Prospect or Perish?

It may not be quite that dire but if you’re an advisor who can’t be bothered prospecting, who feels that you just don’t have the time, if you rely solely on referrals or word of mouth to get new clients – think again because it may not be long before your book and practice lose value.

Of course it is human nature to avoid that which we find unpleasant and prospecting is hard work. There are no short cuts. There is no immediate gratification or assurances of getting anything. That’s a pretty hard pill to swallow for advisors who make a living getting results.

It is amazing how many advisors ask us, “If I undertake this prospecting for women initiative, how many accounts will I open that night?” It is very difficult for many to grasp the reality that the answer is probably “none” – at least that night. They grapple with the fact that prospective clients usually only decide to engage after seven follow up contacts and with women it may even take longer. Yet advisors think they have been making a herculean effort if they reach out to a prospect three times (the average) before they give up!

So advisors stick their head in the sand – many have either lost the knack of prospecting or never put in the time to begin with. But as they say: no pain, no gain. So too with prospecting, especially in today’s world where clients are more discerning of the level of service they expect from their financial advisor and the “crisis” they need to actually engage with an advisor or change a current relationship.

Time to face the reality that prospecting takes work and tenacity — opening the account the first, second or even third time you connect with someone is unrealistic – but the effort is worth it – advisors who make the time and put in a concerted systematic effort to prospect daily – have the biggest books and understand that growing their book is their job just as much as managing money.

As a first step here are 4 things you should understand about prospecting:

  1. It’s about them – not you – put your ego in your pocket. Trying to attract people by talking about what a great job you do and how you invest is an egotistical effort.
  2. Take the time to build relationships with people you want as clients and be patient – even if you don’t see immediate results.
  3. Be aware that prospecting is about connecting with clients at a level that has nothing to do with money. That’s especially true for women.
  4. Understand that most people’s lives aren’t consumed with investing. Their lives involve things they find interesting – money is a facilitator, not a goal onto itself. So listen to them, learn what their interests are and engage them on their terms. For men, that could be golf, but it could also be technology or hockey or refinishing furniture. For women, it could be about career, giving back, fashion, kids, environmental issues, health, house & home, etc.

The bottom line, if you are going to put in the time and effort – focusing your efforts on female clients is likely to be the most rewarding – they control more assets than ever and are under-serviced.

While there is no doubt that prospecting is important, retaining female clients in transition should be your number one priority. It is a fact that 80% of women in transition (divorce/death of spouse) leave their financial advisor. Don’t let it happen to you! Retaining Female Clients is a unique CE Credit eligible course designed to ensure that you keep and grow your practice in 2017! Sign up before March 15, 2017 and pay only $799 CAD.


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