Author: Dan Overbey

So, you officially have your own conveniently located office inside a bank or credit union. Any day now, a flood of customers that came in to open a checking account or make a deposit are going to step into your office and ask for help, right? Unfortunately for us, financial institution clients are opting to work online or another alternate method to bank. That makes the advisor’s job to create face-to-face introductions more difficult.

In the spirit of helping you build your new partnership, let’s explore some fresh approaches to attract window shoppers and create awareness within your financial institution.

Grabbing Their Attention

A new business card and nameplate on your door are decent investments to attract the naturally curious shopper. However, passive marketing won’t establish meaningful relationships with the bankers or their clients. Here’s some more active methods.

Press Release

A great way to build synergies between your existing practice and the new financial institution relationship is to draft a press release for existing clients. Press releases can often be published at no cost in local newspapers or trade publications. If you’re a member of IFP, reach out to our staff at IFP Institutional Services to assist in drafting the release and gaining the appropriate marketing approvals for the message.

Internal Newsletters

First, determine who handles the institution’s newsletters or direct mail. Even if it means throwing in a few bucks to help out with overhead costs, reaching out to build awareness with the institution’s customers is a big win.

By working with the bank’s management team, determine if you can ensure placements in each newsletter. Again, we can assist with compliant, approved messages, articles or investing tips for the clients or members of your financial institution.

Web Presence

Secondly, do you have a presence on the institution’s website? Another way to build general awareness is to provide content that explains your services, your method for working with bank clients and your practice tenants. If you have not had this conversation with your bank or credit union, contact us to learn about how we can create that page on their website or link the financial institution clients to your personal website.

In the same way you’ve worked to integrate messaging about your practice into the institution’s newsletter, the website can serve in the same way to build awareness. Articles that you’ve added to your personal website or which have used for the newsletter can be used to create short, excerpted soundbites that can be used in rotating messages on the bank’s website.

Social Media Presence

Third, understand the value and importance of building your social media presence on Facebook or LinkedIn. According to the IFP Design Group, many advisors either have a lackluster online presence or nothing at all. Work with us to learn how to create “social media events” that draw a closer link to you and the banks employees and customers.

Folks, the digital age isn’t going anywhere, so it’s time to revamp your websites, social media strategy, and contact plans in 2018.

Keeping Their Attention

Once your social media presence has been established to capitalize on your role within the financial institution, it’s important to realize this is not a “one and done” strategy. It’s essential that you maintain an ongoing, active engagement to this new population of prospects at the bank or credit union.

Once again, reach out to the individual that directs marketing at the institution. Obtain a list of client or member events for the coming year. Include all community events where the financial institution is a sponsor. Attend these bank-sponsored events and start publishing messages on Facebook or LinkedIn regarding upcoming events to drum up interest.

This helps create a stronger connection to the bank and serves to engage your prior clients and create potential referrals or introductions with key bankers.

Closing Thoughts

The ability to create a continual “drip campaign” with your clients as well as the customers of the financial institution can ensure building a positive image for your practice. Allow us to assist you in building a marketing plan that build meaningful awareness and greater visibility for your practice in the coming year.

In my line of work at IFP, I often have to build relationships with some unfamiliar faces. This means I’m constantly breaking out of my comfort zone, having some off-topic discussions, and turning those conversations into fruitful business arrangements. There’s no secret sauce or some mystical influence I have over other individuals – it’s just me and my decades of experience as a financial professional.

Whether you can offer the other person a new concept, strategy, or the keys to help unlock their hopes and dreams, a genuine relationship is the spark that ignites that fire.

Humanizing the Professional

If you initially communicate through email with an individual, don’t take their initial rigid speech to heart. Most people sound a bit mechanical when they type, which is simply a product of people meticulously picking apart their own writing before sending off a professional communication. We all do it – don’t overthink their overthinking.

Remember, you’re just trying to get a face-to-face conversation rolling as quickly as possible.

When you finally get that in-person opportunity, treat the person sitting behind the desk as a human being. They have their own dreams, aspirations, and business goals. Before throwing them some hard sell technique you learned in business school, slow down, gauge their personality, and get a feel for their beliefs. This helps later when you need to find common ground that will act as a catalyst to kick start your relationship.

Be Personable

Just as you can acknowledge them as a living, breathing person, you need to be one as well. While you should respect their position as a professional, a close relationship can only make your life easier. This closeness will allow you to openly communicate with them as issues or opportunities arise, potentially enabling you to more easily reach a reasonable and productive conclusion.

Sharing Common Goals

Without a common business goal, there’s no point to a professional relationship. Now, before you call up that contact you didn’t click with and burn the bridge, know that each connection established is a possible opportunity. Even if it doesn’t work out with that person, someone in their network might be looking for a financial advisor. Add that old connection on LinkedIn, ask them how their kids are doing from time to time and stay engaged.

As long as you find professionals that share your values and/or business goals, it’s worth staying connected.

Schedule Some Time

Should you start working together, it’s important to spend time with them on a regular basis. Whether they accept your offers or not, the gesture does not go unnoticed.

Be Helpful…But Not Too Helpful

If you’re like me, I naturally enjoy helping people. While this can help build a stronger bond with stakeholders in your new environment, people can take advantage of your good will. Financial advising is also about getting paid for your advice, so next time they want you to look over their entire financial situation, you might consider telling them to make an appointment.

Dealing with Difficult People

I know I’ve focused mostly on the scenario in which you’re universally accepted into the new workplace with open arms so far, so let’s look into the opposite scenario. Sometimes professionals don’t want friends. Sometimes it’s only about the money and passion for their job is a distant second.

In these scenario, it’s still possible to build a genuine relationship, but it’s one based purely on gaining a competitive advantage or generating more revenue. Our ultimate goal is to generate more business, so it’s nothing to be upset about. In fact, certain personalities might find this sort of arrangement far more appealing and no one can fault you for that.

Closing Thoughts

Every business relationship requires attention in one way or another, but as we adapt to changes in the financial services industry, it’s more important than ever to network. While it might be uncomfortable at first, being charismatic can help you achieve greater success than you have ever known. Also, as my old boss used to say, “The worst they can say is no.”