To say that prospecting is important for building a business is kind of like saying that oxygen is important for your body.
It’s not just important.
Without oxygen, you will die. Without consistent prospecting, your business will do the same.
As someone who works with financial advisors day in and day out, I see how critical prospecting is firsthand.
Some financial advisors – the superstars – never stop prospecting. Others get caught in the “feast or famine” mode that plagues not only financial advisors, but many consultants and sales professionals.
Others still don’t prospect at all. These are the ones that wonder why their businesses are stagnant. Or worse, they think that they can depend on referrals.
Prospecting is the single greatest business building activity that you can possibly engage in. Just think – I can start right now, and figure out who needs my products and services. By talking to those people, some of them will do business with me, directly increasing my business revenue and personal income.
Yet, some people struggle with prospecting.
I don’t blame them. I struggled, too. Still do, actually. But I’m better, and I’m going to keep getting better. That’s all that matters.
You too, can become a better prospector. In fact, you can become a prospecting machine.
Step 1: Understand that your goal is to figure out “the number”.
What is “the number”?
“The number” is that magical ratio that tells you how many prospects you need to have before getting your desired result (which can be setting an appointment, becoming a client, etc.). It goes something like this: “For every X prospects I have, Y achieve my desired result.”
The number depends on your personal sales skills, as well as your industry, but it’s important that you find this number. You won’t find it right away – that’s what I’m here to help you with – but the first step is to understand that this number exists.
In my book, The Ultimate Financial Advisor’s Guide to Getting More Clients, I talk about this concept in great detail. I discuss that the ability to consistently prospect is one of the most important traits a financial advisor can have.
You want to find “the number” because it takes most of the emotion out of prospecting. Let’s say that your number is 20. This means that you need to talk to 20 prospects before setting an appointment. If you’re at prospect #19, you will be less emotional than if you didn’t know your number. Once you know it, you know how many “no’s” you must hear before you get a “yes”.
Step 2: Establish your starting point.
Take a look at what you’re doing now. Just like you wouldn’t run a marathon right away if you’ve been sedentary for years, I wouldn’t expect you to jump into a hardcore prospecting regimen right away.
Like Dave Ramsey says… baby steps….
Right now I don’t want you to change anything. I just want you to be observant. For the next ten business days, I want you to record the number of prospecting attempts you make. This can be the number of emails sent, direct mail pieces sent, cold calls, or whatever you do. Just record how many you do on a regular basis.
A lot of people will be tempted to inflate their numbers for the recording, but don’t do it. Again, all I want you to do is what you normally do.
If you can’t even record your prospecting data, it tells me that you aren’t committed. You aren’t willing to face your prospecting problem and take responsibility for it. Until you’re ready to record the data, I can’t help you.
At the end of the ten days, take a look at your total number of prospecting attempts and divide by ten to get your average number of prospecting attempts per day.
This is your starting point.
Step 3: For the next ten days, do at least 10% more than your starting point.
Let’s say that you recorded your data and found that, on average, you make 30 prospecting attempts per day.
For the next ten business days, you should do 33 prospecting attempts per day. This is your bare minimum. If you feel good, feel free to do more, but don’t leave the office unless you’ve done at least 33.
You should continue recording your data. You might have some days where all you do is the minimum. We all have those days. Other times you might feel on top of the world and do much more than the required minimum. That’s fine too.
At the end of the ten days, I want you to average everything out again to get your average number of prospecting attempts per day.
Step 4: Rinse and repeat by adding 10% to your previous average.
What I’m doing with this process is building the prospecting “muscle”. I’ve found that this process gets a lot more results with people than fake motivation or force because it shows them that they’re at least capable of the average they recorded. Once they have the average, they’re only asked to make a modest improvement, which compounds over time.
Of course, you will eventually get to a point where you literally cannot prospect more. You might think that your income is capped. Not so, my friend, because…
Step 5: Take note of “the number” and strive to improve it over time.
If you follow this method for a few months, I promise that you’ll find “the number”. The coolest part about all this is that by consistently prospecting, you will become better at it, and your personal ratio will improve.
Let’s say that you started off with 20 as your number – you must make 20 prospecting attempts to set an appointment. Because you’ve been practicing so much, you get that number down to 18. That’s a 10% improvement, which is just like giving yourself a 10% raise. And if you’re prospecting twice as much, that’s a 10% raise on top of the double you already got.
Not a bad deal, huh?
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of these five steps. They work wonders for the financial advisors who have the discipline to implement them.
If you have any questions about how I can help you, please feel free to reach out to me on here! Thank you very much.
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