Arguably, one of the most difficult (and universal) challenges a financial advisor faces is client acquisition. It’s an ongoing process that requires constant focus and action. After all, without clients you don’t have a practice.
So, where do you find prospects? How do you get them to meet with you? How to you turn them into clients? The process can seem overwhelming. But before you throw up your hands and say, “I’ll just wait for people to walk in the door,” commit to setting goals and creating a client acquisition system that will take the pain – and uncertainty – out of the process.
To start, create goals based on the numbers you need to run a financially successful practice. Answer some basic questions.
How many clients do I need in my book of business?
What are my client acquisition goals for the year?
How many prospects do I need to meet with each month?
What is my conversion rate (turning prospects into clients)?
How am I going to track prospect outreach, meetings and conversions?
Tracking is key. Studies have shown that more than half of financial advisors don’t track their prospecting efforts or their results. It’s no wonder that many advisors are not meeting their goals. If you don’t have a customer relationship management (CRM) program or something similar, consider getting one. If you have one and don’t fully use it, make it your goal to do so.
Numbers are not the only factors that play a role in the client acquisition challenge. You want to make sure you are engaging in other activities that will boost your prospect-to-client conversion rate. Here are a few:
1) Who is your ideal client? Get as specific as you can about their profession, education, income, age range, etc.
2) Differentiate yourself. What sets you apart from other financial advisors? Do you have a particular client niche you serve (based on #1)? Look at professions or markets that have been overlooked.
3) Network. It’s important to get involved in the community by joining civic, charitable and social groups. This is an excellent way to identify and mingle with prospects.
4) Invest in yourself. Get involved in an organization for financial advisors. Sharing prospecting ideas with others can be invaluable. Many of these organizations also hold annual conventions that offer a variety of speakers and seminars that provide professional tips and chances to brainstorm with peers about mutual challenges.
5) Referrals. Yes, referrals are an excellent source for new prospects, but be sure you have a process in place. How do you ask for referrals? What happens once your receive one? Be sure to track everything.
6) Take advantage of social media. Are you on Linked-In, Twitter, Instagram and the like? Do you have a blog? Are you doing podcasts and webcasts? Obviously this can be a large commitment, but evaluate which outlets are most beneficial for your particular practice.
Above all, stay on track.
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