Written by: Matthew Jarvis
Every advisor is looking for magic beans to create new leads and clients overnight. Too many planners twiddle their thumbs, waiting for clients to spontaneously generate in their conference room, or waste thousands of hours each year on poorly executed prospecting attempts.
As much as it pains me, no enchanted lentils, magic bullets, or shortcuts will entice prospects to walk through your office doors.
If you’re so hard up for clients that you needed them yesterday—magic beans won’t help you, but a streamlined prospect process can do wonders. However, most advisors focus on that first sit-down meeting and completely overlook how the prospect found your office.
Your relationships begin with your website
Before your clients ever contact you, they will visit your website. Rockstar advisors understand that prospect communication begins with website content and social media outreach—where everything you post points to your ideal clients and niche expertise.
In other words, you need to be explicitly clear about who you serve and why to attract the prospects you want to help and turn away those that wouldn’t be a good fit.
You also need clearly show how your prospects can reach you.
Whether you invite clients to pick up the phone and call or submit a form directly from your website is up to you. No matter which route you choose, you need to unambiguously state what will happen after your prospect dials your number or hits the “send” button and follow up on their inquiry.
Play hard to get
If a golden client were to visit your website today and request an appointment with you, what would they find?
If a calendar pops up with every available spot open every day, that will set off some major red flags.
You see, the people who are wealthy enough to work with you are busy. Having wide-open availability will trigger alarm bells that you’re not busy—as in you don’t have clients.
For your golden prospects, a wide-open booking calendar is like walking into an empty restaurant during what should be the dinner rush. Something must obviously be wrong with the establishment if locals choose not to eat here. We can’t be sending that message in our practices, so tighten up your availability and time block your appointments.
Light the way
Your prospect has booked an appointment with you through your website. Do you have a plan for what comes next?
Your prospects are entirely in the dark regarding financial planning, and they’re going to be a bit on edge—-they’re going to trust you with their entire life savings, which can be scary.
Advisors lose prospects when they’re lost in the dark, too, and not sure how they will lead the prospect through to the other side of the meeting—which is why having a process to follow helps everyone.
Do you have a follow-up call after the initial screening? Quickly explain when the call will happen and how it will go. Describe precisely what the client should expect over the next steps in your process.
Remind the prospect of expectations at every step of your process. And then begin each meeting by reminding them again of what to expect.
Your explanation doesn’t need to be complicated; it can be as simple as:
Hey, I just want to explain how this meeting will go…
As you share what will happen next, make sure you touch on the elephant in the room so it doesn’t grow to suffocate them: let them know what the big pitch will be and when it will come.
For me, that hard pitch doesn’t come until after our first meeting, where I spend an entire hour delivering as much value as possible before the client decides to continue with the relationship.
There are several points before that first meeting where I can promise I’ll take action and follow through so that by the time they sit down across from me, I’ve demonstrated my integrity several times.
So when the time finally comes to make the big pitch, I’ve already established a tradition of reliability and established trust, which will make the prospect’s decision to trust me with their life savings so much easier.
- When it comes to prospecting, are you still making it up as you go? If you need help crafting your process, we have many videos, templates, webinars, and prospecting videos in the BackStage Pass. If you’re not a member yet, what are you waiting for?
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information about our memberships.
- When was the last time you looked at your website? If it’s been a while since you last reviewed your prospect communications, make it a priority to clarify expectations before your prospect ever reaches your parking lot.