Do What You Do Best

Do What You Do Best
A Conversation with Joe Williams, Financial Planners Northwest

As the President of Portland, Oregon’s Financial Planners Northwest, Joe
Williams serves a diverse clientele. While he and his partners do an excellent job at managing their clients’ money, for some time, they have felt that they have fallen short on communicating with clients. The efforts they had made to reach clients did not work, and their existing communication pieces did not lend themselves to widespread readership.

Then, about a year ago, Williams heard Peter Montoya speak at a conference about the importance of reaching out, and figured it was worth another try. With a little help from the Marketing Library staff, he transferred all of his data and contact information from ACT to Marketing Library, and began sending out a weekly update–not just to his current client list, but to prospects and vendors, as well. Williams had a graphics person on staff who worked with the Marketing Library team to create a custom header, so he felt as though the message and update he was sending out really reflected and reinforced his brand.

Benefits of Marketing Pro:
Almost immediately, Williams began hearing feedback from both clients and
prospects that they really liked the weekly updates. In fact, he had included some riddles in the update to check to see whether his recipients were reading the entire piece, and he began to receive answers to those riddles via email, along with some other questions and inquiries!

One of the things Williams likes most is that the weekly update contains information that is important and compelling – but fairly concise. He finds that other resources out there tend to be so long that no one gets through the information, but with the weekly update format, he can deliver information on “hot topics” such as the Roth IRA conversion opportunity in a readable format.

Williams’s next step was to take advantage of the monthly updates, to reach any clients who weren’t receiving the weekly updates and to reinforce the topics addressed in those weekly updates, for those who had received and read them. In fact, through the postcard-mailing system, he sends out hard copies of the monthly updates to some of his niche clients (such as a large medical practice) who prefer not to receive weekly updates, but enjoy the monthly news.

Financial Planners Northwest had never been able to commit the time required to send cards to clients, but with Marketing Library, they found the process to be pretty simple and much less time-consuming – and Williams was surprised at how happy such a small thing made many of his clients! In fact, he was paid back almost immediately when one client brought him fresh-caught Pacific salmon, as a thank you for the card he had received.

Action Items:
Make an impact. Williams noted, “It’s tough to monetize the impact of this
communication on our business, but we know that we are reaching so many more of our clients – many of whom we had no contact with, before this.”

Don’t be afraid of compliance. As Williams says, “We’ve had no problems getting compliance approval for these communications, and there’s a good balance of quality information that meets the compliance standards. The process is thus very easy.”


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