Where do clients come from? It’s tempting to think the stork brings them. Actually, those are account reassignments within the office when one of your colleagues leaves. As Type A personalities, we often think it’s because of our persuasive abilities. “A client referred a friend. I did the rest.” This is only the tip of the iceberg.When you dine at a fine restaurant and sip an exquisite soup, you often pick out flavors. “Ginger, carrot, coriander.” You might not be aware a dozen ingredients came together to produce that perfect taste. Client acquisition works the same way.
You added a new client as a referral from a current client. Before that person said “Yes” signed papers and transferred in money, what likely happened? 1. Google search.
They entered your name in the search field. If you work for a large firm, they’ve likely paid to have your advisor homepage show up as the first result on the first page, followed by the firm’s local office homepage, listing you as an advisor. You:
Try this yourself. What comes up when you search on your name? 2. Social media search.
They check you out via Facebook or LinkedIn. When a friend’s spouse died and they were transferring accounts to a wealth manager at a prestigious bank, they asked me: “Is this guy any good?” I checked them out via LinkedIn. Your profile tells a lot. You:
What does your profile page on LinkedIn look and sound like? 3. Disciplinary record.
They will use a tool like FINRA’s “BrokerCheck.” They might visit your state’s financial services licensing website and check your credentials. What will they find? You:
Check this out for yourself. Is it correct?Related: Why Short Term Trading Is Not Investing 4. What if you are only pretending to be a financial advisor?
Your firm affiliation helps. The fact the tallest building in town has your firm’s name on it helps build credibility. When I was an advisor, I found new clients wanted to visit the office and “confirm I really worked there.” The relationship in the months and years afterwards was often over the phone, except for face to face portfolio reviews. You:
What firm signage will people see? Is your firm’s office easy to find? 5. Will clients see your (or the firm’s) name in the community?
Some firms advertise on TV or radio. Others are sponsors on PBS with short spots explaining what they do and announcing their support. Realtors have their names on bus shelter benches and supermarket shopping carts. If you want to see this done really well, check out how personal injury lawyers get name recognition in your market. You:
Do you have a presence in your local market? It might be as easy as a weekly ad in your Church bulletin or the weekly local newspaper. 6. Word of mouth.
Do your clients and friends know how you help people? Can they spot an opportunity? Can they tell your story well enough to get another person interested in talking with you? You:
This requires lots of attention. Remind your clients how you’ve helped them. Suggest scenarios where you might make a difference. Suggest they rely on their own experiences when telling your story to others.An advisor in Northern California would ask prospects “Why did you come to me?” The best answer he heard was: “I asked around. I asked if people knew a financial advisor they would recommend. Yours is the only name that came up twice.”Like the exquisite soup, we think the end result is down to one or two identifiable ingredients. It’s actually a combination of many others, working behind the scenes.