The most common question rookies and veterans ask each other is: How do you get your clients? Answers vary from the basic, such as, talk to everyone you know to the more bizarre, for instance, schedule doctors’ appointments as a way to get five minutes in front of them. And of course there’s a full array of techniques in between. But how comfortable are you in implementing some of these ideas? Just because the guy in the next office can pound out 500 cold calls a day and successfully land 5 new accounts for his efforts, does that mean you should be doing the same thing? Or what about the newest superstar who just sold a $10 million second-to-die policy to someone she met at the tennis club? Would that better suit your style? But before trying a marketing technique, you may want to evaluate your comfort level in using that tool so that you can become more effective and enjoy your work more.
Having observed thousands of advisors through our businesses, we will know that financial marketing that works for one advisor may not work for the next advisor. We all march to different drummers in how we view our surroundings and how we fit into those surroundings. Meaning that we have to understand ourselves before we can expect others to understand us. After all, communication is what our business is all about. We encourage you to “know thyself and to thine own self be true” if you want to be a wealthy financial advisor. Personality studies have been done to help select careers, spouses, and management styles. And you may have read some articles on how to identify clients’ personalities to better relate to them. So why not use this same research to determine what marketing techniques would work best for you?
One of the best-known personality tests, which we recommend, is the Meyer-Briggs Type Indicator. Through a series of questions, it will describe you in four areas: extrovert (E) or introvert (I), sensing (S) or intuitive (N), thinking (T) or feeling (F), and judging (J) or perceiving (P). Your answers will put you in one of 16 personality types. There are four inborn temperaments—artisans, guardians, idealists, and rationals that help define the personality types.
Artisans enjoy performing, communicating, and being the center of attention. They like to engage enthusiasm with their audiences and prefer spontaneity rather than a structured format in their presentations. Past Presidents include Andrew Jackson, Ronald Reagan, and Teddy Roosevelt whose quote, “Get action; do things…create, act, take a place wherever you are; get action,” describes his artisan profile. Think of the seminars and workshops you’ve attended. Which were better—the ones where the speaker rambled on about internal rates of return and the track record of their stock pickers, or those where the presenter asked the audience for questions or told great jokes or interesting stories? There’s a good chance that the speaker who entertained you as well as passing along valuable information was an artisan.
Some financial advisors are just naturals at seminar marketing. George Washington, George Bush, and Harry Truman had guardian temperaments. “The buck stops here,” was one of Truman’s best-known quotes. Guardians have the need to serve others. There is never a job that they believe that they can’t handle, and they’re known for doing it right the first time. If you have a guardian personality, you may find that working with community organizations will fit your style and get you close to the movers and shakers in town.
There are no former Presidents whom had idealist temperaments. Well-known figures, however, include Mahatma Gandhi and Eleanor Roosevelt. Idealists prefer one-on-one interaction and will invest in a relationship as long as some response is forthcoming. They can put on different faces and do not take rejection personally. The agent who closed the $10 million life policy whom I cited at the beginning of this article may have had an idealistic personality. She first developed a social friendship and continued to receive positive feedback. Then over a period of time she transformed the relationship into a professional one.
Rational temperaments are only found in about 12 percent of the population. They tend to be perfectionists and constantly increase their standards of performance. Their communications are often terse, compact, and logical. This attitude sometimes can make others around them feel inadequate. Therefore, rationals may be better off not having any direct verbal communications with potential clients. Instead, a professionally prepared direct mail program might yield better results than say seminars. Ike Eisenhower, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson are examples of rationals.
Match Your Marketing to Your Personality Type
Don’t let anyone convince you that you must implement a marketing technique that you truly dislike. If there is a major mismatch, it’ll never work for you as well as it does for someone who is comfortable with it. Explore other options. Dig deeply to spot what you enjoy, and use your strengths to your advantage. Even though what I’ve offered is hardly an in-depth analogy of whether you’d be better off implementing a direct mail campaign or becoming the social butterfly in town, it was meant to give you another avenue to consider when evaluating a marketing plan. You may want to consider hiring a trained professional to administer and help you interpret the results of any physiological-profile test. But if you would like to do a preliminary test on your own, here’s a source we recommend: http://www.personalitytype.com/quiz.html. Also if you really want to get into this, there are two good books by David Keirsey—Please Understand Me and Please Understand Me II. You may find out that there’s a Brian Tracy or Norman Vincent Peale hidden inside of you.