As a training manager with Asset Marketing Systems in San Diego, Calif., Todd Greider manages the marketing initiatives of a number of different agencies with a number of different needs. He is a firm believer that social media offers a huge opportunity to grow a business, in part because it encapsulates his own personal prospecting philosophy: Be relational.
Greider offers this tip for agents looking to jump on the social media bandwagon, “Don’t pitch your wares! People want to do business with people they like and trust. Start a conversation, establish rapport, and you’ll build a relationship. LinkedIn tip: Connect with friends, colleagues and people you’ve done business with. Also, set up the app Job Change Notifier. The app sends you an email whenever your connections change their employer. Great for those working with 401(k) rollovers or simply a nice way to congratulate them and keep your network engaged.”
LHP: Tell me about your practice.
TG: We are a marketing organization that has been around for 15 years. We were started by a financial advisor, who built the company to provide services that he wasn’t getting when he was independent. He wanted to provide all the services he thought were necessary for independent advisors to excel at what they do.
LHP: Describe your ideal client.
TG: Our ideal client is probably the independent advisor who brings in annuity and life premium in the range of $3-5 million annually. He or she may or may not be securities licensed, although we prefer that they are. In my opinion, a financial advisor that is both securities and insurance licensed has the potential to have a more well-rounded view of all the financial resources available to help build financial plans that meet their clients’ needs and objectives.
LHP: Your No. 1 tip is about social media. How have you seen social media grow the business of your clients?
TG: I see agents dipping their toes in the water, and they’re finding unique and creative methods of building their community in ways that haven’t been available to them in the past. For example, social media is a great way for agents to reach out to their clients’ children. One of our agents, based in Florida, asks for referrals from his existing client base. He then holds web meetings with his clients’ children, who may or may not live out of state. Through live web chats and social media exposure, he is able to reach this whole new market.
LHP: What adjective best describes your prospecting style?
TG: Relational. We believe that if we gain trust and earn it, the business will come. Our focus is to provide information and resources to people. We pride ourselves on what we call our “sharing culture,” in which our top advisors teach others — even others in their own region — the ins and outs of their practices.
LHP: Any new marketing tools or applications that you find interesting?
TG: I definitely think social media is going to change the way that agents do business. It will definitely help with generational wealth transfer from boomers to their children, and with opening new lines of communication that agents and clients haven’t had before. I also believe that technology will help agents become more efficient.
LHP: What goal(s) do you have for your practice for the remainder of 2012?
TG: Our goal is to maintain our existing client base, help them grow their businesses and become more profitable. By extension, we hope to reach other advisors in that same category that I mentioned earlier ($3 to $5 million in annual premium).
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