How to Be a Better Prospector
To succeed in this competitive industry, you need to be creative when it comes to acquiring new clients. No one universal approach is likely to be your Holy Grail when it comes to prospecting. Instead, you will need to adopt a number of prospecting approaches and learn, through trial and error, which work best for you. Once you’ve found a method you’re good at, you’re likely to enjoy finding clients that way, boosting your job satisfaction as well as your ability to attract new clients. Here are a few prospecting approaches to try.
Don’t rule out cold-calling
While the concept of cold-calling may fill you with dread you need to consider all kinds of methods if you want to build a client base. Cold- calling has a low success ratio and its hard work. You will have to dial a lot of numbers every day to make just one appointment.
BUT cold-calling can be a highly valuable prospecting method, putting you on the radar of people who are sub-consciously unhappy with their current advisor. A call from a professional, enthusiastic and likeable financial advisor might be just the trigger they need to make the move – especially if you can impress them with good reasons for switching to you.
Network like a professional
Use social media as a prospecting tool. LinkedIn is a particularly good vehicle for building a professional network. Professional networking face to face is becoming less-utilized, but it’s still a highly effective way to prospect. You could consider attending shareholder meetings or trade conferences in order to rub shoulders with potential new clients.
Get involved in the local community
Getting involved in the local community can be a valuable and cost-effective way of getting to know potential clients. But get involved in an organization you really feel is close to your heart – people will know if you are faking it.
Join a country club and start ‘nesting’ i.e. meet people and initiate introductions to their friends and neighbors. Get on committees to meet prospective clients in affluent circles, perhaps those whose members are business owners or corporate retirees.
When you’re prospecting in these types of scenarios reach out to people in a relaxed way, either in person or via email – with a specific and personal message.
You could also aim to get speaking engagements or run seminars. These are other excellent ways of reminding people you’re open for business.
Create an ideal client sheet
Don’t prospect in the dark. Draw up an Ideal client sheet, identifying all the characteristics of your target market including their goals and demographics. Then hand out your sheet to everyone you feel would be good ambassadors for your business i.e. people who fit your profile.
And know who your clients aren’t. Don’t make exceptions to your ideal client type because it could end badly. Stay focused on finding clients who fit your profile.
It can be hard getting referrals in the early days of your career but start by looking out for fellow professionals who may be open for a referral relationship. Over time, once your clients can see how you have added value to their lives, they will be happy to refer you to others – so that you can help their friends and colleagues too. Don’t miss out on gaining valuable new clients – make sure you ask for referrals once the time is right.
If you’re a new advisor the art of prospecting is probably one of the most seemingly unsurmountable skills to master. However, to make a great impact you have to meet new people. Clients won’t take the initiative; they won’t come looking for you, so you have to make yourself known to them if you want to be considered.
Make prospecting second nature by scheduling prospecting time into your daily routine. Try out a variety of prospecting approaches, then design and implement a repeatable process for each.