I hate newsletters. I never sign up for them. Do you?
The reason is simple. They’re almost always about the company’s interests… getting me to read or consume their (thinly veiled) sales literature.
There’s one exception (well, two exceptions now). The only newsletter I actually read is customer centric.
Short and sweet, it tells me how prices are dropping (with no action required from me) and how a few recent developments may solve problems I’ve been having. Perhaps a new product announcement if they’re feeling pushy.
The point is that they are focused on what they can give me, not what they can get from me…. and it works. I scan it every month to see what might apply to me. I never filter it from my inbox because it’s a well spent 2 minutes/month.
So when we were designing our newsletter my first reaction was to rename it. We no longer have a newsletter or journal or chronicle or bulletin… we have a monthly ‘Answer Sheet’.
We don’t send you ads, we send you help, answers for your problems. All for free. No catch. No obligations.
Amazingly this not only changed how we think while we create it, but it is already becoming much more interesting and compelling — even to us!
So, in summary: Give, don’t take. Serve, don’t sell. Demonstrate your worth through generosity and people will engage with you on their own accord.
Everything I’ve seen and learned about the financial services industry leads me to one overwhelming conclusion:
There is a simmering spring of discontent among the affluent because they have been under-served, ‘sold’ products rather than ‘served’ with well conceived, comprehensive advice.
Most of the implied services that they have been led (or allowed) to believe in, just don’t exist. Some believe that their financial well-being is properly attended to — right up until the moment they lose everything to some Bernie Madoff type. Of course it’s not always that dramatic, more often it’s a slow accumulation of missed opportunities because there was no proper strategy in place.
Behind closed doors these people consistently tell us that they rate their advisors at “… maybe a 6 out of 10 …” at best. Most are lower.
So why don’t they find someone else? Because they already know they’re going to find just more of the same thing. The entire industry is homogenized on doing business this way and “that’s just how it’s done.”
Some six years into a related project I am still FLABBERGASTED that an industry can so blatantly ignore the needs of it’s very best clients.
How is it possible that the most-able-to-pay are unable to find what they want, at ANY price?
Yet the Advisors themselves complain that there’s not enough business to go around and they can’t distinguish themselves from the crowd!
Seriously? Are you kidding me?
Next time a client declines to give you a referral perhaps you should dare to ask, “What is it that I am doing, or NOT doing, that you wouldn’t boast about me to your best friends or family the same way you’d recommend a good movie?”