Naperville, IL- My manager was trying to be nice, but he could barely hold back his amusement. “You’re not really going to run an ad like that, are you?”, he asked. “I know you’re not making much money, but don’t you think something like this is a little, well, unprofessional?”

What’s Being Professional, Got To Do With Getting Leads Anyway?

His contained sarcasm wasn’t lost on me at all.

I knew what he was getting at.

He wanted me to “stay the course”, and not try anything even slightly different.

“Why don’t you just use this new ad we got last month from the home office? It’s very professional, and I can’t imagine it not getting a good response. People are really looking for higher rates on their investments, so it will do real good!”, he continued.

“Yeah, right”, I’m thinking to myself.  Another stupid product ad that looks and sounds like a million other prospecting “tools” they give us that don’t do squat. Like those brilliant mailers asking people if they want a beautiful leather appointment book, or, to check off which product they want an adviser to come over and shove down their throat.

Oh yeah, how about those sickening, “Let me come over and introduce myself” calls? All these “marketing geniuses” can come up with, is recycled versions of the same stuff that hasn’t worked, and will never work.”

Why Is Being Different So Bad?

Anyway, I decided to challenge his “expertise.”

Since the average guy in this office wasn’t making a whole lot of money, I had to question these traditional approaches.

“How about this?”, I queried. “What if we run ads in the same place this week, and compare results? I’ll use this unprofessional ad, and you run the “good” one from headquarters.”

He agreed, and we placed our ads.”

Touching Emotion Gets Responses

“Well, on Sunday his $300, product ad ran on the same page as my $40 attempt. His ad was about five times as big as mine. (He had more money than I did. Then.) Anyway, the results were very predictable from his side.

He got exactly three calls. Two were from brokers, wanting to know if they could get a GA contract, and one was from his mother, who said she saw his ad, and that it “looked real nice.”

My manager was shocked.

“Why wouldn’t they respond to the ad?”, he said out loud to no one in particular. “We’re offering 6%, tax – deferred. And we’ve got an A+ rating, and all. I just can’t believe it.” (He was not pleased.)  Oh yeah, how did my ad do? Well, I’m not sure, because the calls are still coming in today. (Tuesday)”

81 Leads From A $40 Ad!!

“Yes, he was right. My ad did not look like a professionally done ad. It had no mention of our company, or ratings, or yields, or products. It did nothing to further the image of the firm. It didn’t have any cute slogans, or pictures of cartoon characters. I didn’t ask them to “come in for a free consultation”.

You’d have to say it was lacking in all those very important features.

But, it somehow managed to get 81 calls, so far. (My manager mumbled something about how he was glad he didn’t use an ad like mine, because it just wasn’t his image.) Now, I was really confused.”

What Are We Trying To Do? Look Good, Or Get Clients?

“I just got 81 people who are interested in financial planning, and he’s telling me he’s happy it wasn’t him. He wants to maintain some sort of “image”. Then it dawned on me. I finally realized, that to many people in this business, looking a certain way is more important than getting results. I, on the other hand, have this strange need to make money.”

Which was the reason I got into this business in the first place.

I wanted to help people manage their money with complete professionalism and ethics, while making a pile of money at the same time.

You see, I always thought that being professional came into play when I was helping the client make financial decisions.  Not when I was trying to get them in front of me.

And now, I figured out that I had been taught to market exactly backwards.

I was given a line of products, and told to find people to sell them to.

What a mistake!

Find Interested People, And Let Them Buy What They Want!

Now that I’m no longer professional in my marketing, I finally learned:

  • The 10 biggest mistakes planners make when advertising, and how to avoid them.
  • The startling secret to get dozens of responses to cheap little ads!
  • 25 ways to get your clients to volunteer referrals without using the “we get paid in two ways” line, or pestering your clients for names!
  • How to have 5-10% responses to mailings become commonplace!
  • How to get started with little cash!
  • How to attract business people like a magnet, with a little known method!
  • The almost unheard of technique to get responses from affluent prospects!
  • How to end the frustration caused by “traditional” marketing.
  • The truth about selling products that the “home office” will never tell you!
  • How to stop confusing marketing with selling. (A HUGE mistake!)


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