Marketing Wiz : The Guerilla Advisor
7 low cost marketing tools to get noticed by investors
Jigar Parekh, Prudent CAS, Ahmedabad

imgbd Marketing Wiz is a joint initiative between Kotak MF and Wealth Forum, where we bring to the distribution and advisory fraternity marketing insights that can help you connect better with prospects and clients, win new business, serve clients better and thus enhance business growth. The Guerilla Advisor is an exclusive column within Marketing Wiz, penned by Jigar Parekh of Prudent CAS.

As one of the core team members at Prudent CAS, Jigar spends a lot of his time helping Prudent's IFA channel partners enhance their productivity and serve their clients better. He has trained numerous distributors and advisors, and carries rich practical insights on practice management at the grass root level. In this exclusive column called The Guerilla Advisor, Jigar shares ideas that combine the essence of marketing with smart guerrilla tactics that are low on cost but high on imagination and innovation, which we believe can be of wide appeal across the distribution fraternity.

In this article, Jigar shares 7 low cost marketing tools to get noticed by investors. Did you not want to create your own logo because designers are expensive? Are you shying away from email marketing campaigns because you think they are costly? Have you considered the power of client testimonials in building a favourable impression on prospects? Read on as Jigar takes you through simple and cost effective ways of standing out from competition and getting noticed where you should.

To read all articles of Jigar's exclusive column - The Guerrilla Advisor, Click Here

Let's talk about the real world marketing tools which a true guerrilla advisor can adopt. The idea of adopting any of the marketing tools is either to increase the business or to give the good experience to the existing or potential clients. Do not misunderstood marketing tools to selling tools. Selling is the integral part of marketing. Everything you do in dealing with existing or potential client is the part of your marketing plan.

In this article and the next one, I will be discussing some marketing tools those either costs nothing or it costs very less, which advisor can adopt. It's not necessary that you start applying all the tools discussed here. You can try those which you think suits to your personality and your business models. And over a period of time you can stick to some of the tools which work for you.

Some of the tools may work for one advisor but not for the other advisor. You need to check your own abilities, beliefs and skills to match it with the tool which we are going to discuss. The more number of tools you use, the more business you will generate eventually.

I would advise you to treat the experience of learning marketing tools as a soul searching. Take a plain paper and pencil and note down all the tools and categorize these tools in various categories. You can divide these tools broadly into four different categories.

Category 1: You are already using this tool.

Category 2: You are using this tool but you can improve upon this.

Category 3: You are not using it now but you may use it in near future.

Category 4: This tool might not be suitable to you at all.

Categorization of these tools will help you in creating your future marketing plan in a better way.

Marketing Tool 1: Elevator Pitch

This first tool can be used by any of the advisor irrespective of his or her business model. This too is the must to have for all the advisors.

Elevator pitch is the short summary which can be used to quickly and simply define your profession in such a way that creates the interests into the mind of the person who listens to it.

In many occasions you meet your ideal prospect, whom you want to be your client. Like in some marriage function or some social function or may be in elevator of some building or may be in a train or flight. And the other guy asks you about your profession. Some of the common replies which we as advisors normally give are,

"I am financial planner" or "I am Investment advisor" or "I am financial advisor" etc.

The problem with the above mention replies are that the word "Financial Advisor" or "Investment Advisor" is used by many people in past that it doesn't create much curiosity in the mind of the prospect to know more about you and your work. These terms are used by insurance agents, FD agents, MF agents, Real estate agents and even stock brokers. Because of over usage of these terms, when person hears the word "financial advisor", chances are that he or she might not be much of interest in what you do. And you may lose this golden chance of winning his appointment.

You should have a short summery describing your profession in such a way that while you talk about it to your prospect, it creates the curiosity in the mind of other person to know more about it. Your elevator speech should be short enough to be described in 20 to 60 seconds.

Following are some of the examples of the Elevator speech for your ready reference; you may create your own elevator pitch based on your own way of dealing with the client.

Example 1:

Do you know how most companies have a CFO to help manage their finances?

Well, what I do is work as a personal CFO to help business owners make work optional!

Example 2:

Do you know how so many people are concerned about outliving their money?

Well, what I do is help my clients create a plan to provide them with a guaranteed income for the rest of their lives.

Example 3:

Do you know how most people spend more time planning for their vacation than planning for their retirement?

Well what I do is help my clients plan for the longest vacation of their lives…their retirement.

Chances are high that, after listening to any of the above pitch your prospect will ask you to tell him more about it. While being asked to know about it more in detail, you can ask him for the small appointment to demonstrate it to him or her.

Marketing Tool 2: Brochure

Many of the financial advisors have lots of product brochures in their bag; very few advisors have their own brochure. I recommend that each one of you should have their own brochure.

The reason behind having your own brochure is based on the fact that most of the time clients decide to buy products only from the advisor whom he or she can trust. In other words, before selling the product to the client, you should sell yourself to the client. Many times we face the situation that even if the products are very good but investor doesn't buy it, if he/she doesn't like the advisor. While on other hand when client likes and trusts advisor, even the mediocre products are easily sold.

The idea here is not to sell the mediocre product to the client, but to create the credibility in the mind of the client that can help increasing the trust for you.

Your brochure should talk about YOU and the benefits of working with you. You can also mention few achievements and awards which you have received in past.

Also while you are approaching some HNI client or some corporate, they are more interesting in knowing about you first and then about the product. They want to ensure that they are dealing with the right and qualified person. Having your own colour brochure will surely help you creating the credibility.

Marketing Tool 3: Benefits list with USP

Every advisor must have a list of the benefits for clients to work with him. I recommend all of you to list down 10 to 15 benefits which you can offer to client. Here you can take the help of your loyal and happy clients. I recommend that you ask some of your most loyal and happy client about what they perceive as benefits in dealing with you. Many times there might be a big gap between the benefits which you think you are providing and the benefits which your client thinks he is receiving. Your client's perception is more important than your opinion. So apart from what you think about the benefits that you can offer, also add the benefits your loyal customers tell you that they are getting in dealing with you.

I would recommend you to divide the whole list of benefit into two parts. First is, those benefits which are common and second which are your USPs (Unique Selling Proposition). For finding out what are your USPs, I recommend you to tick those benefits, from the list prepared based on the earlier discussion, which other advisors are not providing.

This list of benefits should be highlighted wherever you get a chance. You can print them in your brochure; you can display it on your website or your social media page. You can print those at the back of your envelopments etc. Highlight the USPs more and in better way, as these are the benefits which being unique, might attract the client more that the normal list of the benefits.

Marketing Tool 4: Testimonials

Sometimes, testimonials from your existing clients can create miracles for you. I have seen very few advisors using this tool. This can be very effective tool for any advisor. I suggest you should list down the names of top 10 clients of yours who are happy and satisfied with your services. You can ask them to write small testimonial or small letter for you saying how much satisfied they are dealing with you, your advice and your services.

With client's permission, you should use these testimonials to be displayed in your brochure and your website also, if you have one. Also if you do not have a brochure or website you should keep these testimonials (preferably with the client's photo). You can showcase these testimonials on various occasions and events and also during the one on one sales call to your prospective client.

The prospective client feels more comfortable to deal with you when he or she knows that there are other respected people into the society who are already dealing with you and using your services. Because most of the people are trying to avoid being the pioneers as they know that pioneers may get the arrow in their back.

You should preferably take and use testimonials of those clients who are socially very reputed and are respected by people. Many of the great objections given by your client during sales calls can be easily countered by testimonials.

Marketing Tool 5: Logo

Logo is the graphical representation of your company and your business. Even if you are one man army, I suggest you should have the logo for your business. Logo helps in creating a strong brand image for your business. Logo is the unique way of communicating what business are you into.

Logo helps you to stand out from the other competitors and differentiates you in the competitive environment. Logo can provide the face for you and your firm or company that helps the clients to remember you. Logo has a power to ignite the emotion. Logo can inspire people.

Images are stronger than words. Take a look at the history. Something which cannot be explained in paragraphs full of words may be explained through a small image.

You can take the help of some professional designer for creating a logo for yourself or you can also use the FREE tools available on web. Only thing you need to do to take the advantage of these FREE tools is to just google it. Type "Free Logo creator online" and you may get hundreds of websites offering you the free logo designs. But, I strongly recommend that you should take a help of some professional for creating it. This is just one time investment that will pay you for the rest of your life.

Marketing Tool 6: Website

Many of the IFAs are nowadays fascinated for having their own website. But very few of the IFAs can maintain and get the benefit of the website. Most of the IFAs after a year or two shut down their website, because they feel either it's not useful or it's not feasible to maintain the website.

One thing we should all understand that having website alone cannot work in increasing the business or acquiring the client. Website needs the help of the other marketing tools like direct mailer to the potential clients directing them to the website. You should have a clear cut plan of how you would attract the traffic to your website.

For using the website to your benefit, you need to work a lot on content, design, online marketing skills, search engine optimization etc.

If you decide to have your own website, I strongly advise to have lots of two way interactive tools that can help gathering the data of the person visiting your website. Examples of such interactive tools are small surveys, or some quiz for checking financial IQ of the client etc. By keeping your website more interactive would help in getting data of the people visiting your website and their preferences.

Marketing tool 7: Professional Mailing

Every IFA should start using professional bulk mailing services for sending the marketing emails to the list of clients and prospects. You can use for FREE for creating professional mail and sending it to your lists.

You get the benefit or designing customized professional email for your marketing campaign. There are plenty of templates readily available, which you can use for creating your own marketing campaign. Apart from sending your email now, this portal also provides you the facility to schedule the email to be sent on future date and time.

I normally suggest to you that you decide the 4 to 5 marketing mail to be sent in current month based on your business plan and focus. Create the marketing template and schedule all the emails to be sent on various dates in a month. This will help you to automate the email marketing process and save your time. It would also help you being discipline in sending the regular emails to the client on specific interval.

All content in Marketing Wiz is created by Wealth Forum and should not be construed as views of Kotak MF.

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