by Tony Vidler
The “prospecting problem” is the most frequently requested area for help from financial advisers…it is the perennial problem. There just never seems to be quite enough of them to meet the new client acquisition needs of the firm AND it is getting harder to get prospects attention and have them engage.
Often an adviser asks for help on prospecting right about the time that they can see there are very few prospects left in the system…or to put it plainly; advisers often realise they’ve got a prospecting problem and ask for help when they’ve pretty much already run out. Too late.
At this point all , all advisers want to do is “get someone on the hook”.
Here are the choices at this point really:
1 Fix the prospecting problem for good
2. Just get a short term result
3. Do both, fix it now and fix it for good.
If you want no more prospecting problems for the rest of your career then there is no quick fix, but there are a series of actions you can take:
1. Build centers of influence, and invest time and effort in building superb relationships with them.
2. Create a strong personal brand position and create word-of-mouth marketing strategies
3. Build a system of engagement with all prospects. They will take time to bring on as clients, and you get better clients if you let them come on at their pace. You have to engage them until the time is right for them to become clients.
4. Promotion and Marketing of you and your brand should be a daily event. It is critical to your professional credibility and position as an expert to have top of mind awareness in your target market.
5. Love the clients you do have already. In terms of future prospecting and future business opportunities one cannot stress this strongly enough. Do not treat your clients like your parents wallet when you were a teenager….you cannot keep going to them and asking, asking, asking…you have to give to get.
Now…the more challenging area is fixing a problem right now. When there are no prospects of consequence in the system currently and there is a need to generate some new business quickly then it is a different set of tactics.
The problem of course is not actually a lack of prospects. They are everywhere. The problem is that the adviser doesn’t have something that is interesting or beneficial enough for the prospects to pause and pay attention to.
We an assume at this point that there is no clear, strong and compelling value proposition being offered. The odds are high that if the adviser did have one, then there would be a steady stream of interested prospects. The real problem therefore is: The adviser is not drawing attention to solutions worth fixing or spending time or money upon.
So for an immediate fix for short term prospecting in the absence of a strong value proposition the adviser has little choice but to focus upon those areas guaranteed to immediately get attention and deliver what is perceived to be of immediate value. For example:
These things can actually address a short term prospecting problem. Immediate and quantifiable value from somthing other than the actual advice component will work. This simultaneously gets attention, creates interest, and perhaps triggers a desire on the part of a prospect to engage with the adviser, or rather with “the offer”. The common denominator of effective short term tactics is that they focus upon creating a short term incentive or benefit. It is that incentive or immediate benefit which engages a prospect, not your expertise or ongoing service solution generally speaking.
Finding people is not difficult – we are surrounded by them in our communities, in phone books, online and through social networks. Finding prospects is never really an issue. Attracting their attention and interest is.
The solution in the short term (to gain immediate results) one has to grab attention quickly and also provide sufficient incentive for people to act quickly.
That will get short term results and short term momentum, but it won’t build a business of any worth or personal satisfaction in reality.