by Tony Vidler
When I ask advisers what is the number 1 thing in getting a new client I nearly always get an answer linked to marketing…the new client needs to be found via one method or another. I see the logic of that answer, but disagree with it. A prospect is found via marketing usually, and my question is “what is the number 1 thing that gets a new CLIENT?”
That’s a couple of steps down the engagement path from identifying a suspect, or even getting the prospect to pause and give you and your message some attention.
What I am really asking is what is the critical thing in converting a suspect into an actual revenue-generating client?
It is true that the primary objective of the marketing is to get the attention of someone who is a possible prospect..and that is still just a suspect. It’s secondary objective is to have that suspect decide to explore further and become a prospect…it is to create interest in you or what you do.
But that is it really. That is all the marketing efforts set out to do. Get attention and initial interest, and then create some form of engagement.
The beginning of the engagement with prospects is certainly still a marketing function most of the time, and at some point during the engagement process that transforms into a selling function. This is the point where the most critical element must happen, and that 1 thing which can turn a prospect into a client is:
Prospects remain “suspects” while until they engage in a one-to-one conversation with you. You suspect that they might be prospective clients, but you don’t really know until the opportunity is created to get talking to each other….human to human..and they are highly unlikely to choose to work with you until they feel you understand them and their position or needs.
So getting a new client always begins with that one thing: Creating a personal conversation.
It is the critical step which turns suspects into genuine prospects, and then in turn escalates the relationship to the point where they will engage as a client.
If we understand that this is the critical component in converting all of our marketing effort and spending into some ROI called “getting a revenue generating client” then we should be mindful that this is in fact our objective to begin with.
This is the objective to have in mind before commencing any marketing or selling efforts, because whatever we decide to do in those areas should ideally lead to us to that point of having a personal conversation that enables the prospect to genuinely decide that we are right for them.