Sales is an important skill for financial advisors, but it’s more complicated than just trying to sell financial products. You’re selling a relationship. You’re asking people to trust you with their money, and quite literally, their future.
That’s why the concept of cold calling can be so daunting for financial advisors. You’re reaching out to people who don’t know you, and asking them to take a leap of faith. It’s even harder when you’re naturally not a “salesperson”. But done right, cold calling is a powerful way to build your client list and spread your value proposition. It’s a great opportunity to introduce yourself and your services to people who might need them.
In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about cold calling for financial advisors, its role in the sales process, and whether it works, to scripts and tips to make your cold calls more effective.
- Cold calling involves talking to potential clients who have not expressed interest or are completely unaware of your services.
- The key to successful cold calling is a script that makes them realize that they need your services without being pushy.
- Cold calling is part of a broader marketing strategy. In this day and age, your clients will search for you on the internet, and it helps to have a professional online footprint to further enhance your brand and credibility.
What is cold calling for financial advisors?
Cold calling is the process of reaching out to potential clients who have not expressed interest in your financial services. Despite the name, cold calling doesn’t have to be limited to phone calls. It can also include emails, LinkedIn messages, reaching out on Facebook, sending a message through their website, and even in-person visits.
The goal of a cold call is to spark interest and create personal connections. If you can get a potential client interested in learning more about your sales pitch, then you’ve done your job. From there, it’s up to you to continue building the relationship and eventually closing the sale.
Do you know that you can actually make a pitch without sounding like one? Read our guide to writing an elevator speech that actually works!
3 Advantages of Cold Calling for Financial Advisors
There are a few key benefits of cold calling that make it an effective marketing strategy, even in today’s digital age. It’s particularly well-suited for financial advisors, who are selling a high-stakes product that requires a lot of trust. Below are a few key benefits of cold calling for financial advisors:
Cold calling is personal.
In spite of the name, a cold call doesn’t have to be cold. In fact, one of the benefits of cold calling is that it’s a personal way to introduce yourself and your business. When you reach out to someone, they know that you took the time to look up their contact information and send them a message. That personal touch can go a long way in sparking interest and building trust.
Cold calling is direct.
Another benefit of cold calling is that it’s a direct way to reach your target market. You don’t have to wait for someone to come across your website or see an ad for your investment or financial planning services. You can proactively reach out to people who might need your help with a targeted cold call.
Cold calling can be cost-effective.
Cold calling is a relatively low-cost marketing strategy. This means you can add it to online marketing and advertising efforts, or use it as a standalone strategy. It’s particularly well-suited for small businesses and startup financial firms that don’t have a large marketing budget.
Cold Calling Scripts for Financial Advisors: 3-Part Template
If you’re going to cold call potential clients, it’s important to have a script. A cold calling script is a pre-written set of questions and talking points that will help you stay on track during your call.
When you’re writing a cold calling script, there are a few key elements to consider. Below is a template for an effective cold call script, along with examples of each element:
The Opening Line
The opening is your opportunity to briefly introduce yourself and explain why you’re calling a prospective client. It should be brief, but it should also be interesting enough to pique the potential client’s curiosity.
Example: Hi, my name is John Smith and I’m a financial advisor with XYZ firm. I’m calling because I noticed that you recently retired from your job of 30 years. I wanted to reach out and see if you had any questions about how to best manage your retirement savings.
The body of your script should be focused on learning more about the potential client’s needs. This is where you’ll ask questions and probe for information.
Example: Can you tell me a little bit about your current financial situation? Are you happy with the way your retirement savings are invested? Have you thought about how you’re going to generate income in retirement?
The closing is your opportunity to sum up the conversation and take the next step. This might be scheduling a follow-up call or meeting, or simply getting the potential client’s contact information.
Example: Based on our conversation, it sounds like you might benefit from working with a financial advisor. I’d be happy to schedule a meeting with you to discuss your options in more detail. Would next week work for you?
How to Customize Cold Calling Script for Different Targets
The best cold calling scripts are extremely personalized. People don’t want to feel like they’re being sold to, especially when it comes to something as important as their financial future.
That’s why it’s important to customize your cold calling script for each potential client. Below are a few examples.
If you’re calling someone who is in deep debt:
Hi, my name is John Smith and I’m a financial advisor with XYZ firm. I’m sorry if this seems so out of the blue, but based on the public records I found, it looks like you’re in a lot of debt. It sounds like you’re in a tough situation. I can’t promise anything, but I might be able to help you get out of debt and on a better financial footing. Can I ask you a few questions?
If you’re calling someone who has recently had a baby:
Hi, my name is John Smith and I’m a financial advisor with XYZ firm. Congratulations on the new addition to your family! I remember what a big change it was when my son was born. I wanted to reach out and see if you had any questions about how to best save for your child’s future.
If you’re calling someone who has recently lost a spouse:
Hi, my name is John Smith and I’m a financial advisor with XYZ firm. I came across your name while I was doing some research, and it looks like you recently lost your spouse. I’m so sorry for your loss. I know it’s a painful and difficult time, but it’s also a critical one for your finances. When you’re ready to talk about it, I wanted to let you know that I’m here to help.
If you notice, all of the above cold calling scripts start with a personalized opener that’s relevant to the potential client’s current situation. This immediately shows that you’re not just calling anyone, you’re calling them for a specific reason.
3 Mistakes to Avoid When Making Cold Calls
Cold calling is a delicate art, and there are a few common mistakes that can easily trip you up. Here are a few to avoid:
Talking too much: This may sound ironic, but the goal of cold calling is not to sell – it’s to learn. So, resist the urge to do all the talking. Instead, focus on asking questions and listening to the answers. Practice active listening: paraphrase what the potential client has said to show that you understand them.
Not being prepared: Cold calling can be nerve-wracking, but you’re the expert here. The potential client is counting on you to be knowledgeable and prepared. So, before you make the call, do your research. Study the person’s background or the prospect’s company, what financial issues they may be facing, and come up with a list of the top 3-5 questions you want to ask.
Not having a goal: Why are you even calling in the first place? What do you hope to accomplish? Every call should have a specific goal, whether it’s scheduling a meeting, getting an email address, or simply gauging interest.
Cold Calling Tips for Financial Advisors
Now that you know the basics, here are a few cold calling tips to help you make the most of it:
1. Keep it short and sweet: The average attention span is shorter than it’s ever been, so make sure you get to the point quickly. A minute or two is usually all you need. Practice your cold-calling scripts out loud to see what you can cut without losing the meaning.
2. Sound like a human: Don’t use a script that sounds like it’s been written by a robot. Instead, sound like a normal person having a conversation. Think of the person on the other line as a friend or member of your family. How would you talk to them? The best cold calls sound warm and personal.
3. Apply active listening: Listening has levels. Most people only hear the words that are being said, but active listeners also try to understand the feelings and needs behind the words. You can do this by paraphrasing what the person has said, reflecting back on their emotions, and asking clarifying questions.
4. Be genuine: People can spot a fake from miles away, whether they’re a business owner or a new parent. So, be genuine in your interest and concern for the person you’re speaking to. That means respecting any answer they give you, even if that’s a no.
5. Ask for the sale: If you don’t ask, you won’t get it. Many financial advisors forget to do this after the initial contact. So, at the end of the call, make sure to ask for what you want, whether that’s a meeting, an email address, or simply permission to follow up. Don’t expect people to read your mind and know what you want – you have to ask for it.
6. Offer free help: As a financial advisor, give more than you take. That means offering your expertise and knowledge, even if the person you’re calling to isn’t ready to commit to your value proposition yet. For example, you can offer to send them an article you think they’ll find helpful or give them a quick tip on something they’re struggling with.
7. Follow up: Following up cold calls is essential to building relationships and closing deals. Sometimes, that means just thanking the person for their time. Other times, it may mean following up with additional information or resources they asked for. Either way, make sure you do it within 24-48 hours while the conversation is still fresh in their mind.
8. Practice, practice, practice: Cold calling is a skill, and like any skill, it takes time and practice to perfect. So, don’t get discouraged if you don’t get the results you want right away. Instead, view each call as a learning opportunity and keep practicing until you’re comfortable and confident.
9. Keep a positive attitude: As a financial advisor, you’re going to hear a lot of no’s and even some hang-ups. It’s important to keep a positive attitude and not take it personally. Remember, you only need one yes to succeed.
Let’s Build Your Cold Calling Strategy!
Now that you know the basics of cold calling and have some tips to help you succeed, it’s time to start building your strategy. If you’re not sure where to start, contact Peregrine Consulting Group.
We specialize in helping financial advisors generate leads, harness technology and automation to nurture their client list and develop an online marketing strategy to complement their cold calling efforts. Our team of experts can help you create a customized plan that fits your unique needs and goals.