Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Get The Timeless Reading eBook in PDF

Get the entire 10-part series on Timeless Reading in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues.

Marketing funnels describe how potential customers move from looking to buying. Advisors can and should use that concept. In this multi-part series, I will explain how advisors can gain more control over the funneling process.

In this first part, I will define a funnel and why it is essential to your marketing strategy.

What is a funnel?

A marketing funnel is the journey from prospect to client you create within your marketing strategy. It is a carefully structured set of steps or actions a person has to go through. It's called a funnel because many may start the process, but only a few will complete it. A funnel is mostly a self-selecting process, as it’s the client's choice to move through, but it is the firm's job to set things up in the most beneficial and informative way possible.

Marketing Funnels for Financial Advisors

While a marketing funnel is used in all industries and is especially important in the financial advisory world. It is not about making a sale, but rather MANAGING the client journey and creating value.

Misconceptions

While the idea of marketing funnels is a common one, it is also associated with misconceptions.

Misunderstood. When speaking with my financial advisor clients about setting up funnels as a part of their marketing strategy, I often hear that funnels are viewed as pushy or too sales-driven for this industry. This is not true if you keep the focus on building and nurturing relationships, and less about making the sale.

Not static. People do not behave in a linear way. While you may think that the ideal way to get from point A to point B is a straight line, it is not always the path chosen by your clients. As long as you take that into account when developing your marketing funnels, you will understand the process more clearly and have a better understanding of your results.

Situational. Aside from your client’s unique behavior, you have to take into consideration the uniqueness of your business. Funnels are customized to your business. There is no standard marketing funnel and there are things you need to consider when thinking about your process.

While funnels cannot fix poor targeting, lack of focus or low-quality service they can make sure that you are doing everything possible to create the best experience possible for potential clients.

Why do I need this?

When a potential client comes to your office, what do you do? You greet them warmly, offer them something to drink, show them to the conference room and guide them through the meeting agenda. Why not do this for online visitors? You would never let someone into your office to just wander around and figure things out; they would leave and never come back. You don’t want to leave online visitors to figure it out own their own either. You are missing opportunities to show people what you are about, what it would be like to work with you, and what your values are.

By Crystal Lee Butler, read the full article here.