Advisors are always on the lookout for new client prospecting ideas; ideally, ones that shorten the cultivation process, cut out the pain of rejection and close the deal more quickly. However, to make your prospecting efforts more successful, you may need the latest idea from the most recent conference you attended but rather some clear organization around what you are already doing to make your prospecting efforts more successful.
Follow these four steps to take your prospecting to a deeper level.
Step 1 – Categorize
Start by writing down these five areas of prospecting and placing them in your order of priority.
1. Client Referrals. If you believe in your value proposition—that you are genuinely delivering a quality and essential service to your clients—then you should be confident in suggesting to your best clients they share your name with others in their life who could also benefit from your service. Leveraging your top relationships can introduce you to new high net worth individuals.
2. Professional Referrals. Strategic partners, centers of influence, and networking organizations all offer excellent opportunities for professional referrals.
3. Passion Prospecting and Events. Connecting with people who share your passions and hobbies gives you more opportunity to do business with those with whom you have something in common. And it makes prospecting a seamless way to mix business with pleasure. Read “Use ‘Passion Prospecting’ to Boost Your Business and Yourself” for more information, or get started right away by using one of our exercises called the Peak 90. Click here and enter the code “peak90” to receive our step-by-step prospecting plan.
4. Workshops. Public workshops have their place and can be effective in the right circumstances, such as an advisor who does not yet have a significant client base. Educational workshops for existing clients who can bring a guest can deepen your existing relationships and create another outlet for client referrals.
5. Miscellaneous Marketing. Define this category however you like. For many of today’s advisors, social media comes into play here. For others it may include public relations or paid advertising. Read “3 Ways to Avoid Social Media’s Time Suck When Prospecting” for more guidance.
Step 2 – Assign Percentages
Allocate a percentage to each category based on the amount of your time, money, and resources you’re willing to apply. Perhaps you choose to focus on only two or three areas of prospecting. For example, you want to spend 50% on client referrals, 30% with centers of influence referrals, and 20% on passion events.
Step 3 – Outline Strategies and Action Steps
Define strategies and action steps for each area of prospecting you plan to utilize. A defined plan with detailed action items turns what could be a scattershot method into a systemized process. Systemizing your referral methods helps elevate the professionalism of your approach and develops repeatable processes that can be fine-tuned over time. When you use the same process every time, you can expect similar results. So if something’s not working you can tweak the process and improve the results.
Let’s say you’ve assigned 50% of your time for client referrals. What exactly does that mean? Your strategy and action plan may start with something like this:
Strategy 1: I will not ask for referrals. I will have a specific referral conversation with my top 10 clients during a luncheon where I will explain why we want to engage in client introductions, why client-introductions are beneficial for my client, and why they are better for our firm.
Action Item 1. Identify our top 10 clients and invite them to lunch.
Action Item 2. Select a venue and make reservations.
Action Item 3. Prepare a script or bullet points for the intended conversation.
Action Item 4. Follow up with personalized thank you note.
Step 4 – Block and Tackle
Finally, stop and block time on your calendar to execute each of these strategies and action items. It may seem obvious, but if it’s not on your calendar it will end up rolling over on your “To Do” list for the next 12 weeks. Just dedicate thirty minutes at 9:00 a.m. next Thursday to get step one completed. Then move on with your day until the calendar tells you it’s time for the next action step.
As you can see, the five areas of prospecting are not new concepts. The disconnect for advisors most often occurs not because of a lack of ideas, but because of a lack of details. Advisors tend to be concept-wired, so it’s essential you consciously go deeper with the details in order to ensure an efficient and effective execution of your prospect marketing. You saw this coming: Yes, the devil really is in the details!