by Tony Vidler
It may seem a little strange to talk about Prospecting 101, but recently I have worked with some younger/newer financial advisers and was amazed to find that nobody has ever actually taught them some business basics.
Many of the newer advisers coming into the business are very bright – far more so than some of us older folk have ever been. They are technically far more competent early in their careers than I ever was. As far as the basics are concerned for being able to learn quickly and to perform their jobs well, they are generally very capable indeed.
But it seems many of them are not learning how to build a business.
If one runs a business, presumably with the objective of generating a profit, then inevitably someone somewhere has to be selling something. It is in this pure sales context – not many of the other more challenging aspects of being a professional adviser – that I detected a lack of knowledge.
The words “prospect” or “prospecting” actually tend to refer to quite a few different parts of the client acquisition process, and this in part leads to the lack of understanding in how to do it well.
When we talk about prospecting in this business it could refer to any number of areas of the formative stages of a client engagement.
It may be that it refers to:
It is perhaps not surprising that some newer advisers with little “sales” training don’t quite get some of the basics of prospecting then.
The primary elelement that many do not understand is this: Nobody is a prospect until you have qualified them. Until then, they are merely a Suspect.
Your marketing efforts create opportunities, or Suspected potential clients. In order to be sure that you have a prospective client though you need to be able to qualify them. That helps you determine whether they are indeed somebody suitable for your business, and your area of expertise can address their primary needs, and that you are dealing with potential clients who are a good fit for your business. For example:
This is a very basic list to begin with, but it enables you to determine whether you are dealing with a genuine prospect that is potentially a good fit for you and your business or whether you are just pitching your services blindly in hope.
Once you know whether you have a Prospect it is worth investing your time and limited resources in engaging with them personally.
Image courtesy of: http://tonyvidler.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/template-mind-map-prospecting-for-sales.jpg
© 2013 Tony Vidler. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this web site not otherwise subject to copyright of other parties are subject to the ownership rights of Tony Vidler. Tony Vidler authorises you to make a single copy of the content herein for your own personal, non-commercial, use while visiting the site. You agree that any copy made must include the Tony Vidler copyright notice in full. No other permission is granted to you to print, copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, upload, download, store, display in public, alter, or modify the content contained on this web site.0