The general public has many choices when it comes to investing. Some realize it’s complicated. Those people likely seek advice. Here are ten reasons they would approach you before you even prospected them. Ask yourself: “Do I have this area covered?”
1. A friend of theirs is your client. Referrals are the best and most obvious path to new accounts. Your client constantly says good things about you. They smile when they talk about their investments. The friend asks: “Who is this advisor?”
Question: Do your clients talk about you?
2. Their accountant told them about you. They filed their taxes. Their accountant saw a need. They suggested a few advisors to interview.
Question: Do you have referral relationships with some accountants?
3. You are known for your niche. Certain realtors are known for specializing in specific neighborhoods or types of houses. When you want to buy or sell, that’s who you use.
Question: Do you have a niche? Do your clients within that niche know it’s your specialty?
4. They know you through a community organization. You share the same values or interests.
Question: People often do business with people they like. Do the people in the chamber, the historical society or the parent’s association at school know: Why you are, What you do and Why you are good?
5. You have won an award. OK, maybe you aren’t a Barrons top 1,200 advisor. Your local newspaper and area magazines likely run “People’s Choice” awards for best in category.
Question: Who runs these competitions? How do I get into consideration? You might start by talking with local public relations firm.
6. Your firm is the draw. It’s a famous firm. Rolls Royce and Chateau Lafite Rothschild don’t need to spend much on advertising. Clients seek them out.
Question: Has my parent firm won awards? Does it have local visibility? Do people feel they are taking a “step up” when they work with us?
7. They heard to speak. You presented a class on personal finance at the community school. You spoke at their homeowner’s association meeting.
Question: If you are a featured speaker, people often assume you must be good. (Otherwise you wouldn’t be allowed to speak.)
8. You have a robust social media presence. You are considered a thought leader. When people read your posts they learn something new. They get fresh insight. They comment and ask questions.
Question: Do I have a credible social media strategy? Do I respond to Likes and Comments?
9. They see your name everywhere. You’ve seen those lawyer ads on TV. OK, that’s not you. Your face is on bus shelter ads. Sidewalk benches too. Ads on supermarket shopping carts. When people have a need, your name is the first that comes to mind.
Question: What’s my strategy to raise my visibility in the local community?
10. You are the low cost provider. This is the last reason you want influencing the choice, but it works for chains like Wal-Mart. In your business you might feel low price gets them, in and the relationship is built on other business they do. Car dealers might not make a lot on selling a new car, but they do well on service.
Question: If this is my strategy, why will it work?
I’ve often felt sales is when you reach out and initiate the relationship while marketing is the strategy that brings the prospect to you. What are you doing to make that happen?