Financial advising is a competitive field. That means to stay ahead, to grow your business or client list as well as managed assets, financial advisors need to find new clients. It’s a skill most advisors find challenging, in part due to the competition, but also because when it comes to finding an advisor, potential clients can be skittish. Prospecting comes down to quickly building trust and rapport with potential clients. It also involves simply getting in front of the right people, and even that comes with obstacles. Given that most financial advisors need prospecting, but sometimes don’t know where or how to start, or even hone those skills, let’s take a look at prospecting strategies.
What is Prospecting for Financial Advisors?
Prospecting for financial advisors is any action that helps identify and find potential new clients. Additionally, these activities and interactions are designed to lead qualified prospects into the advisor’s sales funnel.The end goal, of course, is to turn prospects into clients.
For financial advisors, this means a few things First, they must find clients who not only need financial advice, but also those who can afford to pay for advice and financial services. Further, it also means the advisor can convince the prospective client that the advice they have to offer has value.
While many people know they need financial planning advice, because it involves a high level of trust, often getting in front of people who need service isn’t enough.
Why are Strategies for Prospecting Clients So Important?
Strategizing for prospecting is difficult. There are two essential elements of prospecting and neither is easy. The first is finding the right clients and the second is convincing them of your value proposition so they enter the funnel.
If the goal is to, at a minimum, maintain your existing client base and managed asset value, you still have to prospect as clients leave all the time for a variety of reasons from different goals or values to death and divorce.
And, if you’re looking to grow, then prospecting is a never ending process. Having the right strategies in place can save you both time and effort for a necessary task.
Top 5 Strategies for Financial Advisor Prospecting
Given the necessity of prospecting for financial advisors, understanding how to manage the process and having a few strategies in place can certainly make it less stressful. Some of the strategies will require developing skills that will facilitate the process while others include concrete actions you can take.
1. Control fear and act confidently
One of the biggest prospecting obstacles involves very real fears about rejection. While some clients may feel uncomfortable referring your services, others will not, but you may never know if you don’t ask.
Being able to ask not just for referrals but also approaching potential new clients means putting aside your fears and approaching the situation with confidence. One way to build that confidence is to be sure you’re prepared and you understand what kind of value you have to offer to potential clients.
2. Hone your elevator speech
Being prepared means knowing how to present yourself and your services with confidence and quickly. You may not get the opportunity to talk for extended periods of time and, especially at networking events, you want to try to meet as many people as possible. Practicing and perfecting your elevator speech can make a difference when time is limited with an audience.
The same is true for cold calls. Simply talking off the cuff or failing to prepare can leave you flailing if you’re unprepared or caught off guard. Knowing what you want to say and how you want to say it is crucial. However, it’s important to note that, speech or script, you don’t want to sound overly rehearsed or stiff. You’ll still need to be able to be responsive to potential clients.
3. Network, network, network
From your existing client list, friends, and family to community organizations and events, leverage your existing network to find potential clients and make connections. Cast a wide net because even if a person you meet isn’t a potential client, they may be able to refer you to someone who is.
Similarly, not all networking needs to happen in person. Learning to use social media tools, like LinkedIn, and getting involved in virtual communities, answering questions, and making strategic connections can be quite lucrative. This means looking outside traditional avenues as well and identifying groups with whom you’d share a client base. From realtors to accountants, seek out the people who have contact with potential clients.
4. Invest in a CRM tool
Leveraging existing technology is one of your best strategies. CRM tools enable you to automate tasks, collect information, and seamlessly communicate with potential clients. Touching base and making contact that’s relevant and personalized (or at least segmented to speak to a specific group) can make all the difference when competing for clients. Similarly, a CRM lets you store the information you need to reference when reaching out on a more personal level.
5. Know your KPIS
Understanding how much time and effort you put into client acquisition is essential. Similarly, knowing how many contacts you need to make to convert a lead helps you understand how many people you need to meet to hit your goals. These numbers can then help you identify the places and strategies that are most successful for you. For example, you may find that certain industries and certain events produce better numbers for you and then you can use your time far more effectively. Focus on the KPIs you need to track for prospecting and your business.
Prospecting is, without a doubt, one of the hardest parts of financial advising. Finding help when and where you can, from networks to mentors, is essential. Similarly, understanding the role you play and the efforts you must make, in short planning for your future, will help you achieve your growth goals.
If you’re looking for partnerships and affiliations that can help you prospect, if you’re looking for a firm that provides prospecting support, get in touch with the FA Match team today. We’ve spent considerable time building our networks and making the kinds of connections you want to make in your career as well. We understand what it takes and how it works and we want to help.