High Focus, High Impact Campaigns – extract from Growing Your Client Base, Chapter 4

Why would a prospective client who is being well served by her existing advisers wish to complicate her life by talking with us? The answer hasn’t changed. It is because that in every previous interface with our firm she has gained some form of value. So how can we generate lots of value quickly? 

The answer is through campaigns, or as they are more accurately called, high focus, high value, high impact campaigns. We will call them campaigns for short. The essence of these types of campaign is as follows. 

  • These campaigns should be targeted toward specifically identified senior management people within the Defined Prospects that have been identified. 

  • It is not unusual to target two or more people within a Defined Prospect as often there is no precise information as to who would be the most appropriate recipients of our campaign. On many occasions the campaign may well be of interest to a number of people. 

  • The campaign should begin with a written communication to the targeted individuals. It should explain clearly what the firm is trying to do (i.e. convince them that your firm is an organisation that would be of value to them to begin dialogue with) and how you intend to raise their interest. 

  • The campaign should have at least four elements. 

  • The prime consideration for any material that is sent to the targeted individuals should be, “Will this potentially be of genuine value to him / her?” Don’t include brochures and overtly promotional material. 

  • Each intervention should follow no longer than two weeks after the previous one. 

  • Consider including in the campaign:

– Copies of articles written by our people and published in trade journals
– Books written by our people
– Papers produced by our people
– Copies of articles (from external authoritative sources) that would probably be of interest to the targeted individuals
– Outputs from previous proprietary research
– Market reports
– Interesting and relevant case studies
– An invitation to participate in a benchmarking study 

  • Ensure that some relevant communication accompanies every piece of marketing material sent to targeted individuals. Ensure that each of these communications is specifically tailored to the person concerned. Ensure that each and every accompanying letter is personally hand signed. 

  • When the final part of the campaign has been executed, write a letter to the individuals concerned. Express that you hope that the information you have sent over the past few weeks has been of interest and of value and has given the recipient some idea of ‘where we are coming from’. 

  • State specifically that you will be calling the recipient on a nominated day (within one week) with a view to seeing if it would be appropriate and timely to arrange a face-to-face meeting. 

  • Make the call! Don’t waste the effort that has gone in up to this point. 

In our own firm we use a mix of long and short term marketing activities to attract Defined Prospects into dialogue. Last year we looked at our top 15 fee-producing clients and discovered that eight of them had originally entered into discussions with us primarily as a result of campaigns directed toward senior decision makers. However, we are also aware that the proprietary benchmarking research that we carry out, the articles that we write, the workshops that we run and the word of mouth referrals and recommendations that we foster all provide a supporting environment for these highly targeted campaigns. 

To provide some feel for what a campaign could look like we have taken an example of one that we have found to be quite successful. By successful we mean that we will obtain a business meeting with someone that we have targeted in more than 50% of the Defined Prospects included in the campaign. 

03/05 Initial letter accompanied by book – Creating New Clients 10/05 Letter with article on Cross-selling 17/05 Letter with article on Running Effective Seminars 24/05 Letter accompanied by book – Managing Key Clients 31/05 Follow up telephone calls 

Someone once said to us, “That seems intense to the point of stalking!”; That is not our experience. Occasionally we have a secretary call us and tell us that her boss is not the right person to direct this information to. That’s about as negative as it gets. We get many more calls from recipients who, before the campaign is completed, ask to meet with us. 

The key is delivering value and the biggest hurdle we have found when firms in need of short-term new business wins seek to implement a campaign approach is that there can be a dearth of material that is likely to provide value. There is then a huge temptation to slip in some overtly ‘push’ promotional material. Perhaps a brochure or a service flyer. The high focus, high value, high impact campaign has then become devalued to just another mailshot. 

Also it should be borne in mind that this is not a silver bullet. Not every Defined Prospect that is campaigned to will want to meet with our firm at that point in time. At PACE we are delighted with a two in three conversion rate of campaigns to meetings. Also this meeting provides us with just the very first step into the P3 section of The PACE Pipeline – the Projecting phase. There could be a long way to go but the campaign has succeeded in getting the people that we want to talk with, to want to talk with us.