December 19th, 2012
Impressions obviously matter in appointment setting. The image that prospects have of your financial planning services will be the one they will carry all the way to the set appointment. They will carry it even after the appointment setting process was a success and they are now an official client.
September 26th, 2012
Despite what the title says, many people find it almost impossible to separate financial planning from talking politics. Then how can you avoid the subject in b2b appointment setting? How much more when your target market is anticipating an incoming election where ideological tensions run high?
Well first off, some might actually contest the idea of refraining from politics in terms of both marketing, appointment setting, and business in general. The reasons go from sheer personal conviction to the belief that it is their right to express their values.
Well, just because you can do something does not mean you really should. You may not face a penalty as grave as getting arrested but there are other consequences that can bother any business. This article from NPR demonstrates a few examples of how dipping into politics can be a double edged sword. To summarize, the consequences can either be:
- Success – Your views are aligned with your target market and are within your scope.
- Failure – You alienate others purely on the grounds of differences that might have nothing to do with business.
In its conclusion, the article cites Cindy Kam, a political science professor at Vanderbilt University:
“And these days, that question of ‘Should I or shouldn’t I?’ is somewhat easier for businesses to answer — because the electorate has become more polarized, she says.
‘Now you have Democrats who sort into going to particular places, buying particular cars, belonging to particular organizations. The same on the Republican side. There isn’t as much crossover as there used to be,’ Kam says.”
Take a step back and read this again for a moment. Would you want this type of division, this segregation? As a financial planning firm, your job is to segregate and manage money, not people! It seems more logical to stay neutral because then, you’ll have both sides comprise a wider market for financial leads. Why limit yourself purely on the grounds of political ideologies?
And don’t forget, you need to weigh the successes and failures in the long-term, not just the short term:
- Views can change – Your target market won’t always sing the same political tune. Higher management can change, work cultures can change etc.
- Lesser relevance to business core – B2B appointment setting implies a long discussion. Take your pick. Would you rather have your marketers and salespeople talk politics or financial planning?
Isn’t it your goal as a financial planner to help simplify the complexities of managing money? Why do you want to complicate it further with political factors?
And speaking of which, this other article from CNNMoney just goes to show hazy the ties between financial subjects like the stock market and that of presidential terms:
“Tempting as it is to tweak my more conservative friends with this fact, it would be wrong to attribute the Clinton and Obama returns to their policies and presidencies. Clinton inherited a great economy (and no, I don’t attribute it to Reagan’s policies as supply-side types do, and neither should you) and left office after the Internet stock bubble burst, but well before it bottomed. Bush inherited a tanking stock market and left amid a financial panic. Does Clinton deserve full credit for everything good during his tenure? Does Bush deserve full blame for everything bad? Yes, if you’re an ideologue. No, if you’re intellectually honest.”
So again, despite all the support you’ve seen, there’s still no denying that jumping on the bandwagon is a double-edged sword. Be more objective and less political.