The Advisory Career

You Are Who You Hire

From Design to Execution: Your staff can manage your marketing efforts
through each step of the process

by Paige Burlone

Ms. Burlone is the Marketing Coordinator for Centinel Financial Group, LLC. She can be reached at 781-446-5021 or [email protected]

As a financial professional, one of your most valuable resources is time. You need to dedicate time to serving your clients and strengthening your existing relationships, while also growing your business.

With these numerous areas of focus, all of which require time and effort, it can be easy to find yourself sacrificing the important prospect and client marketing efforts in lieu of the more significant service situations at hand.

However, marketing efforts such as sending a client an anniversary card or an industry-specific article of interest can make all the difference in terms of the strength of your relationships and ultimately the success of your business.

In order to be able to focus on the numerous aspects of a growing practice, many financial professionals choose to hire support staff. Incorporating new team members will undoubtedly add additional time and resources; however, staff members are truly valuable and successful to a practice in an area such as marketing and client cultivation. When your assistant is able to manage the entire process, from the planning and research to the execution, you can truly see exciting marketing wins.

Discovery Process

We have all been taught that research is the essential first step in a successful marketing campaign or strategy. However, when advisors are focused on servicing their existing clients and building new relationships it can be a struggle to find time to gather information on your clients. You may be interested in inviting clients to your firm’s client appreciation Veterans Day Brunch, but it is nearly impossible to participate if you do not have detailed information on your clients such as whether or not they are a veteran.

Delegating this responsibility to staff ensures that this essential step is not being overlooked. To build your database of information, staff can easily research your clients through Google, LinkedIn, and other online websites and make note of the organizations they are involved in, recent news in the industry they work, and other valuable information. If your staff greets your clients at the office door, they should be engaging in meaningful conversation while walking the client to the conference room.

By asking about their last vacation, how their children and grandchildren are doing, and other areas of interest, you are able to determine what they value as important. It can also be as simple as training your staff to actively listen and ask the right questions while they are on the phone with clients. Once this information is collected, it is important for your staff to translate it into marketing opportunities.

Execution

When your assistant is able to manage the entire process, from the planning and research to the execution, you can truly see exciting marketing wins

Your team should work together to create a specific communication plan for each group of your clients. For example, you will contact your A clients 12 times a year – 4 quarterly review phone calls, 2 face-to-face meetings, and 6 additional touches. Your B clients may have 6 contacts per year – 2 review phone calls, one face-to-face meeting, and 3 additional touches, etc. Your staff should be responsible for orchestrating these additional touches, and it is extremely important for them to have processes in place that they adhere to.

At the beginning of each month, with the help of your Client Relationship Management (CRM) system, they can create a list of upcoming special days, such as client birthdays and wedding anniversaries. It is still important for you to sign the cards yourself in order to personalize the message, but utilizing a process will lead to greater efficiency and save you time in the long run. Your staff should prepare the appropriate cards and have you sign them at the beginning of each month, and then create a schedule with alerts on when to send out each card.

Another important focus for your assistant should be the management of a marketing calendar. In our firm, we build an annual marketing calendar with various campaigns and strategies that our representatives can choose to participate in. At the beginning of the year, you and your team should decide which campaigns, events and mailers you are going to commit to and which clients and prospects will be the target audience for each campaign. After this initial decision, the responsibility of executing the calendar should be delegated to your staff, which will allow you to focus on more efficient uses of your time. Whether your firm offers a marketing calendar or you create your own, it is important for your staff to take the lead and prepare and execute each campaign.

Be sure your team is familiar with your firm’s compliance procedures and attains necessary approvals. Keep in mind that if your staff is going to be in control of your marketing campaigns and branding efforts, it is essential for them to truly understand and identify with your unique value statement. Your staff will need to be able to effectively express the values of your practice and incorporate these into all marketing campaigns and strategies. Overall, making the decision to incorporate support staff into your practice is an important first step, but deciding how your new members will specifically assist your team in areas such as marketing is equally important. It is only when you reach the stage where your staff can completely manage and orchestrate the marketing efforts for your team that you will be able to efficiently focus your time on growing the practice even further.

 

Registered Representative/securities offered through Signator Investors, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC. 160 Gould Street, Suite 212, Needham Heights, MA 02494