In yesterday’s blog post, I shared my experience with a small business owner’s attempt to start a relationship with me by inviting me to a luncheon seminar. After reviewing 5 ways this small business owner wasted her marketing budget, I promised to share today a few things she could have done differently to prospect for new clients.
1) Network locally.
It’s unlikely the financial advisor who sent me the luncheon invitation is new to the community. In fact, I doubt I’d be her first client. Given the relationship she has with her clients as a financial advisor (knowing what they do for a living, their salary, what charities they give to), she should look for opportunities to partner with current clients who are also business owners. How? She, too, could become involved in the charitable organizations her clients support. By donating her services or even her time (not just writing a check) she’ll get to know other local business owners who are likely in her target audience and could benefit from her expertise. By volunteering for a position within the charity that showcases her financial knowledge, she demonstrates what it’s like to work with her firsthand. This effort admittedly will require time to build relationships yet will have more impact than the 1 hour group lunch presentation she invited me to.
2) Co-market with clients who share her target audience.
Again, the financial advisor should go back to her client list and look for clients who are also small business owners that share her target audience. Approach these clients and pool marketing resources to host an event at a local business or even her own location for busy business women (her target audience). Wine tastings, spa days with mini-mani’s, fashion shows, gourmet cooking lessons, complimentary blowouts, etc. are events women enjoy and can see the benefit in (relaxation, learning a new skill, networking, etc). And make sure the event is invite only and held during time of day / week when her target audience is available, not during the middle of the afternoon when they are likely at work. If her target audience has children, provide either free childcare or create an event children will enjoy as well. She doesn’t have to host a financial planning specific event – in fact, I’d advise against it. Rather, she needs to begin building a relationship with others in her community. By showing she understands the busy working woman with an appropriate event is one way to do so.
3) Become a supporter of women in your community.
Score the local newspaper for news of promotions. Each Sunday in my local paper, 5-10 women are recognized for their career performance. Send each woman a personal note congratulating her on her efforts. Everyone likes to be recognized for their achievements. Add that woman to your database and continue to drop her relevant information throughout the year to begin building a relationship with her.
These are just a few ideas of more effective ways to invest your marketing dollars than renting a mailing list and sending a canned invitation for a financial presentation over lunch. I’d love to hear your thoughts, too, on how this financial advisor could grow her business.