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Rating:Keeping Your Eyes Open for Opportunities Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, September 27, 2000

Keeping Your Eyes Open for Opportunities
Guest Column by: Martin Baird

One of my goals is to help you evolve from financial experts to financial experts who know how to market. It's not enough to be great at your profession. You also need to introduce your services and solutions to new clients. That means you need to be able to market.

In this column, I'm going to reveal one of the secrets of great marketers. Great marketers are always looking for new opportunities. This may be a new service or new ways of using old ideas. It also means that they are looking for opportunities all around them.

Here is an opportunity I found while attending a conference in San Antonio, Tex. As my wife and I were strolling along the river walk, we visited a gift shop. It had the usual Texas flags and promotional items. The postcards are what caught my eye.

I found a postcard that looks like the new $100 bill. It's great! It stands out! That is a marketing opportunity.

I will use this in a variety of ways to market our services and our Web site. How many people would get a $100 bill and not look at what's on the other side? I can see it lying on a busy person's desk and they can't help but pick it up and look at it.

Opportunities are all around us. You need to be the person looking for them. They can be found in grocery stores and malls. The challenge is you need to invest time each day thinking about marketing and the opportunities that you have in front of you.

The next challenge I see is this: Advisors think the postcard "could" be a good idea, but they don't take the next step. I know people who have much better ideas than I do, but they don't take action.

Once you start seeing the marketing opportunities, you need to select a few of them and take action.

One mistake advisors make is developing a big marketing plan that they can never keep up with. It's better to complete a couple of marketing efforts each day than to try to do them all and end up doing nothing. You know what I'm talking about. It's like people who want to get in shape, so they run six miles the first day and then can't move for a month.

You need to be smart when you take action. Here are a few simple ways to make the process easier.

  1. Make your first project a winner. If you are successful on your first effort, you are more likely to try the second one. Maybe your first action is as simple as sending the $100 postcard to five clients this week.

  2. Reward yourself for completing it. Too often, we're punished for not completing a project. Then we don't get a reward for doing it. It could be as simple as a half day of hooky. It could be a little ice cream at lunch. Rewarding your progress keeps you moving.

  3. Write it down. You need to begin with an idea. Action starts when the idea is committed to paper. This is a great way to show you're making progress. Maybe you can start by writing down: "In the next five days, I will find a fun mailer to send to our top 25 clients six times per year." Once it's on paper, it comes to life.
You see the opportunities. Now it's time to make great things happen with your action.

Marty's Thoughts On Marketing

If you could save your clients $100 per month, would they invest it with you? I visited a Web site that's designed to help you lower your long-distance telephone bill. I think we will save almost $100 a month.

Is this a marketing opportunity for you? What if you invited your clients to bring in their long-distance bill and you would see if you could save them money. It's a five-minute process and it gives you a chance to talk with them about

other opportunities. A wise person will make more opportunities than they find. Have fun making opportunities for you and your clients.

Martin R. Baird is president of Advisormarketing, a full-service marketing management firm that provides a variety of services to financial advisors to help them improve their marketing methods and increase revenues, including seminars and conference speaking engagements on such topics as referrals, marketing, goal setting and customer service. The firm's Web site, www.advisormarketing.com, offers free marketing information and tools for financial advisors. Baird may be reached at mbaird@advisormarketing.com or visit www.advisormarketing.com for marketing tactics that will help your business grow.  

Martin Baird is president of advisormarketing.com., a Web site that offers free marketing information for financial advisors. Baird may be reached at mbaird@advisormarketing.com.

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