Why Financial Advisors Must Embrace Prospecting
Prospecting is the one crucial marketing activity you need to undertake in order to identify and attract new clients.
New clients will not fall into your lap by accident. If people don’t know who you are, they will never understand what you can do for them. If you don’t make prospecting a habit you will neither achieve success in terms of your own goals, nor will you be able to help others achieve theirs. So rather than dreading the ‘prospect’ of prospecting, see it for what it is: the backbone of your business.
Help others achieve their financial goals
As a financial advisor it’s your job to help clients secure their financial futures. Whether their goals are saving for retirement or getting the kids through college, they won’t achieve these aims without having a sound financial plan in place. That is where you come in.
When you are prospecting you are looking for people to help. Without your help and timely advice scores of people might miss out on a comfortable retirement or have to borrow money to put their kids through college.
You are a professional, and your advice is invaluable – so keep this in mind as a reason to reach out to prospects and turn them into clients. Next to the family doctor, you are the most important person this family will ever meet.
Don’t think short-term
As a financial advisor you need to play the numbers game. The more calls you make, the closer you will get to securing a new account. There are only so many clients on the market in any given year so you need to acquire new clients on a systematic basis. Prospecting has to be a daily task, not just undertaken ‘when things get slow’. If you only have a handful of people to talk to – or leads or prospects in the pipeline – your chances of securing an account are low no matter how much effort you put into your presentations.
Prospecting is your insurance
Regardless of your current bottom line if you’re not constantly prospecting your business is in danger. Imagine if your two best clients suddenly walked out on you without warning. This could cripple your business. Unless you have a backup plan and are constantly on the lookout for new opportunities, you are courting disaster. Don’t be complacent, proactively prospect and – to use a gas station analogy – don’t wait until you’re “running on empty” before you “fill up” on prospects.
Prospecting is the one key task you cannot delegate.
You cannot delegate prospecting to others because potential clients need to meet you and get to know “you”. If prospects decide to select you as their financial advisor it’s because they like and trust you. You are the main attraction, over and above the products and services on offer. You need to develop a long-term relationship with your clients so it’s essential to initiate this new relationship by making direct contact with prospects from the start.
Be persistent – but know when to stop
Be persistent. Financial advisors who keep calling until they have a definite ‘yes’ or ‘no’ are more successful than those who give up after the first call. But don’t want the sale so much it gets scary – your prospects want to do business with a calm and collected advisor, not someone obviously operating out of fear. Be prepared for rejection when it inevitably comes. See it as part of the overall process and move on.
You may never fall in love with prospecting, many advisors don’t, but if you love opening new accounts and gathering new assets (who doesn’t?) you need to embrace this task. Whether you prospect by telephone or face-to-face it’s something you simply can’t avoid or delegate.
Prospecting deserves your time, expertise and energy, so book in the time, focus on identifying the right people to talk to and your chances of success will escalate accordingly. Inaction is deadly so plan for success and focus on prospecting and it will pay off for you in the long term.