Blue Horseshoe loves Anacott Steel!
For many of us, the image of Bud Fox’s tenacious efforts to bag the elephant and secure a new client relationship with Gordon Gekko is permanently etched in our mind. In fact, that movie provided a reasonably realistic depiction of the type of survival-of-the-fittest mentality that was pervasive throughout the brokerage world in the 1980s. It was the epitome of brute force, individualistic marketing–sink or swim, you were on your own: “Here’s your phone book, now smile and dial.” You kept your legal pad of promising leads, made your phone calls and follow-up calls, set your appointments, and either converted prospects to clients or started searching for a new career.
An orchestrated approach to marketing
Over time we’ve learned that while the dog-eat-dog world of sales and marketing portrayed in films like Wall Street and Glengarry Glen Ross makes for excellent drama, it’s by no means an effective strategy. In fact, it’s the polar opposite approach – pack hunting – that distinguishes the marketing efforts of today’s most successful firms.
We’ve all seen instances where a dynamic face-to-face seller drops the ball because they lack the necessary follow-up skills. Or the tenacious appointment-setter who can open any door but has difficulty in closing the sale. Your goal as team leader should be to leverage those strengths and mitigate those weaknesses for the greater good of the team.
As with all other aspects of your team, defined rules and structures, along with a cultivated environment of mutual accountability and interdependence lay the groundwork for marketing success. Everybody on your team should have a well-defined role to play in the acquisition of new client relationships. Someone is responsible for managing the pipeline. Someone else is in charge of appointment setting. A third person takes ownership of appointment follow-up. And you, as team leader, ensure that the entire team is contributing to and participating in the building of client advocates.
Today’s financial advisory teams are able to rely on collective skills in ways that weren’t possible just a few short years ago, with CRM technology greatly facilitating information sharing and group learning. And a growing number of firms are now using these tools to further emphasize the value of the team and migrate away from the inequities (in both recognition and compensation) that served as the hallmark of the “rainmaker.” Traditional highly-leveraged variable compensation based on individual performance has given way to competitive base salaries coupled with smaller variable compensation based on team performance.
Effective marketing requires a well-orchestrated approach that’s thoughtfully choreographed and carefully conducted. This is especially important when it comes to engaging your younger Millennial team members who strongly desire the interactivity of the group – both hunting and going on appointments together.
Coaching Questions from this article:
- Take time to review your team’s current approach to marketing and business development. What actions can you take to promote coordinated team efforts rather than individual ones?
- Think about the strengths of your various team members. How might they be better coordinated and integrated into a more effective marketing process?
- Examine your compensation structure. What changes could you make to shift the balance from rewarding individual accomplishments to rewarding team accomplishments?
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