Posted December 13, 2019 by Gabriel Lewit, Chief Executive Officer
As a financial advisor or insurance professional, you’re always looking for ways to grow and increase revenue. When you analyze what to focus on, what do you come up with for answers?
Is it using your CRM? Probably not!
But, interestingly, using a CRM properly can be one of the most important things you can do to increase your sales and revenue. Unfortunately, most advisors don’t think about how they are using their CRM, nor do they focus on ways they can make improvements with it.
Advisors generally view CRMs as a great place to store data and notes… and that’s about it. But, they can be so much more powerful than that.
In today’s post, I’m going give you the 2 Best Ways to use your CRM to boost sales. Let’s find out how.
CRM Revenue Booster #1 – Not Losing Business Through the Cracks
Losing business through the “cracks” stinks. It can cost you thousands and thousands in lost revenue. But every advisor has been there before, and many continue to struggle with this easy-to-solve issue.
Here’s how some of these situations typically go.
The “Going Away” Client
- You acquire a new appointment, John.
- Before you can close the sale, the client says, “I’m headed out on vacation for a few weeks, let’s get together when I’m back.”
- You intend to reach back out to the client when they return, but uh-oh… you forget.
- Two months later, a light-bulb goes off and you ask yourself “Whatever happened to John?”
- That’s when you realize that you had forgotten to follow-up… oops!
By the time you do finally reach out to him again, he’s gone ice cold and doesn’t reply. Sale is lost.
The “Need to Check my Calendar” Client
- You acquire a new appointment, Eric.
- You spend your first meeting together, and then ask to schedule your 2nd appointment
- Eric says “Shoot, I need to check my calendar at home and coordinate with my wife. Give me a call early next week and I’ll have my calendar handy.”
- The next week you’re calling all your prospects to schedule/reschedule, but somehow Eric wasn’t on your list.
By the time you remember this a few days later, he replies that they are now very busy and can’t meet right now, maybe again in 6 months. Sale is lost.
The “Send Me That Information” Client
- You meet with a new potential client, Jane.
- Jane asks that you send her a summary of information after the meeting.
- You say “Sure, no problem.” You then move on to your next client.
- The next day, you’re looking through your notes but can’t seem to find what you were supposed to send Jane and can’t recall from memory.
- You send Jane a summary of the meeting instead.
- Jane replies “Weren’t you going to send me that Overview and Report too?”
It’s possible you save this sale, but it’s not starting off well. It’s also possible Jane worries about what else you’ll forget and will start looking elsewhere for a more thorough advisor.
CRM’s, when used properly, can 100% prevent these types of mistakes from happening. And, preventing these types of lost sales can result in a huge increase in your bottom-line revenue. All from simply being better organized.
The trick is that you must use your CRM properly and diligently… and most advisors aren’t.
Using Your CRM to Avoid Losing Business Through the Cracks:
- Enter Client Meeting Notes Right Away
Every single day, after each client meeting or client interaction, enter your notes into the “Notes” section of your CRM. While this will always feel like a chore, there’s no escaping how important this is to your business. Your future self will be thanking you. We highly recommend using a bulleted list to make referencing these notes in the future far easier.
- Enter Client Follow-Up Tasks Right Away
Every single day, after each client meeting or client interaction, write down your follow-up items or next steps as a task in your CRM. Always do this the same day. Often by the following day, you’ll have forgotten key details of your client interaction and may not be able to recall the specifics.
- Review & Prioritize Your Client Task List Daily
The final step is to ensure that, every day, you’re reviewing and prioritizing your task list. Let me repeat that… every, single, day! If you see something that you promised someone by a key deadline date, be sure to do it. If you’re short on time, prioritize your tasks to focus on the ones you absolutely must get done, vs. tasks that can wait another day or two.
- Track Your Sales Pipeline Daily
What is your sales pipeline? It’s a list of all your current “appointments-in-progress.” It’s a crucial list of all the active potential clients that you’re meeting with at various stages, i.e. 1st appointment, 2nd appointment, all the way through to your paperwork appointments. Your CRM should provide you with a system to easily track these clients so you can always see the status of all your pending sales, and what, if any, next steps you need to take with them.
Here’s the bottom line… we’re all human. We’re prone to occasional forgetfulness. Furthermore, the busier you get as an advisor, the more and more this ugly issue can rear its head. But, your CRM is here to be a valuable ally for you—as long as you utilize it appropriately.
By following this approach, you’ll eliminate 99.99% of any business slipping through the “cracks.”
How to Increase Revenue Using a CRM – CEO Gabriel Lewit [14.5 minutes]
CRM Revenue Booster #2 – Using Your CRM to Market & Communicate
A great communication plan can help you generate more appointments and close a ton of new cases each year… and that leads to a big influx of new revenue!
Email marketing, postcard marketing, event invitations, resource offers, personal notes, letters, and more… these are all elements of a strong communication plan with your contacts.
A CRM acts as the hub of all of your client data. That means names, email addresses, client statuses, tags (groupings), rankings, notes, history, and more. When it comes to marketing and communicating with your clients, you need to have all of this information handy to ensure your communications are effectively targeted and segmented.
However, most advisors are doing things all wrong.
Let me explain.
Advisors tend to have all of their data in the CRM (Software A), and they have a separate marketing software for email (Software B), a separate software for postcards (Software C), a separate software for landing pages and registrations (Software D), etc…
At best, they are able to “sync” their CRM data one-time to provide a name and an address to their other software systems, but not much more. However, what if that information changes in their CRM? It often doesn’t update in their other systems. Need to add, remove, or modify your contacts? Now you’ll have to do that in 3 or 4 places.
Talk about a royal pain.
Unfortunately, this makes marketing and communicating incredibly difficult. Not only is it much more expensive to have 4 separate software subscriptions, it’s literally impossible to keep the data in these software systems in sync. And, without the ability to easily sync this data, you’re left with a clumsy, time-consuming, expensive, and ineffective marketing solution.
The good news is that there are CRMs, like Vision Financial Marketing, that can help solve this.
How VFM Helps Improve Your Marketing:
- We Provide Easy CRM Contact Segmentation
Right out of the gate, VFM encourages you to segment your CRM contacts into “Clients, Prospects, Leads, or General” categories. By doing so immediately upon entering your contact data, you’ll have the basic fundamental segmentation you need to implement more effective marketing and communication. Want to send out a client-only newsletter? Easy-peasy. Want to send an event invitation just to prospects? Done!
- We Have Built-In Postcard Marketing
Our CRM system has been exclusively designed from the ground up to assist in your marketing. One of the best ways to stay in touch is through postcard marketing. So we built that for you! In addition to one-click ordering and fulfillment—whether you’re sending to 1 contact or 1000—our system makes sending postcards a snap. We’ve also got professionally designed postcards and year-round campaigns built and ready to customize and send instantly.
- We Have Built-In Email Marketing
Email marketing is still a very effective marketing activity, when done correctly. Unfortunately, most advisors send out a lot of “template-y” or overly designed emails that fail to generate any kind of response or connection with their contacts. Remember, this is a relationship based business! A better approach is to use plain-text emails. The VFM CRM provides the ability to send bulk plain-text emails, customized to every contact’s name, in seconds. It’s easy and it works!
These features are really just the tip of the iceberg, too. VFM is full of other features big and small that enable you to improve your marketing and communications with clients. Once you start using them, you’ll be left wondering how you ever got by without these features before.
By using a CRM that offers and supports marketing, you’re going to save yourself a ton of money on technology subscriptions, save yourself a ton of time, ensure your CRM data and segmentation is always available, and have a proven system to use to generate new appointments and grow your revenue.
If you’d like a tour to explore the VFM CRM system, click here to schedule a free 15-minute demo.
We’ve helped hundreds of advisors to grow and better manage their practice, and we would love to help you too.
Until next time,