If you are a financial planner, you must read this. Here’s what I think. You must use Facebook. You must leverage on your Facebook profile. You must, cause it’s not an option. It’s not even a thought. You just have to.
Desperate People. Desperate Measures.
I got a shock of my life when I was opening up my mail today. Just above my head was a pasted advertisement on the wall. It was an ad, asking me, to visit a financial planner’s website. A financial planner pasting a paper ad on a residential block? What the fish!
My curiosity got the better of me, and I immediately checked the website upon reaching home. It was a good website filled with good info. Not flashy. Not really attractive. But filled with relevant resources and information. Then it dawned on me. I bought that marketing strategy. As archaic and ancient the whole wall pasting was, it was effective.
Was it new? No.
Was it effective? Yes.
Will it generate results for him? Probably.
Will he get exposure? Definitely.
One in a Zillion.
You can probably guess what I am driving at. All forms of marketing works. At least even if it’s to segmented group of people. People like you and me. That is what advertisement is great at. Sending you the subtle message behind the obvious.
How then would you, a financial planner, differentiate yourself from the 14,000 other planners breathing sales, daily? I do not know. But I do know one thing. Constant exposure, creates familiarity. Familiarity is good in sales. It creates comfort. People are less resistant when they are comfortable with you.
Build the Brand. Market the Message.
Many of the planners roaming the streets of Singapore have one great thing in their arsenal of persuasion. They have a system. It’s called the sales system. In this sales system, which usually starts with prospecting and ending with closing, a planner, even a mediocre one, will probably survive the first three years of his career. The problem, however is that, all financial planners, even though from different companies, carry the same weapon. A sales system, albeit different names. Some call it, Financial Healthcheck. Others call it Planning Right. And other exotic named process. But it’s basically all the same. It’s designed to lead you in and out of a sales process. Question is, so what’s new? If you are a planner, you will find yourself being trained by your training department, in becoming a generic advisor. It’s not that bad, if you want to lead yourself down the path of normality. Normality sometimes is mediocre.
What if one day, someone, smart enough just comes up with a system, where a sales process is redundant. When you do not need to establish any needs, because prospects have become so affluent, to know just what they want. What if, the whole process becomes such a chore? What if Facebook just decides to be the salesperson/middle person bringing you financial advices/prospectus/recommendations/solutions right to your desktop. What if you, as a savvy and affluent consumer just suddenly have the option of typing your wants and needs, amounts and budgets, and you are offered a whole range of products for you to review and analyse on your own. And all financial institutions leverage on this platform. What if selling is no longer such a need, when buying options is so prevalent? Where will you be as a planner?
Facebook. A Branding Revolution or Evolution
I must admit that I’m still trying to find a balance in using this social medium as a leverage. To balance between the social, personal and business aspects in my life. I do know one thing though, and I guess you probably too. Facebook has and will continue to change the way we interact. As Seth Godin likes to mention, that these days, it’s all about “permission marketing”. An entity that is familiar to another, has more chances of converting their opportunities into something concrete. My guess is that there are people who are already famous and successful without a Facebook presence. Then again, a soft intuition in my head says that, if I utilize Facebook effectively, I can be more successful. And in shorter time. But like I said. The balance is needed.
Like all things, the key towards building relationships is trust. A financial planner that exudes confidence, honesty and loyalty in their online profiles are more likely to be attractive. People trusts what they see online and in news. That’s why, newspapers are still around. Facebook is very much an amplifier, if utilized effectively.
I foresee a day when I will probably, do my consultations with clients over Skype, MSN and even Facebook. Impersonal you say? I beg to differ. People want accessibility. Facebook provides that. To all my clients at that very same time.
Now if you feel that you need a very social media savvy planner, why don’t you Facebook me?