Posts Tagged ‘Outset’
Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
by Dan Richards, ClientInsights.ca
Most advisors tell me that once they meet with prospects, they have an excellent success rate converting those prospects into clients. That’s why I got an exceptional response to last Monday’s article on how approaching friends and casual acquaintances about the possibility of working together, using a low-key technique called signaling.
In my article, I wrote about an advisor who chatted with a lawyer he knew casually at a client’s 50th birthday party and then sent him an email the next day offering to put the lawyer on the distribution list for his monthly client emails. The article also mentioned that this advisor plans to give it a few months and then to make a follow-up call, suggesting they get together for a coffee to talk further about the prospect’s financial situation.
Why you have to pick up the phone
I got an email from an advisor, thanking me for the article but with a question: “I hate being harassed by people trying sell me things and I hate harassing prospects” he wrote. “Is it really necessary to pester prospects who are getting your material?”
I had a two-part response to his note.
First, while these follow-up calls can make prospects feel harassed and regret that they said yes to receiving material, done right that doesn’t have to be the case. Provided the calls don’t happen too often, few prospects who’ve agreed to be put on your distribution list and are seeing value in the information will object to a professional follow-up call, inquiring whether there’s interest in sitting down.
I told the advisor that part of the problem might be that he sees these calls as harassing and pestering prospects – and that the issue might be more in his mind than with prospects. The key to making this work is that you have no hidden agenda. You’ve been clear from the outset that you’re interested in sharing the investment related information you provide clients, which makes the transition to talking about the prospect’s own financial situation much easier.
On the question about whether this is really necessary, the unfortunate answer is yes. In the perfect world, we wouldn’t have to be reaching out to prospects, we’d be doing a terrific job for our clients, prospects would see that and would call us as a result.
Regrettably, in the real world that seldom happens – if you want to maximize meetings with prospects, no matter how good a job you do of delivering value and building your credibility through the information you send, you ultimately have to give them a call or have someone call them on your behalf.
As one example, I spoke to a financial planner who built a large pipeline of prospects through his extensive speaking engagements. At the end of his talk, he gave the audience the chance to enter a draw for a book and to receive his free online newsletter. He got lots of people saying yes to this but few meetings – until he hired a summer student to follow up and ask if there was interest in sitting down to meet.
With regard to frequency, people are getting monthly information, I’d say four to six months after they start receiving information is about right; if the email goes out quarterly, I’d give it nine to twelve months. If someone isn’t interested in meeting, a simple “I understand how busy we all are, could I check back with you in about nine months?” will often clarify the prospect’s interest.
It’s never been more important to have a strong pipeline of prospects with whom you’re building awareness, trust and credibility. But to make that pipeline pay off, you need to build regular follow-up into your week – consider blocking off 30 minutes a week to follow up with prospects who you’ve spoken to in the past and who are receiving your material.
To read last Monday’s article about how approaching casual acquaintances, click here:
Tags: Casual Acquaintances, Client Emails, Coffee, Distribution List, Email, Financial Situation, Hidden Agenda, Last Monday, Lawyer, Leads, Outset, Prospects, Success Rate, Th Birthday Party
Posted in My Practice | Comments Off
Wednesday, June 6th, 2012
Entrepreneurs who are working to build their businesses and increase their client capital often become overwhelmed when they treat everyone equally. Often, when financial advisors first start out on their own, they do not establish a structure for their clientele. This is something I discuss more deeply in The Entrepreneurial Journey. They may treat their most profitable clients the same way they do their least profitable ones, which is a waste of time and prevents them from reaching their full earning potential.
How many clients do you currently have? Now ask yourself, honestly, how many of those people you have a close working relationship with. Most likely, that number is no higher than 100. If you stretch yourself too thin by serving as an advisor to too many people, you will be doing them all a disservice.
The key is not to shed clients, but to segment them. As your business has grown, it’s likely that you identified your ideal clients and that these are not the relationships you acquired in the early days. Rather than abandon those who have remained loyal and who may eventually mature into your ideal clients, classify them on an A, B or C list.
As I explained in the book, most advisors will likely find that their top 40 or so clients are supplying their firm with 150 percent of its wealth, and working with the remaining clients detracts from profits, bringing the company back to 100 percent. Determine your key relationships by establishing a set of criteria for who should be on the A list, and strictly observe those rules. Don’t let someone who should be in the B or C category linger on the A list.
Identify the potential value of each of your clients, and compare their likelihood of buying. The A clients will be those who offer high value and have a high chance of doing business with you. To achieve the value every client promises, take a three-pronged strategy. Focus on growing their assets, then cross-sell and consolidate.
To avoid “orphaning” the rest of your clients, bring on a junior sub-producer or consider splitting the servicing responsibilities with another advisor. By having a strong plan for working with every segment of your clientele, you will be able to ensure that every individual is adding to your revenue rather than taking away from it.
As founder, president and CEO of The Covenant Group, Norm Trainor is often seen as the face of the company and its’ leading financial advisor training programs. He has penned several best-selling books, articles and other works with entrepreneurs and financial advisors to show them how they can become more valuable to their clients, boost productivity and, ultimately, achieve the success they desire.
Copyright © The Covenant Group
Follow The Covenant Group
Tags: Client Relationships, Clientele, Covenant Group, Disservice, Earning Potential, Entrepreneurial Journey, Financial Advisors, Ideal, Losing The Battle, Many People, Mature, Norm Trainor, Outset, Profits, Relationship, Segment, Shed, Waste Of Time
Posted in Norm Trainor | Comments Off