At the core of your relationship marketing is the ping strategy
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Relationship Marketing: The Power of Pinging
March 9, 1:00 PM PT/ 2:00 PM MT/ 3:00 PM CT/ 4:00 PM ET
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To learn how to Ping Your Way to Better Relationships: 12 Strategies for Making Better Connections continue reading.
By including relationship marketing in your financial advisor marketing plan, you can increase retention, generate more referrals, and win clients for life. A great way to start is to regularly stay in touch with clients, prospects, and partners through pinging. It can be as simple as an email, or you can get more elaborate with personalized cards and gifts.
Each year, my team sends out at least six pings to clients, and four referral pings. The results are truly amazing. My email and voice mail in-boxes are flooded with thank-you messages, as is my mail box. When I began connecting with my clients 15 years ago, it literally transformed by business—and it can do the same for you!
Keith Farazzi, author of Never Eat Alone, suggests that “if 80 percent of success is, as Woody Allen once said, just showing up, then 80 percent of building and maintaining connections is just staying in touch. I call it ‘pinging.’ It’s a quick, casual greeting, and it can be done in any number of creative ways.”
Top producers know that consistent follow up is one of the easiest and most effective ways to grow your business and reach your goals.
Make sure your financial advisor marketing plan includes a system for regularly pinging prospects, clients, friends, centers of influence, life transition instructors, editors, TV producers and reciprocal referral relationship partners.
The purpose is to make a heart-level connection, so make sure that the only business information contained in your pings is limited to what’s required by your compliance department.
Here are some of my best strategies to include in your marketing plan:
Strategy #1: The Affluent Women Valentine’s Day Ping
Valentine’s Day is one of the most important dates for marketing to and connecting with women, especially those who are widowed or divorced. Each year, I send out hundreds of cards and gifts to connect and reconnect with my female clients.
Strategy #2: The Holiday Ping
Relationship holiday pings can include greetings on St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, The first day of Spring, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s, and other special occasions. At the end of each year, I send out a collage of my family. Recently, I was having dinner with a friend who would be an ideal affluent client for most advisors, and he told me that my card won his vote for “best holiday card” last year. Take the time to make your touches memorable so you can connect and get noticed.
Strategy #3: The Birthday Ping
Birthdays are one of the most important occasions to remember. If someone makes it into your contact manager, they should at least get a birthday card. For top advisory clients, add a gift on top of that. You wouldn’t believe how rare that is! You might even want to have a birthday celebration for your most important clients. Invite their closest friends and you’ll meet other people in your niche market in a non-threatening, fun environment.
Strategy #4: The Anniversary Ping
Ping your clients on the date they began working with you. They’ll probably joke that they’re closer to you than they are to their spouses. This strategy is especially powerful with affluent clients.
Strategy #5: The Get Well/Sympathy Ping
When we have challenges, it’s nice to receive kind words to warm our hearts. Make sure that each message is personal, sincere, and meaningful.
Strategy #6: The Thank You/Thinking of You Ping
Saying thank you is a great way to connect and let others know that we appreciate their gestures, referrals, and business. And telling someone that you’re thinking of them can really make their day. You should be sending thank you and thinking of you pings out every single day.
Strategy #7: The Passion Ping
Finding out about the hobbies and interests of your clients and prospects is a great way to grow your connections. Once you know their passion—such as golf, airplanes, high-end cars, or yachts—ping them with information that provides insights about and pictures of their hobbies. This ping strategy gives you extra shelf life, and can dramatically deepen your relationships with affluent prospects and clients.
Strategy #8: The Thank You for the Referral Ping
We learned this one by accident. When we began including “Thank you for the Referrals” as a tag line in our quarterly newsletter, we started getting referrals from people who had never given us any. When Craig Randall was named Advisor of the Year in 2007 by Senior Market Advisor, he shared that he got referrals not by asking for them but by thanking his clients for them.
Strategy #9: The We Love Referrals Ping
Have little heart-shaped stickers made and include them on your business cards and/or letters you mail out. Or just send a card or e-mail with a “We Love Referrals” message.
Strategy #10: The Let’s Share Referrals Ping
One of the biggest complaints I hear from advisors is that while they often give referrals, they rarely get referrals in return. Be sure to set expectations at the beginning of each relationship. When you take the time to identify reciprocal referral partners who want to share referrals, the result is a win-win for both parties.
Financial Advisor Marketing Strategy #11: The Media Ping
A few years ago, I started contributing to a few television stations. This turned into regular TV appearances. To stay in touch—and top of mind for future broadcasts—I ping my TV contacts monthly with news, ideas, and just to say hi.
Strategy #12: The Speaking Ping
When I speak to a group, my goal is to create a deep relationship while providing long-term results. So I regularly connect with the people who bring me in to speak, as well as to the audience members. The result is better implementation and results for participants and more invitations to speak.
Because there are so many opportunities to ping, and because the results are so incredible, I urge you to start implementing it right away. Let me know how it works for you and ping me with some of your own successful strategies.
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