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Ask Abby, Marketing Maven

It's a New Year! Time for a new plan!


Dear Abby,

I realized the other day that my growth was flat this year.  Although I worked hard and I know my clients are happy, I literally brought it only new assets from existing clients.  This happened due to the fact I had some human resource challenges this year that took my focus away from prospecting for new business (lost an admin, hired a new one, trained them and then lost my junior advisor).  How can I get back on track for 2013?

Cindy, Orlando, FL

Dear Cindy,

The good news is that you actually took inventory of your growth and are ready to create a plan.  It is the perfect time of year to put together a comprehensive growth and marketing plan for 2013.  Here are some simple steps for you to follow:

  1. Set a goal: What would a reasonable growth goal be for your firm?  5 new clients with 1M in investable assets each?  10 new clients with a minimum of 750K each?  You know your client base and your ideal target client so only you can determine this number, but it is important to set a goal to give you something to aim for.
  2. Take inventory of your existing clients: Look at a spreadsheet of all your top tier clients.  Go through this list and determine who of them fits the following criteria:
    1. Ideal client profile and would be willing to help you
    2. Influential in a local community association or charitable organization
    3. Has strong ties or in a network of people you would like to penetrate deeper (for example: a doctor who works in a private practice with many other doctors)
  3. 2nd Opinion Campaign: Send them a New Year letter thanking them for their business and letting them know that this year you are focusing on growth.  You can verbally do this in an annual meeting as well.  The either send or give them a 2nd Opinion card to hand out to others that they think may benefit from a complimentary portfolio review.
  4. Follow Up.  Call your clients and follow up with them to make sure they received the cards and know what to do with them.  Also make sure to follow up with the person who they gave the card to.  Nothing is worse than someone giving you a referral and you not following up with them.
  5. Seek Opportunities: See if you can get into one of the association meetings, or charitable organization meetings or gather a group of the doctors for a lunch n learn.  Come prepared to speak about something that is important to them (new tax laws, new healthcare reform, changes in qualified plan requirements).
  6. Put a Calendar Together: Outline all of the tactics you decide to do in one place and make sure you execute against the calendar plans.
  7. Hold Yourself Accountable:  You are the only one that can make growth happen.  Make sure you check in with yourself monthly to ensure you are keeping on track.

By following these steps, you should see successes. 

Very best of luck to you in 2013.


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