Life is gradually getting back to normal after the pandemic. It may be three steps forward, one step back, but we can see light at the end of the tunnel. It’s time to start thinking about growing your practice again. You would love it if your HNW clients to replicate themselves.
Your clients love you. You provide great service. You might occasionally ask for referrals. Nothing happens? If the first three points are true, why aren’t they sending people?
The simple answer might be there’s no sense of urgency. They think if a Greyhound bus filled with HNW individuals pulled up outside your office, you could line them up and take them on, one after another. You have unlimited capacity. As a result, if your good client sent a good friend in a week, a month or a year, it doesn’t matter. You are always open for business.
I met a financial planner in Pennsylvania who told me about a great strategy to create a sense of urgency.
Step One: Start by thinking about a really good client. Think about assets, referral potential and other factors. They might even own a business.
Step Two: Ask yourself “How many clients like that could I add to my practice?” Just so you don’t say “Hundreds!” Continue the thinking by adding three qualifiers:
- Everyone gets the same level of service. No current clients are negatively impacted.
- These are in addition to your current clients. No one is reassigned.
- You don’t get any extra sales support. Not even an intern!
How many could you take on before your service model was really strained? In my experience, successful, experienced advisors often arrive at a number less than ten. Build this into your business plan.
Step Three: Talk with your best clients, one at a time. Let them know “I’ve built a business plan for the balance of 2020. I’ve determined that I will be able to add (seven) new relationships similar to yours, to my practice. Before I add them in the traditional way, is there anyone you would like to recommend to be ONE of those SEVEN new relationships?” Stop talking.
Step Four. A few things go through your client’s mind:
- Service. Aha! The reason he can give me great service is he isn’t taking on little clients all the time!
- I want more. You announced (seven) slots. You “offered” them one. Psychologically, they think: “Why can’t I have two?”
- Immediacy. They think the world of you. They assume the slots will go quickly. if they talk with a friend, they may convey a sense of urgency.
Step Five: Names will hopefully come in. People reach out. You are ethical. You can’t claim you have (two) slots and fill (ten). If word gets around, you are a liar. You deceived people.
Step Six: Things can change. Suppose those (seven) referrals came your way. They became clients. More are still coming. You can go back to those clients and explain something has changed. You added more sales support. A couple of clients moved out of the country. You have (two) additional spaces... This can help keep you honest.
The concept the Pennsylvania financial planner was telling about is “Creating a sense of urgency.” There’s an opportunity, but you need to act fast.