It takes risk to reach reward: Try something different

By Maribeth Kuzmeski

Red Zone Marketing, Inc

When was the last time you tried something really different in your business?

For most businesses, trying something new is risky. And for many, we are trying to avoid risk, not add to the complexity of our business. Furthermore, there are the pessimists who believe that most new tactics really won’t work — so why waste the time and money?

I understand this way of thinking because I see it all the time. But yesterday, I received a call from an advisor who read an article titled, "Better to give: How a small-town practice doubled its AUM in one year," that appeared in the June issue of Financial Planning Magazine.

The article shared the unique story of a financial advisor who sent a series of gifts including baseball bats, desktop safes, Maglite flashlights, as well as leather-bound journals (personalized and filled with lottery tickets) to prospects. Each gift was sent to a carefully created list of 125 people that he felt could be excellent clients. And each gift sent had a quirky message like the one sent with the safe: "You earned it, let us help you protect it."

Most people wouldn’t dare do what the advisor, David Rosell, did. It could be looked at as unprofessional or gimmicky. The reality is, he brought in nearly $20 million in new assets in one year! Seems like we should be calling him a genius (I do) instead of criticizing the tactics. It takes risk to reach reward. Unfortunately, most of us would rather not take on the risk.

Perhaps it’s time to go big and advertise on TV, send out unique direct mail to an extremely targeted list, hold wildly unique events, or simply host a regular, “Introduce Your Financial Advisor” dinner meeting once a month. You wouldn’t believe the results. Yes, it will cost you money, but if it was free it wouldn’t be a risk.

Continuing to do what you have always done and hoping for better results may be the riskiest tactic of all. If you have services that others need, they must find out about you. A well-kept secret is never a good business growth strategy, although it sure is easy to accomplish.