Where Does the Time Go?
Financial Sales Professionals Have “NO TIME” for Social Media. That is a common excuse among the status quo. We all have the same amount of time in a day, no more, no less. Everyone’s life is busy, everyone wants more time. How do you get more time? Stop wasting it! You simply need to be more efficient and effective with your time. You might not be able to put 25 hours in a day, but if you complete your urgent and important tasks without wasting your time with all of the distractions around you, you’ll have more time to do other things.
Why waste time on old methods that simply aren’t as effective as they used to be? People don’t waste time these days getting from point A to point B in a horse drawn carriage; they hop into their car. The horse and buggy works, but it’s not as effective. You need to take care of the horses, clean up after them and feed them. They cannot do 80 MPH down the highway. You save time, by using a car instead of a horse and buggy.
Social Media Efficiency
When used as a sales tool, Social Media is not a distraction. If you take the time to understand it, the information it provides you with, turns into currency in your pocket.
All kidding aside, how do you think God knows everything? Social Media!
Communication has changed. If you don’t see that, then you have been living under a rock. This is why I cringe every time a financial sales professional says he has no time to learn about social media, no time to develop a strategy on social media and no time to execute actions on social media.
What I really hear him saying is that “I don’t have time to get to know my clients and those they care about,” “I don’t have time to interact with my clients.” “I don’t have time to efficiently and effectively find more people to help!”
What to Do?
I digress. Below I outline effective uses of time for a new financial advisor, a financial advisor who is trying to get to the next level, and for a more established, older financial advisor who is coasting and is happy with the status quo.
1) New Financial Advisor – Where’s my first appointment coming from?
When I see a new trusted financial advisor starting out, where does he get his leads, let alone prospects and clients from? I am sure you would agree, a good place for him to start would be to try and convince his rich uncle to trust his assets with him. Financial advisors, and Insurance agents especially are told to sell their solutions to their family and friends, just to give them a base. They already know, like and trust them, so why not? I guess it’s a start!
Good advice to a new advisor just starting out, wouldn’t be telling him to come in to the office and sit down and dial phone numbers “cold” out of the phone book until his finger is bleeding. A financial advisor cold calling for clients is no longer the effective way to go. How many times do you want him to get hung up on before he quits because of the constant rejection? Maybe 20 years ago it was a better approach, and the advisor would have had some success smiling and dialing. Communication has changed, and Cold Calling in no longer as effective as it once was.
Think about it… how could you accelerate the family and friends strategy above? Social Media. Since you are urged to start with family and friends, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ allow you extend your social graph more efficiently and effectively in less time!
2) Advisor Trying to get to the Next Level – Where’s my next appointment coming from?
Social media is a no brainer here. The advisor is at a point in his career where he is experiencing inconsistent income and may potentially be losing clients. He is not seeing the same results that once were from some of the more advanced “old school” marketing tactics. For instance, the “fish bowl shuffle” where they are going around putting fish bowls for patrons to put their business cards in and then buying them lunch, in hopes of landing a new client. They are frustrated because they are putting in the effort, but not getting anywhere. For an advisor that is looking to find a more consistent way to locate, win, grow and retain his clients, whether he knows it or not, Social media is vital to his survival.
Social media is about People, People are Prospects and Clients. Through social media, prospects and clients are letting you in on who they are, and what they care about before you can even ask them an open ended question! On social media, they are giving you relevant and actionable information. Advisors need to realize that this social information is currency. It is their job to use this information well. It’s not hard to figure out what you have to look for, where to look for it, and how to transform the information into an opportunity.
3) Established Financial Advisor – I don’t want any more appointments
More established advisors, put in the hard work and effort over the years. Their businesses are well established. They are now set in their ways. I strongly feel that the established advisor has the most to lose by not using social media. When they are ready to sell their practice, Social media is easier for them, they already have the clients.
For more established financial advisors (any advisor for that matter), I can’t stress this enough, bring your offline client base (World) online. The more networks you connect with them on, the more actionable information and incite you will reveal. Start with Linkedin, in most cases they will put their website and Twitter handle for you to access, making your process easier, and then quickly branch out to Facebook.
Please, please don’t use the excuse that my clients are too old, and they have no interest. They are interested. Just like when the VCR was introduced. Older generations did not know how to use it, but they watched videotapes, just like the DVD player, the Internet, and now social media. I’m just saying, Apple TV?
Educate your clients (heck tell them to invite their friends), it would be a great idea for a seminar. Add personal value to them through social media education.
Aside from the amazing connections you will make with your client’s network (the ones they care about) and the endless referral opportunity. When you are ready to retire and sell your practice, you’ll get more money for it. Through social media, you will be able to establish and deepen the relationships with the beneficiaries of your clients, because you now will have access to their lives.
Social “Time Block”
Many social media strategies can be implemented effectively in as little as 5 to 10 minutes a day. At first, I’d recommend spending 30 minutes to 60 minutes a day on social media.
Please don’t use time as an excuse. Replace a “call block.” Successful financial advisors religiously block hours of time to make phone calls, called a “call block” simply take half of your time allocated to your “call blocks” and allocate that to a “social media block.”
Additionally, It would be a good use of your personal time, to help jumpstart the process. That personal time where you’re sitting in front of the TV, playing games on your iPhone. Instead of playing games… network. You can even keep your social strategy going while you’re going to the bathroom. Your mobile device, smartphone tablet… helps you continue your prospecting, monitoring and engaging round the clock!
Have any Social Prospecting Tips for Financial Advisors or other Sales Professionals? Add your knowledge and experience below!