You’d have to be totally tone-deaf not to know that trying to “sell” yourself and your products in the midst of a global crisis is not only inappropriate but doomed to backfire. That being said, it’s the perfect time to market what you offer – the trick is knowing the difference between the two.
“Selling” tends to be focused on closing one deal, on one day to one person. “Marketing”, on the other hand, is about touching people’s hearts – it’s about connecting with them in a meaningful way over a period of time. And there is no better opportunity to do than during unusual times like these.
Think about the businesses and organizations out there clearly spending money on all types of media with simple heart-warming messages encouraging us to stay well, reach out to others, be kind to one and other and so on. Many are even making timely donations to worthy initiatives.
You may be skeptical but don’t assume that companies marketing their brand are being disingenuous. They are mostly sincere but at the end of the day, businesses need to stay in business and remain profitable, which of course is why they include their logo – even if ever so subtle. While they are not overtly trying to sell anything – they are most certainly marketing. That is, creating a brand that says “people are important to us.”
It is not too hard to guess which companies will do better in the long run, those who blatantly try to sell or those that are sensitive to the situation. Which one would you patronize?
You too are in business and will be evaluated in a similar way. We have seen that advisors who put the well-being of their clients first through the actions they take are the ones who come out on top. That is why this is not the time to “sell” but is the perfect opportunity to “get out there”, virtually of course, to do everything you can to support your clients and your community and to reach out to prospects with a message of hope and well-being.
In practical terms right now you may be restricted to doing that by phone or through a variety of online options but whatever you consider, make sure it’s genuine – people see right through those who are not.
So, while we say, forget about selling at this time – do think in terms of marketing. Be the financial advisor who people rely on to give honest and valuable advice – someone who has no agenda except to be helpful. Listen more than you talk, be kind and thoughtful in all you do and you will be recognized as the financial expert / human being people can trust. Eventually, when the time is right, people will think of you favourably and maybe one day they may even engage your services – you will not have to “sell” them anything.