If I was a prospect of yours, what would be the journey towards eventually working with you? How do you get different levels of engagement and stay in touch? There is no correct answer in this article, so if you are looking for a simple solution, stop reading now. We all have prospects that we have met and would like to do business with. Each ideal prospect that we acquire, has a unique journey towards becoming an ideal client.
I want to focus on making this the best journey for the client, not the easiest way for you to automate this process with software. Let’s face it, you can delegate everything as a financial advisor except prospecting. This is the hardest part of the job and pays the most, so prospecting is a critical skill in becoming a successful wealth management advisor or firm.
To be successful at prospecting, it is the art of conversation, the skill of making compelling offers and the journey towards acquiring ideal clients and helping them achieve more. Let me tell you the story about Wilma and Fred (not their real names) and their prospect journey. Their advisor Barney was introduced to them at a bison convention by another client, Bob who is a well-respected entrepreneur. Bob introduced Barney as his advisor, someone whom they should meet. At the event, Wilma and Fred struck up an engaging conversation with Barney. At that time Barney asked if it was alright if he stayed in touch, thus starting Barney’s prospect journey for them. First, Barney sent an email to both Fred and Wilma, because he knew that keeping in touch with both of them would be an important first step in them talking about him, and having both understand what the offers were. Barney sent the first email out to both of them, keeping it light and professional, and sending them an article about traveling in Italy.
The journey is part of the conversation they had at the Bison convention, about something they are passionate about, such as traveling to Europe and back to Italy. The email brings them back to the positive conversation they had. The email also says” from time to time I come across ideas that I share with successful entrepreneurs that will get them closer to their goals”. This is where you start to become a thought leader and not a salesperson. Think about this question. Do I want to get ideas that will help grow my portfolio, or pay less tax, or do I want thought provoking ideas that will help me get to Italy faster? Hint, it’s all about them, not about you.
The journey continues
What you do next is the failure we all experience, how much do you keep in touch, how do you keep in touch and what is their journey? They need to know more about you and a little bit about your firm. So how do you get them curious about you? Do they go to your LinkedIn page, your website, or your firm page to find out more about you? Remember, that already have an advisor, and don’t know the difference between you and their existing advisor. So how do you make compelling offers to them, in order to engage them? Is it a phone call, email, linked in or other ways?
The first thing is to have a sequence of three to five compelling offers that tie into getting to Italy faster, not a generic sequenced email. This is the dating sequence, (it feels like dating) as what is the right amount of communication, depending on their level of engagement. If there is no or little interest, the timing tells you to slow it down. If there is a high level of engagement, then speed up the offers, or just pick up the phone and call them. Prospecting is like dating, that is why some people find it difficult and painful to do. You are married to your clients, and you are dating strangers. There are no rules of thumb, just like dating, although there may be a guidebook somewhere. The goal is to meet them through one of your 3-5 compelling offers, that most advisors are not doing. It may result in a meeting with both Fred and Wilma, or just a coffee meeting, to get to the full meeting.
What is the journey?
As for yourself, what did you do with the last ideal prospect on your database?
Was it the following:
- A compelling offer tied to one of their goals?
- A compelling follow-up offer of something they are not currently getting to get to their goals?
- Another compelling offer and up to 5 offers they are NOT getting from their current advisor?
- A sequence of events, meeting, call, email, messaging, coffee, postcard, book etc to stay in touch over a period of time?
- Or were you a typical salesperson and made one follow up and one phone call and sent a drip email newsletter?
As you see, this process takes time, energy and imagination, to make it work. It is a process. It is a journey, not a destination. What is your process? What are your compelling offers? What does your follow up look like? We all make mistakes in building this process, including me, but start today by building some simple follow up email and call scripts to get started. All of a sudden, Fred and Wilma decide to make a change and you call them, your timing might be perfect in acquiring another ideal client.
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