The $10M secret that marketing organizations are afraid to tell you

By Brian Lucius

Gradient Financial Group

As I sat on the plane headed down to the American Equity conference in the Bahamas, my wife asked me "Which advisors are going to be down here?" I listed several of our top producers that qualified for the trip, and she asked, "Why are the same advisors always on these trips?" That got me thinking about an answer that many advisors search for year after year.

What do the best of the best do? What is the real secret to their success? I have the privilege, and I do mean privilege, of working with 100 advisors that average more than $4 million in annual annuity production, and 15 of them write between $10 million and $32 million in new assets each year. I'll share with you the basics of their marketing calendar. If you ever have the chance to talk with these top producers, they'll share this with you, too. Why would they share their secret with their competition? It's not a secret, and they don't view most of you as competition. They simply don't think you are up to the challenge of working as hard as they do. My question is: What are you going to do to make each and every year a better one?

We have all heard "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." Marketing organizations constantly roll out new sales systems and lead generation programs that will help you "never prospect again." I encourage you to ask them one question: What are your top 10 producers doing to generate business? I am confident that after speaking with 20 advisors with $5 million or more, you'll see they have no magic bullet, just a strong work ethic and consistency in their marketing campaigns. They never change and never let up. They might tweak here and there, but they never abandon the marketing schedule that makes them successful.

In an industry full of "magic" marketing systems that have high-net-worth clients calling you and mentor programs that will "make you the next eight figure producer," it's hard to tell which of these revolutionary secrets will bring you success. Let me share with you the real secret to $10 million producers: activity and consistency. That's it. Now, I will give you the $10 million marketing schedule in this article, but until you commit to a high level of marketing and activity, you won't need to worry about that magical seminar PowerPoint or the power phrase of "describing surrender charges" you think might be the answer to your selling prayers.

As a business consultant for several of the nation's elite advisors, I have had a real insiders look into what makes them successful. It's not one thing an individual does; rather, you'll find the commonalities that make them successful. There are common traits that stretch across different product lines, and they may be successful in any marketplace and demographic.

Let me break down their weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual marketing activities.

Blast e-mails. Yes, your clients are fluent in e-mail. Stop using that excuse.

Dinner seminars. Oftentimes, top advisors take off July and December. Consider doubling up another month to make up for it. You should do 12 mailings, two dates on each mailing, for a total of 24 dinner seminars every year.
Monthly newsletters. Most marketing organizations have pre-written newsletters you can customize and send out. Ask your marketing organization for help. They should be earning their overrides.

PR activity (Press release, published article, etc.). Perception is reality, and getting published locally or on television will drastically increase your brand awareness and credibility.
Concept event. This is a gathering of clients for an informational workshop. Use outside speakers like CPAs for a "Surviving Tax Season" workshop. You can speak, but you'll get a better draw from promoting an outside speaker.

Client appreciation event. These events work. They are just hard to track direct business from. I highly encourage you to keep them, and remember why you are hosting them -- for appreciation. This is not the time for an additional informational seminar.

There it is; not very magical at all. The magical part is you. Can you commit and stick to a marketing plan? Will you hold yourself accountable, or will your business consultant do it for you? You or your marketing organization will have to supply content for the campaigns, but I can assure you, even with mediocre content, this schedule will produce over $5 million of new business. And, your life will never be the same.

Here's my challenge to you: Write down you marketing goals and dates for the entire year. Give this to your marketing organizations, and ask them to hold you accountable. Everyone needs a push now and again; after all, we are all in this together. Good luck and happy selling.

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