Is This a Good Time for Financial Advisors to Prospect?

Prospecting is difficult at the best of times but during these unprecedented times, advisors are more conflicted than ever.

Many of you are paralysed by your own stresses working from home, possibly sharing the house with a spouse and kids. Then there are those of you who simply can’t face the thought of reaching out to prospective clients when the economy is tanking, and there are those who don’t even know how to find normalcy in this new virtual world. 

So, what do you do – is this a good time to prospect? Actually, in many ways, it is the best of times to prospect – as long as you do it right.

Years ago, we had the pleasure of listening to the top 10 sales people at Merrill Lynch in the U.S. speak about prospecting. The majority talked about prospecting as simply “meeting new people every day”, not trying to “sell” people. 

When we started we remembered the lessons from these advisors. Our goal was simply to meet new people, get to know them a little, listen a whole lot and find some common ground. When we took this approach, we always found ways to link what we do to what people needed – many became clients. 

How does that translate to prospecting during Covid-19? In point of fact, it connects really well because there has never been a better time for people to feel heard, to need a vision and a plan for their life savings. Those of you who are pro-active in getting out there and offering to listen and work with people on what’s important to them are reaping the rewards. 

The operative word here is “listen”. We’ve heard from many financial advisors during this crisis who have gotten more new clients than ever before because they have reached out – connected with people and then just listened to their fears/concerns. 

Self-isolation and work-from-home (WFH) is making this a particularly good time to prospect because in a manner of speaking, you have a “captive” audience looking for advice. Many people are focused on their physical and financial well-being and with less distractions, they are at a pivotal point in their lives and eager to protect their future.  

Two things to note:

  • People can’t choose to talk to you if you’re not visible – so get out there and let them see and hear you (virtually, of course, for now – blog, created webinars, offer your time and expertise). But don’t try to sell anything.
  • And worth repeating, your best approach to anyone who reaches out is to listen, listen and listen some more – don’t try to “close” the account. Just try to be helpful. 

The measure of a successful prospecting initiative isn’t about how many accounts you open – it’s about how many new people you meet, virtually or otherwise, because each one is a potential client, a point of referral to another client or a good person to know. Their experience with you determines how they assist you in growing your business.

For more about how to prospect effectively, visit our website or buy our book INVEST(in)HER The Smart Financial Advisor’s Guide to Winning Female Clients in 6 Easy Steps now available on Amazon.

Related: Want to Achieve Greater Diversity? Start With Women