Financial Advisor LinkedIn Messages and Sequences that will NOT make you look Stupid

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This podcast/blog is going to discuss financial advisor LinkedIn messages and sequences that won’t make you look stupid. Lots here – so make sure you read until the end!

In this blog you will learn:

  • Examples of financial advisor LinkedIn messages that WILL make you look stupid
  • What the point of a financial advisor LinkedIn message should be
  • How to make yourself be perceived as a high quality financial advisor who is worthy of the prospect’s trust without saying so outright
  • The different kinds of financial advisor LinkedIn messages and sequences that you should be using, and when to use them
  • How many LinkedIn messages financial advisors should send to prospects that they want to engage

But before you get started…if you’re just looking for the words to say, I recently published a book with 47 financial advisor LinkedIn messages and sequences. You can download your copy here.

Or if you are just curious to learn more about financial advisor lead generation using LinkedIn, subscribe to my weekly newsletter.

Financial advisor LinkedIn messages that make you look stupid

I get messages from financial advisors all the time that make them look stupid. Examples include:

  • Describing some sort of promising investment strategy or product that I should invest in
  • Asking me if I need a SEP IRA
  • Telling me they have 20 years in the business and that is why they can help me with my holistic planning, and then asking me for coffee (without acknowledging the fact that I used to be a financial advisor myself)

This is highly evolved communication?

Financial advisors are often the largest expense their clients have in their lives. For $10k a year, they expect alot – and they certainly have a right to. The communications above don’t seem like they would impress a high net worth individual with high expectations, do they? This is more like how you would expect to be treated by the cable company.

Financial advisors are expected to treat their clients with higher personalized attention than the cable company.

For an industry that prides itself on being so sensitive to what clients need, these statements reflect just the opposite – low attention to the client, low responsiveness to their needs, and most of all, impatience and greed. All the reassurances of trust in the world, the licenses, the fancy steak dinners, and everything else you do to impress people – all of this doesn’t matter when you present yourself this way.

Communication that reflects nothing about the client’s expressed needs, and is based only upon assumption of interest, is the basis for a financial advisor LinkedIn message that makes you look low quality and unworthy of their trust.

-Sara Grillo, CFA

So how do financial advisors create LinkedIn messages that allow clients to perceive them as high quality and worthy of this trust?

Let’s start with the basics.

What the objective of a financial advisor message is

Financial advisors ask me all the time what the “good” messages are to send over LinkedIn so that they can get a meeting. This question reflects such a crude understanding of how prospecting over the internet works.

Financial advisors should approach prospects on LinkedIn with this understanding.

  • Every prospect is different and those differences are important to them.
  • The objective of a LinkedIn message is to gain information that enables you to reflect a better understanding of the prospect’s needs.
  • Meaningful exchanges of information naturally lead to the prospect trusting you more and eventually agreeing to a meeting

In other words, focus on having great conversations instead of trying to fire off some magic one-liners that will woo the prospect. It’s as if you were sitting at a table with the prospect working on completing a puzzle together. You can’t rush to the end and see the completed picture without putting all the first pieces in place. It’s critical to construct it together with the prospect, one puzzle piece at a time. The more pieces you put in place, the more obvious it becomes what the next piece should be, where the next piece should go, etc.

Slow down, everyone.

Build trust through exchanges of information that fill in pieces of the puzzle. You put a piece into the puzzle, and then they put a piece into the puzzle, and then one more, and then one more, and then another one. Now the picture is becoming clearer.

To do it this way, there is no easy, quick solution. Financial advisors have to be very deliberate about each LinkedIn message that they send. I strongly believe that automated, autoresponder services are useless to financial advisors who want to meet new clients over LinkedIn. I believe each message must be custom created. For someone to turn over their money to you, there needs to be a deep trust there. Communication is so fragile in these types of situations.

In short, the primary objective of a financial advisor LinkedIn message is to uncover information about what the prospect cares about, what they need, what they worry about, and what challenges they may be having.

-Sara Grillo, CFA

The primary objective is not:

  • To close the sale
  • Focused to lock in a meeting
  • To win them over

So if you can’t fire out a barrage of messages asking them to meet you for coffee so you can learn more about their retirement goals, then what can you talk about in a LinkedIn message?

Here are some ways to start a conversation with a target prospect you meet over LinkedIn.

  • Praise them for some laudable achievement in their career
  • Comment reflectively about something you noticed on their profile
  • Describe what you are seeing them do and ask an insightful question about it
  • Express enjoyment about something they are involved with

This is a delicate piece of communication and the following aspects are important to pay attention to:

  • How long each message is
  • How many messages you send
  • What type of message you use and at which point you use it

How long a financial advisor LinkedIn message should be

LinkedIn messages should be no longer than two sentences. The first sentence is a statement and the second sentence is either a question or an exclamatory phrase. The intention is to provoke a response from the recipient, not to go blathering on and on for paragraphs and hope they listen.

Then how do you make them like you?

Not by acting like the washing machine salesperson!

Think about being perceived as the highest quality person you can. Start there.

Then read this blog about how to structure the optimal LinkedIn Prospecting Messages and Sequences.

Remember, these messages should be designed to elicit a response, not to broadcast information about yourself that elevates you in the mind of the recipient. They’ll regard you more highly if they see you as someone who takes the time to understand them. In fact, they will see you as rare since practically nobody is willing to do this.  You will earn the perception of being trustworthy without having to say so outright – they’ll just naturally feel this way about you. And they should, because you have behaved as a high quality financial advisor should.

How many LinkedIn messages financial advisors should send

Financial advisors should send one LinkedIn message a week for three consecutive weeks. A group of three LinkedIn messages is what I call a LinkedIn sequence. If the prospect does not respond, you should stop messaging them for a while. Now you can still revisit them later, but for now they’ve been moved out of center stage.

However, let’s say that the prospect does respond to Sequence #1 (the first three messages you send). You’re talking, however you haven’t been able to secure a meeting with them yet.

Patience, people. Remember that financial advisors who send LinkedIn messages asking for the meeting before a solid basis is established wind up looking like the washing machine salesperson.

-Sara Grillo, CFA

Execute a second sequence, but this time try to focus on a deeper level of meaning in your conversation. Again, there are no pre-written messages that can necessarily uncover this need because it is dependent upon the specific situation. Ask yourself what the next pieces of the puzzle are that you and the prospect need to put together. Examine Sequence #1 and figure out what the next step should be. What information do you need to uncover now so that you can understand the prospect better?

Summary of key points about LinkedIn messages and Sequences for financial advisors:

  • Organize messages into groups of three. Send two transition messages, and then before you send the third message, think about whether or not the prospect has disclosed enough information for you to ask for the meeting.
  • It’s likely that after Sequence #1 they will not have exchanged enough meaningful information with you. Wash, rinse, and repeat. Create another sequence of three messages and follow the same process.
  • Limit all messages to two sentences or less.

But what do you actually say in these messages? Let’s discuss that next.

The different types of financial advisor LinkedIn messages and when to use them

To clarify, there are no generic LinkedIn messages that financial advisors can use at any time. That is to say, you have to tailor your approach to where you are with the prospect. You may be:

  • Trying to connect with them
  • Responding to something they said to engage them in dialogue
  • Trying to get their attention after you connected

Each situation requires a different type of communication; there are different types of LinkedIn messages that financial advisors should send in each situation. I give you the full roster of messages in my e-book, but in the meantime here are a few of the basic types of messages below.

Connection requests

When you are asking someone you don’t know to connect with you, it creates the first impression and sets the tone for the relationship. Approach the connection request with the understanding that appearing as one of those financial advisors looking to get clients on LinkedIn is going to get you denied.

Successful connection requests allow the recipient to get a sense of your value without being hit over the head with it. Stick to one action at a time – you’re only asking them to allow you to be part of their network and essentially to know them. Don’t make it too complicated by talking too much smack about adding them to your mailing list and then having them join your retirement readiness webinar series or whatever else!

Transition messages

Let’s say you’ve connected with the target prospect and now you’re sitting there wondering what to say next so that you can start up a dialogue. Transition messages can not be about how great you are, that you’ve been a financial advisor for 20 years, that you know all about SEP IRA’s and that you want to meet them for coffee to talk about how much guaranteed income they need in retirement.

However, financial advisor LinkedIn messages that bridge the gap need to be about the prospect’s goals, what they are involved with, and what they care about. The key point is to uncover what they care about and what is important to them. However, aim for anything else and you will be risking having the prospect look at you like a washing machine salesperson.

To clarify, let me summarize it this way:

them not you
Them not you
Them, not you

-Sara Grillo, CFA

Did I make the point satisfactorily?

As I said before, here are some ways that financial advisors can start a conversation with a target prospect you meet over LinkedIn.

  • Praise them for some laudable achievement in their career
  • Comment reflectively about something you noticed on their profile
  • Describe what you are seeing them do and ask an insightful question about it
  • Express enjoyment about something they are involved with

Bold and blunt

Use this only when a prospect is non-responsive to your initial attempts to talk. These financial advisor LinkedIn messages are intended to nudge the recipient into acknowledging that they have put a wall up, and to reassure them that you are not a washing machine salesperson and there is nothing to be afraid of.

This is a very delicate kind of a communication. You have to call them out for ignoring you, while at the same time acknowledging that it is probably because they are worried you are going to try to sell them something (but they don’t need to be.) You want to show them that you are a human being not a robot, and that they don’t need to be afraid of you “selling them.”

Influencer messages

Influencers such as podcasters, journalists, and CPAs are often badly mishandled by financial advisors. The core of the issue is the feeling of entitlement that financial advisors often have. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of focusing on what you can get out of being on somebody’s podcast or how great it would be to be quoted in the Wall Street Journal. Or, to get introduced to the CPA’s entire book of business.

But did you ever think about what life is like for these poor people?

They face tight deadlines and often operate under heavy time pressure. They can’t stop to breathe most of the time. Yet financial advisors think that by firing some random, blind, not well thought out pitch at them and hoping for the best, they’ll curry favor with them. Maybe once in a blue moon you are lucky but most of the time you are just burning the relationship and wasting everyone’s time.

Financial advisor LinkedIn messages aimed at centers of influence or online influencers should incorporate a high understanding of what the person’s world looks like. If they are a reporter, research their beat. So, read their last five articles. If they are a CPA, look at what they post about and what their practice is about. Use the information on their LinkedIn profile as a clue about what you can do to be a higher quality resource to them than the ones they currently have on their roster. Above all, do this for every COI you approach and you are setting yourself up to be perceived as a person of quality who they value.

Sara’s Upshot

What’d ya think? Was this helpful?

If yes…

Learn what to say to prospects on social media messenger apps without sounding like a washing machine salesperson. This e-book contains 47 financial advisor LinkedIn messages, sequences, and scripts, and they are all two sentences or less.

This is a book about financial advisor LinkedIn messages which contains scripts you can use to get new prospects.

You could also consider my financial advisor social media membership which teaches financial advisors how to get new clients and leads from LinkedIn.

The Sara Grillo membership is a social media program for financial advisors - but only the cool ones.

Thanks for reading. I hope you’ll at least join my weekly newsletter about financial advisor lead generation.

See you in the next one!

-Sara G

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