5 marketing strategies to win and keep clients in the age of AI

5 marketing strategies to win and keep clients in the age of AI

I’m sure you’ve experienced the growing barrage of marketing messages from financial services firms that deluge our inboxes. I’m up to 20 to 40 cold outreaches a day, and their sometimes clumsy attempts to make a personal connection only make them a bigger turnoff. I don’t know if this is an early effect of more marketers using AI to scale their outreach, but I do know this: In the high-trust realm of wealth management, digital marketing and the “100x” promise of AI-driven solutions alone are far from a magic bullet.   Marie Swift, president and CEO of Impact CommunicationsImpact Communications I’m not here to deliver an anti-tech diatribe. Digital marketing tools have given financial advisors powerful ways to reach new clients and strengthen existing relationships. But the pendulum has swung too far toward digital. I see too many financial advisors hiding behind omnichannel digital campaigns and Zoom calls as if the pandemic never ended. That might actually work in some industries. But for financial services, digital marketing blasts divorced from in-person interactions risk undermining the trust and familiarity that are essential to winning new clients and deepening existing relationships. Money is personal. Clients and potential clients want to see that their advisor genuinely cares about them before handing over the keys to their family’s financial future. Even during the pandemic it was the personal touch that helped some advisors reach new levels of success. Planners I spoke with during the COVID lockdowns universally told me that taking a more personal interest in their clients’ lives led to more meaningful conversations and, ultimately, business growth.READ MORE: You don’t have to be a superstar to win leads on digital platforms I can tell you from my own experience that neglecting the personal touch is a sure way to lose clients over time. Some years ago, my family switched advisory firms because, due to a shift in company culture, we just didn’t feel seen and heard and truly cared for anymore. The smartest wealth managers are tapping into the power of personal connection by creating opportunities for clients to feel valued. They’re employing a “pro-personal” style of communication in client interactions that consciously blends the personal with the professional. Here are five ways to be pro-personal in your interactions with clients and prospects.Create dedicated “work-play” spacesOne of my clients, Michigan-based Blue Chip Partners, is adding a golf simulator to its office space as a way to bring people together socially and create parallel opportunities for financial education. Daniel Seder, a partner at the firm, sees it as an effective way to create deeper bonds with current clients while introducing prospective clients to the firm’s offerings in a less-formal setting. Hold affinity eventsLook for opportunities to bring people together around shared interests and experiences. Seder  plans to invite clients to go duck hunting with him, for example. Other affinity events might include wine tastings and outings to sports or music events. One way our family’s new wealth management team, Kansas-based FCI Advisors, impressed us was by inviting us to special events such as a lunch at an exclusive country club, where we talked about post-COVID travel, kids and grandkids. The team had done their homework: Every staff member I encountered — even those who were new to me — greeted my Gen Z daughter by her first name, making each of us feel seen and valued.  Engage with the communitySupporting a community cause is a great way for a firm to show its true colors while expanding and deepening social connections. Keen Wealth Advisors in Overland Park, Kansas, actively supports the locally based Veterans Community Project. Their support goes beyond writing checks; they help build tiny homes for unhoused veterans and organize supplies into backpacks for those still on the waiting list. Besides being the right thing to do, making this kind of effort to become a visible, contributing member of your local community is a powerful indirect marketing strategy. Build networking groupsCreating or joining networking groups based on areas of professional or social interest is a proven method of raising your firm’s profile and making relevant connections. Emily Prater, an advisor at Blue Chip Partners, started a networking group called Young and Hungry, geared to helping young professionals connect and build relationships — and have fun, too. The ultimate goal is for members to leverage this network when they or their clients need the expertise of a professional outside of their industry.Budget face-to-face encountersInviting clients to dinner, lunch or other social interactions, rather than yet another Zoom call, is one of the smartest investments wealth managers can make. Set a budget and encourage all advisors — not just key rainmakers — to engage in more face-to-face interactions. Blue Chip even encourages friendly internal competition by keeping track of how many of their advisors host gatherings.The above strategies are not meant to replace or to conflict with digital marketing campaigns; indeed, they are highly complementary. Social media and email campaigns will be richer and more effective when used to amplify the stories, lessons and memories that emerge from a pro-personal strategy.

https://www.financial-planning.com/opinion/5-marketing-strategies-to-win-and-keep-clients-in-the-age-of-ai

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