Top Prospecting Strategies for Financial Advisors(2024)
The Importance of Prospecting for Financial Advisors
Are you tired of traditional prospecting tactics that don't work? As a financial advisor, client acquisition can be slow and challenging. But don't worry, in this post, I've got you covered with 16 out-of-the-box techniques that are proven to attract more of the RIGHT clients to your financial practice. And the best part? They're all FREE. So let's dive in and revolutionize your prospecting game!
It doesn't matter how good you are at your job, or how much experience you have. If you're not prospecting, then clients aren't coming to you—and that means they're going somewhere else.
The good news is that there are a wealth of creative perspective techniques available and this guide is an excellent reflection of that notion.
It's time to stop playing your business like a game of whack-a-mole.
Let me get right to the point. There's something you should know! As a trusted advisor to my clients, I've discovered 16 out-of-the-box ways you can attract more of the RIGHT clients, strategically and effectively, so that more clients come to YOU instead of someone else.
Let's do this!
But first off…
I've got a secret to share with you. One that will make you feel less overwhelmed when it comes to prospecting. Hint: It addresses all the challenges of the entire sales cycle so you can get more positive results from your prospecting efforts.
Take This One Simple Step Before You Begin Prospecting And Watch Your Business Grow
Agreed: you're making a smart decision trying to start prospecting!
But before you can get started on that journey, there's one thing that you need to do:
Ensure you have a time-tested closing system in place.
Because without one, then it doesn't matter how many leads you have in your pipeline or how many people are interested in what you're selling— they won't convert into clients. And if your lead doesn't become a client, it's a waste of time (and opportunity.)
If that doesn't sound like something you want to happen, then I invite you to learn more about The Taylor System today: I want to help you learn how to close sales like a pro so that your prospecting efforts don't go to waste!
16 Tips To Increase Client Acquisition As A Financial Advisor
Develop An "Uncomfortable" Mindset; Otherwise You Will Not Succeed
Have you ever met someone and thought, "I could never be like that"?
Maybe it's a millionaire. Maybe it's a celebrity. Maybe it's someone who has accomplished something that you think is out of reach.
Well, I'm here to tell you: You can be like that person. All it takes is some courage and a little bit of self-reflection.
You see, I think it's our human nature to say things like "Well, I can't go talk to that millionaire, or I can't go in that place, or I can't talk to this business owner because I don't make that money." If I can't afford $10,000 a month in premium payments, how can I ask someone else to do it? If you try and say "Well, I don't feel comfortable getting out there until I know everything," then you will not succeed in the business world.
So instead of trying to learn everything all at once—or even figuring out what the hell is going on— just go out there and "do."
For an advisor, be constantly networking (which means meeting new people), constantly getting referrals (which means asking for help when I need it), and constantly trying not just to be comfortable.
It's about putting yourself out there and doing things you don't know how to do. And that's how people build their stories!
Ask! A Closed Mouth Doesn't Get Fed
Have you ever had that moment when you're interacting with a client or prospect, and you're thinking to yourself, "Geez, I don't know if they're ready for this!"?
Well, don't guess! Simply ask them!
You'll be surprised by how much easier it is to get what you want when they're not being pressured.
It's easy. Simply ask them if they're ready. If they say "yes," then great! If they say "no," then that's okay too. Just be sure to ask them why—and more importantly—how they can get ready.
If they say no because they're not sure what your product/service is, then ask them if they'd like an explanation of what it is so that they can decide whether or not it's right for them. You'll know you did well when their answer changes from "no" to "maybe."
The same should apply when you want a referral. Instead of assuming that they're not ready to refer you to their friends and family members, simply ask them if they'd be willing to refer your services.
Prospecting up is a simple yet underutilized tactic that can help you get in front of high-net-worth individuals.
Here's the thing:
If you ask someone for a referral, their instinct is to refer someone of a comparable socio-economic level.
For example: If they make 10 grand a year, the first person who's going to pop in their head is going to be a buddy who makes 10 grand a year.
Instead when "prospecting up" you're asking them to think about people who are making more than them. And by doing this, you're making the most ROI of your prospecting effort.
Here's how it works:
Ask specific questions like:
- “Who do you look up to for their financial accomplishments?”
- “What's your boss’s name?”
- “Who owns this building you live in?”
- “Who owns this company?”
When they answer then you can ask for the referral - trust me, these are the set of clients that can quickly make you rich for the same level of effort chasing every “referral.” In other words, when you prospect, you get “quality” over “quantity.”
Add Value And Solve Problems Rather Than Sell Products
When a new prospect walks into your office for the first time, what do you say? Do you ask them about themselves or do you immediately try to sell them something? If it’s the latter, then you better prepare yourself for this question: “Why should I trust you?”
Your prospects must trust you. And the only way to earn their trust is through adding value and solving problems rather than selling products and services.
Compare two scenarios when you meet with a prospect:
Scenario 1: “Hey, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Tell me about your business. Tell me about your family."
Or "Tell me about your life. How can I help you?”
Scenario 2: “Hey, let me talk to you about buying insurance.
Or, “Let me talk to you about rolling over your money.”
If you were in the shoes of the prospect, who would you trust more: someone who quickly wants to sell their offers or someone who wants to get to know you first and offer assistance?
There, you have your answer - It's not rocket science but it needs saying again and again: People buy from people they trust.
Use These Two Phrases To Handle Objection In The Initial Phase
Chances are if you offer value and help your prospects solve problems, they might not come up with any objections. But let's face it, there will always be some who will when you try to book an appointment.
They'll tell you "I'm all set." Or "I have another person doing all of my planning for me"
Do you know what?
In most cases, when you dig deeper it's a smokescreen!
Come to think of it: how many average people are "all set"? Even amongst us advisors.
The answer is no one.
We all have something we want to improve about ourselves or our lives. And that's where you come in. You can help people achieve their goals by providing solutions to their problems – that's what financial planning is all about!
So, when faced with objections like this one while trying to book an appointment, you need to be prepared.
Try using these two phrases:
- “I will never undo any good work that you’ve done.”
- “I simply want to give you the information to make educated decisions.”
When someone says they're happy with their current situation, there's often a reason why and it's usually because they've taken active steps to improve their situation. For example, they might be saving money in a 401(k) or IRA (or both), building up some cash savings, or could be renting out an extra room in their house on Airbnb.
If you use these two phrases, you'll put your prospect at ease and show them that you're not interested in trying to undo anything good that they've done for themselves. It also shows them that you don't want to waste their time by creating unnecessary stress — which permits them to say "no" without feeling guilty about it later.
Now, let's get into the details of how you can use these phrases to handle objections:
"I will never undo any good work that you’ve done."
What a great way to handle objections! This phrase is a great way to reassure your client that they don’t need to worry about you taking anything away from them or creating unnecessary work and planning. You are not trying to replace what they have already done, but rather help improve their existing situation.
For example, I say to prospects:
“If there are ten things you need to do to be financially secure, and you’ve effectively done seven of them, I won’t change those seven things, moreover I’m going to affirm those seven things. However, I am going to highlight the other three areas of vulnerability, and more importantly, I will give you a means, and a mechanism to solve those problems.”
And it works like magic - almost every time!
"I simply want to give you the information to make educated decisions."
It shows your client that you are not trying to sell anything directly, but simply giving them information so they can make an informed decision on their own.
In my years of experience, people hardly refuse help. Anyone who says “NO, I don't want the information to make educated decisions," is not the kind of prospect you want to waste your time and energy pursuing in the first place.
Schedule Appointment With Decision Makers
Make it a point to understand the decision-making process of your prospects, especially when dealing with married people.
For instance, if you get a referral to the husband, rather than scheduling an appointment right away ask: “In your household, do you make the purchase decisions alone or typically do you and your wife make the decisions jointly?”
If the answer is the latter, then it is important to see them together.
The thing is, if you meet with one of the parties involved and succeed in convincing them, they'll still have to go relay it to the other spouse.
And that's where things become tricky.
Because they won't be able to do a good job presenting your solutions. They simply don’t know your products as well as you do. And they also may lack your persuasive skills in presenting your value proposition. Worse, they may mix things up. Whatever the case, you don’t have control over turning them into clients.
So you want to avoid that.
By sitting with both of them, you can control the narrative and increase your chances of closing the deal. This would also save you from wasting your time and prospecting efforts on just one party:
Now don’t get me wrong - there are situations where it is near impossible to get a couple in the same room. And sometimes, you might need to meet with one person or another first before getting them together.
Bottomline: Always do your best to discover who calls the shots and meet with them yourself - don’t put your fate in another person’s hand.
When You Attend Networking Functions Keep Your Business Cards In Your Car
I know you're probably thinking, "What?! You're telling me not to hand out my business card?"
Well, yes. That's exactly what I'm saying.
It’s about remaining in control of the sales process. What I like to do instead is pull out my phone and get the other person’s number, and text them my information. The likelihood of connecting with this person after the networking event will increase tenfold when you remain in control of the outcome.
Bonus Networking Tip - Forget About Yourself
Now, hear me out before you tune me out completely. You see, networking is called "networking" for a reason—and the point of it isn't just to get your name out there or make connections with people who can help your business; it's about being genuinely interested in other people and their affairs so that you can find ways to help them or their businesses grow. Try to find ways to help them or their business. Strike heartfelt conversations. Offer to refer to their services etc. Hope you catch my drift.
Remember, “givers, get.” The point is: the more selfless you are, it’ll come back to you and the more prospects you will eventually get.
I give so many referrals to one of my centers of influence (COI), an estate planning attorney, that I’ve asked her to put my name on the building. ?
Turn Prospects Who Have Had a Bad Experience With Another Financial Advisor Into Believers
This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prospect new clients, but it's also one of the most overlooked. You can turn prospects who have had a bad experience with another advisor into believers by simply asking them about their previous experience.
Prospects are more than willing to tell you what they didn't like about their last experience, so why not ask them? When you do, don't be surprised if they tell you that they were treated poorly by their last advisor or that they felt like they were being taken advantage of, or that their questions weren't answered.
All of these complaints are great news for you! They will allow you to show off your knowledge, skills, and abilities - all while making yourself look good in comparison to other advisors who might have treated them poorly in the past.
Some ways to do this include:
- Make it clear how different you are from that other advisor — and how you can help them avoid the problems they had with others in the past.
- Explain how you’re going to handle situations differently than the other advisor did so that they won’t have to worry about those same issues again.
- Show them that you are trustworthy, ethical, and professional in all of your business dealings and communications with them (including email, phone calls, etc.). Showing that you care about their best interests will go a long way toward building trust!
I like using analogies and here is one of my favorite ones I use to handle objections from clients in this category:
If you have a bad experience in a restaurant, does that mean you would deny yourself from ever eating at another restaurant? Of course not! But you probably won’t go back to that restaurant again! Show them that they still need to protect their loved ones, save for retirement, and build wealth. So, why should they hamper their future by staying with the same firm that failed them in the past or avoiding better advisors altogether?
Ask For Referrals At The Onset To Maintain Consistent Warm Leads
Here's what I want you to know: every time you get a new client, you just lost your best prospect, so you need to replace them.
Here's what I do:
Whenever I book let's say 20 meetings a week (which is absolutely practical when you follow my system) and get to see 15-17 people because some will reschedule or cancel. Before we get started I tell them: 'Mr. prospect you may be wondering how I get paid for this service. I am going to be upfront with you. The answer is simple, I earn either through commissions for the products and services I sell, or most importantly, through referrals. So, if you find value in the information I provide that you refer me to your friends, family, and business associates that you think will also gain value in my work just like Tom referred me to you"
That's it - right from the jump I set the scene. And that’s the strategy I use to maintain a consistent stream of warm leads.
Use Personal Observation To Give Your Prospecting An Edge
Building relationships with people doesn't end when you clock out of the office or change out of your suit. In fact, it's just beginning.
You can do this by observing your prospects' habits and preferences, and then finding ways to get involved in their lives.
For instance, I once closed a quarter-million-dollar deal with a client I met when I took my daughters to the park on a Saturday morning. Simply by making certain observations like what they are wearing, or how old their kids are - are they the same age as my kids, do they likely attend the same private schools, are they from this neighborhood, what car they drove, etc. etc.
Remember, our job is actually in relationship building. It’s only when someone knows, likes, and trusts you that they will buy.
You can maintain a connection with prospects by observing them in their natural habitat — at the gym, at their kid's soccer game, etc.
Don’t Ignore Your Online Presence
Often financial advisors ignore the importance of establishing an online presence. They worry about the time and effort that it takes to create a website, blog, and social media accounts. But with so many resources available for creating a professional website, starting a blog and building your social media presence doesn’t have to be hard or cost a lot of money.
One of the best ways to reach your target market is through LinkedIn. It provides you with an opportunity to engage with potential clients and showcase your expertise.
It’s important to have a professional website that showcases your business’s value proposition, but it’s also important to have a personal brand presence on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. These channels allow for more dialogue between you and potential clients, which is key for building trust before asking them to do business with you.
Get Your Clients To Have Fun By Planning Events For Them
Planning events for your clients can be a great way to keep them engaged and interested in what you have to say. You can plan events like golf outings, or even a casino night. These types of events are great because they are entertaining, but they also allow you to interact with your clients on a personal level and strengthen those relationships.
Don’t Be Afraid To Hear “No”
One thing I've discovered interacting with struggling financial advisors is how much fear they have of hearing “no”. They have been beaten down by rejection so much that they have become scared of reaching out to prospects. They find reasons not to make the call or send the email and hope for the best.
Here's the thing: You don't get paid until you sell something. And you can't sell something if you never ask for it. So if you get one rejection, just try again. A simple rule is that if someone isn't interested in buying from us today, they may be interested tomorrow or next month, or next year. Advisors need to understand that there isn't just one client out there who is going to make them millions of dollars — there are dozens of potential clients who could benefit from their services and expertise at some point in time.
Strategically Partner With Others Who Can Help You Achieve Your Goals
I do this a lot! You should too. Think of the people who provide a complimentary service. For example, this person could be a CPA or a real estate agent, or an attorney. You can set up a partnership where you find prospects for them, and in return, they will find prospects for you.
Sign Up To The Taylor Method
The majority of advisors are grasping in the dark. Trying to get the ‘big win' with the next big hot stock tip. The problem most times is that you may not be sure how to handle each situation.
The result? Most financial advisors are doing things the wrong way. That means a lot of wasted money, time, and effort for everyone involved.
Because traditional education is not up to scratch. And those who try to learn how to up their game get their information from media outlets, bloggers, and armchair experts. And due to an ever-increasing amount of available information, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction.
Unless you've tried the Taylor Method, you have no idea how much better you can do.
The purpose-built training exclusively for financial advisors gives you step-by-step instructions on how to turn everyday conversations into opportunities to help people make progress with their wealth.
Wouldn't it be awesome if you had an on-tap source that could teach you to attract more prospects, engage more clients and close more deals?