4 Effective Prospecting Steps for Financial Advisors
Clients are the backbone to any successful business. There are two main ways to grow your financial advisor business:
- Increase the overall number of clients.
- Increase the portfolio of your existing clients.
In this article we are going to focus on the first point; increasing the overall number of clients. This can be achieved through four effective prospecting steps that are specific to financial advisors.
What is 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. Source: Hubspot
Before you start handing out business cards to everyone you meet or spend hours on LinkedIn Sales Navigator, we recommend you follow these four steps to get you started on the right foot so you know exactly who you want to target.
These prospecting tips and techniques will help you find the perfect prospects faster and more effectively, ultimately generating more clients for you.
Step #1: Determine Your Unique Key Attributes
To get started, you first need to look inward at yourself and your business. Questions to ask yourself are:
- Does your business specialize in anything?
- How is your business different from other financial advisor businesses?
- Do you have any personal experiences that give you a competitive edge?
- How would people describe you?
- How would people describe your business?
- How do you like to spend your time?
- What values do you have personally?
- What are the values of your business?
- What are your talents?
- What do you like to do in your spare time?
After determining your key attributes, you can then focus outward on finding prospects who possess the same qualities.
Questions to ask about your ideal prospects:
- Where do your prospects work?
- How do they spend their free time?
- Where are they for you to be able to connect with them?
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 with your marketing activities. When your marketing is focused 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’.
There is more about 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, their struggles, and what brings them joy.
Step #2: Look at Your 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 favorite 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 written your favorite client list, determine what characteristics are common among all of them. Check for:
- Demographic characteristics
- Personality traits
- Problems they’re facing
- Services/products you are providing
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 (figuratively, not literally)
Based on your findings in steps 1 and 2, describe the profile of your perfect prospect. 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 so you can describe that person to anyone who asks what type of people you work with (who knows, they might know someone that fits the description who they can introduce you to).
This above step is commonly referred to as your ‘Buyer Persona’. For more information about buyer personas, check out our article which includes examples and a free downloadable worksheet: How to Create Buyer Personas as a Financial Advisor
Step #4: Figure Out Where to Find Them
Here are some prospecting techniques you could use (depending on your audience and where you’ll find them):
- Phone calls: either cold calling prospecting, or warm calling people on your leads database.
- Email marketing: great way to nurture those on your database to provide value and information until they’re ready to convert to a client.
- Content: use your blog to provide relevant articles specific to your target market.
- Social media: utilize LinkedIn or Facebook, depending on where your market is more active.
- Webinar/Seminar: offering a free event helps build your prospect pipeline and gives a reason to cold market prospects. It also helps your warm market by showing your expertise to help turn them into a client.
- Referrals: if you have favourite clients, they most likely have friends/family with similar characteristics who you’d love to work with too.
- Networking events: attend the right events and work the room to meet new people.
Finding perfect prospects ensures a stronger, enjoyable and a longer-lasting career as a financial advisor. Follow these four steps to find more of the perfect prospects and build your overall quantity of clients.
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