Sales & Marketing

Sales & Marketing

Sales and Marketing covers the various ways that advisors find new business, including prospecting, marketing, branding, cross selling, strategic partnerships and social media. Experts in these areas illustrate best practices in these topics with real life examples and provide helpful commentary and resources.

Recalcitrant Prospects: A Growing Trend?

September marks the start of the heavy DC plan selling season. Advisors’ chief concern: Plan sponsors will delay making a decision, for myriad reasons. Though it’s easier to get an AOR change than it is to switch record keepers, any type of decision can cause some plans to delay unless there’s a lot of pain involved. The reasons for delay are heightened during tumultuous times, when other decisions seem more crucial — like the recent financial crisis, for example — or during really good markets when making a change seems unnecessary.   Read More

Brokerages’ Social Media Approach is Evolving

Following in the footsteps of their RIA brethren, broker dealers and wire houses are accelerating their use of social media. More importantly, they’re beginning to integrate new media into their marketing and business development efforts — a sign of the increasingly sophisticated view of social media platforms and content that’s taking hold.   Read More

Be Smart With Centers of Influence

Centers of influence like CPAs, bankers, attorneys or even other advisors that don’t service DC plans can be the greatest source of leads for a plan advisor. But creating a network of COIs is hard and takes time. A Wall Street Journal article offers a list of common mistakes and suggested solutions.   Read More

Warm Up Your Cold Calls

Ryan Schutty, a regional marketing director with the Principal Financial Group, wrote an interesting blog post last week on how cold calling doesn’t have to be so cold. He notes that when it comes to cold calling, a good way to “warm” it up is by thinking horizontally.   Read More

Advisor Review Sites Not Viable

Responding to an inquiry from a reader, Michael Kitces details the reasons why there will never be websites that review advisors like there are for restaurants. Advisors are always looking for third-party endorsements, whether from the press or even lists of the “top advisors,” but even those lists have problems if the advisor is required to pay to play.   Read More

How Are Advisors Driving Growth?

While social media is all the buzz in financial services markets, making many advisors feel left out if they don’t have a strategy, investing in social media yields the lowest returns for gaining new clients. This is according to a recent survey of retail advisors from both RIAs and broker dealers from Russell Investments. Referrals from clients are the largest source of new business, even bigger than from centers of influence like CPAs.   Read More

FINRA is Watching

FINRA has announced that they will be conducting spot checks of their firms’ social media policies and usage over the period of February 4-May 4, including supervisory policies and monitoring procedures, and the top 20 reps by commissioned income who used social media.   Read More

COI: the Best Source of Referrals

While many advisors focus on client referrals for new accounts, research shows that attorneys, CPAs and other centers of influence (COI) may be more productive sources. According to a study by CEG Worldwide, a consultancy to financial advisor firms, 61% of advisors said that professional COIs were their best source of referrals.   Read More

What’s Fair Game on Twitter and Social Media?

“Circumvent,” “inaccurate,” “oversimplified,” “mislead” and “hypothetical” — these are just some of the words that Putnam Investments recommends advisors avoid using on Twitter. Putman suggests that these key words, among others, are targets of scrutiny by regulators when they evaluate the appropriateness of social media.   Read More

Social Media: Hope or Hype?

At a recent ICI meeting, representatives from three larger broker dealers questioned whether social media helps financial advisors grow and run their business — or whether there’s more hype there than reality. Financial advisors, especially at larger broker dealers where the reps are employees, have significant restrictions on the use of social media — including even LinkedIn, which is the most popular social media venue for businesses.   Read More

Financial Service Groups Oppose State Laws Protecting Workers’ Social Media Privacy

Laws enacted by states to ensure workers’ privacy on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are under attack by regulators and the financial services industry. The laws, already enacted by five states and under consideration in many more, are intended to prohibit companies from monitoring their employees’ social media accounts to prevent invasions of privacy. But regulators like FINRA and groups like SIFMA and FSI are lobbying for exemptions — so far, to no avail.   Read More