4 reasons you need to keep prospecting your existing clientsArticle added by Larry Klein on August 4, 2014
Larry Klein

Larry Klein

Walnut Creek, CA

Joined: May 08, 2014

It would seem like prospecting is finished once the prospect becomes your client; however, a different kind of prospecting is required with your client if you want to get the most of the relationship.

Your client is busy. He has a lot of things on his mind — many distractions, problems to solve, worries, trials and tribulations. Among all of that, his finances are only one small aspect of his life. It's easy to forget that for most people, finances may not be one of their top priorities. Meanwhile, handling finances is your entire professional endeavor and focus. You see financial management as central to people's lives, but many non-financial-professionals see it as merely tangential. Therefore, since many people have little focus on finances, do not assume you will do future business with someone merely because they've done business with you before.

You may have a misconception that because someone has done business with you in the past (your client), he will call you when he has funds available or a need present that requires your expertise, advice and or products. There are four roots to this misconception:

First, you assume that your client knows and understand your expertise, the advice you can give and all of the various products and services you deliver. He does not. You can easily remedy this with constant communication and education, such as a newsletter. As you educate your client about different aspects of his financial life, he learns to count on you for your expertise, advice, products and services. Without such communication, he may not know you handle life settlements, secondary market annuities, or other more obscure products and services that differ from your previous business with him. He may think of you as the "term insurance guy."

Secondly, you may believe that your client is proactive. He sells a piece of real estate and now has $200,000 sitting in the bank, so you assume he'll call you for some investment advice. Bad assumption. Again, his finances aren't necessarily central among his worries and concerns. He may simply forget to call you if investing isn't presently one of his top three priorities. Worse, while these funds are liquid, he is approached by your competitor (e.g., the investment or insurance rep at his local bank branch) and pitched a good idea, which he buys. How did this happen? How could your client have done business with your competitor? Because you assumed something that just isn't true. Don't rely on your client to be proactive — you are the one who needs to be proactive. Again, continuous contact helps solve this problem.
Third, your client doesn't even know he needs your help. For example, let's assume your client has a new child. It occurs to him that he needs to start a college savings fund, so he decides to open an account directly with the 529 sponsor in his state. However, it doesn't occur to him, that he needs to increase his life insurance coverage. He doesn't call you because he doesn't know he has a need. But if you keep on top of changes in his life, you will know his circumstances and put yourself in a better position to be of value and be proactive. I strongly recommend you send an annual questionnaire that keeps you updated on changes in your client's life.

Last, you think you have some ownership over this buyer. You call him your client. While you may may assume you have his businesses locked up (because he trusted you once), he may feel zero affiliation with you. He may treat the business you've done as a transaction, not a relationship. So, before you call a buyer "your client," be clear about the difference between a customer and a client.

In summary, the prospecting game does not end when someone becomes your client.
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