Sometimes clients go quiet, stop responding to financial advisors. Even after positive first meetings... where they express enthusiasm about meeting again. Suddenly, and without reason, silence.
No heartbeat. No response.
However, we are discovering an unusual way financial advisors are keeping conversations alive with clients.
The key is using unconventional follow up email templates and provocations; Breaking the mold.
3 problems with follow up messages
There are three problems with follow up strategies most financial advisors use. The follow up messages are often:
- Templates that never get delivered: The message is removed by spam filters before gets into a prospects’ inbox!
- Scaring clients, attempting to persuade or create urgency.
- Not being opened due to subject lines which accidentally scream "pitch from advisor inside!"
Here's the rub:
- Clients are conditioned to templates. 90%+ of advisors are using the same dozen templates.
- Persuasion is the devil. Never convince anyone about anything. Client's aren't tolerating it.
- Write curiosity-based subject lines.
Templates make you easy to delete. Especially in financial services.
Example of average follow up messages
If you're using templates or tactics like the below consider stopping and changing them up.
The below is an example -- a typical scare tactic often used on LinkedIn.
Jeff, I'm a Wealth Advisor specializing in Financial Planning and Tax-Efficient Retirement Savings for personal and business clients. I thought there could be an opportunity to work together at some point.
Merely introducing yourself isn't enough to provoke conversation. Mostly because EVERYONE is sending the same, exact message templates.
Clients are conditioned to detecting and deleting them.
This advisor has a different flavor of failure:
Jeff, are you worried about having enough money -- so you don't run out in retirement? There are 5 ways we can help successful families keep more of what they make today and recreate a paycheck in retirement! Reply YES to get the FREE guide.
While this is a common worry among potential customers most financial planners are using this retirement concern as a way to start conversations.
It's easy to spot and delete!
Avoid free advice, instead create an urge
Offering free advice, guides and help to people who have not requested it is a common marketing gimmick.
While popular, offering free advice dilutes the value of it. Clients are also conditioned to deleting it.
Here's the psychology: People value more what they ask for, less what is freely offered.
Thus, strong email copywriting helps clients feel an urge to ask for help.
All of the above follow up messages fail to engage clients because they are:
- Typical—focusing on issues ALL financial advisors focus on (you won't stand out)
- Pushing advice—rather than attracting conversations
- Ask questions in ways which chase clients away—due to their inherent bias
Why conventional follow ups fail—do this instead
Yes, potential clients are worried about having enough retirement savings when the time comes. However, if you ask them if they're worried they won't reply.
Even if they are worried they'll hesitate.
Because engaging will put them in a vulnerable position. They'll feel your question is a set-up.
(Because it is!)
Don't believe us, see what others are feeling:
Instead, a Facilitative Question is a more open technique our financial advisor members practice.
When a client deletes your first, second or third follow up email it may not be out of disinterest.
It’s because you made it easy for them to decide “This is not worth my time.”
Because you tried to convince them—just like all the other messages in their inbox.
When following up after a successful meeting, help prospects feel an urge to consider... "hmm, this may be worth my time." Avoid trying to convince them you are!
Also, if you’re using the “bubble up” follow up template—or one of the other popular email follow up templates—stop.
Here’s what to do instead.
Instead, go for 'no' when following up
Make your follow up template a safe space. Encourage clients to say no. Here's the short version: “Yes” is commitment. “No” is protection.
Example: Let's say clients disappear after an initial meeting which went well. You need an email follow up message to breathe life back into the relationship.
Now is when you might consider seeking a "no" from them.
“There is no shortage of times during the day when someone is trying to trap us with ‘yes,'” says FBI hostage negotiator turned sales expert Chris Voss.
He's right. Most often, sales people and advisors send emails seeking yesses... invitations from clients.
Thus, most advisors try to persuade, convince.
Think about it in your life, as a buyer of goods or services.
Voss says there are 3 kinds of “yes.”
- Commitment (“I will”)
- Confirmation (“I heard you”)
Most clients are becoming experts at giving the counterfeit “yes” … as a reply to the bear trap “YES” lurking around the corner.
The psychology of 'no'
This is what makes “no” so powerful. “Yes” is commitment. “No” is protection.
When prospects say “no” they are:
- Protecting themselves (from you)
- Avoiding feeling vulnerable to you
- Demonstrating power, control… and, thus, are more open to listening
That's the psychology.
Whether it's after a meeting or after a sales call... clients tend to protect themselves and are open to demonstrating their decision-making power.
Let them. Encourage "no."
Use one sentence to provoke "no"
Wait a minute. Provoke no? This sounds crazy. Why would you do that?!
Because it works.
Here's why this works: Provoking “no” is an email follow up tactic that plays to prospects' natural aversion to experience loss.
Thus, asking one focused (and unusual) question encourages a client to respond with “no” because it makes the implicit threat you may walk away, on your own terms. If your prospect does not want to lose you they will stop it from happening.
They'll reply with something like:
“No, our priorities haven't changed. I've just gotten bogged down with ________ …”
Clients will explain why they have not responded to you.
They will take pleasure in proving their power over you… they will hit reply and disagree.
That's the beauty of this one two to sentence follow up provocation. If you don't receive a reply you likely have an unmotivated client. Cut bait and move on!
Look—you can keep reading conventional tips that don't work OR you can start DOING. Knowledge is worthless—without action. Take action.
None of this is easy. But with the right people involved (helping you) it feels effortless. Fun. Enjoyable. Our community focuses exclusively on new, innovative ways to start conversations using sales email follow up tactics … after meetings and calls. But that's just the start of it.
Remember: Email outreach isn't about getting more yeses... or more meetings. It's about getting yeses and meetings from prospects who are ready to give them!
What do you think? Let's chat about this (and your experiences) in comments below!