Many of us would like to be recognized in our communities and our careers as respected professionals. It is just human nature. The fact that we are expected will open numerous doors to gain leads and referrals. The issue is just how can this be accomplished?
While there is no short cut to becoming more recognized, there are natural things which I would avoid because of the prospect of criticism. One such thing, in my opinion, is quickly attained educational credentials such as Gerontology Senior Expert Advisor. GSEA. To me these credentials are meaningless and offensive and in the long run are damaging.
I believe in education and I believe in personal advancement. Education for its own sake is a worthy cause but other benefits of gaining education can also be career advancement and monetary gain. With monetary gain can come new and better possibilities for yourself, family and others. The trick is how to become that celebrity within guidelines that make sense and can add to a career expansion.
Think of the process and the rewards of adding celebrity to your marketing portfolio. To become a celebrity requires precise steps that are measured against the process of evolving the marketing plan.
Attention: First you need to gain attention. “Look at me” I have things to say … ” Listen to me” … Once you get attention the next step is explaining an advantage why someone looked at you or listened to you. The attention could be a seminar advertisement, a book written by you, a radio commercial, an advertisement in the paper … almost anything that sets you in front of the crowd.
Advantage: Show the advantage of listening to you or looking at you.
“If you listen to me I will save you money.” “I have the lowest prices in town” “Your money will go further at my store.” “I save my clients money on their taxes” “I show my clients how to get a higher yield on their deposits”
The advantage must be convincing and it must answer the question of “Why” Why listen to me, what is the advantage.
Prove it: Now you have gained attention and shown your advantage, now you must prove it. Proving it must be convincing. As an example if your advantage is you sell better quality refrigerators cheaper than you competition, you might show your parking lot full of cars. If you are providing financial advice to satisfied customers you should use testimonials or at least a reference list. These testimonials tell of satisfied customers who prove it to your new prospects. Offering a guarantee is also a way of proving it. I used this guarantee for several years and it added to the advantage of doing business with me …. “I guarantee I will find one thing that will either save you money or make you money.” Often times the guarantee of help is a satisfactory way to prove your advantage. If you offer a guarantee then you must honor the guarantee. In order to honor my guarantee I needed information, such as bank statements, tax returns, brokerage statements and a financial statement. By assessing this information my guarantee became easier and I was able to gain trust and respect.
Persuasion: Once the advantage is gained now you must persuade the prospect to take your advantage. An example may be … “If you buy today, I will deliver your refrigerator free.” In the financial planning world it could be something like this …. “if you sign up today for a consultation, my initial fees will be waived” It can be almost anything, you must transfer the advantage of the offer to the prospect in a personal way, they must see how the advantage will benefit them. For example, if someone does not need or want anew refrigerator, they will never be able to see the advantages. To persuade the prospect to refer to the advantage, you must introduce hooks. A hook is a system where the prospect will feel that they are better off with the advantage that without it. An example of the refrigerator could be … “If this refrigerator was in your home, your power bill would lowered” It says nothing about keeping food cool and fresh, it is about the hook of a lower power bill. In the financial world it could be this … “By asking for my book about IRAs, you will be able to lower your taxes” A hook is the key to persuasion.
Action: Nothing in this world happens without action. You must ask for action. An example using the refrigerator … “Mrs. Jones, shall we deliver your new refrigerator on Wednesday of would Friday be better?” In the annuity world and call to action may be at the end of the close saying something as simple as this … “Mr. Jones, who would you like to be your beneficary, John or your sister Joan?” This is a direct call to action and without action no sale is made. Often times a deadline could be used …. “Mrs. Jones, the refrigerators will be gone by 3:00, we will do the paperwork” In the annuity world it could be as simple as this … ” Mrs. Jones , I have explained the easy part, how this annuity will benefit you, now the only part left is who would you like to ebb your beneficiary? “ It moves them to action.
Now if we take these lessons and transfer them entirely to our industry, use the vehicle for the celebrity as “writing your own book”.
Becoming an author is not difficult and will add celebrity to your business plan. Look at the advantages …
All of these provide credibility ….. with credibility comes leads and referrals
· Prove it
These points are all easily acquired through writing your own book and becoming an author. Many companies and services provide 'ghost' books but I am mostly negative about this.
· Start with a simple outline
· Research your topics
· Begin to expand your chapters
· Never plagiarize
· Keep the subject matter simple and easy to understand
· Self publish (lots of options on the internet for publishing)
· Own and control your copyrights
· Think of an original title
· Include your bio and photo on the back cover
· The front and back cover should be in color
On the outset it may seem difficult but in reality, it is simple.
Here is another secret; almost no one will read it! Reading it is not the idea, giving it to a prospect is the idea!
When you give a prospect your book you are elevated in their eyes. Where can you go to get your book published? This used to be a problem but it is no more and it could not be easier. A simple internet search will provide numerous options for publishing your book.