Three Ways to Market and Promote Cashflow

By: Martin Bamford
Bamford Media Ltd

It’s fair to say that most Financial Planners ‘get’ cashflow modelling. When you’ve seen the benefits of a lifetime cashflow model first hand, it’s a lightbulb moment that immediately convinces you of its power.

But it would be wrong to assume that the typical client, never before exposed to the Financial Planning process, will even know what you’re talking about when you say they really need a cashflow model.

In this article, I describe three ways for Financial Planners to effectively market and promote cashflow modelling, so clients can experience the virtues of this transformative approach.

1. Talk about something else instead

My wife, Becky, often accuses me of pulling a ‘bait and switch’ when I first met her back in 2012. Back then, I was a skinny ultra-runner with long hair. I drove a pick-up truck and had a cute puppy. Over time, an injury forced my retirement from running stupidly long distances. I cut my hair, sold the truck and the puppy got older. Classic bait and switch. 

I tell this story to illustrate one potential approach to marketing cashflow modelling. Instead of promoting the cashflow modelling itself, talk about the things that interest your clients.

Share content around holidays, big-ticket purchases, and other bucket-list items. Talk about the vagaries of the stock markets and economy. Write about anything that can spark debate and get your foot in the door.

The time and place to promote lifetime cashflow modelling are when you have already established a relationship with your client. Once you get to know them and understand their goals and objectives, then you can effectively convince them of the need for a Financial Plan.

A great example of this bait and switch technique from the world of Financial Planning is seen over the pond in the United States, where the founders of Ritholtz Wealth Management tweet like crazy about markets, the economy, politics and current affairs. Look under the hood, and you quickly discover their investment philosophy is based around index-trackers and market returns. 

They engage with their audience through often provocative social media content, only to educate them about Financial Planning, evidence-based investing and behaviour management once they get them through the door. 

2. Show, don’t tell

Earlier this year, before the lockdown measures were announced, a few members of the Informed Choice Financial Planning team went on a road trip to Ireland. Along with a videographer, they went to visit clients who had experienced the power of Financial Planning, to hear and see first-hand the results of their plan.

Changing lives

Steve and Geraldine had a dream about giving up their daily commute to London and moving to the Wild Atlantic way in County Sligo, to open a bed and breakfast retreat. Over the course of a 24-hour flying visit, their story was captured on camera. A mini-documentary was created to illustrate the power of Financial Planning.

That short film is now Informed Choice’s most effective marketing tool, better explaining to prospective clients why they need a lifetime cashflow forecast than any other explanation could.

Watch the documentary

This ‘show, don’t tell’ approach is something Informed Choice also carries out by featuring clients twice a year in its printed magazine. By showing people what Financial Planning can do for them, instead of simply telling them, you can bring it to life.

3. Make the intangible, tangible

There’s a significant challenge in marketing an intangible product or service. How do you bring it to life and offer something that the client can physically experience?

I’m in no doubt that Financial Planning should be a carefully designed and implemented experience. That means that every step of the process needs to be considered and then executed perfectly.

You can also add to the tangibility of your service by introducing useful physical items to the process. For Financial Planners, there is value in using worksheets, folders and interactive software.

Branding plays an important role here too, with the careful naming of different process steps an effective way to give the intangible some tangible benefits.

We are all familiar with the six-step Financial Planning process, but branding each of these steps can effectively bring an otherwise dull-looking experience to life. For example, Financial Planning firm Holland Hahn & Wills has developed The Secure Lifestyle Approach® with its three component parts:

  • Pathway
  • Progression
  • Portfolios.

This is far more interesting and engaging than the generic Financial Planning steps.

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