Is this you? After ten good years in the market plus mainstream acceptance of the fee based account model, prospecting is something you see in their rear view mirror. It was a rite of passage to get into the business. You lose accounts, but you also get reassignments and referrals. What could possibly go wrong?Firms feel pressure on what they can charge for managed money. Firms tinker with their compensation models. If the market retreats, assets under management shrink along with the advisor’s slice of the pie. Clients hear the tempting call of robo advisors. Suddenly, your revenue isn’t what it used to be. You need some new clients.
What I Won’t Do
Is this you? Bad memories of prospecting are still fresh in your mind. Yes, I need more prospects. No, I won’t cold call. Ditto mailings. I don’t think seminars work. Yes, I need more prospects, but I want another approach. Since I’m an experienced advisor, I’ll take a somewhat long view if I can get a steady pipeline. I’m also willing to spend some of my own money. If we are still talking about you, please read on.
Let’s look at ten proactive steps you can take to fill your prospecting pipeline. 1. Steal someone else’s idea.
The environment in your local office is probably competitive. Few people are sharing really good ideas. Get your local sales manager to hook you up with the regional or national sales manager. Ask which experienced advisors in the firm in a situation similar to yours, have cracked the prospecting code. They will likely connect you with someone on the coast or in the Midwest who is happy to share their strategy. Logic:
You aren’t reinventing the wheel. 2. List your top clients. Visit them face to face.
Many established clients are content working at a distance. They’ve know you for years. They are comfortable with the relationship. They’ve likely put you into a box, they seek you out for help with some problems, but not others. Drive to them. Fly to them. Buy them lunch or dinner. Review the relationship. Explain the other ways you help people. Logic:
You may not get new prospects, but you might get a larger share of wallet. 3. Spend some money.
Your firm likely has a list of approved coaches they’ve vetted. There are services offering to do the heavy lifting for you and help find you prospects. Your firm has checked them out too. Find out who they like. Research them online. Call them up. See if it’s a good fit. Logic:
Professional athletes usually have coaches. Ditto celebrity actors. If these coaches have helped other advisors achieve success, they should be able to help you too. 4. Social media.
Is it the silver bullet? You might have a service that posts article links to LinkedIn on your behalf. Is that your entire professional strategy for social media? Once again, the firm probably knows a few advisors somewhere that have cracked the code. Find out who they are. Ask them to share their strategy. Logic:
Again, you aren’t reinventing the wheel. You are adopting a proactive social media strategy consistent with the firm’s guidelines. 5. What about clients who left?
The business is dynamic. You prospect people with accounts elsewhere. Other advisors in town are prospecting your clients. Some go the DIY (Do it yourself) route. You’ve lost some. How has it worked out for them? There’s only one way to find out. Logic:
Making the effort to express your concern everything worked out might win them back if it isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. 6. You probably know 600 people.
TheNew York Timesthinks so. Do they all know how you help people? It’s a long term strategy, but when people ask “How’s business” answer as if they asked “How have you helped someone” by relating an anonymous success story. Logic:
It takes time, but if 2% expressed an interest in doing business, that’s 12 new prospects. 7. You have the golden touch with at least one client.
Remind them about all you do for them and how things have worked out better than expected. Get them thinking about how they’ve benefitted from the relationship. Ask “Is there anyone else I can help?” Logic:
They may think telling someone else about you is like bestowing a gift on them. 8. Mingle with friends of your clients.
Get yourself invited to the BBQs and tailgate parties before the weather turns ugly. The easiest way is by inviting some of them to your house for a BBQ. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Logic:
Extending yourself should get you invited to their place. This gives you a shot at getting invited to their holiday party in December. 9. Become active with a non-profit.
Find one where you have an interest that also attracts the crowd you want. Attend events on a regular basis. Get to know the regulars. Keep your eyes open for the local movers and shakers. Tactfully let people know what you are and what you do. Logic:
If you become part of their world, you will make some friends. People do business with people they like. 10. Meet the next generation.
Why do good clients leave? Some die. If you don’t know their spouse and children, the relationship is at risk. How about meeting the kids while everyone is healthy? Logic:
Your client will likely talk you up. Ideally you get the kid’s accounts now.These are longer term strategies. Some cost money. Many of them can be fun, making new friends that can become new clients.Related: Four Ways to Get a Reluctant Prospect to Commit