This Is How You Can Use The Dreaded F-Word (No, Not That One!) In Your Financial Services Business To Catapult Lead Conversions, Compliantly.

What if I told you that at least 96% of visitors to your website aren’t actively looking to buy?

Are you prepared?

Do you have a strategy in place for converting visitors into prospects and ultimately into clients?

If your answer is “no,” then chances are your visitors are becoming someone else’s clients.


If your answer is “yes,” would you like to ramp up your lead conversion rate by transforming your strategy into a business-building machine?

Keep reading because the solution is within your reach.

You CAN do this.

The Difference Between Those That Capture The 96% And Those That Don’t

The problem with most sales efforts is that they aren’t converting enough traffic into customers.

In fact, the Number One priority of sales and marketing professionals worldwide is “converting contact/leads to customers.”

You can have all the traffic in the world coming to your website, but unless you have a strategy in place for qualifying, nurturing and converting leads, then all you have is a lot of traffic.

And even if you know how to qualify, nurture and convert leads, this is a multi-layered process with lots of moving parts to miss, forget and overlook – with each one costing you potential leads when not optimized.

As you follow up with each lead, you have to remember to capture any missing contact information, save data to CRM, share content, send the right follow-up email, schedule a follow-up phone call, invite the lead to a seminar…

The list goes on…with so many places along the process to drop the ball.

And when leads fall through the cracks, it’s often your competition that wins.

It’s time you take a more systematic approach to your sales strategy…and stop leaving your sales efforts to chance.

When you turn your strategy into a system, you solve so many problems and expand your growth potential.

Systematizing your strategy:

  • Helps you get organized by encouraging you to think through your process.
  • Allows you to identify all eventualities and plan accordingly.
  • Makes it easier for you to share your process with your team—everyone is informed and empowered and you don’t have to micromanage.
  • Enables you to outsource elements of the process to freelancers and contractors with confidence that they will do what you want done.
  • Provides the blueprint to scale your operation.
  • Allows you to isolate and test various elements within your process.
  • Identifies gaps in your strategy that you may miss when carrying the plan around in your head.
  • Helps you identify steps that can be automated—saving you time and money.
  • Encourages you to add metrics and measurements to your process so you can track your progress.

Best of all, a system is the true foundation to working less and living more while you continue to successfully grow your business.

About now, you’re probably thinking that all sounds great…

But where do you start?

Time to Tackle the F-Word!

Despite enjoying massive success in most other niches, the marketing funnel has become one of the most dreaded F-words in the financial services industry,

It conjures up nightmares of compliance issues, complexity, and cost most advisors immediately shy away from.

But done right, this marketing and sales system that will forever change how you do business, and it’s one of the secrets behind the new wave of rainmakers you’re seeing all over the internet…

There’s no need to panic though, because it CAN be done without the hassle of compliance issues and complexity that ratchet up the cost, and still turn your lead generation into an automated free-flow of new clients and sales.

The funnel concept has been the focal point of sales and marketing processes for more than 20 years.

Some try to debunk it as too simplistic.

Others try to replace it with newer models.

But good ideas that work are hard to replace.

The funnel is critical to your business if for no other reason than it makes you think through the flow of leads into your website and how lead conversion progresses from prospect to client.

It also forces you to be more proactive about your sales and marketing process, which is one of the defining factors that separate the average from the superstars.

You can map out the steps of your sales process, plan for contingencies and systematically nurture that 96% of visitors that may be interested but are not yet ready to buy.

You can control the process of converting them into future clients.

Compliance Concerns – Caput!

Let’s address this issue right up front.

As you well know, regulatory compliance is a critical consideration when planning any sales or marketing effort, and one of the main reasons so many financial services professionals avoid funnels like the plague.

But building a funnel actually makes it easier to ensure you are maintaining strict regulatory compliance.

First, by going through each step in your sales and marketing efforts, you can identify the various assets you require—landing pages, content, follow-up emails, call scripts, etc.—and have each read and signed off on by the appropriate person in the firm.

If you have some question as to whether your message is compliant, you can refer to resources through FINRA.

Second, your funnel is a system. You will have documented every step, and tied your efforts directly to your CRM system. This makes it easier to present your process in the event of an audit.

The 30,000 Ft Walkthrough: How to Plan Your Sales and Marketing Funnel

When you look at illustrations of sales and marketing funnels, you understand why we call them funnels.

They are big at the top—where you capture all the leads.

And they gradually narrow—as you qualify, nurture and convert the leads.

And you’ll notice that the funnel is often sectioned off into stages, such as:

·      Awareness/Attract: This is the top of your funnel where the lead generation occurs. You want to develop interest in what you have to offer. You may also want to include qualification in this stage as you begin to make initial contact and evaluate interest and fit for what you are offering.

·      Nurture: This is where you keep building a relationship and engaging qualified prospects. You will call and email on a set schedule. While you will want to use scripts, you also want to ask questions and listen actively to answers. As nurturing progresses, it becomes more personalized and focused on individual needs.

·      Consideration: At this stage, prospects have shown real interest in buying. They may not be quite ready or they may be looking at several options, but they are definitely interested. You may want to invite them to a seminar or office consultation.

·      Lead Conversion: At this stage you are talking details—products and price. You are negotiating and preparing for the close.

Very quickly, you see it is a systemic process.

And the best way to step through a process is to map it as a flowchart.

A flowchart is a diagram that outlines the sequence of steps as you move through the process. In this case the sales and marketing process.

If you use an online flowcharting tool, it becomes easy to build a visual representation of the process you use to bring prospects to a buying decision.

As you plan your sales and marketing funnel, ask yourself: What does it take for someone to agree to buy my products and services?

The answer, laid out step by step, is your funnel.

So let’s go through the steps to plan out your sales and marketing funnel:

  1. List all your assets

On a piece of paper, make a list of every element related to your sales and marketing process. 

These may be people, relationships (such as affiliates or partnerships), technology tools (software, CRM), landing pages, content (whitepapers, videos), scripts, etc. 

Don’t worry if you come up with more things you want to add later on. It’s easy to add and edit.

  1. Assign your assets icons

Lay these assets out as elements in your flowchart and begin to determine the order in which things happen. 

You’ll have a variety of shapes to choose from, and the flowcharting tools will help you decide how best to match asset to shape.

  1. Find your starting point

Find what seems to be a logical starting point. 

Maybe it’s buying a list or collecting contact names on a landing page or it could be the list of people who have attended seminars but not yet booked meetings. 

The good thing to know is that these flowcharting tools are very flexible. You can move assets around, add elements and even change your starting point. It’s easy.

  1. Begin to connect the dots

Actually you’ll be connecting the assets and processes. 

Use the connector lines and arrows to begin laying out the order of steps within your process. Don’t be surprised if you revise your process several times. 

You’re going to see both opportunities for nurturing you might have missed and holes in your process that need additional attention. 

For example, maybe you thought you needed one call script. Suddenly you realize that you need a separate script for each follow-up call as well as scripts for voicemail.

  1. Walk through your flow

It helps to do this with a couple of your colleagues. 

This way you can test the process, identify events you might not have considered and develop contingencies. 

Don’t worry you’ll be doing this many more times in the weeks and months ahead. Testing, revising and improving your system in an ongoing process.

  1. Remember, your goal is to get the best results possible. Embrace every opportunity to test, track, measure and improve your results.

Steal This Advanced, Insiders Tip!

As I’ve indicated, one of the great benefits of building a funnel and laying it out as a flowchart is that it documents your process.

And that document can (and should) be shared with other members of your team, with freelancers and/or consultants to whom you decide to outsource some of the work.

Here are some quick tips:

1.     Turn your documentation into a system so that sharing your work is easy.

2.     Put your charts, scripts, email templates, etc. into a shareable environment like Google Docs.

3.     Make videos of you talking someone through your process. These become great training videos to use as your business grows and your team expands.

4.     When you train small groups, use an online video conference tool with screen sharing and recording features to capture your training. Once you have the training documented, you can share it with future hires.

Final Takeaways

The funnel is the best system to increase lead conversion by delivering comprehensive and consistent follow up to everyone who shows interest in your company and the products/services you offer.

The funnel enables you to plan out your process in advance and thoroughly document every step so you can share it.

As you identify opportunities to automate your funnel, scaling your business becomes easier and more lucrative.

A funnel deserves continual testing so you can improve results and boost ROI.

Finally, if someone wants to tell you that online marketing and sales are too irregular, chaotic or diverse to be mapped into a simple funnel, remember that your funnel is really a flowchart. And that flowchart accurately reflects YOUR, UNIQUE PROCESS.

You’ve got this one covered!

And if you’re to scale up your business, without scaling up the hours you have to work then join us inside Advisorist. 

We offer a comprehensive, step-by-step course dedicated to helping you build your financial services firm. We’ll walk you through the planning and implementation of a compliant, automated, lead-generating funnel — And much more.

We also have coaches inside to answer your questions directly and help make your funnel as powerful and effective as possible.

Jeremiah Desmarais

Jeremiah Desmarais

Jeremiah is the founder and CEO of Advisorist® and is a 23-time award winning financial marketer, a TED speaker and philanthropist. He’s been featured on Forbes, CNN, and Worth. His work has generated over $2 million insurance leads and helped advisors in over 51 countries generate over $300 million in sales commissions. He is the author of the best selling book, SHIFT.

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