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Marketing funnels describe how potential customers move from looking to buying. Advisors can and should use that concept. In this multi-part series, I will explain how advisors can gain more control over the funneling process.

In this first part, I will define a funnel and why it is essential to your marketing strategy.

What is a funnel?

A marketing funnel is the journey from prospect to client you create within your marketing strategy. It is a carefully structured set of steps or actions a person has to go through. It's called a funnel because many may start the process, but only a few will complete it. A funnel is mostly a self-selecting process, as it’s the client's choice to move through, but it is the firm's job to set things up in the most beneficial and informative way possible.

While a marketing funnel is used in all industries and is especially important in the financial advisory world. It is not about making a sale, but rather MANAGING the client journey and creating value.

Misconceptions

While the idea of marketing funnels is a common one, it is also associated with misconceptions.

Misunderstood. When speaking with my financial advisor clients about setting up funnels as a part of their marketing strategy, I often hear that funnels are viewed as pushy or too sales-driven for this industry. This is not true if you keep the focus on building and nurturing relationships, and less about making the sale.

Not static. People do not behave in a linear way. While you may think that the ideal way to get from point A to point B is a straight line, it is not always the path chosen by your clients. As long as you take that into account when developing your marketing funnels, you will understand the process more clearly and have a better understanding of your results.