Prospecting is more than talking to people and doing a sales pitch; this method is inefficient, draining, and has a very low conversion rate. Just like any strategy, there are proper, systematic ways of prospecting clients and this blog is to help financial advisors do it efficiently and effectively.
Likewise, this blog is to give you ideas on how and where to get prospective clients, how to reach, communicate and manage them, and other tips to help you in this stage of the sales process. And as an added bonus, we give you tips on where and how to prospect high net worth clients.
Keep in mind that not all of these methods will work for every advisor, so it is important to experiment and find what works best for you. Let’s get started.
Related Read: How to Write a Financial Advisor Elevator Speech That Works
Importance of Prospecting for Financial Advisors
Prospecting is the backbone of your sales process and the key to your success as a financial advisor. This activity isn’t about finding people and trying to sell financial solutions. It is about reaching out to people (or people reaching out to you), identifying a need for a financial predicament, and turning them into “prospects” aka potential clients.
Likewise, prospecting also involves creating a new product for existing clients; new products that solve an upcoming or potential need as a result of life events such as getting married, giving birth to a child, or any unexpected events that affect your clients cashflow.
This is why the importance of having good communication and relationship with your clients is an understatement and an oversimplification. Yes, it takes a lot of time and effort; prospecting is a never-ending responsibility. But if done right, you will reap the rewards for years.
Prospecting Ideas for Financial Advisors: Two Ways of Prospecting
Financial advisors are always looking for ways to gain more clients and prospecting is one of these ways. You can divide this prospecting task into two major categories: the “old way” and the “digital way.”
The Old Way
Before the age of the internet, social media, and smartphones, people do prospecting by meeting new people, sending in direct mail, and doing referrals to create strategic alliances. While it is traditional, these prospecting activities work as face-to-face communication and personal communication puts a face on the name and the product. Plus, body language still plays a role in establishing good rapport.
Here are some of the more traditional ways how and where you can prospect new clients:
Attend network events, trade shows and conventions
Attend events and networking functions. This is a great way to meet potential clients in person. You can learn about their needs and interests, and then follow up with them after the event.
Trade shows or conferences related to your industry are offline platforms you can use to showcase your talent. Talk to people, share your experiences, and a lot more.
Get involved in your local community
Your community is where opportunities await and there are many ways you can widen your network.
Hold an open house at your office or serve on a board or committee for a local non-profit organization. Alternatively, sponsor a community event or charity function. Perhaps, you can volunteer some of your time and expertise to help others in need.
In prospecting, you should also build your social skills. It doesn’t always have to be from a business standpoint.
Host a seminar or be a resource speaker
When people in your community see you as an expert in finance through sharing in a seminar or event, they tend to remember that. Showcase your brand and expertise and tell people the importance of financial literacy, asset protection, wealth management and tax and estate planning, and more. The effect goes a thousandfold when you create a long-lasting impression.
Remember when being a speaker, your primary objective is to share your expertise and how you can help them, not force them to buy your products. And lastly, sell your advocacy. People are always moved if there is a bigger purpose than selling a service to gain more money.
Related Read: How to Become an Independent Financial Advisor: All You Need to Know
Don’t underestimate the power of direct mail. You can send out one thousand direct mail in one go compared to making 1000 phone calls in one afternoon.
Combine this with a lumpy mail. A lumpy mail won’t get stacked together with the other mails. Remember, people often get curious about things that are different from the rest.
The Digital Way
Most people are online nowadays, and thanks to the algorithms of search engines, you can reach more people effectively and efficiently. We listed down the best ways for financial advisors like you to know prospective clients using the digital space.
Related Read: How to Climb the Ranks with Search Engine Positioning Tools
When it comes to social media marketing, platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Tiktok (yes even Tiktok!) offer great opportunities to connect with potential clients. By using these platforms, you can reach a large number of people with minimal effort. This digital marketing strategy is still one of the best out there.
Also, you can target specific audiences based on factors like location, age, and income level, making it a very effective way to reach your target market.
A website is like a digital resume where you can show your brand, showcase your expertise, and establish your leadership in the financial advisory space.
Write articles or blog posts. By providing helpful information to your target audience, you can show them that you know what you’re talking about. This will help to establish trust, credibility and authority. You can also include a call-to-action in your blog posts, directing readers to your website or contact page. Include all your social profiles. In short, turn your website into a lead magnet. Be sure to optimize it properly so Google and other search engines can see and index it.
Related Read: On-page SEO for Financial Advisors – Part 3: 7 Technical SEO Elements to Get Right
Call or email people who you think might be interested in your services. This can be a great way to reach potential clients, but it is important to target the right people. Send email newsletters. This is a great way to keep in touch with potential clients and provide them with valuable information.
Related Read: Email Campaign Advice: How to Scrub an E-Mail List
Use Google AdWords. This is a great way to get your name in front of potential clients. You can target people based on their location and interests, which helps to ensure that your ads are seen by the right people.
Leverage social media. These days, social media platforms offer a great way to reach potential clients. You can target people based on their interests and demographics.
Advertise in local publications or on websites that cater to your target market.
Webinars and Online Events
Similar to hosting face-to-face seminars, participate in webinars. You can provide valuable information and build relationships with potential clients.
As you can see, there are many different ways to find potential clients. The best way to find clients is to experiment and find what works best for you.
Related Read: Financial Advisor Coaching Programs: How to Pick the Best
What is the Constant Contact System in Prospecting?
Whether you use the old fashion way, the digital method or both, you can use the constant contact system to find prospects for your financial services firm. What is it?
The Constant Contact System is a simple, three-step process that allows you to quickly and easily connect with potential clients. It’s an ideal way to find more clients, as it helps you build relationships and stay top-of-mind.
- Identify your target market. This could be anyone who could use your services, such as individuals and families with investable assets of $250,000 or more.
- Create a list of potential contacts within that market. This might include people you know – friends, family, and colleagues – as well as prospects you’ve identified through online research.
- Reach out to those contacts regularly. This could involve sending emails, making phone calls, or meeting in person. The key is to keep the lines of communication open so that you can build strong relationships with potential clients.
By following the Constant Contact System, you can be sure that you’re always staying top-of-mind with potential clients. And that can lead to more business and greater success for your financial advisory practice.
Mastering Constant Contact System in Prospecting
You can categorize prospects into four levels: D, C, B, and A.
These are your cold prospects. This level may comprise up to 200 prospects. You have no contact with them, and you don’t know anything about them. The best way to start building a relationship with these people is by sending them an email or a newsletter. Your conversations with them are often based on availability and mood. Often, when you message them, they see and read it but don’t answer.
In the constant contact system, you can reach out to them every 8 weeks.
How to approach:
- Send them an email or a newsletter.
- In your email, introduce yourself and offer some valuable content that is relevant to their interests.
- Make sure you have a strong call to action at the end of your email so they will be encouraged to take action.
- Level them up to C.
These are your warm prospects and comprise up to 150 prospects. You’ve had some form of contact with them, but you don’t know them well. Start the ball rolling by sending them an email or newsletter. Also, conversations are based on mood and availability. So, you can contact them every 6 weeks.
How to approach:
- Send a message by asking how they’re doing.
- Don’t talk about your product just yet.
- Level them up to B.
These are your hot prospects and may compose of up to 100 people. You’ve had a lot of contact with them, and you know quite a bit about them. These prospects are often easy to chat with and may even open up about personal matters. Since you know them, you’re confident in showing some marketing materials.
The best way to start building a relationship with these people is by picking up the phone and giving them a call. You may contact them every 3 weeks.
How to Approach:
- Pick up the phone and give them a call.
- During the call, introduce yourself and ask how they are doing.
- Ask them if they would be interested in learning more about your services.
- If they are interested, set up a meeting so you can get to know them better.
- Level them up to A.
These are your super hot prospects and may comprise 10 to 30 people. You know them very well, and you have a lot of contact with them. Often, these prospects are people who support you. Since you know them very well, you can gauge if they’re ready to engage in the sales process.
The best way to start building a relationship with these people is by meeting with them in person. You can contact them every week.
How to Approach:
- Ask them how they are doing.
- Ask them if they’re interested in your product or services.
- Set up a meeting for a thorough discussion.
- Close the deal.
So there you have it. A simple system for categorizing your prospects and building relationships with them. Now get out there and start prospecting.
More: Appointment Setting for Financial Advisors: 12 Tips to Succeed
What to Say to a Prospective Client
You only have a few minutes to tell them who you are, what you offer, and how you can help them. Your elevator pitch is a “first impression”, do it right and you can engage them more, but one wrong word and you can completely lose them.
Discerning customers can smell fake flattery, false sincerity, and a sales pitch miles away. When preparing a script, your message should always be how you can help them, not what financial products you offer. Here’s an example of a script:
“Hi! Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. My name is ____ and I am a financial advisor with ___ firm. I specialize in working with clients who are looking for ways to save for retirement or children’s education. Are you familiar with investing and planning for your future? If not, don’t worry, I can help you get started.”
This is great for Level B and C prospects but not so effective on Level D. For Level A, try something more personal. Ask about their kids if they’re married or their recent travel plans if they have talked about it previously.
What Not to Say in Prospecting?
Do not talk about how much money you make or what your commission structure is. This is not the time or place to discuss compensation.
Also, do not try to sell them by investing in a specific security or product. Let them know that you are available to help them with whatever they are looking for, and then let them make the decision.
And finally, do not badmouth your competition. This will only make you look unprofessional and untrustworthy. Stay positive and focus on what you can offer potential clients.
Related Read: Different Financial Advisor Compensation Models
Why Situation Prospecting Works and How to Use It Effectively
Situation prospecting is a great way to find more clients without feeling pushy or domineering. There are many different ways to use situation prospecting, but the basic idea is to look for opportunities to help people who are experiencing a change in their life.
For example, if someone has recently retired, they may need help managing their finances. Or, if someone has just had a baby, they may be thinking about starting a 529 Plan.
The key to making situation prospecting work is to be genuinely interested in helping people. If you are just looking for a quick sale, it will be obvious to the person you are talking to. But if you take the time to get to know them and their situation, they will see that you are truly trying to help them.
If you are interested in learning more about situation prospecting, there are many great resources available. The internet is a good place to start, but you can also talk to other financial advisors from your network who may have more experience with this type of prospecting.
Whatever prospecting strategy you choose to use, remember that the most important thing is to be genuine and helpful. If you keep that in mind, you will be sure to find more success with situation prospecting.
Marketing Vs. Prospecting Methods
When it comes to finding new clients, there is a big difference between marketing and prospecting. Marketing is all about creating awareness for your business. Prospecting, on the other hand, is all about actively seeking out new leads and making contact with them.
Most of the time, many financial advisors use these terms interchangeably. But know that the most successful financial advisors understand the importance of marketing and prospecting. They make sure to allocate time and resources to both. However, if you are short on time or money, you may have to choose one over the other.
Which should you choose?
The answer depends on your goals and what stage your business is in. If you are just starting out, then marketing is probably a better use of your time.
You need to create awareness for your business and get people interested in what you have to offer. Once you have a steady flow of leads coming in, then you can start focusing on prospecting.
If you are already doing some marketing but it’s not generating the results you want, then it’s time to focus on prospecting. Start by identifying your ideal clients and then target them specifically with your marketing efforts. You can also start cold calling or emailing potential leads.
The bottom line is that you need to do both marketing and prospecting if you want to be successful in financial advising. However, you should focus on one or the other depending on your current situation.
Tips and other Prospecting Ideas and Strategies
The prospecting process doesn’t involve a lot of tasks. It includes a persistent and systematic method. The key here is consistency and quality. So, here are some tips for your prospecting methods.
Ready a Script
We all have our own personal brands. One of the most important aspects is not just what you say but also how well it sounds. Sometimes, the human psyche tends to copy others, especially if such a technique works well. There’s nothing wrong with that.
But, since you copied it, you will sound like everybody else. When you do, you blend in and no one will remember. The best way to solve this is to write your script ahead of time so that even when inspiration hits (which really shouldn’t happen anyway) everything goes smoothly.
Of course, make sure you sound natural and be flexible enough to recognize hints from your prospective clients.
Target a specific niche market
One of the best ways to find more clients is to target a specific niche market. This could be businesses in a certain industry or individuals with a certain type of income. By identifying your target audience, you can make sure that your marketing efforts are focused on reaching the right people.
Ask your client for referrals
Two birds, one stone. That’s the idea behind developing strategic partnerships to promote your company and generate more leads.
You could invite estate attorneys, insurance agents, or CPAs for client appreciation events – but don’t overdo it because this may make them feel like they’re being stalked by you (we know how sensitive those people can get).
Prepare an Elevator Pitch
The most effective way to prospect is by being yourself and delivering your message in a way that’s genuine and authentic. You’ll also want to make sure that you’re always prepared with an elevator pitch—a quick, 30-second introduction that explains what you do and how you can help potential clients.
Appreciate Your Clients
One way to stand out in the industry is by showing your clients that you appreciate them. Sending a handwritten thank-you note after meeting with them and including a small gift with their statement is just a couple of ways to do this.
You can also show your appreciation by hosting a client appreciation event and workshops or offering special discounts on products and services. Whatever you do, make sure your clients feel appreciated and that they know how much you value their business.
Stay in Touch
Another important aspect of prospecting is staying in touch with your current clients. This doesn’t mean calling them every day or even every week. But rather touching base regularly enough so that they always know who you are and what you do.
You can stay in touch by sending them updates on their account, providing them with helpful information or articles related to their financial situation, or even just stopping by to say hello. The key is to make sure that your clients feel like you’re always there for them when they need you.
In order to provide your clients with the best possible service, it’s important to stay up-to-date on all the latest industry news and changes.
Subscribe to financial publications, attend industry conferences, and follow financial bloggers and other thought leaders online. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to help your clients reach their financial goals.
Use customer relationship management software (CRM). This will help you keep track of all your leads, and make sure you follow up with them in a timely manner.
Handle Rejection Like a Pro
When you’re prospecting, it’s important to remember that not everyone is going to be interested in what you have to offer. In fact, most people will say no. That’s okay! It’s all part of the process.
Remember: rejection is not a personal attack. It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person or that you’re not good at your job. It just means that the person you’re speaking to isn’t interested in what you have to offer.
If you can handle rejection like a pro, it’ll be much easier to keep going and eventually find someone interested in working with you.
Stay positive. No matter how many times you hear no, try to stay positive and focused on your goals. Remember why you’re prospecting in the first place and keep pushing forward.
Bonus: Prospecting High Net Worth Clients
High net worth clients aren’t hard to come by if you know where, when, and how to look. The best ways to reach this client base are (1) through referrals by their friends and families, (2) by participating in conventions, symposiums and forums where they usually attend, and (3) through socializing by getting involved in their hobbies and sports (attending and/or participating in tournaments is a great way to be able to interact with them).
Since these are usually business people themselves, they know if they are being to. The best way to approach this group is not to make a sale, but to establish a friendly relationship with them. Be genuinely interested in them and focus on listening rather than speaking. Remember, these are well-connected individuals, so they may not be a future client to you, but they may recommend you to other high net worth individuals that can potentially be your clients.
And as always, credibility, sincerity, proficiency, and integrity are important with this client base.
Prospecting takes a lot of time, energy, and resources. Not all prospecting events may be successful but the key is the continuously do what you do: create a brand that people will trust, establish a good and reliable network, continuously promote your advocacy, and be consistent.
Running a business is difficult, prospecting even more. That is why Peregrine Consulting Group is here. We focus on helping you create a professional-looking brand, prepare an effective digital marketing strategy, and automate and simplify processes to help you with generating and eventually, establishing meaningful relationships.