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How can a financial advisor get leads from LinkedIn?

In this podcast, I interview Chris Roehm and get his tips on how financial advisors can get leads from LinkedIn.

In the blog below I share five key takeaways from my podcast with Chris Roehm, a financial advisor who gets leads from LinkedIn.

We will discuss:

  • Chris’s story of how he started to get leads from LinkedIn as a financial advisor
  • 5 ways for financial advisors to increase engagement on their LinkedIn posts
  • Why comments on your post matter
  • The voice financial advisors should use in their post’s copy on LinkedIn
  • Good and bad questions for financial advisors to ask in a LinkedIn post
  • The question to ask yourself before you post
  • How frequently to post on LinkedIn

For those of you who are new to my blog/podcast, my name is Sara. I am a CFA® charterholder and I used to be a financial advisor. I have a weekly newsletter in which I talk about financial advisor lead generation topics is best described as “fun and irreverent.” So please subscribe!

Let’s get on with the blog!

#1 Produce relevant content

You can have the best idea in the world, but if the target audience doesn’t care about what you have to say it’s worth zero.

Zilch.

Because you won’t get any engagement on it.

Chris got into the habit of going home everyday and writing down the most interesting question he solved for one of his clients. He then started answering that question in a 60 or 90 second video, and turning them into LinkedIn posts.

Why did this work?

When the content ideas come from your client base, that means the subject is relevant to the people you want to serve. Some of you are sitting there trying to guess at what people care about. Or you are trying to pretend that you know better than your clients about what is on their minds.

You don’t.

You can’t guess better than the clients’ word about what is on their minds. If you want to know what is going to engage the people you financial advisors want to get as clients on LinkedIn, it’s clear as day. But you have to listen and write it down.

Give people what they are looking for!

Chris said that once he started doing this, he started getting engagement on his LinkedIn posts and then the next thing was prospects were calling him for life insurance quotes.

#2 Get the right people in your following

See frame 10:29 in the podcast to hear more about this.

Financial advisors need to have the right connections if you want to get leads from LinkedIn. Chris doesn’t know if this data is right, but he has heard it quoted that LinkedIn will serve up everything you post to about 7% of your network. If you have a lot of connections, more people are going to see your content.  

There is a huge potential to significantly increase your engagement if you get engagement from high influencers. If you know people who are popular on LinkedIn – who have a lot of followers and get a lot of engagement – it’s important to get them commenting. This boosts your content up more than someone who is inactive and has a small following.

#3 Get the right engagement

There are some specific things you can do to increase engagement. The most important thing that increases engagement on LinkedIn is for people to comment on your posts within the first hour after it posts.

Two key things:

  • Within one hour
  • Has to be a comment

It’s a good idea to create a community of people who will get into the habit of commenting on your posts – and you can do the same. There are other strategies such as engagement pods that we discuss within my membership. The algorithm always changes, and we don’t know how the algorithm works, but in our experience this is what we have seen to be effective in getting people’s posts boosted up.

Summary: Get good connections who will consume your content and comment upon it within the first hour of posting.

The golden question I ask myself before I post is this:

How do I get the highest level of response as humanly possible for this idea I am going to communicate to people in this post?

Do this every time you post.

#4 The copy in your LinkedIn posting script must be written correctly

There is a science to creating a LinkedIn post that will engage followers. The posting has to be written correctly. I cover the four basic components of a good financial advisor LinkedIn posting script in other blogs.

The goal of the posting should be to get people to engage. If you are asking questions, the copy has to be written in a way that will get them to answer. Financial advisors do a lousy job with coming up with the right questions and presenting them correctly.

Example of a bad LinkedIn posting question:

  • Who knows the top tax bracket for 2021?
  • Have you ever considered taking a loan from your insurance policy?

Nobody is going to answer back because nobody really wants to talk about this stuff. Make the question easy, light-hearted, and cool. People want to have fun doing this or they won’t do it.

In addition, you have to present the copy correctly in the post. No block text, no technical jargon, no direct links in the body of the posting (remember that LinkedIn. See frame 16:06 in the podcast for more information on this.

#5 Be fun, easy, and cool

Here’s a funny story.

The other day I was doing a LinkedIn live and I got on there just to test my audio. The title of the post was “Can you hear me?” I planned to get on and get off the stream, but I got so many people who engaged with the question that I ended up staying for almost 45 minutes.

Apparently it was an easy question to respond to.

The communications that are the most human, the most natural, the most comfortable to us as people are the ones that will engage the best. Relax and use the tone of a person instead of a financial advisor.

It will work better.

I’ll make it really simple. Don’t be a financial advisor looking around for new clients on LinkedIn. Try to just get conversations started. That is all LinkedIn wants. If you are at the center of that, you will get boosted up and attract all types of people to your page.

Sara’s upshot

If you are a financial advisors who wants to get leads from LinkedIn, there are many things that you have to do right. In fact you have to do everything right. The financial advisors who are willing to do what LinkedIn wants to do – because it works in LinkedIn’s favor – are going to be the ones who get leads.

Contact Chris Roehm for LinkedIn training workshops.

Here is my exclusive content for financial advisors who want to get new clients using social media:

This ebook contains financial advisor LinkedIn messages and scripts.

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

Disclosures

Music is Nice to You by the Vibe Tracks

Grillo Investment Management, LLC does not guarantee any specific level of performance, the success of any strategy that Grillo Investment Management, LLC may use, or the success of any program.

Grillo Investment Management, LLC will strive to maintain current information however it may become out of date. Grillo Investment Management, LLC is under no obligation to advise users of subsequent changes to statements or information contained herein. This information is general in nature; for specific advice applicable to your current situation please contact a consultant or advisor.

Nothing in this article or podcast can be construed as legal or compliance advice. For advice about complying with your company’s regulations regarding marketing-related activity, please consult your legal or compliance officer.

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LinkedIn social media tips for highly-regulated and wirehouse broker dealer reps

In this blog you'll hear four social media and LinkedIn tips for heavily regulated broker dealer reps and financial advisors who works at wirehouses.

In this blog-pod, you are going to hear four social media tips for broker dealer representatives and highly-regulated financial advisors. If you are a financial under tight compliance regulations who wants to get new clients and leads using LinkedIn and other platforms, there is hope. But you’ve got to make smart decisions.

You’ll learn:

  • What you need to stop doing ASAP to avoid damaging your status on LinkedIn
  • Two types of postings to use on social media
  • One lead getting techniques that many broker dealer reps have used to successfully get meetings on LinkedIn
  • One bonus tip that will potentially can raise financial advisors’ social media success rates

LinkedIn social media tips for highly-regulated and wirehouse broker dealer reps

For those of you who are new to my blog/podcast, my name is Sara. I am a CFA® charterholder and I used to be a financial advisor. I have a weekly newsletter in which I talk about financial advisor lead generation topics is best described as “fun and irreverent.” So please subscribe!

Sara Grillo, CFA is a highly fun and slightly crazy marketing consultant based in NYC.
I am an irreverent and fun marketing consultant for financial advisors.

If you’re looking for some straight up talk then you’ve come to the right place! But before we get into it, I wanted to be clear about something. I’m not a compliance officer and nothing I say in this article or podcast can be construed as legal or compliance advice. For advice about complying with your company’s regulations regarding marketing-related activity, please consult your legal or compliance officer.

Now let’s get to the good stuff!

How financial advisor branding is different for broker dealer and wirehouse reps

Financial advisor branding is a bit different if you are a broker dealer rep at a place such as Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo, UBS, or Edward Jones, to name a few.

When you signed up to be a financial advisor at one of these places, you were signing up to be a part of a huge brand. This has many benefits. When you walk into a room and tell someone you work at a place like this, they’ll probably know what it is. It conveys more security than if you uttered some name the person didn’t recognize.

However, there is a bit of an exchange that has happened when you agreed to do this. You are exchanging brand for brand. You’re giving up a little bit of your brand equity in exchange for some of theirs.

There isn’t the opportunity to build a huge financial advisor brand if you are at a wirehouse the same way it would be if you were an independent RIA firm.

Don’t sweat it, financial advisors.

That doesn’t have to get in your way, and it certainly doesn’t mean you can’t get clients over social media. There are fewer options to choose from, but it’s all about how you execute. If you execute wisely, you can get meetings, leads, and new clients from social media despite the severe restrictions you face.

I’m about to tell you how.

Let’s do this!

What financial advisors should stop doing on LinkedIn

Many of you are posting the canned crap content that your wirehouse is giving you. Come on, people.

Stop posting articles or any type of link to a third party website that takes the viewer away from LinkedIn or any other social media platform you are on.

STOP RIGHT NOW.

PULL THE PLUG RIGHT NOW.

No more direct links in the posting, people!

LinkedIn is going to BURY your content.

Understand this: most social media sites make their money off people who pay them to advertise on the platform. To them, time on the platform is the currency they are paid in.

  • LinkedIn loves anything you do to make people spend more time interacting on their platform, and they will reward you by giving your content more visibility in the feed.
  • LinkedIn hates anything you do to make people spend more time outside their walls.

If you are posting third party articles that direct the audience away from LinkedIn, you are telling LinkedIn that you do not respect their business. They will pay you back in kind by saying, “Shame on you! Okay fine, be that way! I’m going to show your posting to a small percentage of people in your network, and THAT IS IT.”

This is how and why LinkedIn buries your content if you put links in your postings.

The other thing LinkedIn hates is duplicated content. If you are posting the same article that 50,000 other UBS reps are, LinkedIn gets worried that people have already seen it somewhere along the line. They’ll bury it for that reason, too.

Now do you see why you have to change your strategy?

Let’s talk about what you need to do.

Two types of social media postings that highly-regulated broker dealer and wirehouse reps should use

Keep it fun, light-hearted, and cool. Make it easy for people to want to engage with the post. Don’t try to be the smartest person. Generally people don’t care about how much you know; they want to be entertained a little bit.

The more comments you get, the more time you are making people spend on LinkedIn and remember LinkedIn loves that. Ask yourself, “what do I need to say to get people commenting” instead of “what do I need to say to get a meeting or set up the case to sell an annuity.”

There are specific things you can do to get more people to comment on your posts. This is exclusive material, so I don’t give it away for free. But if you want to be in the know about this and other LinkedIn tips for financial advisors, please join my membership.

For starters, try these types of posts. They have higher potential to engage because they are cool, light-hearted, and fun. Your compliance officer will love them (probably)!

The text only posting

Don’t get too technical. Just tell a story or give some quick info. Here’s a text only posting that I recently did. You can see it got super engagement after only a few hours.

See? Cool, fun, light-hearted.

And most of all it was super helpful and gave practical tips people could use right away.

The selfie post

Selfie photos are impromptu, informal and super fun. Everything the opposite of what a financial advisor typically is.

DO IT.

Here is a pod-blog about selfie photos for financial advisors, with several examples of great selfie postings that did great on LinkedIn.

Cool, fun, light-hearted. Throw on a quick caption and send it to compliance.

One lead getting technique that has worked for many broker dealer and wirehouse reps

Most wirehouses and broker dealer firms permit their reps to send LinkedIn messages. But they have to make you look like a high quality financial advisor and you can’t sound like a washing machine salesperson which is how many of you sound unfortunately.

 I’m going to tell you a story about an Edward Jones rep who was on my membership. The pandemic hit and he couldn’t meet people in person anymore. He didn’t know what to do. I told him to get on LinkedIn messenger and start talking to people and I gave him some messages to send. He was setting up meetings left and right and did very well for himself. Now, this is no guarantee of what your potential experience may be, but it does show you how powerful LinkedIn messenger can be for a person who is thoughtful and careful about what he or she writes to people.

This e-book contains 47 LinkedIn messages for financial advisors and each one is two sentences or less.

This ebook contains financial advisor LinkedIn messages and scripts.

One bonus tip that can potentially increase financial advisor social media success rates

Here’s an extra social media tip.

Take down the frequency, and take up the thoughtfulness.

Understand that if the post is not getting engagement, it’s hurting you. If it is not working for you, it is working against you.

Every posting, you should look and say:

  • What worked
  • What needs to get better
  • What do I do differently next time

Quality not quantity, folks. Look at each post as an engagement and look to improve each time. This takes time, but it will be time well spent. I’m okay with you doing one post a month if that’s what it takes to get higher engagement.

Sara’s Upshot

Here is my exclusive content for financial advisors who want to get new clients using social media:

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

Disclosures

Music is Nice to You by the Vibe Tracks

Grillo Investment Management, LLC does not guarantee any specific level of performance, the success of any strategy that Grillo Investment Management, LLC may use, or the success of any program.

Grillo Investment Management, LLC will strive to maintain current information however it may become out of date. Grillo Investment Management, LLC is under no obligation to advise users of subsequent changes to statements or information contained herein. This information is general in nature; for specific advice applicable to your current situation please contact a consultant or advisor.

Nothing in this article or podcast can be construed as legal or compliance advice. For advice about complying with your company’s regulations regarding marketing-related activity, please consult your legal or compliance officer.

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SEC rule allows financial advisor testimonials. Big whoop.

In December 2020 the SEC ruled to allow financial advisors to use testimonials in their marketing.

In December of 2020 the SEC ruled that financial advisors at some point in the future will be allowed to use testimonials and reviews of their services, as long as certain conditions are met. Some people are saying financial advisor testimonials are the best thing since sliced bread but I take a different, opposing view.

I say, big whoop. This can potentially be a good, not great, but good thing for advisors. But you have to it right, and most of you will not.

First of all I want to say this is not legal or compliance advice. I have no idea when this rule will be put into effect officially, I did not promulgate this rule, and I am not an employee of the SEC. I don’t know when this is actually going to be put into effect. Always check with your compliance officer before taking any sort of action related to testimonials, reviews, and any other marketing-related activities.

Welcome to my blog!

Now that I got that out of the way, thanks for joining me.

For those of you who are new to my blog/podcast, my name is Sara. I am a CFA® charterholder and I used to be a financial advisor. I have a podcast in which I talk about financial advisor lead generation topics is best described as “fun and irreverent.” So please subscribe!

If you’re looking for some straight up talk then you’ve come to the right place!

Sara Grillo, CFA is a highly fun and slightly crazy marketing consultant based in NYC.
I am an irreverent and fun marketing consultant for financial advisors.

Why I’m underwhelmed: a summary

Here are the reasons I can’t help but feel a bit underwhelmed by the SEC rule permitting advisors, at some point in the future, to utilize testimonials and reviews as part of their marketing.

  • It’s going to turn into one big puffery contest instead of really benefiting the consumer. Because advisors can cherrypick the reviews they choose to publicize in their own marketing materials, everyone is going to look good and puffed up. Nobody is going to look bad on their own website. For that reason, it won’t be that helpful to the consumer. It won’t be a meritocracy like some are saying.
  • It’s going to be like a financial advisor publicizing that they received an award. Nobody picks an advisor based upon an award they got, but it does help you look more credible.
  • Most of you aren’t getting enough website traffic for this to even matter. For most advisors, their clients are the majority of website traffic and they just go straight to the login page.
  • Many clients won’t want their real names published, and this will weaken the testimonial.
  • Many of you are going to fail to comply with the regulations surrounding this, and it’s going to become yet another compliance headache. Again, I’m not a compliance officer and I am giving no compliance advice in this piece. However there will likely be strict guidelines to follow, recordkeeping requirements, and disclaimers to include. This is just another stumbling block that many advisors with weak or in some cases zero compliance support will struggle with.

Financial advisor testimonials – a glorified puffery show

What is going to happen once financial advisors start posting testimonials is that it’s going to turn into one big puffery contest instead of really benefiting the consumer. Because advisors can cherrypick the reviews they choose to publicize in their own marketing materials, everyone is going to look good and puffed up. Nobody is going to look bad on their own website. For that reason, it won’t be that helpful to the consumer. It won’t be a meritocracy like some are saying.

There is potential to get reviews that make a big difference. But most of you are not going to go about this thoughtfully and it’s going to become mediocre. How you ask for the review does matter. Most of you are going to need coaching on how to ask for a review so that it says something other than the wishy washy crap most testimonials will sound like.

The parallel between financial advisor testimonials and awards

I see a big parallel between financial advisor testimonials and financial advisor awards. Financial advisors are able, in certain circumstances, to publicize that they received awards. Yet no matter how much compliance advice they get, I still see advisors not including the right disclaimers with the awards, talking about them the wrong way, making false claims about the awards.

It’s almost like it’s a dangerous gift. It’s like if someone gave you a Damascus steel chef’s knife for your birthday, like a meat cleaver. You’d be happy and about how it could help you cut steak better, however you’d also be a little worried about cutting your own hand with it.

And that’s what I see here.

-Sara Grillo, CFA

The other thing is that just like no consumer is going to select a financial advisor based upon an award they got, it’s going to take alot more than just a great testimonial to get someone to sign up for your services. It can make a great first impression but this is not the type of service that people buy on a first impression. Financial advisors need a marketing plan that allows them to consistently appear in front of prospects who have expressed interest.

Those who wish to set this up should check out this e-book about financial advisor marketing plans. It includes a financial advisor marketing template as well.

Financial advisors need a marketing plan that allows them to consistently appear in front of their prospects.

Remember that nothing beats a solid referral from a client

A testimonial is a form of social validation. It looks good on your website, just like having the CFP® designation does or graduating from a top school.  And people do trust reviews, even if they are from someone they don’t know. However remember that the most important thing you can do is get referrals from your existing clients.

Just as the average consumer probably isn’t going to invest in a stock just because they read an article about it, the population at large is going to need a lot more than just a testimonial published on the internet to put their trust in someone.

It is an undeniable fact that people trust reviews and it can make a difference in their buying decision. However you are not selling washing machines, you are a financial advisor. A testimonial for such a personal service like this is considerably less powerful if they do not know the person making the recommendation.

The most credible words someone could say about a financial advisor aren’t those published in a newspaper, it is an endorsement from a trusted colleague who is a client of that financial advisor.

Point blank, period.

Regular communication with clients is the best form of marketing for a financial advisor

What financial advisors can take away from this is the importance of communicating regularly with their clients, through social media, emails, text messages, newsletters, videos, and virtual events. There is no lower hanging fruit for an advisor than the prospects who are the first degree connections of their current clients.

The most effective form of marketing for a financial advisor is the easiest form of marketing and that is deepening the trust that your current clients have in you and higher visibility is a big part of building that. You’ll find when it gets to a deep enough level, they won’t keep you a secret. I always tell people to look at this as a bonus and don’t depend on getting referrals, but there are things you can do to increase visibility with your client base and raise the odds that somebody passes on their info to their friends.

I discuss these techniques in my membership which you can learn about here.

Financial advisors should exercise caution when asking for a review

There are going to be two major places where financial advisor testimonials are likely to be posted:

  • Your website and marketing materials
  • Third party sites such as Yelp and Google

Reviews posted to a financial advisor’s website, unfortunately, probably aren’t as big a deal as you would think. For more financial advisors, website traffic is low. Most of the traffic comes from your existing clients, and in most cases the clients just go right to the login screen instead of perusing your site.

The benefit of having reviews posted to your website are that you can control what gets published. If someone posts a lukewarm review, you have to option to leave it out. This is not the case if a review gets posted to Yelp or Google. The financial advisor has little control over reviews that are posted to third party websites.

What to do if someone posts a bad review

What can a financial advisor do if someone posts a bad review to a site like Google or Yelp?

  • If somebody writes a bad review, your first recourse is to ask the site to take it down. In fairness to the consumer, they probably will not unless the review contains disparaging remarks that cross the line, attacking you on the basis of race, religion, etc.
  • Your next step is to ask the person who posted to remove it. If the person is dissatisfied enough to post the review, it’s unlikely they’ll do that. Also, many reviews on these sites are posted anonymously.
  • If steps one and two fail, your best bet is to try to get more positive reviews posted to these sites to balance out the negative one.

For this reason, it makes sense for financial advisors and financial planners to exercise caution when asking someone to review their services. Remember that vendors and past employees can post reviews on these sites. I don’t think it’s the best idea in the world to post a request for a review on social media or to have a link in your email footer.

Financial advisors only need 3-5 good reviews to establish credibility. It’s good to get more than this, but when the time comes when you are legally able to ask for reviews, please be careful who you ask to do so.

Quality not quantity!

Good reviews vs. mediocre reviews

This is going to turn into a puffery contest where everyone is going to try to make themselves look good without putting much thought into the meaning behind the review.

These reviews are going to be end up being the same wishy washy crap that a lot you already have on your website. I know this because I in fact do help my client surveying their practices for feedback and it generally comes out wishy washy and not saying that much, because the advisor has to be coached about the question to ask. And even when they are coached about what to say, most of the time the feedback comes out very generic and cheesy.

Cheesy like cheese crackers.

Not all reviews are created equal. Do you think this testimonial would carry that much weight with a prospect?

Jane is trustworthy, responsive, and great to work with.

-Ben XYZ

Oh, how sweet!

It’s claptrap.

The point of a testimonial is to show your strengths as a financial advisor but unfortunately most of them will come out like this one above, not showing that much differentiation between you and the next advisor. Financial advisors need coaching on how to ask for a testimonial if they want to get reviews that actually say something different and are more powerful.

What to say when you ask for a testimonial

Again, I want to emphasize that although the SEC ruling allowing financial advisor testimonials is in place, it has not necessarily taken effect. Before you take any marketing-related action, talk to your legal or compliance advisor. I am not telling you to take action now or at any point, as I am not an employee of the SEC nor am I your compliance advisor.

Here are some recommendations for getting a more powerful testimonial:

  • First of all, understand that you are going to have to ask your clients for a testimonial personally. Most people won’t write a review, and most people won’t write one if you just blast out a generic email to your client base asking them to do so.
  • You should ask one on one and it has to be done a certain way. You have to present it to the client a certain way, and ask certain questions. All of this you can learn how to do in my membership.
  • You should also present it on the website a certain way, and the monitor it on an ongoing basis using different tools. There should be goals for this page. Numerical goals that you need to establish and follow. Again, this is covered in my membership.

Key points about the SEC rule about financial advisor testimonials

In this article, I’ve described what I see as the outcome of the SEC ruling allowing financial advisors to use testimonials and reviews at a later point in their marketing.

Here are my key points:

  • The most credible words someone could say about a financial advisor aren’t those published on a website, it is an endorsement from a trusted colleague who is a client of that financial advisor. As part of your marketing plan you should be communicating regularly with clients. I discuss how to do this in my e-book about marketing plans for financial advisors.
  • Most of you could build a very nice business just from the first degree contacts of the clients whom you have served. I discuss how to do this in my e-book about LinkedIn messaging for financial advisors.
  • Many of you will need coaching on how to ask for a testimonial and present it. Join my membership to receive guidance on these and other aspects of marketing and lead generation for financial advisors.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one!

By the way, the podcast on this topic is below if you’d like to listen.

Disclosures

Music is Nice to You by the Vibe Tracks

Grillo Investment Management, LLC does not guarantee any specific level of performance, the success of any strategy that Grillo Investment Management, LLC may use, or the success of any program.

Grillo Investment Management, LLC will strive to maintain current information however it may become out of date. Grillo Investment Management, LLC is under no obligation to advise users of subsequent changes to statements or information contained herein. This information is general in nature; for specific advice applicable to your current situation please contact a consultant or advisor.

Posted on

Best financial advisor prospecting podcasts

In this blog, I'm talking about my five best podcasts on the topic of prospecting and lead generation for financial advisors and financial planners.

In this pod-blog you are going to learn the best podcasts for financial advisor lead generation and prospecting. I’m going to talk about the five best podcasts I created in 2021 on this podcast on this topic.  If you missed these episodes then it would be great to go back and review them.

In this blog you will learn:

  • How to get a financial advisor elevator pitch that is not crap
  • Some great financial advisor COI prospecting tactics
  • The foundations of a great financial advisor or financial planner LinkedIn messages
  • How to drive down the cost of a lead
  • How to create your own LinkedIn messages to draw new clients and leads to your practice as a financial advisor or financial planner

Best financial advisor prospecting podcasts

For those of you who are new to my blog/podcast, my name is Sara. I am a CFA® charterholder and I used to be a financial advisor. I have a weekly newsletter in which I talk about financial advisor lead generation topics and it is best described as “fun and irreverent.” So please subscribe!

If you’re looking for some straight up talk then you’ve come to the right place!

#1 Is your elevator pitch crap?

Many of you are still drawing a blank when somebody asks you what you do for a living.

Don’t even trip and play yourself because I have the answers for you. It’s going to sound kinda weird, though.

Are you ready?

The objective of a financial advisor elevator pitch isn’t to barf information on them and establish credibility, or to make them want to get a meeting with you. The point is not even to let them know what you do and how you can help them.

Okay?

The actual point is to get them to respond.

Period.

This is weird but just listen to me explain why.

The point is to get the person you are standing in front of to respond and engage in a dialogue with you. The reason is that with all of the information that gets barfed on people all day long, you barfing more information on them is just going to make your message get lost on them.

You’ll be lucky if they remember your barfed up pitch.

You much more increase the likelihood of them remembering you, or of you making a meaningful impression on them, if you are able to get the person talking about themselves.

Bonus points if you somehow get the person to discuss something in their lives that is a challenge to them. Now you are at the point of having it be a more permanent thing in their mind.

Don’t throw information out there in the atmosphere and have it circulate around in the air. You don’t want them to do that. You want them to gulp it down. But how do you get them to do that?

You’ve got to make it real to them. It’s got to be real to them and it’s not going to do that unless it is about them.

Let me go over a phrase that I repeat a lot in my ebook and in my blogs.

THEM NOT YOU

THEM NOT YOU

THEM NOT YOU

-Sara Grillo, CFA

This is so the opposite of everything else you’ve been taught and that’s okay.

Two sentences, have it be about them not you, and there are other things you need to do if you want to get an awesome financial advisor elevator pitch.

In this podcast, you will learn how to get a great financial advisor elevator pitch. I will also present several example of financial advisor elevator pitches you can use.

You can listen here:

GET AN ELEVATOR PITCH THAT IS NOT CRAP

#2 This financial advisor is kicking a#@ with COIs

Financial advisor Matthew Jarvis of Jarvis Financial is killing it when it comes to cultivating COI relationships. Learn what he’s doing by listening to this podcast.

What Matthew and I talked about is the fact that most of you financial advisors are wasting time prospecting to COIs and especially those CPA’s. To be honest I think it is a shame to see so many of you wasting your time and hard earned money.

There is just not enough productivity that comes out of the prospecting moves that most of you financial advisors make with these CPA’s.

CPA’s are jaded are tired of hearing the typical crap. They are literally sitting there laughing most of the time when you approach them and it is because they are so highly coveted by you financial advisors. They could make a living out of collecting dinner invites and eating every night at Ruth Chris Steakhouse.

At the end of the dinner most of you have more likelihood of getting business out of the bartender than the CPA whose prime rib you spent $50 on. Check out this podcast to learn how financial advisors can successfully prospect and develop relationships with COI’s.

Check it out here:

Kick some A#@ with COIs

#3 Two Sentence Financial Advisor LinkedIn Scripts

The Two Sentence Rule is my most powerful contribution to this profession. When prospects see a lengthy communication, they think, “I’m not even going to handle that.”

Don’t let it be yours that they say that to.

In this podcast, I talk about how financial advisors can go about applying my Two Sentence Rule to LinkedIn prospecting.

Think about the last time you saw a really long email in your inbox. When a prospect does not know a financial advisor, that effect is magnified. When you type out a long message, either over LinkedIn or over email, and it’s more than two sentences, you have almost no likelihood of the person actually responding.

I see this all the time.

I created, out of the necessity of having to communicate on the fly in my chaotic and hectic life as a mother of four kids, what I call the Two Sentence Rule.

It basically goes like this.

  • The first sentence is clarifying information.
  • The second sentence is a command or a question.

An example of the Two Sentece Rule would be:

Please stop splashing that water in the bathtub. Do you want your feet to get wet and cold when you get out?

No lecturing, no scattering of information, just high impact communications that get results.

By the way, I published an e-book about two sentence financial advisor LinkedIn scripts. Bob Veres reviewed this e-book and wrote:

I found the messages to be interesting and valuable in themselves, but I also got more comfortable with the whole idea of social media marketing by reading through the general advice that Grillo offered about the social media ecosystem.”

-Bob Veres

You can download the e-book here if you want to get the templates.

Or you could just enjoy my podcast on the philosophy behind two sentence financial advisor LinkedIn scripts!

#4 Having fun drives down the cost of a financial advisor lead!

In this blog/podcast I interview Josh Scandlen, a financial planner and successful YouTuber who has been able to achieve what most financial advisors only dream of: having fun and enjoying himself while finding low cost leads for his financial advisor practice.

Josh and I discussed how he created a marketing asset which is his YouTube channel. At first he didn’t get any prospects coming to his financial advisor practice but as time went on he was able to get leads more or less inexpensively. The viewers really liked his content about Social Security and other topics, but most of all they really like his authenticity.

You don’t have to be doing a million different prospecting things if you are a financial advisor who wants to get new clients and leads from the internet. Remember that Google is very specific. You would be way more well invested in terms of your time if you were to just take a certain focus and just hunker down on that.

So for example if you were writing about capital gains taxes in the state of Nebraska, the titles of three blogs (or videos, podcasts, etc) would be:

  • What capital gains taxes will you pay if you sell a house in the state of Nebraska?
  • An overview of Nebraska capital gains tax laws
  • Is Nebraska a good state for capital gains taxes?

I’m not Google and I don’t know the algorithm for sure. But in my experience what I have seen is that Google is not going to reward you for being the Renaissance man or woman. Your approach should be to hone in and provide value way above what the competition is saying, expressed clearly with keywords in the right places in your content.

Narrow, narrower, narrowest, folks. The leads flow in to financial advisors who focus on a tiny sliver and aim to be the best to be found on Google!

-Sara Grillo, CFA

Learn how to get lower cost financial advisor leads.

#5 LinkedIn Prospecting Messages and Sequences that get Financial Advisors Leads

Like anything of quality, developing meaningful relationships with prospects takes time, patience, and the ability to exercise emotional control. If you have those tools and you are willing to learn new skills that can make it happen, then listen to this podcast.

There are unfortunately no actual LinkedIn messages for financial advisors that are disclosed in this podcast. But I do explain the methodology behind successful financial advisor LinkedIn messages and sequences that you can use to prospect and get new leads for your practice.

Financial advisors who want to prospect for new clients on social media have many different apps to choose from. You can use messaging apps on LinkedIn, Facebook, or others. I always suggest a low frequency, high personalization approach. You are a financial advisor or planner, not a washing machine salesperson, and if you are trying to reach affluent people an automated and impersonal message is not going to work. That is my view and if you agree then you should use my techniques for creating personalized messages that will not make you look like you start off on the wrong foot.

Remember that your worst enemy in marketing is appearing like the typical financial advisor. People who buy my e-book or subscribe to the Sara Grillo membership are able to get a copy of the two sentence financial advisor LinkedIn scripts that I discuss in this podcast.

Show notes

I mentioned my e-book about Financial advisor marketing plans. If you want to get a copy, here it is: A Financial Advisor Marketing Plan That WON’T Stress You Out!

Here is my e-book about financial advisor LinkedIn messages and sequences.

Here is how to join the Sara Grillo membership and get social media coaching specifically tailored for financial advisors and financial planners.

Thanks for listening and I hope you’ll tune in for the next show!

-Sara

Sara Grillo, CFA is a highly fun and slightly crazy marketing consultant based in NYC.
I am an irreverent and fun marketing consultant for financial advisors.
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The future is clearest with Bob Veres

In this podcast I interview Bob Veres about the future of the financial planning profession.

Enjoy!

-Sara

Resources mentioned

To join Bob’s Inside Information, visit Bob Veres’s website.

To purchase my e-book about how to message prospects on LinkedIn, visit 47 Financial Advisor LinkedIn Messages.

Music is Nice to You by the Vibe Tracks

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Financial Advisor Marketing Plan + Downloadable Template

You will learn what the parts of a good financial advisor marketing plan are and be able to access a downloadable template

In this blog and podcast, I’m going to talk about the components of a simple and easy financial adviser marketing plan. You will learn:

  • Why simple financial advisor marketing plans work better than complicated ones
  • The importance of knowing your hourly rate and how much you want to make as a financial advisor
  • What financial advisors should cut out of their marketing plans
  • What a solid marketing plan for financial advisors consists of

By the way, thanks for joining me.

Financial Advisor Marketing Plan + Downloadable Template

For those of you who are new to my blog/podcast, my name is Sara. I am a CFA® charterholder and I used to be a financial advisor. I have a weekly newsletter in which I talk about financial advisor lead generation topics and it is best described as “fun and irreverent.” So please subscribe!

If you’re looking for some straight up talk then you’ve come to the right place!

By the way, if you want more specific guidance on how to create your own marketing strategy, download this e-book which contains what may be considered a financial advisor marketing plan template. It also explains how you can execute a marketing strategy customized to your specific style as a financial advisor or planner, which will hopefully lead to new clients.

This ebook is going to teach you how to create a financial advisor marketing plan that works. It presents a financial advisor marketing plan template and other useful items.

Why simple marketing plans for financial advisors work better than complicated ones

The first point I want to make about building a financial adviser marketing plan is I want to just knock down the fallacy that you need to go in a million different directions and do a lot of different things in order to market your financial advisor practice successfully and find new clients. This is a difficult thing because as financial advisers, I think you are all in the mindset of diversification and not putting all your eggs in one basket.

I want to tell you that this is not a Roth IRA. This is a marketing strategy.

-Sara Grillo, CFA

This is a one stock portfolio, financial advisors.

And I strongly advise you to do the opposite of what everyone tells you, what all the marketing consultants are telling you out there and even probably what you’re telling yourself. I think you should focus on one or two things that work that really ring with you and that you’re good at and you can be effective at you enjoy. And I think you should go hard in that direction. Now, there are certain components of a marketing plan that are compulsory or required, and then there are others that are optional.

The point I’m trying to make here is that you are a busy financial adviser or financial planner with clients, staff and compliance (most of all) to deal with, you’re not a marketing guru. You don’t need to spread yourself too thin doing three YouTube videos, two newsletters and sending out three hundred LinkedIn messages to prospects a week.

You just need to find those one or two things that you can do consistently that can bring you a qualified client utilizing minimal resources of yours. And then you need to figure out how to do that over and over again until you really get it perfect and you hone that craft.

Your worst enemy in marketing is a lack of focus.

-Sara Grillo, CFA

And that’s where I see a lot of you going, failing, falling down with this and going in too many directions because you stand to lose me way more than you stand to gain by having a cluttered marketing plan!

Declutter it by reading the rest of this blog post!

Your hourly rate as a financial advisor is the foundation for your marketing plan

The second thing I want you to think about before you create your marketing plan is you really have to think about the monetary value of an hour of your time as a practicing financial advisor or financial planner. This should be the foundation of your marketing plan. In fact, it should be the foundation of the work that you do within your practice.

But yet, as financially savvy as all of you financial advisers are, I see a lot of you overlooking this underestimating and really having no clue what an hour of your time is worth. And unfortunately, it results in very derailing behaviors, such as doing work for free for prospects.

You know what I mean – getting breadcrumbed.

You know, there’s always that one client or one prospect that has 5MM dollars and they’ve given you $150,000 of it to manage. And they’re like, well, I’m just testing you, I need to know you before I give you more.

Loooooooooook, you’re never going to see the rest of that portfolio.

Know that getting burned by performance chasers or DIY clients, this is another form of breadcrumbing, by the way, or just having to put up with annoying, overly demanding clients that suck the life out of you.

All of these are symptoms of a lack of clarity about numerically how you should be investing your time and what the return on that investment of time should be on. These activities are degrading your worth.

So what I want you to do is I want you to put a monetary value to one hour of your time. Let’s say it’s, I mean, I hope it’s not $100, but it might be right now. Let’s say $250 an hour. Or $500 an hour, a $1,000. Now just pick one of those. And then do the research to find out what advisers who typically make that per hour rate, what they offer their clients and how they run their practices, how they do things.

Whatever it is, you have to have a sense of your value and what of value you can deliver that would make people willing to pay. It may sound crazy, but like what would make people willing to pay a thousand dollars an hour? What is it you need to improve or add to your offerings, figure it out, make a list.

It may sound ludicrous, but I know some people out there that are working for $1,000 an hour. And so you have to really set your sights on that and always be thinking, how can I command higher value? How can I command that higher price?

Once you get that foundational per hour rate down, I want you to think about how do you make the numbers of your practice work? That is the precursor to actually going out and executing any marketing strategy. I think it’s really important; a lot of y’all just skip over these steps or overlook them.

This is more practice management stuff. But the truth of the matter is that your marketing is not disconnected from the practice. Because because think about it, you’re going to bring clients in at a certain per hour rate or a certain type of client, and it’s not going to gel with how you already run your firm.

I mean, how’s that going to work?

That’s just mean someone’s eventually going to be unhappy, right?

Some of it is not going to work within that whole picture. So it all has to go together. But once you figure out, that per hour rate now used amount to figure out how many new clients you need to get.

How much you want to make as a Financial advisor should figure into your marketing plan

Let’s say you’re working for $500 an hour, what does that mean in terms of how many new clients you need to get if you want to bring in however many incremental dollars this year or in 2021 or any year in question.

What is the margin on that revenue and how much of that will you take home? So that’s your gross profit and what’s your net profit going to be?

Profitability matters. It really does.

-Sara Grillo, CFA

I know so many people that look at these numbers and are like, dang, you know, I’m going to make some major changes here.

Put these numbers into an Excel spreadsheet and start calculating:

  • How many leads do you need to get in order to close that amount of clients and don’t even go there and tell me that’s a one to one ratio. Even though you wish you were, chances are you are not closing 100% of prospects you talk to.
  • How many reach outs do you need to do to generate that amount of leads? Put some numbers to it. I’m not even going to bother to attach some measly Excel spreadsheet for this. You are the financial advisors and you know how Excel works. In fact, you can probably use it better than me. So start plugging in those numbers.

And what you’re really trying to do here is devise a framework for how many hours of marketing activity you need to go into the machine to produce the end result that you want. It’s not glamorous stuff, but as a high quality financial advisor, this needs to be addressed before you go about designing your plan to market your practice.

You’re not being greedy here. I am sorry, but how much you make as a financial advisor is important. Nobody wants to be the client of a broken business or a business that has no plans to sustain itself, given whatever changes may happen in the world and in the economy. You’re not as much doing this for yourself, really, as you are doing it for your clients. Map it out, because there’s a lot of people counting on you to stay in business and to do it profitably.

How weird would it be for your clients if they knew your business wasn’t profitable?

Or if they knew that you couldn’t pay your bills easy, or live comfortably, or that your own financial future were uncertain?

You’re supposed to be the fountain of wisdom on topics like this and if you can’t even do it yourself it may make your value proposition seem a bit less sincere. Wouldn’t that be kind of a contradiction?

Cut the bad options out of your marketing strategy

Eliminate the bad options. This is the fourth thing you really need to keep in mind as you market yourself as a financial advisor or financial planner.

I talked to financial advisers all the time who are trying to market themselves in ways that they hate and they’re failing at doing it. When you are figuring out how to grow your client base as a financial advisor, remember that some people just seem averse to doing certain things. I feel like a lot of times people don’t like marketing just because they don’t like going out there. They don’t like rejection. They have a problem with being public and putting their ideas out there; that’s something I feel like you more or less are going to have to get over.

But if there’s just one type of marketing that you hate, then then just cut it out of your financial advisor marketing plan template.

Delete!

Some people just don’t like public speaking, Or they don’t like presenting content at all. They can’t stand the idea of long form content and having to describe a thesis and and come to some point and pontificate like podcasters like me do.

There’s different kinds of marketing. I’m going to kind of segmented into two major components. There’s content; and then there’s communications.

Here we go! Wheeeeeeee!

Content

OK, so content is a finished product that you make and that you distribute. Examples are:

  • Videos, YouTube videos, Facebook videos,
  • Podcasts,
  • Blogs,
  • Guest blogs

Guest blogging – Let’s say you focus on dentists’ and there’s like some dentists quarterly magazine or whatever. And you’re in there with the guest blog talking about HSA accounts, establishing HSA accounts for your practice.

  • Lead magnets

A lead magnet is a downloadable document that you have on your website or that you have on social media and people see it and then they provide their email address in exchange for whatever content piece you’re offering them. So it’s there’s an exclusivity to it where people are not going to get the content unless they give up something.

  • Newsletters
  • Pre-recorded seminars or webinars

Those are all examples of content. Now there’s communications.

Communications

Communications are very different from content. Content is usually non interactive, whereas communications are a little bit more interactive.

And these communications can happen over the Internet in person or over the phone.

Communication examples are:

  • Live seminars,
  • Cold calls,
  • Instant messages sent to LinkedIn Messenger, Facebook or other social platforms,
  • Emails,
  • Livestreams over social media platforms where people can chat in and participate

I’m just kind of listing this out to make the point that there’s all kinds of ways to market yourself, and I’m sure there are many more creative ways that I haven’t covered here. That is because it’s 11 o’clock at night and I’m tired and I have nobody to defend me from the cockroaches because my man is sleeping in the other room!

Some of you have compliance restrictions that preclude you from doing some of these activities. OK, don’t waste time whining and complaining. Instead, focus on finding something that works that you actually can do.

Let’s say you’re in one of the wirehouses and you’re like, oh, you can’t post your own content to social media. Yeah, that stinks, but they it’s not like they’re leaving you hanging high and dry, they actually do have some canned marketing that you that you can use and it’s professional looking. You know, they they tie a nice bow on it.

At least do something. Don’t be stubborn and sit there and want to whine and complain. There’s enough of that in the world.

-Sara Grillo, CFA

There’s always something that you could be great at, and sometimes you’re going to have to experiment a little bit to find out what it is, these things can’t always be predicted.

Make a list of all types of marketing activities you like doing or that you don’t mind doing. And then make a list of the ones you hate and if you really hate it that much, then stop doing it.

Know what the base of a solid marketing strategy for financial advisors and planners consists of

The fifth principle before you get into creating your marketing plan is establish the foundation. Before you go out there and you start to execute any strategy, you need to have the basics.

And these are the basics.

A complete website

I’m going to define what a complete website is in a minute. Most financial advisers have a website. It does not have to be fancy. You don’t need to spend 10,000 dollars on your Web site. It doesn’t have to have a ton of bells and whistles.

However, there are a few elements that need to be in place on the front end and on the back into the website. Understand first that out of all the pages on your website, the ones that are going to get the most attention are the home page, team page, and fees page.

My personal opinion is that you should state your fees clearly on your website. You want your clients to think you’re transparent, right? Then stop playing this cute little game of hiding what your fees are!

Home page

The home page should have a basic statement clearly and immediately visible that tells the reader what you do. It could be something simple like.

We are a fee only financial advisory firm serving Bethesda, Maryland, and the surrounding communities, simple and clear, and it does the job.

A lot of you don’t want to do this, but if you want to qualify people a little bit and let them know if they aren’t for you and you aren’t for them, you may want to put your account minimums on there, too. I know none of you are going to do it, but I just have to say the best practice. OK, that’s my opinion and you know I never keep my opinions a secret!

Team page

The team page, it should have a picture of you and the important people in your firm. Again, this is not a beauty contest. No one’s going to care if you know, you’ve aged or gained weight or whatever. Like it doesn’t it doesn’t matter. Just be who you are. And if people can’t accept your appearance, you should be professional on your website and forget about them. But you and your brand are what they are. And if someone can’t handle it, then adios. Smile and show your energy, they have to see you as a physical person if you want them to trust you.

Newsletter sign up

You should also on your website, have a place where people can sign up for your newsletter. Yes, I know you all want them to just go right to the contact page and ask you for a meeting. But keep in mind that some people are just shopping around. They aren’t comfortable reaching out. I mean, there’s a lot of really bad financial advisers out there. And I mean, trust me, I’ve talked to some of them, like I’ve talked to people that have ripped off 90 year olds and they would do it again if they had the chance.

Social media sign up

Get that newsletter sign up on your website. And just for the same reason, you should have social media buttons right there on the site. You don’t have to be like this big person on social media, but just give people a way that they can follow you and get an update. And who knows, maybe they’ll come around.

Google tools

You should also have Google Analytics and Google search console hooked up. You might not be out there to argue, oh, we don’t get clients from the Internet, our rich clients don’t go on the Internet. OK, you know what? OK, fine, you win. But just in case one does, you should. You should you should you should have analytics out there, because there may be some surfing around and you need to understand the traffic flow on your site. And, you know, you’ve got to also establish your Google My Business entry.

If one of these rich people that never go on the Internet 364 days out of the year, maybe on like New Year’s Eve at 11:30 they’re like, oh, you’re going to break my own rule and go on the Internet. Maybe, just maybe for that half hour a year that they go on the Internet and they search on like financial adviser in Bethesda, Maryland.

-Sara Grillo, CFA

If you don’t have the technical expertise to do this, then you can hire somebody. Now, I’m not making a recommendation for any particular freelancer, but there are freelancers that can do this on like Fiverr or Upwork. Do this for like twenty five bucks an hour and it’s not going to even take them probably an hour to hook this stuff up.

So Google Analytics, Google search console and Google my business are free accounts. They are free and you can get these hooked up relatively easily. Look at it like once every three months, every six months. And you want to look for like who’s bouncing how many people are bouncing off my website, what pages aren’t working. You need to know this. Financial advisors, you need to just take a little bit of time and understand it’s not worth having a website and other marketing assets if you’re not going to maintain them.

Social media pages

The other thing is you should establish some basic social media pages. So at the very basic level, you need a personal LinkedIn page and a LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter page for your business. Even if you don’t post a lot, you need to give people the opportunity to follow you and you need to post every so often so that it doesn’t look like you are a total graveyard.

The personal LinkedIn page is really important. Make sure you have a professional headshot and include your website and email and the contact information field. At the top of that page, the top of the page gets way more attention. The about section should display a basic statement about what you do. Kind of like what I mentioned “fee-only financial adviser from Bethesda, Maryland.” Make a clear basic statement about what you do and have a clear call to action. It’s a little boring, but it will do the job for now. Above the fold, so before they have to scroll down for the rest of your page, make it apparent right away how they can contact you or what they what you want them to do.

Email collection sign up form

Now, the other thing is that you have a way to collect emails for your newsletter. That should be fed into from your website, social media, etc. This way sign ups from your website, etc. go into a separate audience in your newsletter, in your email software (whatever you’re using, Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, whatever.)

What a financial advisor marketing plan template looks like

I wrote an e-book that gets into what the five components of a financial adviser marketing plan are. It’s kind of like a financial advisor marketing plan template. Download it if you’re looking to create a marketing plan for yourself for 2021 or other years.

Download e-book with financial advisor marketing plan template.

I hope you’ll subscribe to my podcast on financial advisor lead generation or consider joining my membership.

Thanks to all for reading and listening. I hope you’ll subscribe and stay with me for the next one.

-Sara

Music

Nice to You by the Vibe Tracks

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Two Sentence Financial Advisor LinkedIn Scripts

In this blog/podcast financial advisors will learn how to apply the Two Sentence Rule to create LinkedIn scripts, rebuttals, and client messages that elevate their value. The Two Sentence Rule can potentially enable financial advisors to communicate better with clients and prospects, get more leads over LinkedIn and other social media platforms, and reduce time spent on non-responsiveness, confusion, and back-and-forth.

By the way, thanks for joining me.

For those of you who are new to my blog/podcast, my name is Sara. I am a CFA® charterholder and I used to be a financial advisor. I have a weekly newsletter in which I talk about financial advisor lead generation topics and it is best described as “fun and irreverent.” Please subscribe!

If you’re looking for some straight up talk then you’ve come to the right place!

Sara Grillo, CFA is a highly fun and slightly crazy marketing consultant based in NYC.
I am an irreverent and fun marketing consultant for financial advisors.

Two Sentence Financial Advisor LinkedIn Scripts

Thanks for joining me today. Now that we’re past the pleasantries, let’s get to the point of today’s piece. My goal is to answer the following questions:

  • How do I reduce confusion when a client is uncertain about something?
  • How do financial advisors get a higher response rate with prospects they are messaging over LinkedIn or other social media platforms such as Facebook?
  • How do I rebut back when a prospect rejects me without sounding tacky or pushy?
  • How do I avoid getting used and abused for my knowledge with a breadcrumbing prospect that I want to impress and get as a client?
  • Why don’t clients and prospects see my value?

If you’re faced with any of these questions don’t worry because I have the answers! Just read on, or listen to the podcast at the bottom of this page.

Weak communication leads to devaluation

Do you realize that people judge your value by how clearly you communicate?

I have four kids and a business, and people are always marveling at how well I make it work. I’m not going to pretend it’s not stressful. But I’ve learned to manage it. Those who are under high pressure all the time like ER doctors, army helicopter pilots, etc., have no choice but to learn to communicate very effectively.

People are overwhelmed right now given the pandemic, and it’s nothing new. Busy, successful people with alot on their plate always felt this way anyways.

  • Do you ever feel like you just can’t handle one more thing?
  • Like you have so much BS on your mind, so much damn BS, that steam is literally about to start coming out of your ears?
  • Do you ever feel distressed in advance when the phone rings, the doorbell rings, or you see an email from a specific person that you know is going to stress you out? Before you even hear what they have to say you are stressed out.
  • Do you ever want to just scream “LEAVE ME ALONE. EVERYONE SHUT THE F UP RIGHT NOW”

Don’t let these distractions of life derail you. You need to be that beacon of clarity, that one person who can cut through all the BS like a knife and settle any situation. High value financial advisors can do this!

Clients and prospects can be so wordy because they are just verbose people, have a lot of time on their hands, are confused, or have lost sight of the idea they are trying to communicate. It’s up to you to bring them back into focus.

You have to gain control of the situation. When conversations are full of words with no connection to actions, it’s trouble. You’re going to waste a lot of everyone’s time. Worst of all, you’ll be devalued; clients and prospects will judge you by your weak communication skills and failure to get the job done.

The #1 determinant of how successful you are is how you invest your time. Period.

-Sara Grillo, CFA

It’s not how smart or experienced you are. And some of you are wasting all day talking, I mean, I see some of you going on and on about things that don’t matter. Not only does it waste time but people are going to judge you as of lower value.

Another way I see high quality financial advisors getting devalued is by doing free work. I’ve seen people do a whole entire estate plan analysis for prospects and then then deal didn’t close. Used and abused. You just did the plan for free, and then you have less time for clients, yourself, your employees, and the prospects who are out there and need you but that you just haven’t had the time to find yet.

But guess what, financial advisors; it’s your fault, not theirs, for not being able to convince them that they needed to pay for your time.

If you don’t see the value of your time (and you can’t communicate it so they get it), don’t expect them to. It’s not the prospect’s job to convince themselves that you shouldn’t work for free; that’s your job.

-Sara Grillo, CFA

Side note: I think all of you should offer your prospects hourly pricing. When you go into a deal, offer to do their financial plan for a fee and that lines you up to ask for the whole portfolio instead of getting breadcrumbed and having them “start with” $25,000 or some amount insignificant to their total portfolioof $2MM because they don’t see your value.

Let’s work on communicating in a way that shows your value – because I have the answers!

What is the Two Sentence Rule?

This is directly from my e-book called “47 Financial Advisor LinkedIn Messages and Sequences that will NOT make you look Stupid. “ If you are a financial advisor trying to meet new clients over LinkedIn or other social media sites and you need to know how to put together scripts, you can download it here.

The Two Sentence Rule is described as a method of communication with these qualities:

  • Two sentences only. Anything more and they have to scroll too much.
  • First sentence is a statement and the second sentence is best a question or exclamation. Then shut up.
  • Focus on one idea at a time.
  • Don’t give them too many options as for what you want them to do. There should be one clear call to action, and that’s it.

The Two Sentence Rule is of high importance to any financial advisor looking for new clients over LinkedIn, Facebook, or other social media messenger apps. I can’t emphasize enough that the financial advisor’s LinkedIn script has to be two sentences long only.

It’s not just about not making them scroll. The more important aspect of the Two Sentence Rule is that you want to avoid complex communications with someone you don’t know well. This is how communication over messaging apps is different from having a verbal conversation and it’s important to grasp.

The Two Sentence Rule applies to:

  • Emails
  • LinkedIn messenger
  • Phone conversations
  • Zoom meetings
  • In person meetings
  • Prospecting meetings
  • Client meetings

The objective of the Two Sentence Rule is to take pressure off you and the other person in the conversation by emphasizing what is important instead of getting distracted by the clutter. In the following section I’m going to teach you how to put together two sentence communications to use with prospects or clients of your RIA firm or financial advisor practice.

How financial advisors may apply the Two Sentence Rule to their LinkedIn scripts, prospecting rebuttals, and client messages

When you are confronted with a communication that is overwhelming, ask yourself these questions.

  • What is the most important piece of information I need to give this person? (important info)
  • What do I want the person to do? (command)

And then create two sentences that answer those two questions. I came up with the Two Sentence Rule because as someone with four kids under seven years old, I’m naturally confronted with overwhelming situations all the time. Examples:

  • You’re going to break your neck. Stop jumping on that couch right now!

The important information – you’re going to get hurt

The command – stop jumping

  • I’m not the person who keeps track of the toy car batteries. Ask your father.

The important info – I can’t give you the batteries

The command – ask Antonio

  • Stop hitting her. Do you like it when people hit you in the arm like that?

The important info – it doesn’t feel good when people hit you

The command – stop hitting

I’m going to get into it in a minute and show you some examples of how to apply this to your client communications, and I’ll even throw in some prospecting messages and rebuttals. But first I wanted to talk about a tool that can help you.

A quick word about “47 Financial Advisor LinkedIn Messages and Sequences that will NOT make you look Stupid”

I have written other books but this one, 47 Financial Advisor LinkedIn Messages and Sequences that will NOT make you look Stupid, is different.

I hadn’t written a book in about four years. I have changed so much and I took a different approach this time. I was looking at it asking myself, “What contribution can I make to this industry that is truly unique? That nobody else has done before?”

The book is not heavily decorated. It’s not artistically written and flowery, it’s straightforward in my no BS fashion. I saw very clearly the goal of this book and it is to give you the words to say to someone you don’t know so you can be perceived as a high quality financial advisor.

Nobody in the industry has gotten this right so far, in my opinion. I don’t know of anyone else who has published a book of financial advisor LinkedIn messages two sentences long. All messages in this book, all 47 of them, are two sentences long.

I see alot of marketing consultants giving financial advisors these paragraph-long LinkedIn scripts to blast over messenger and to be frank I don’t think they’re doing you any favors; in fact I believe they are doing you a disservice.

-Sara Grillo, CFA

I want to be very clear; this is not a Picasso it’s a machine gun. I didn’t write it as a work of rhetorical art or a Socratic debate to read while you lounge around and drink a glass of brandy, it is a weapon intended for use in combat. I made it short because I want people to be able to read it over and over again. In fact I want you to read it every single month you are using LinkedIn.

The book really is about the Two Sentence Rule and this is what has come about through my journey as a mother. Because when you have a lot of small children, and especially an autistic child, a child with ADHD, or a child with problems with processing information, you have to be brief and get the point across quickly and you have no choice. The best way to make your point received is to cut it short.

I don’t know how else to say it. I literally gave the reader everything I have on this subject. It is my best work. It is the singular best, most practical, most useful, most powerful thing I have ever written.

I feel that strongly about how important this book is for people. The link is here. Please buy this book right now and read it once, read it twice, keep reading it until you figure out how they fit perfectly with the people you are trying to reach.

And now let’s get to some examples of how to apply the Two Sentence Rule. These are based on communications I have had with clients and prospects.

Client is lost – redirect

Client says:

I am trying to see if I should create a version of this newsletter for COIs and Prospects. Most of the market commentary and portfolio updates are not relevant to them. Maybe I can just send out the election section of the article. See attached.

Okay so there are four things going on here making this an overwhelming email to get:

  • Client want to know if it’s necessary to do a whole new project
  • Client doesn’t know what is relevant to their audience
  • Client needs a solution
  • Client wants me to review their article

Here’s how I would respond with the Two Sentence Rule:

Before we get into what to send them, let’s focus on the results. What do you want them to take away from this article after they read it?

Clarifying information – it’s unclear what you want to do

Command – tell me the result you want

Client is struggling – redirect

Client says:

In my brand summary, what I’m trying to describe is “holistic planning.” I’m struggling with this.

Here you want to save the client from swimming in a sea of confusion while trying to bring an abstract concept into tangible terms. Ask them to give you three concrete things and use that as the foundation to work from.

Two sentence response: It sounds as if holistic planning is pretty important to your brand. What do you feel are the three major things that would define this term?

A client is lost – redirect

Client says:

We want to discuss the US workers’ stress/wellness/mental health epidemic. What do you think of this snippet? How else could we pitch this?

Here’s what the client is confused about:

  • Too broad a topic spanning too many realms
  • Wants me to review it, but the fact he is asking for another pitch implies he’s not completely happy with what he wrote in the first place. So that is setting up an opportunity to waste time.
  • Wants additional ideas but the concept is so broad you’d just be scattering into a bunch of different directions.

A good response using the Two Sentence Rule: Before we get into reviewing this, let me ask you one question. Why do you feel there is a need to pitch this another way?

If he doesn’t believe in the article in the first place then why should I waste my time reading it? With my response you are getting to the core of the issue.

Important info – we’re about to waste your time and mine

Command – tell me why you don’t like this piece you wrote

Rebuttal from a prospect rejection

Prospect says:

Good afternoon, Sara.  I handle all of the programs for XXX Organization.  My Director, Ms. Sandra, forwarded your email on to me regarding your workshop.  We currently have an arrangement with Unnamed Brokerage Firm who host virtual seminars.  We are not be interested at this time. 

Thank you for reaching out to us.  Have a good day!

Regards,

Mary Ann

Respond using the Two Sentence Rule: Thanks! Would it be okay to put your name on our email newsletter list so that you may receive our updates on library news and tips?

Their response: Sure, that would be fine.

Success!

As I discuss in my e-book, rejection is often an instinct based upon feeling rather than logic. She doesn’t know how bad she has it at this point, but I’m not going to get in her face and irritate her so she ghosts me, which is what she’ll do because she doesn’t see my value yet.

Notice I don’t argue with the person about how we’re better and she should give us a chance. I’m playing the long game. I’m asking her to keep the door open just enough so I can stay on her radar screen and maybe attempt the pitch again when I have something better or when enough times has passed. Or maybe she’ll come to me when she reads our newsletter. This rebuttal was successful because it’s gotten her to give me the chance to show my value. I see so many high quality financial advisors that don’t know how to rebut quickly and with skill, and they lose opportunities to lower quality advisors who don’t deserve the business like they do.

Potential breadcrumber

I see financial advisors giving away their time for free all the time. Sometimes it is because you financial advisors have to offer a free portfolio review or free half hour of your time just to get the prospect’s attention. Other times the prospect asks for free time. Either way, if you’re looking to deal with the affluent, which most of you are, they certainly should be able to afford a few hundred dollar consultation fee. And if you are holding yourself out as providing a luxury service to affluent people, you should expect them to treat you as such – a high value service provider. You are not selling washing machines here.

Do you get emails from prospects like this?

Prospect says:

Hi Sara, I hope you are well. I enjoy your videos on Youtube and would really like to learn if it’s possible to move from equity research to private equity. Thank you, name.

My response (one sentence): Are you interviewing?

I ask him a question that enables me to know how to help him best instead of answering the question without knowing anything about him. If he is interviewing, he needs to download my book, and if he’s not interviewing then he needs to have a coaching session with me.

A while ago I learned that free advice isn’t necessarily the best thing for the prospect. It’s not that you are being greedy. Your time has a value and you have to honor it. If you’re just firing back advice for free, you’re probably not spending much time and doing them justice. This is not the deep understanding they need. If they don’t see your advice as worth paying for, how seriously are they going to take it? Are they going to listen to whatever you say anyways? One of the best things I did for people was I figured out I needed to ask people to pay me for my time through PayPal whenever they ask for free advice.

You’d be surprised at how much less important it is for them to get their question answered when I ask them to pay for it. And that’s very elucidating. I’d rather get one sale out of 20 from the qualified buyer than talk all day to 50 unqualified’s and hope one rolls around. When you ask to pay, it’s qualifying them by finding out how serious they are about you. And wouldn’t you rather not spend your time speaking with breadcrumbers who don’t see your value, are “shopping” around, and see no real value in your time?

Given the choice, wouldn’t you rather speak with someone who

  • Values your time
  • Thinks you deserve to be paid for your hard work
  • Is not shopping around but is looking to invest in a relationship

But anyways, back to my story. So then he says:

I have already interviewed and got another job. I was wondering if after a few years of equity research I can still potentially move back  private equity.

Two sentence rule-dictated response: This is a more complicated question than I can answer in an email. If you want to set up coaching, let me know.

He says: Sure we can have a coaching session.

Now did I get taken for granted here? Heck no.

It’s your choice, financial advisors! If you’re getting breadcrumbed, it’s because you’ve made the decision to allow people to behave this way. If you’re not on hourly pricing, enable this as an option for your business. And then come up with a great two sentence phrase such as, “To properly answer your question, we would need to put together a 3-5 hour, thorough financial planning analysis that takes into account all of the aspects of your life. We charge $250/hour and you can pay via Stripe or PayPal.” And then just copy and paste whenever you find yourself in a dialogue with a breadcrumbers!

And by the way, are you financial advisors using Calendly? When somebody finally agrees to a meeting with you, don’t complicate it by having to go back and forth agreeing on a date. Just send them your Calendly link.

Sara’s Upshot

With the pandemic and all the stress it has brought, the Two Sentence Rule has become even more important than ever. Clients and prospects judge your value by the words you say, and the clarity of your ideas. Learn the Two Sentence Rule and communicate in a way that makes you perceived as of higher value and quality.

Download my e-book about 47 Financial Advisor LinkedIn Messages and Sequences, and learn how to communicate over social media in a way that draws people towards you and builds trust…instead of barfing on them.

Download here.

I also have a membership program, helping people to be able to develop business with these more sophisticated clients. This program talks about content creating (blogs, podcasts, newsletters, etc) as well as financial advisor strategies for using LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for getting new leads. I also talk about how to relate your marketing and lead generation to certain financial advisor practice management topics. For example, the profitability worksheet I discussed in this blog is a tool that I provide to everyone on my membership.

Thanks for joining me, and I’ll see you in the next one.

-Sara

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

This podcast/blog is going to discuss financial advisor LinkedIn messages and sequences that won’t make you look stupid. I am going to outline the strategy behind LinkedIn messaging for financial advisors and much more – 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 long 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
  • How many LinkedIn messages financial advisors should send to prospects that they want to engage
  • The different kinds of financial advisor LinkedIn messages and sequences that you should be using, and when to use them

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 them to be perceived 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
  • To get the 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. Financial advisor LinkedIn 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.

For more information about how to communicate in two sentences, please listen to my podcast on The Two Sentence Rule here.

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

There are no generic LinkedIn messages that financial advisors can use at any time. 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. Aim for anything else and you will be risking having the prospect look at you like a washing machine salesperson.

Let me summarize it this way:

THE FINANCIAL ADVISOR LINKEDIN MESSAGE HAS TO BE ABOUT THEM AND NOT ABOUT YOU

THEM NOT YOU

THEM NOT YOU

THEM. NOT. YOU.

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. 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. 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

I wrote an e-book for financial advisors who want to be perceived as high quality people on social media. The e-book contains 47 messages you can use on LinkedIn or Facebook messenger to reach prospects, COIs, and other useful connections that would benefit your practice. It is my best work and these messages are not disclosed publicly to non clients and non members anywhere else in my other published content.

To know the specific words to say, download your copy here.

Also I have a weekly newsletter where I discuss financial advisor lead generation topics.

Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll join me for the next one.

-Sara

Music

Nice to You by the Vibe Tracks

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Financial advisor marketing ideas after election

Here are some financial advisor marketing moves to make now that we know the election results

Now that we know the election results, here are three financial advisor marketing tips you should be using to raise your visibility. There is a huge opportunity to raise your profile in three major ways.

  • Google traffic
  • Reporters
  • CPA relationships

I’m running out the door to go to the park with my kids; here is a summary of the main points of this podcast below.

Sorry so brief, but it’s Sunday and I have four kids under seven years old.

Google optimized content

As you can see there are a few search terms that are trending on Google. See the chart below for the term “Biden impact on economy.”

This term is at its highest possible interest point on Google. If you are producing content it is best to use Google trending terms to benefit from the traffic. Get Google to send people your way!

Source: Google Trends, 11/8/2020 at 11:30 AM EST

If you are on my membership, please see Video #22 for more Google optimization techniques.

Reporters

Financial advisors can use Response Videos and social media postings to capitalize on the traffic that analysts and reporters are giving the election results and the impact of Bidenomics. In the podcast I discuss the general approach you should take.

Members, see video 14 and vid 39 on the dashboard for the specific instructions on how to create response videos, talk to reporters and podcasters, etc.

CPAs

In this podcast I talk about how to approach CPAs and referral partners and be a resource to them. But you have to do this the right way. If you need the list of questions to ask a CPA that you are trying to create a relationship with, please send me a DM on LinkedIn.

That’s it! I’m off to the park.

To join membership and learn the techniques mentioned in this podcast please click here.

To sign up for my upcoming book and learn how to approach CPAs and reporters in a way that won’t make you look like the washing machine salesperson, click here.

In this blog I discuss financial advisor LinkedIn messages and sequences that will help you get new clients, prospects, meetings, and leads.

Sources

Davidson, Paul. 7 November, 2020. USA Today. Joe Biden economic plan: What Biden means for the economy, your finances and another COVID-19 stimulus package. Retrieved from
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/11/07/next-president-joe-biden-economy-growth-stimulus/6151943002/

Google trend report “Biden impact on economy”, October 8th, 2020 at 11:30 AM EST

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LinkedIn Prospecting Messages and Sequences that get Financial Advisors Leads

In this blog and podcast, financial advisors will learn how to compose LinkedIn messages that get them leads and meetings.

In this blog/podcast I am going to teach you how financial advisors can create super awesome LinkedIn (or Facebook, or Instagram) prospecting messaging and sequences to engage and get new leads.

For those of you who are new to my blog/podcast, my name is Sara. I am a CFA® charterholder and I used to be a financial advisor. I have a weekly newsletter in which I talk about financial advisor lead generation topics so if you are sitting there saying “Oh my goodness, my pipeline dried up,” don’t worry because I have the answers!

Sara Grillo, CFA is a highly fun and slightly crazy marketing consultant based in NYC.
I am an insightful and fun marketing consultant for financial advisors.

If you want to listen to the full podcast on the subject of financial advisor LinkedIn messages and sequences that get you leads, please scroll down to the bottom and have a listen.

Thanks for joining me today! Now that we’re past the pleasantries, let’s get to the point of today’s piece. My goal is to answer the following question: how does a financial advisor create LinkedIn messages and sequences that generate leads for his or her firm?

How does a financial advisor create LinkedIn prospecting messages and sequences that generate leads?

There are three things to remember if a financial advisor is trying to create LinkedIn messages that engage prospects, and that can be combined into entire sequences that you can use to get leads. Let me first say that LinkedIn prospecting messages are often poorly delivered by financial advisors. I’ve been on the receiving end of some of these brash requests to meet for coffee and discuss my SEP IRA, and they stink.

Haven’t you?

And what’s your response. Is it this?

  • No, I don’t want to get coffee with you.
  • I don’t care if you have been in the business for 20 years.
  • Quit asking me if I want to buy a life insurance settlement or the latest hot investment product (I know, I know, it’s the best kept secret and the opportunity will never ever come again…right)

Oh, please.

It makes me wish that everyone who uses LinkedIn Sales Navigator was mandated to read this blog before the first keystroke!

I am assuming you are reading this blog, though, because you want to learn how to do it right, unlike everyone else. Correct?

Lets go!

I’m going to give you three tips for you financial advisors who want meaningful LinkedIn prospecting messages and sequences to use to get meetings. But you must understand that in order to execute upon my teachings you will have to go about this in a way that goes dead against what most financial advisors are taught.

You must embrace:

  • Patience
  • Sensitivity
  • Thoughtfulness

Let me say this again. If you are looking for overnight success and automated, thoughtless communication, this is not the blog. Please go elsewhere. I’m not the one to teach financial advisors how to send out 300 LinkedIn messages a day using some automated bot or algorithm. Not me!

Because I strongly believe that the biggest enemy of financial advisors who want to grow on LinkedIn is the perception of lack of quality. Come across as the washing machine salesperson and you turn the prospect off instantly. Yet so many of y’all are taking the easy way out, signing up for these spammer services that are offering to blanket your LinkedIn target base with automated messages.

Or signing up for some crappy financial advisor lead generation service that is going feed you pre-qualified leads (supposedly). Good luck! You don’t even want to know my opinion of those.

ALL FINANCIAL ADVISORS WHO WANT TO USE LINKEDIN MESSAGES TO GROW THEIR PRACTICE, PLEASE HEAR THESE WORDS:

Like anything of quality, developing meaningful relationships with prospects takes time, patience, and the ability to exercise emotional control. If you have those tools and you are willing to learn new skills that can make it happen, then let’s move forward with you reading the rest of this blog.

-Sara Grillo, CFA

If not then adios, amigo or amiga!

Look, there are no LinkedIn scripts for financial advisors. You don’t have a set plan for how to handle every client relationship, do you? No! According to all of you, the work you do is customized for each client. Then why would a prospect be different? Because it’s over social media? Because you’re meeting them through LinkedIn and that’s less personal?

It’s only impersonal because you’re making it be that way, and if you are then you’re never going to get the trust you deserve. And rightfully so because as I keep saying, nobody wants to hire the financial advisor who acts like the washing machine salesperson. Think about what kind of a brand you are presenting as a financial advisor when you act this way!

Here’s a sneak peak of the three things that your LinkedIn prospecting messages and sequences must have in order to allow you to get meetings and leads.

  1. They must be feedback-oriented, learning focused communications rather than unilateral broadcasts of your desires, credentials, and solicitations
  2. Each messaging sequence must be logically arranged and one message within the sequence must lead to the next
  3. The meeting ask message, the final message in the sequence, should be reflective of the information gained by the financial advisor about the prospect

Now I’ll discuss each of these three concepts in more detail.

By the way, if you want to know the precise words to say, I wrote an e-book called “47 Financial Advisor LinkedIn Messages and Sequences that Will Not Make You Sound Stupid.” You can download it here.

#1 LinkedIn messaging should be viewed as a dynamic testing process between the financial advisor and prospect

Look, you probably have seen some of these messaging companies that want to send out a ton of messages each day and (supposedly) get you meetings. There are these bot things that you can hire to send out a bunch of pre-programmed LinkedIn prospecting messages. Ask for coffee, ask for the meeting, ask to sit down and talk.

Forget it! These are probably doing you more harm than good.

People are so standoffish to being approach this way. Occasionally a LinkedIn message may get you a meeting, but it sets up a very bad expectation in the mind of the prospect. Essentially you have made yourself out to be what the public views as the typical financial advisor: a pushy salesperson wanting to sell an annuity.

Financial advisors ask me all the time, “What are some good LinkedIn prospecting messages that I can send in order to get meetings with prospects?”

Let me ask you, did you ever consider that it is impossible to know the right words to say to someone that you know nothing about? That is the place you are starting with most of the prospects you are trying to reach over LinkedIn. The premise of having the right words, some magic sequence to text people, that will work for everyone is wrong because everybody is so different.

Isn’t that how these high net worth individuals want to be seen? As different one from the next? To have special attention paid to them, to be treated with sensitivity? Isn’t that how everyone wants to be treated? Then why would you open up the relationship by showing them that you don’t intend to treat them this way?

Sending a carbon copy prospecting message over LinkedIn is like flashing a neon light saying this:

DON’T WORRY. THE $10k TO $15k IN FEES YOU WILL PAY ME EACH YEAR WILL GET YOU MUCH BETTER TREATMENT THAN THIS. PAY NO ATTENTION TO MY INITIAL INDIFFERENCE I AM ACTUALLY A LOT MORE SINCERE A PERSON THAN I AM PUTTING ON RIGHT NOW.

-Sara Grillo, CFA

Look, there are no magic words to say all the time. It becomes too robotic and too much like a promotion. I have some scripts I’ve written for the people on my membership – but these are guidelines. They are rough sketches to be followed.

Now, what does a financial advisor who wants to meet prospects over LinkedIn do? You start with a sequence of three LinkedIn messages. Don’t get all caught up in the results, the meetings, your earn out model, and how much in commissions you can make off this person because she is a doctor and you want to sell her disability insurance.

Start here with this.

You have to learn about the prospect as your first move. That is the objective of LinkedIn prospect message sequence #1.

Let me be clear.

The objective of LinkedIn messaging sequence #1 is to learn what the other person’s objectives are in being your LinkedIn connection. Nothing more than that.

-Sara Grillo, CFA

You can not just assume you know why someone is following your page. Some people are connected to you because they want info, others think they may need you the in future and have no real designs on talking to you right now. Others connected to you without any thought and don’t even recognize you are a financial advisor. You have no way of knowing this until you test and see.

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Every LinkedIn message is an opportunity to learn about the prospect’s intentions

The financial advisors on my membership are taught that you should look at messaging as a test. Every message is a learning opportunity. You send the message and then you look for feedback as to how the person responded. Learn, observe, and make sure you are tracking what the person does and does not respond to.  Take notes and write down how each prospect responds to the particular LinkedIn message you sent, and when they responded.

This is the way to make people feel they can trust you. To pay attention to them, listen to them, observe their behavior, and adjust your communications to all of this in a way that makes them comfortable.

Yes, it takes work.

Paying close attention to other people consumes far more mental energy than most of the tasks we execute as humans on a daily basis. If you are not willing to put in the time to do this, then don’t do it at all – but whatever you do forget about hiring some machine to blast out impersonal LinkedIn spam all the time. It’s not doing the industry any favors.

Hint: You can’t focus on a large amount of people at a time and pay attention to each one. The list can be short. Quality interactions with quality prospects you understand wins over hurling rubbish at people you don’t know.

#2 Logically progress from one LinkedIn message and/or sequence to the next

Have you ever been talking to someone online in a chat portal, I mean maybe it is someone you are talking to a Spectrum mobile about paying your internet bill, and you go from one message to the next with such disconnectedness that you know, you just know, that it is a bot you are talking to instead of a real person?

What’s missing from many of the LinkedIn messaging sequences that financial advisors use is the logic that guides the conversation. It’s rare to see messaging that flows from one idea to the next because the financial advisor is often in such a rush to get the prospect on the phone!

Get the prospect into a meeting!

Sell them whole life insurance!

General guidelines for making your LinkedIn prospecting messaging into a sequence are as follows:

  • Start with one sequence of three messages.
  • Send one message a week for three weeks
  • If they seem to engage, then assess the signals of either 1) time to ask for the meeting or 2) there is some interest, but it is unclear, need to continue message with another sequence until the intentions are clear
  • If no response then stop messaging for six months and put them on the unsold list

Now, I can’t tell you the words in each of these LinkedIn sequences – because these are for my members that pay for them. By the way, here is some information below about my membership.

But here are some general guidelines for what the three messages in the first sequence should be about. The messages should all be related one to another within the message triplet, and they should flow from one to the next.

#1 Message rapport builder

#2 Question to peak their interest

#3 Offer lead magnet and if they respond well then try to figure out why they are interested in this

After this sequence it should be clear if they have any interest and if so, in what? Remember, the objective of the first sequence is not to get the meeting. Is it to get to know them. If you do not understand the prospect’s intentions in being your LinkedIn connection after the first sequence, you must run another messaging sequence with different components that what I described above.

Wash, rinse, and repeat until their interest becomes clear. If you can not establish a basis for the meeting, then do not ask for the meeting.

#3 Ask for the meeting only when there is a basis for doing so

Now, let’s say that you proceed through Steps #1 and #2, and the prospect is giving you signs that there is a basis for the meeting. Compose a two sentence LinkedIn message, and ask for the meeting. Don’t take all day asking – get to the point.

The meeting ask messages is the final one in the LinkedIn prospecting sequence. There are a number of different ways you could ask. This must be customized based upon what are you observing from your interactions in the past.

  • Humorous
  • Direct and High pressure – maybe if you are dealing with a businessowner or salesperson
  • Inquisitive, extremely careful
  • Low pressure, soft

When you ask for the meeting it is important to establish a rationale for the meeting. If you did Steps 1 and 2 correctly, then you won’t have any problems doing this. If not, you are asking for a meeting with no basis and that increases likelihood of rejection.

Remember that how you close the relationship is a function of how you open the relationship. If you are having problems getting the prospect to agree to meet with you it is probably because there is not enough of a reason in their mind for the meeting. You’ll need to go back into another sequence and in this one focus on getting them exchange more meaningful information that reflects what they truly care about.

Conclusion on financial advisor LinkedIn messages and sequences that get you leads

If you found this blog helpful, please subscribe to my podcast below which goes into the subject of financial advisor LinkedIn messages and sequences in fuller detail.

You could also sign up to receive my weekly newsletter.

I also have a membership program which teaches financial advisors how to use social media to get new clients.

Or, if you’re ready to get out there and start reaching people, I wrote an e-book called “47 Financial Advisor LinkedIn Messages and Sequences that Will Not Make You Sound Stupid”. You can download it here.

Thanks for reading and we’ll see you in the next one.

-Sara