Creating an effective lead acquisition strategy can be tricky, especially for sophisticated businesses like financial advisors. The correct tactic should be picked based on many variables specific to your organization. Here they are:
- The size of the company. Small organizations can have difficulty handling multiple complex strategies at once. On the other hand, bigger businesses can afford more complex sales strategies and engage more versatile specialists.
- The presence of a full-fledged sales team. Some companies prefer to rely only on marketing, while others include only a sales department. Depending on the business development phase and product specifics, the situation can change toward combining both.
- The number of leads that you want to generate and are able to handle. Some of the sales strategies turn out to be so effective that they overstuff the pipeline with leads and paralyze their processing by the in-house team.
- How fast you need more leads for your pipeline. Some instruments can bring you leads in just a few weeks, though the price can be extremely high. Others need months to provide you with tangible results, though they are very cheap and even free.
All these factors should serve as the foundation for your lead acquisition strategy, and though getting started might be hard, Belkins is here to guide you on your path. Read on to learn how to drive financial leads to help your business thrive.
Top challenges with finding financial leads
Based on our experience at Belkins, 3 primary challenges hold financial companies from acquiring new leads:
Lack of B2B prospecting experience. Sales prospecting keeps businesses afloat, but, of course, it can be incredibly tedious. Often, companies that deliver financial advice and consulting services lack thorough experience in prospecting and, thus, find it hard for them to keep consistent and effective when it comes to client acquisition.
Vague ideal customer profile. A well-defined ideal customer profile (ICP) is one of the most important things for effective B2B sales. An ICP defines the critical features of a potential customer with the highest chance of buying from you. Many financial companies need their ICPs to be narrower or more concise. This makes it possible to implement effective prospecting and acquire high-quality leads.
GDPR compliance issues. The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) made lead gen for businesses in the financial industry more complicated than ever. According to this regulation, potential customers have to give expressed approval to companies for them to be able to reach out to prospects with marketing materials. This makes it impossible for financial advisors to buy leads and reach out to them as they used to do before.
Having hundreds of positive testimonials and successful cases, Belkins can handle all three issues for fin advisors, not to mention dozens of other verticals. However, you may develop a lead generation strategy on your own, combining the best marketing and sales techniques. What are they? Let’s figure it out.
How financial advisors get clients: Top 3 outbound strategies
So how do financial advisors find clients? There are two primary tactics that you could use: outbound and inbound lead acquisition.
For financial advisors, outbound strategies may bring the most benefits. First, using them will help you reach a broad audience but receive the first results much faster than when using inbound.
Second, thanks to vast outreach, outbound tactics will let you test and enter new markets, build brand awareness faster, and even shorten your sales cycle.
Finally, outbound instruments are extremely effective in B2B. We think it’s correct to assume that you offer your services to a selected group of businesses as a financial consultant. You can share your unique expertise in these sectors and be aware of the specific financial regulations and operations. So to get new clients from particular industries, it’s better to contact them directly.
But how to do it? What outbound lead acquisition tactics work for the financial sector? Try these top 3 tactics:
1. Launch a cold email outreach
Why is cold email the top-priority outbound tactic for financial advisors? With its help, you can reach out to hundreds of potential clients in the blink of an eye, clearly formulate your value proposition, and communicate with prospects only when it’s convenient.
Also, selling financial services can require many rounds of pitching. Potential clients can reasonably ask a lot of questions and demand more visual materials, like presentations or case studies. So communicating with B2B prospects via email is just more practical. That’s why Belkins leverages only this method when acquiring leads for its clients.
To launch a successful cold email outreach campaign, you must first decide on your ICP. Namely, you have to determine which decision-makers you should target. According to studies, the best target markets for financial advisors include:
- Food industry;
- Apparel manufacturing;
- Oil and gas;
- Arts and entertainment;
- Website design.
Whatever industries you decide to target, the right decision-makers to reach out to include business owners, chief executive officers (CEOs), chief financial officers (CFOs), and financial managers.
After defining your ICP, follow these steps to craft effective cold email outreach campaigns:
Build your lists
According to the experts from Belkins, data processing is the first key element of successful B2B email marketing. The better you examine lead data, the more leads you will be able to get through your sales cycle till the end.
In order to build a strategic approach to email outreach, you have to divide your leads into different lists. Assess the available contacts based on their source and whether they’ve been in your sales funnel.
Also, pay special attention to every lead’s firmographic data, such as company size, job title, niche, etc. Finally, divide group contacts who share certain characteristics into segments to develop an effective personalized approach to every division.
Craft a powerful subject line
According to the SuperOffice study, 33.90% of recipients open emails based on a subject line alone. Therefore, once you segment your contacts, you need to develop strong and personalized subject lines tailored to the needs and interests of every lead segment.
To get it right, keep it concise – ideally, use no more than 60 characters or 9 words. Also, avoid spammy verbiage in your subject lines, as it can trigger spam filters. Make your subject lines honest and straight to the point, yet ensure they pique recipients’ interest.
And finally, personalize your lines as much as possible to create trust and encourage recipients to open your email.
Pro tip: One exciting piece of research reveals that you can get an 87% higher reply rate if you include just one word in the subject line – your company’s name. On the other hand, adding the recipient’s name in a subject line can reduce your reply rate by 12%.
Refine and personalize messages
The next step requires crafting your outreach message. There are two main things to consider when writing it:
- Personalization. Effective email outreach always considers the recipients’ unique interests, pain points, and needs. Studies show that email personalization in cold outreach can skyrocket your revenue up to 40%. Therefore, you must carefully personalize your content to each lead group and every contact. Do proper research to find some common interest with every prospect, and you will win their attention.
- Value. In order to convert more leads, focus the content of your email not on your firm’s benefits but on the real value you can deliver to your prospects. Pitch your services by highlighting how a prospect will benefit from using them.
Apart from meeting these two core goals, keep the content of your emails short. A study by Boomerang reveals that the highest-performing email length is between 50 and 125 words. Such emails receive a 50-51% response rate.
Pick the right timing
To reach high email deliverability, you need to know exactly when your email will be more likely to catch your target audience in their inboxes. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. However, there are some studies on this matter.
According to the research of over 85,000 personalized emails, the best time for sending cold emails is between 6 am and 9 am PST or 9 am and 12 pm EST. The same study shows that the best day is Monday, with Tuesday as a close second. You can try this timing for your outreach campaign as well. But remember that experimentation is key to success.
Insert a killer call-to-action
Every high-quality cold email should end with a strong CTA that encourages the recipient to take a specific action. When making a CTA, you must ensure that it aligns with your business goals and value proposition.
Apart from this, remember to include only one CTA per email. WordStream found that singular CTAs can boost your clicks by 371% and your sales by 1,617%.
Create a follow-up sequence
When the primary content of your cold emails is ready, take some time to create a solid follow-up sequence. Follow-up emails are needed to help you stay at the top of the minds of your prospects and encourage them to connect with you, even if they don’t do it after the first email.
Traditionally, the rule of thumb for cold email outreach is to send the first follow-up email after about 5 days after the initial message. And we recommend making 4-5 follow-ups until you give up on a particular lead.
So these were the main steps for creating a solid email outreach campaign. Now, here are a few extra tips on how to grow your client base as a financial advisor using cold email outreach:
- Automate the process to save time;
- Make your emails mobile-friendly;
- Test rigorously (ideally, apply the A/B testing approach);
- Carefully monitor the outcomes to tweak your strategy later.
These tips are based on our own experience at Belkins, helping us reach great results and even outperform the initial KPIs for some clients. For example, here is our success story: we helped achieve a 35% reply rate for a medical application.
2. Create paid ads
This strategy can be somewhat expensive but no less effective. According to recent statistics, the average conversion rate of Google ads is 3.75% across all industries. As for paid ads in social media, 37% of online users say that social networks are the most influential channels for finding inspiration for purchases.
Let’s focus on the most effective types of ads for financial businesses.
- Social media advertising. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are the most relevant platforms to promote services like fin consulting, educate the audience, and create brand awareness. 83% of marketers in B2B markets leverage social media ads to promote their posts.
- Search engine advertising. 72% of customers use search engines when discovering relevant services. Given such a vast audience, ads in Google or Bing are the perfect way to drive warm, interested leads directly to your site.
Depending on your target audience and their preferred platforms, you can pick one or combine several types for a better reach. To use paid ads to your benefit, follow these simple tips:
- First of all, get very specific on your target audience and ICP. The best-paid ads are incredibly targeted. Research keywords well. Leverage tools like Google Keyword Planner to see which relevant keywords work best for the financial industry.
- Craft flawless landing pages. Pay special attention to your CTAs and mobile-friendliness. You really want your landing pages to look great on any screen size.
- Leverage split testing to maximize the outcomes. Split testing (or A/B testing) implies checking two versions of ads to see which one performs best. When testing different options, consider the quality score, click-through rates, reach, impressions, and cost per conversion. Then pick the best-performing ad for your campaign.
3. Leverage LinkedIn outreach
For B2B businesses, LinkedIn is one of the most powerful lead acquisition channels. Being a professional social network, it brings together executives, decision-makers, and companies from different industries and verticals.
According to the LinkedIn team, the platform’s community comprises 630 million professionals, and 4 in 5 members drive business decisions in their companies. That is, finding your prospects on this network should be easy.
There are a few effective strategies to leverage LinkedIn for your lead gen purposes:
Optimize your profile
First, you need to ensure that your profile is complete and optimized for SEO. This will help your prospects easily find and connect with you on LinkedIn.
To make your profile look sublime, start with the headline. It has to state who you are and what you do. You should conduct thorough keyword research to craft an effective headline based on your ICP and their search requests. The best-performing keywords can vary from one financial advisor to another based on location, specificity, and buyer personas. However, some of the most common keywords include:
- Financial advisor;
- Financial advisor near me;
- Financial consultant;
- Financial consultant near me;
- Financial planner;
- Certified financial planner.
Then, fill out all the sections in your account with brief and focused information, including the same keywords from your research.
When optimizing your profile, pay the most attention to your summary. It should be informative and engaging to make other users want to connect and interact with you.
Post content actively
Another effective way to get noticed by your target audience on LinkedIn is to post content regularly. First, this will make you more noticeable in the search, thanks to keywords and engagements. And second, posting content will help you establish credibility and authority in your niche, which will also help establish trust with prospects.
In order to gain all these benefits, you need to create content that will match the interests and values of your potential customers. Share your expertise in topics that align with prospects’ pain points. On top of that, create a regular schedule of publications to maintain high activity.
And most importantly, leverage analytics to see how your activity on LinkedIn works for you, find weak spots, and identify areas for improvement.
Make use of LinkedIn Pulse
If you have a blog, it’s a good idea to connect it to your LinkedIn profile and feed posts. However, it’s even better to syndicate your content with LinkedIn Pulse and post it in article format.
LinkedIn Pulse is a powerful tool that can help you establish credibility, acquire new connections on LinkedIn, and also drive more subscribers to your full blog. Most importantly, this tool is free of charge.
To get started, analyze your existing blog posts first. Find the publications that resonate with your target audience the most and publish them on LinkedIn Pulse.
Finally, if you want to generate more leads via LinkedIn, you want to expand your connections on the platform. To do this, follow your existing customers and prospects. Also, use LinkedIn search to find users who match your ICP and send invitations.
Finally, don’t be afraid to use LinkedIn groups. Join popular groups relevant to the financial industry and participate in them actively to get noticed by your prospects. Here are some ideas of the LinkedIn financial communities you can join:
- Accounting | Finance | Professionals;
- Finance Plus: Private Equity, Venture Capital and M&A News;
- Finance Club.
Top 3 inbound strategies for financial advisors
Although outbound lead acquisition tactics bring great results, it doesn’t mean that you should completely disregard inbound tactics. In fact, the best idea is to combine both approaches.
So here are a few inbound strategies that you can also use for your success:
1. Search engine optimization
If you are wondering where to find qualified leads for financial advisors, the easiest way to do this is to make leads come to you on their own. Simply put, you need to expand the traffic you get for your website.
In short, your goal is to deliver the best user experience possible and ensure that your website pops up at the top of the search results page (SERP) for relevant keywords. According to studies, the first 5 organic results in SERPs account for 67.6% of all clicks. So if your website gets into these top 5, you will be guaranteed a stable flow of organic leads.
You should incorporate the best search engine optimization (SEO) practices into your strategy to make the most of your company’s website. Namely, you should make your website:
- Easy to find on the web through organic keywords;
- Easy to navigate;
- Useful and simple;
- Fast-loading and with no technical errors;
- Perfectly branded;
- Filled with valuable and quality content;
- Complemented with strong calls to action (CTAs).
These tips should help you take your website’s SEO to the next level. But that’s not all.
Most often, financial advisors provide their services to customers in-person. This basically means that most of your customers will be from your area; thus, local SEO is a great source of leads for financial advisors.
It is basically used to help your customers find your business on the map. According to 2022 local SEO statistics, local and organic searches make up 69% of the total online traffic. That means if you implement traditional and local SEO together, you can drive all this traffic right to your website.
Moreover, the number of searches that include “where to buy” or “near me” keywords has grown over 200% in just two years. So now is a great time to leverage this tool to your benefit.
In order to use this tactic, you should first set up a Google My Business account to connect your offices to Google Maps. Then, you will need to optimize your business’s descriptions, meta titles, and website content and match it to relevant geo-specific keywords.
For example, if you are located in Seattle, some of the top keywords to try include:
- [best financial advisor seattle];
- [financial advisor seattle];
- [financial planner seattle].
2. Run a blog
Simply driving visitors to your site won’t provide you with new leads. To capture them, you need to get them interested and make them stay with you so that you have a chance to nurture and convert them later. High-quality content is the most powerful tool for accomplishing this goal. So starting and running a blog is another strategy you should try.
You need to understand your audience’s interests and pain points and deliver regular blog content that brings value (i.e., solves their problems). Carefully study your target audience, and research your competitors too. The most relevant topics for a financial blog can be:
- Estate planning;
- Loans and debts;
- Investments, etc.
To make the most out of your blog, don’t forget to incorporate relevant and high-performing keywords naturally. And also, consider engaging in guest blogging to expand your outreach and get even more quality leads for your business.
3. Leverage referrals
These days, there are already plenty of marketing tactics and channels for driving quality leads. Yet, word-of-mouth advertising is still one of the most effective ones, especially for businesses in a specific and complex niche such as finance.
Referrals can become the most powerful form of promotion for such businesses. So here’s what you should do:
- Encourage your subscribers to share your content with people they know (and, of course, provide top-quality content);
- Try using “lead-sharing” groups;
- Develop a referral program: offer rewards and incentives to existing customers for referring you to potential clients.
These simple tricks should help you acquire referrals for your business and generate new leads with their help.
4 common objections of financial leads and how to handle them
According to HubSpot, there are 4 main types of objections that modern consumers have. Each of these objection types can be faced by financial advisors as well. Let’s look at them in detail and define tips for handling them effectively:
Lack of budget
Budget-related objections are the most common ones. The truth is that purchases in the B2B sector are always associated with certain financial risks. So it’s natural if your prospects have budgetary concerns during your sales conversations.
In order to handle these kinds of objections, you need to demonstrate the real value of your product or service to your financial leads. In the matter of financial operations, it will be necessary to provide some rough numbers to confirm your services are aimed at maintaining ROI, saving recruiting budget, optimizing overall spending, and forecasting.
Lack of need
Another common objection always lies on the surface. When hearing about your service for the first time, some prospects may feel that it can’t solve their problems. On the one hand, you could give up after hearing this objection. But you can actually turn it into another opportunity to engage the prospect.
Leverage layered and open-ended questions to learn more about the prospect’s needs and qualify them. The idea is simple — you want to provide them with more information about your brand and, at the same time, get more information from them in return. Using this trick, you can demonstrate the value of your offer and collect more data about your prospects.
Lack of trust
Prospects who have never heard of your company before might have plenty of doubts and concerns. This is especially true for businesses in the financial sector because such services require a high level of trust to sell them.
In order to overcome this objection, you need to get people to know, like, and trust your organization. Start with your elevator pitch — it should double down on the value you can offer to a prospect and emphasize the authority you have in the market. For instance, provide your leads with case studies or testimonials from real clients.
Lack of urgency
Sometimes, your prospects may have a problem that can be solved with your product or service and they may even realize it, but they don’t see the urgency to solve it right now.
The right way to overcome this objection starts with defining whether you are indeed reaching out at the wrong time or a prospect is simply brushing you off. You should carefully listen to your prospect’s reasoning and try to offer to reach out later.
How many clients do fin advisors need to maintain high ROI?
Between 50 to 100 good customers is the perfect size for a financial advisor business. However, our experts from Belkins always emphasize that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions in B2B lead generation.
For some companies, 100 active customers aren’t enough to drive the needed revenues and attain set goals. And for others, even 50 clients will be too many to handle effectively.
In order to say how many clients are just enough for you, you need to understand your business thoroughly. First, you must know how to assess your resources reasonably. This involves both human and financial resources. The number of customers should match your available resources so you can handle them hassle-free. The number of leads financial companies can process also depends on four factors.
If it’s rather short and you convert leads quickly, you will likely need more leads in your funnel to keep your sales rates high.
Products and services
Some products and services are only sold once and don’t require continuous support on your side. In this case, you can generate more leads. However, if your services imply long-term support and cooperation with every client, you want to focus your effort on maintaining existing customers.
Revenue goals and average deal sizes
To generate the right number of exclusive financial advisor leads for your company, you also need to know your average deal size and revenue goal, and match the number of generated leads to these indicators.
Example: You want to make $300,000 in revenue from new customers this year. Last year, you made $200,000 from 20 new customers, with an average deal value of $10,000. Thus, you must close at least 30 deals with new leads to meet your revenue goal this year.
Lastly, the leads you generate should also match your company’s conversion rates. At this point, you need to understand that the number of new contacts your marketing team makes doesn’t equal the number of leads. Some contacts will never qualify as leads, just like some will never convert into customers. And that’s why you should pay attention to your conversion rates.
Example: Last year, your team made 400 contacts, 100 qualified as leads, and 30 transformed into customers. This means you have a 25% contact-to-lead conversion and a 30% lead-to-customer conversion. Looking back at your goal, to close at least 30 deals with new leads this year, you need to make another 400 new contacts, have 100 qualify as new leads, and convert 30 into paying customers.
Keep all these things in mind to define how many leads your business needs and can handle. And one more tip from Belkins — gradually increase the number of leads (and, respectively, customers) so as not to overload your team or lose lead quality. To discover how Belkins dealt with an abnormally high number of replies and appointments, read our expert article by Anna Muzerniuk.
Lead generation is always a somewhat confusing and complicated subject for most businesses, especially for firms that provide financial advice. Yet, it’s also one of the most important ones to set your business on the right track.
Luckily, after reading this guide, you should have a better idea of how to get clients as a financial advisor. Use the knowledge and tips from this article to gain quality prospects for your company, and if you need a bit of expert help, feel free to contact Belkins. We can offer you a 25% average closing rate and a stunning 10:1 ROI!