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Category: Brand · 8 min read

What you Need to Know About Marketing Funnels

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on September 25, 2018

author profile photo

on September 25, 2018

People looking at plans on the wall

For most, the term “marketing funnel” may seem like more marketing jargon. But funnels add strategy to your overall marketing process and can pay handsome dividends if executed properly. 

I find it helpful to picture an actual funnel (or if you live in the Midwest, a tornado). You start by putting new potential clients (or leads) into the top of the funnel. From there, you guide them as they travel down the funnel, converting them into qualified clients and loyal advocates for your business by the end.

Let’s talk about each stage of the marketing funnel, what it does, and why you need it. You can use these five stages to make a highly-effective marketing plan:

Funnels add strategy to your overall marketing process and can pay handsome dividends if executed properly. 

1. Awareness

This is the top of the funnel, the beginning of your potential client’s journey. In this phase, you need to introduce people to you or your brand. Introduce yourself. Explain who you are and what you do. 

Right away you should establish yourself as a thought leader. A thought leader is a knowledgeable source of information that educates and gives advice. You want your potential clients to know that you are smart and know how to help them. 

To boost awareness about yourself, get involved in your community, go to networking events, post on social media, provide quotes to your local newspaper, or run advertisements online. Whatever you can do to get your name out there and have people view you as a thought leader.

 

2. Consideration

Once people are aware of you and your business, it’s time for the consideration stage. This is where you help people understand how you can provide value to their life, retirement, or financial situation. Show them why they need you. Give them a reason to schedule an appointment with you. A potential client may not realize that they need your financial services, so explain why and how you can help them. 

This is the beginning of the sales process, and it’s where your relationship with potential clients deepens. In this stage, marketing materials like email campaigns, newsletters, and social media posts are the main ways to reach people and lead them through the consideration process. 

 

3. Conversion

All the work you’ve done up to this point has been warming them up for this moment. Your leads now know who you are and how you can help them, so it’s time to convert them into clients. The end goal here is to have a face-to-face meeting with them. This is the most in-depth and strongest sales pitch you have, so it’s important to get this step right. 

To make this happen, you can do a variety of tactics: host and conduct a seminar or webinar, have a one-on-one meeting, send an email asking to schedule an appointment, or give them a call asking for a meeting. Each method can work, and can turn a potential client into an actual client. 

 

4. Loyalty

Once you’ve converted your leads into clients, congratulate yourself. You deserve it. After that, buckle back up, because there’s still more work to do. After you gain a new client, you have to work at retaining your customers, too.

Retaining your clients is sometimes harder (and more effort) than getting their initial business. If you get complacent in this area, you can lose clients, or at least, lose any additional business from them. The best way to retain clients is to instill a sense of loyalty.

You can build loyalty by communicating with your clients in an intentional way. This could be sending thank you cards, following up with phone calls, remembering their birthday and anniversary, providing helpful and relevant information, or even sending them the occasional email or newsletter. Use your personal knowledge of your clients to create a meaningful check-in with them. This not only keeps your name top-of-mind, but it also strengthens your relationship and builds loyalty.

The important part is that you regularly communicate with them. A survey conducted by Brett Van Bortel of Invesco Consulting found that top clients that didn’t regularly communicate with their financial professional developed negative opinions of them.1 The same study also found that financial professionals who communicated with their top clients at least four times per year didn’t lose any clients.1 That’s only once per quarter! Take the time to reach out to your clients, and it can pay off.  

The best way to retain clients is to instill a sense of loyalty.

5. Advocacy 

In the last stage of the funnel, it’s time to turn your loyal customers into advocates for your business. To start, when you reach out to your clients, take the time to ask for their feedback. Ask if they have any recommendations on how you could improve and see if they have any questions or concerns to talk through with you. 

You can do this over the phone, through an email, or in-person, but showing that you’re open to feedback and willing to improve can speak volumes to your clients. It tells them that you want to earn their continued business by going above and beyond the required work. 

Next, ask for referrals and reviews. You might be surprised at how many clients will be willing to help you out. BrightLocal revealed that, when asked, 68 percent of consumers left an online review.2 Make it clear where they should review you online (Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, your website, or Adviserratings) and thank them for taking the time to do it. 

It may seem awkward to ask your clients to refer you to their friends, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Let them know that you are always looking to help people out, like you helped them out, and let your clients do the rest. By doing this, you’re turning your clients into advocates of your brand. Here’s another thing to consider: In our digital world, online referrals carry just as much weight as in-person referrals, so be prepared for people checking out your business online and Googling you before they even contact you.

 

Fill the Funnel

Now that you know the five stages, it’s time to fill your marketing funnel. Using the funnel as the foundation of your marketing strategy offers a consistent approach that can effectively generate new clients for your business. 

For more help developing your marketing strategy, utilize our Brand Builder services to increase your visibility in your community. Contact us today to learn more and speak with our experienced staff. 

 

Sources:

1. Prince, Russ Alan & Bortel, Brett Van. “Ways to Retain Top Clients Before They Leave.” Financial Advisor. 02 Jan. 2018. https://www.fa-mag.com/news/ways-to-retain-top-clients-before-they-leave-36290.html?section=47

2. BrightLocal. “Local Consumer Review Survey.” 2017. https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-consumer-review-survey.

 

For Financial Professional use only, not for use with the general public. #18-0563-072619

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Written By

Scott Wright

Chief Marketing Officer

Scott Wright is the Chief Marketing Officer of Brokers International. Scott has more than 25 years of experience in building equity and accelerating profit growth across multiple categories and brands, including Crest toothpaste, Pantene Pro-V, Old Spice, Valvoline and VISA. Scott and his team are focused on developing innovative marketing programs and tools that will deliver growth for our partner agencies and their financial professionals.

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