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Comprehensive Guide to Financial Advisor Sales Funnels


Generating leads and attracting new clients often prove challenging for financial advisors. After all, there’s plenty of competition, and investors may feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices they have. Developing a financial advisor sales funnel that targets your ideal client base can help you capture their attention and grow your business more effectively.

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Importance of the Financial Advisor Sales Funnel

A sales funnel is a pathway individuals follow when moving from prospect to client. Sales funnels are integral to marketing across numerous industries, including financial services.

Constructing a financial advisor sales funnel is an opportunity to:

  • Clearly define your business’s brand and build awareness
  • Speak directly to your ideal client’s pain points and spark their interest in your services
  • Demonstrate your firm’s value and role in addressing those pain points
  • Provide prospects with the information they need to decide

Developing a sales funnel to generate leads is an opportunity to establish trust and nurture relationships that are designed to endure for the long term. You can hone your funnels to speak to clients who could most benefit from your services, which can increase conversions and revenue, leading to a more profitable and sustainable business.

Sales funnels are just one prong of a comprehensive advisor marketing plan. Your advisor marketing strategy for your financial advisor business may also include a professional website, social media channels, email marketing campaigns, digital ads, direct mail marketing, influencer marketing or collaboration, and local advertising.

Types of Financial Advisor Sales Funnels

Advisors discussing their firm's financial advisor sales funnel.

There are diverse ways to develop sales funnels as a financial advisor, but they fall broadly into two categories: inbound and outbound marketing.

Inbound marketing is designed to attract attention to your business’s products and services. It revolves around creating content that’s designed to bring people into your business sphere. Outbound marketing, on the other hand, focuses on broadcasting your message out to your intended audience.

With that in mind, here are some examples of financial advisor sales funnels that produce results.


Hosting an online webinar, whether live or prerecorded, is a proven way to craft a sales funnel from the ground up.

It works like this:

  • You offer a free webinar to prospective clients that addresses a specific problem they’re facing.
  • They enroll in the online seminar using their email address, with the understanding that in doing so, they’re permitting you to add them to your email list.
  • Once they’re on your list, you can deliver marketing sequences that tell them more about your services and what you can do to meet their financial planning needs.

A webinar is designed to attract people who are curious about financial planning and looking for more information. They may just need a nudge from you to go from thinking about working with an advisor to hiring one.

In-Person Seminars or Workshops

Seminars and workshops allow you to market your business locally and build sales funnels offline. You might choose to host a seminar or workshop independently or as part of a larger community event featuring multiple businesses.

Constructing your funnel around a seminar or workshop begins with determining who you want to attract. For example, if you’re hoping to gain more high-net-worth clients, a seminar focused on wealth management or preservation would obviously make more sense than a workshop on the basics of stock trading.

The mechanics of funnel-building are the same as they are for webinars:

  • Market your workshop or seminar in places where your ideal clients are most likely to see it
  • Build interest surrounding the event across social media platforms
  • Create an online signup form that allows you to collect participants’ contact information, including emails
  • Follow up with email and direct mail marketing before the event to pique attendees’ interest and afterward to guide them through your funnel

In-person events offer an advantage since prospective clients can meet you face-to-face. Adding a Q&A session to the workshop gives them a chance to gather more information and allows you to display your personality and expertise while offering even more value.

Lead Magnets

A lead magnet is a free resource or tool that you can offer to prospective clients in exchange for their email addresses and contact information. If you have an advisor website, you can offer one or more lead magnets to those who visit your site to incentivize them to join your email list.

Examples of lead magnets you might offer as a financial advisor include:

  • E-books covering a topic that your target audience is interested in learning more about
  • Downloadable checklists or workbooks
  • Quizzes
  • Prerecorded video courses
  • Financial calculators

The key to choosing lead magnets that encourage prospects to sign up is targeting a relevant problem.

For example, if you primarily work with clients in their 40s or 50s, you might create a retirement readiness checklist or quiz to help them gauge their progress. The results are a starting point for a conversation about how you can help them close the gap between where they are and where they want to be.

Lead Generation Platforms

Building a sales funnel from the ground up can be time-intensive, but utilizing automated tools can take the stress out of lead generation.

For example, partnering with an advisor marketing platform can help you:

  • Gain new referrals from high-intent investors who align with your ideal client profile
  • Make initial contact with those clients by phone
  • Continue the conversation with automated phone and text outreach, while observing compliance guidelines
  • Nurture relationships with automated email campaigns
  • Integrate lead generation with your CRM software, minimizing the amount of time spent on manual data entry
  • Track marketing campaigns in one place

Much of the heavy lifting is done for you, leaving you free to focus on serving your clients. And you can tailor the leads that you receive, based on the level of investable assets a client brings to the table.

Intent-Based Branding (IBB)

Intent-based branding is intended to build marketing funnels around what prospects are expected to do, based on their behavior. When approached correctly, this type of funnel can help drive more sales and encourage brand awareness, with less active effort required on your part.

Essentially, you:

  • Determine what your audience needs and what’s driving their decision-making
  • Create content that’s designed to speak to prospects’ intent and demonstrate your brand’s ability to meet their needs

This is where knowledge of search engine optimization comes in handy. Search intent can be categorized as navigational, informational or transactional.

With navigational content, searchers are simply trying to find something; with informational content, they’re trying to get information. Transactional searches signal that someone is ready to buy. Incorporating financial advisor SEO strategies that speak to these types of intent can help you build your funnel if you’re offering lead magnets within the content that you create.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Sales Funnels Actually Work?

Sales funnels work to drive leads and conversions when they speak to the target audience’s needs and intent. A financial advisor sales funnel that addresses a distinct problem prospects are facing and clearly defines the firm’s value can help drive leads and increase conversions to grow a book of business.

Can Financial Advisors Use Sales Funnels?

Financial advisors can use sales funnels to market and promote their businesses just like anyone else. Automated sales funnels can be particularly helpful in advisor marketing plans, as you can use them to build an email list and nurture leads on autopilot. Advisor marketing platforms can help you create campaigns and connect with leads without tying up hours of your day.

How Many Sales Funnels Does a Financial Advisor Need?

Financial advisors can create as many sales funnels as they need to attract their target audience. The most important thing to keep in mind when creating a sales funnel is who it’s intended to connect with and what it’s designed to do. Advisors who work with several distinct types of clients may craft sales funnels that are tailored to their unique needs.

Can Financial Advisors Buy Leads?

Financial advisors can buy leads through multiple channels. For example, if you’re hoping to gain more clients for the insurance side of your business you might purchase life insurance leads through a lead marketplace. When buying leads, it’s important to consider the quality of the leads you’re getting as well as what you’re paying for them.

Bottom Line

Advisor onboarding new clients following use of a financial advisor sales funnel.

Creating a financial advisor sales funnel can take time, but it can be well worth the effort if you’re able to drive more leads to your business. Learning more about advisor marketing can leave you better equipped to fine-tune your funnels so that they’re reaching the right people.

Tips for Growing Your Advisory Business

  • Choosing which tools to invest in matters when managing your firm’s marketing budget. It’s always important to consider the ROI you expect to get, as well as how much time you’ll need to commit to putting those tools to work. If you’re looking for a streamlined solution, you might consider working with an advisor marketing platform. SmartAsset AMP gives you everything you need to gain new leads and grow your business automatically.
  • Marketing can be a complex topic to navigate, and you may benefit from expert insight. Working with a third-party marketing firm that assists financial advisors or hiring a marketing consultant can help you fill in your knowledge gaps and devise a plan for promoting your firm.

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