Posts Tagged ‘Lack Of Motivation’
Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
Last week, I conducted the first of six weekly online sessions to help advisors develop and implement a plan to attract new clients in 2011.
In that session, I talked about how one advisor sets aside time each Friday to meet with the accountant or lawyer of one of his key clients … and how he makes these meetings happen.
Afterwards, I got this email from one of the participants on the call:
I’ve gone for lunches with clients CA’s and lawyers in the past. I find getting a meeting is not much of a problem. I find that the difficulty can be in maintaining ongoing contact that is a) meaningful, b) relevant and c) interesting to the COI.
When 2 or 3 months rolls by and it’s time to check-in with the COI, I would like some good ideas about what to call about. Any suggestions?
I responded by sharing a recent conversation with a successful advisor in Dallas after my talk at his firm’s conference.
I’d talked about ways to engage prospects and he told me what he says at the end of meetings with client professionals and high potential prospects, where he feels the conversation has gone well and the people he’s talking to seem relaxed and interested.
He finishes by saying:
One final thing. My team and I spend a ton of time each week monitoring the best sources we can find on a broad range of issues.
In that process, we often find articles that address key concerns for some of our clients and send those along to them.
Sometimes my client’s big concerns are things like the outlook for interest rates, house prices or the dollar, other times the main issues for clients aren’t related to money at all … for example, I have several clients struggling with lack of motivation among children in their twenties, I have others who are worried about what to do with U.S. vacation properties that have declined in value.
Clients often tell us they find these articles very helpful.
If you’re interested, that’s something I’d be happy to offer you also. So tell me, is there any one issue that if we came across some really interesting information, you’d like to receive it.
Four key questions
I asked this advisor four questions about this approach:
First, what kind of general reaction does he get?
What kind of issues emerge?
What does he say when prospects or accountants shared a concern with him?
And finally, how does he follow through on an ongoing basis?
The general reaction he receives:
The advisor reminded me that he only asks this question to prospect and client professionals at the end of meetings when he’s been getting positive vibes. In light of that, the overall response has been very positive … he gets specific responses over half the time. And even in cases where people tell him there’s nothing offhand they can think of, no one seems offended.
The issues which emerge:
On the types of answers he gets, he finds that more often than not people pick up on the examples he uses. If he tells prospects in retirement that existing clients are concerned about issues like outliving their money, saving taxes and the low interest they’re getting on savings, those are the concerns people play back.
If he tells accountants that other CPAs he’s talked to have expressed concerns about ways to bring in new clients and the economics of running small and mid sized firms, then generally they respond that those are the things that they worry about also.
And if he uses examples of underwater vacation properties or unmotivated children, those concerns tend to come up as priorities as well.
When someone voices a concern on which they’d like to receive information, he thanks them for sharing this, asks for their contact info and tells them that while he can’t make any promises, if he sees something interesting he’ll send it along.
He immediately blackberries his assistant, asking her to go online and look for a recent article on this topic. A favourite source is the Wall Street Journal; while WSJ.com limits access to nonsubscribers to the first paragraph of most stories, it has a service which allows advisors to email people full articles, even if the recipient hasn’t signed up as a WSJ online subscriber. His goal is to send a follow up email to the prospect or accountant in the next day, including an initial article on their issue wherever possible.
Following up afterwards:
On the final issue of how he followed through, this advisor has identified half a dozen hot button issues shared by many existing and prospective clients and professionals; among these are forecasts for the US economy, interest rates, the dollar and house prices.
In the course of his regular reading, he looks for articles on these issues that he can send … and by focusing on areas that are common across clients and prospects, is able to deliver relevant, value added information in a time efficient fashion. Note that he is careful not to overwhelm clients and prospects, his goal is to send something every month or two, always reminding the recipient that they’re getting this information because they’d asked for it.
Let’s be clear, this approach will not be a fit for every advisor. But for advisors looking to build bridges with high potential prospects and client accountants, consider whether you can modify this approach to make it work for you.
A question to engage client accountants
Tags: Accountant, Accountants, Contact, Email, Hap, House Prices, Interest Rates, Lack Of Motivation, Lawyer, Lawyers, Money, Online Help, Participants, Prospects, Sessions, Vacation Properties, Value Clients
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