Corcoran is a senior content marketing specialist at NaviPlan, the financial planning technology provider of choice for more than 140,000 financial professionals.
Financial advisors bring a high level of passion and gamma when it comes to working with their clients. Day in and day out, advisors take pride in creating financial strategies for their clients to achieve life-long goals while balancing financial risk with wealth accumulation. Many advisors, however, are less comfortable when it comes to talking about themselves and marketing their own services.
If marketing and promotion feel intimidating, you may find it more enjoyable to instead focus on clients you already know. A good marketing strategy is not all about cold promotion and advertising tactics to win new clients. Rather, marketing efforts can also focus on retaining your book of business for the long haul, cross-selling as client needs evolve, and converting current clients into advocates for your firm.
With nearly half of 2021 in the rearview, now is a great time for advisors to look at their progress and explore new marketing ideas for the future. In addition to our eBook Financial advisors' guide to impactful digital marketing, here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Marketing to retain clients
While retaining business may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of marketing, there’s a good reason it’s first on this list. You may have heard the general rule of thumb that it costs five times as much to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. While this can vary depending on tactics and the client themselves, client retention in financial services is crucial due to client relationships often following a J-curve of profitability. As industry expert Michael Kitces explains, client profitability grows exponentially over time as they continue to accumulate wealth. This is especially relevant for advisors on an AUM compensation structure, but also for fee-based advisors as client needs grow over time. More on this in the next section.
So financial advisors should ask themselves what tactics are in place to continually satisfy and retain clients. Are you continuing outreach and giving clients similar attention after onboarding? Are there processes in place to ensure they are satisfied in the relationship with your firm? What is being done to identify and address new concerns or needs? These are all questions that can lead to more personalized services and more satisfied clients.
Here are some additional advisor marketing ideas that work well at the retention stage:
- Ongoing educational content
- Loyalty appreciation and personalized gifts
- Vision and roadmap resources, getting your clients to visualize their investment goals
- Robust customer support systems and service tools
- Proud and authentic corporate social responsibility programs
- Client newsletters
- Client surveys and feedback loops
How can advisors navigate new realities in retirement planning?
2. Marketing to help financial advisors cross-sell
If you have ever added a beverage to your meal at a restaurant, then you’re already familiar with the concept of cross-selling. Cross-selling is the process of selling a different product or service to a customer while they are mid-purchase, with a goal of increasing the value of the sale for both the buyer and the seller. It can increase the units per transaction and also leave the client with a richer, more satisfying experience.
For financial advisors, cross-selling is more common than you may think. For instance, perhaps an insurance advisor provides services such as comprehensive financial planning or estate planning alongside their insurance advice. Another example would be banks and credit unions who may offer financial planning alongside traditional services such as auto loans and mortgages, investment advice, or tax planning.
Here are some marketing ideas for financial advisors to help with cross-selling:
- After a client experiences a winning moment, engage in a discussion on what comes next
- Offer combinations or bundling of services for a discounted fee or AUM percentage
- Engage with clients consistently to ensure their needs are understood and identified
- Describe how similar clients have taken advantage of multiple services in their financial journey
3. Marketing ideas to help financial advisors turn clients into advocates and gain referrals
Referrals are incredibly effective in converting prospects and one of the most hands-off ways to grow your book of business. Capgemini’s 2018 World Wealth Report found that nearly half of high-net-worth clients surveyed found their wealth manager through a referral from a friend or colleague. Additionally, an InvestmentNews study found that each year, referrals can make up to 50 percent of a typical advisory firm’s new revenue.
While client advocacy and gaining referrals may seem as simple as having satisfied clients, some simple marketing tactics can help in a big way. For instance, just mentioning the idea of a referral is not being done by many advisors. Another study from InvestmentNews found that only 18 percent of advisors say they reach out regularly to solicit client referrals and just 33 percent reach out occasionally.
Here are some marketing ideas for financial advisors to win more referrals:
- Engage your clients on social media and encourage shared content
- Offer a referral program with incentives
- Ask for referrals more regularly and make it part of your relationship-building experience
- Deploy a referral campaign by email, personalized mail, or phone
While gaining a recommendation from your most satisfied clients is a huge win, firms need to ensure they are providing the right information for these referred prospects to find. To learn more about digital marketing tips that ensure your firm is presented in its best light online, check out this eBook.
Want to learn more on how NaviPlan can help increase client satisfaction, open doors for cross-selling, and convert more prospects? Request your free trial and explore the features of the NaviPlan platform.