This past year I did a lot of coaching on the importance of using warmer prospecting methods to offset the decreasing effectiveness of public seminars. While a well-planned, well-executed seminar
can still yield good results, few would argue that seminars have lost a lot of their power in the past 10 years for at least two reasons: cost and competition.
In my experience, the reason a lot of financial advisors are reluctant to move away from seminars as their primary prospecting method, despite diminishing returns, is simply habit. They’ve gotten the whole process down to a science, and find it hard to move into new approaches that aren’t familiar and may require more effort.
And the truth is, warmer prospecting strategies typically do take more thought and planning. But – like anything else – they get easier with practice, and the results are usually more than worthwhile.
For anyone having trouble mustering up the motivation to broaden their horizons beyond seminars, I always recommend starting in the same place: with a client survey. The more you know about your clients
, their contacts and their communities, the better positioned you are to employ strategies that get you good referrals, increase your visibility, put you in influential positions and, ultimately, attract new business
Here are just three incredibly useful pieces of information about your clients you can glean from a client survey and put to use in a variety of warm prospecting approaches:
1. Their hobbies and pastimes
Whether it’s golf, fishing, baseball, etc., you can use this information to orchestrate highly effective referral events that are essentially mini-seminars where the only attendees are qualified prospects and advocates on your behalf.
2. Their clubs and associations
There are over one million organizations throughout America always looking for guest speakers for member events. Many would welcome the expertise of an experienced financial professional — an ideal role for attracting strong leads.
3. Other financial professionals they work with
While there may or may not be good referral opportunities
available through your clients’ attorneys, accountants, property and casualty agents, etc., you’ll certainly never know without first identifying them.
Again, those are just three examples.
Having this kind of information in your marketing arsenal is essential to developing strategic, targeted prospecting approaches that are much warmer and cost effective than today’s seminars. What’s more, the information you uncover in a client survey can be tremendously motivating, and suggest brand new prospecting methods you might never have thought of otherwise.