“If you were a brand new advisor in the business how would you begin your prospecting efforts?”
While most advisors jump on the phone and begin cold calling, they start attending networking events and meeting with acquaintances hoping to solicit some new business and in probably EVERY case they are out there shooting blanks. Before I do anything I would clarify my focus and define my value as a financial advisor. Without that clarity you will lack the confidence and conviction you need to turn your initial contacts into viable prospects and opportunities. Even when I begin coaching an Advisor I will often have them stop their prospecting efforts until we have uncovered their focus and value, I want every contact to count and until they are properly armed they are wasting valuable time.
In order to be effective with any of your prospecting efforts you must be clear on the following:
- Who is your tribal market and what are their primary issues and concerns. Knowing who you WANT to work with is key. In most cases your tribal market is a reflection of you, your style, your values and your character. A tribal market is not just a demographic group but a type of person from a successful business owner to an achiever who thrives on structure. Really understand who you would love to attract to your practice and build from there.
- What is the value you provide? In this regard I am not talking about your firm or the products and services you have available, those are just commodities that can be found most anywhere. You must be clear as to the value YOU provide, value that goes beyond being honest, working hard and putting your client first, these are expected of you. Your true value is based on your experiences and the depth of your understanding as to the issues of your tribal market.The more you can connect and understand their issues the more value you will bring to the table. If I were targeting business owners my value may come from my experience being raised in a family of business owners. If my tribal market is professional women my value comes from being a professional woman and recognizing the unique challenges they face.
- Your Investment Philosophy; and I’m not talking about Asset Allocation and Diversification. As an advisor it’s easy to forget that your primary role is making investment recommendations, being able to articulate your investment philosophy adds tremendous mileage in your journey to secure a new client. When asked about your investment philosophy the tendency is to share what you have learned in the financial text books but that’s not what they are after. In my coaching I have my Advisors select 3 well known cliché’s that reflect their attitude about investing their own money. Not only do the clients recognize the clichés but can immediately absorb their meaning. By understanding what you believe, clients now understand the “Why” of what you do which reduces uncertainty and enhances the clients confidence in your recommendations. When you lead with your clichés you will spend less time explaining and more time presenting your investment choices.