Clients are the backbone of any successful business. Having a dedicated and loyal client base that trusts you and is happy with your services is necessary for your business to succeed and grow.
In the financial industry, there are two main ways to grow your business.
- Increase the overall number of clients.
- Increase the portfolio of your existing clients.
We are going to focus on the first point; increasing the overall number of clients.
This can be achieved through four prospecting steps that are specific to financial advisors.
Before we get started, let's define prospecting.
Prospecting is the process of initiating and developing new business by searching for potential customers, clients, or buyers for your products or services. The goal of sales prospecting is to move these people, or prospects, through the sales funnel until they eventually convert into revenue-generating customers.
Now, before you start handing out business cards to everyone you meet or spending hours on LinkedIn, we recommend you follow these four steps to get you started on the right foot.
These prospecting tips and techniques will help you find your ideal prospect faster and more effectively, ultimately generating more clients for you.
4 Effective Prospecting Steps for Financial Advisors
Step #1: Determine Your Unique Key Attributes
First, you need to look inward at yourself and your business.
Ask yourself the following questions and document your answers:
- What does my business specialize in?
- How is my business different from other financial advisor businesses?
- Do I have any personal experiences that could give me a competitive edge?
- How would people describe me?
- How would people describe my business?
- How do I like to spend my time?
- What values do I have personally?
- What are the values of my business?
- What are my talents?
- What do I like to do in my spare time?
After determining your key attributes, you can then focus outward on finding prospects who possess the same qualities.
Ask yourself the following questions about your ideal prospects:
- Where do they work?
- How do they spend their free time?
- Where do they spend their time online?
For example, if you specialize in providing retirement plans for educators, you will be able to find prospects at local schools, colleges and universities.
By understanding your prospects and where to find them, you can be specific and focused on your marketing efforts.
When your marketing is targeted to your ideal audience, it saves your business time and money as you’re putting your efforts into the right area.
Using the above example, a relevant marketing activity could be to host an on-campus seminar about retirement plans for educators.
We'll dig deeper into this in step #4.
At the end of the day, people enjoy interacting with others who are similar to them.
When your values align, your prospects will see you as an ally who understands them, their needs, and their struggles and will trust your guidance.
Step #2: Look at Your Existing Client List
Your existing clients provide an excellent clue into who your perfect prospects are (even if you’re a new financial advisor with only a small handful of clients).
Look at your client list and identify your favourite clients; the ones you love to work with the most.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be looking for the ones with the most assets or who generate the most revenue for your business, but instead, highlight the clients you like communicating with and those who you connect with best.
These are generally the clients that leave you feeling energized and valued as a professional.
Once you have pulled together this list, determine what characteristics are common among all of them.
This could include:
- Demographic characteristics
- Personality traits
- Problems they’re facing
- Services/products you are providing to them
Does your experience with certain products or services make you an expert in working with those types of clients?
This is a critical step for effective prospecting as it starts to paint a picture of the clients that give you a reason to get out of bed in the morning and make work enjoyable.
Step #3: Paint A Picture
Next, you're going to paint a picture. Figuratively, not literally.
Based on your findings in steps 1 and 2, describe the profile of your ideal client.
Aim to answer these questions:
- What is important to them?
- Who is important to them?
- What values do they possess?
- What motivates them?
- How would you describe them demographically?
- What personality traits do they possess?
- Where do they spend their time and money?
- Where do they typically work?
- Where do they typically spend their time when they are not working?
- What events in life are they facing now or will they be facing in the near future?
- What needs and challenges do they face that you can offer valuable insight into?
Craft an outline of what that person looks like using the questions above, this is called a Buyer Persona.
Once completed, memorize and understand your Buyer Persona so well that you can describe it perfectly to anyone who asks you what type of people you work with. Who knows, they may know someone that fits the description and can refer them to you!
Step #4: Be Active Where Your Prospects Are
In order to prospect effectively, you need to be searching for potential clients where they already are.
If you are only active on the channels that you like to use, or worse, pushing your marketing across all channels with no focused messaging, then you're likely not going to hit your target audience, or your business growth goals.
Here are some prospecting techniques we recommend trying, depending on your audience and the channels they prefer:
- Phone calls: You can either cold call or warm call people on your leads database. You can also provide a walkthrough of your product or service offerings during these calls.
- Email marketing: This is a great way to nurture your database to provide value and relevant information that builds trust and authority until they’re ready to convert to a client.
- Content: Use your blog to provide educational and informative articles specific to your target market and their desires, interests, and pain points.
- Social media: Post on the platforms that your target audience uses most. Don't forget to include elements of brand humanization, such as letting your own personality shine, to really build relationships on this channel.
- Webinar/Seminar: Offering a free event generates quality leads for your pipeline and provides you with an opportunity to reconnect with cold prospects. It's also an opportunity to showcase your expertise, which can result in referrals from existing clients.
- Referrals: Speaking of referrals, don't hesitate to ask your existing client base if they have family or friends in similar situations who would benefit from your services.
- Networking events: Attend (or even host) the right events and work the room to meet new people.
Finding quality prospects that are more likely to convert into clients ensures a stronger, more enjoyable, and longer-lasting career as a financial advisor.
By following these four steps, you're setting yourself up with a successful strategy to attract your ideal client and grow your business.