Where Will My New Clients Come From in 2024?

Is the calendar an artificial barrier?  Yes.  The stock market’s closing numbers on Friday, December 29th give us the stock market’s opening numbers on Tuesday, January 2nd.  However, we close the door on 2023 and treat 2024 as a brand new situation.  In reality, it is a continuation of what the stock market was doing before.  To the market, January 2nd is just another day.  Advisors are different!  They start the new year wondering “Where will my new clients come from?

1. My current clients.  If you have done a good job for them and they made money in 2023, they should be pretty happy.  As the world settles into doing business online and getting a live person on the service line is harder and harder, your personal service stands out.  Do your current clients know you are accepting new clients?  Do not make assumptions.  Remind them from time to time.  The more specific, the better.

2. Blowing your own horn.  We might have been raised to think self-promotion is bad.  Then the Internet and social media appeared on the scene.  The role of “influencer” actually became a career!  You are an influencer too and probably more realistic and believable than some others.  When people in social situations ask: “How’s business” do you see this as an opportunity to share an anonymous story about “How you helped someone recently?”  It’s a form of drip marketing.  

3. People who underperformed in 2023.  If the S&P 500 is up almost 24% YTD (12/18/23) and the Nasdaq Composite is showing a 43% return YTD over the same period, there must be some investors who are not seeing similar results.  Perhaps they are self-directed investors, online investors and day traders.  Perhaps they simply lost interest and ignored their investments.  These people often complain.  Are you asking “Who do you know that is dissatisfied with their investment performance in 2023?

4. Clients who left me previously.  Every advisor loses clients.  Some people decide “investing is easy” and they don’t need an advisor.  Others are persuaded the grass is greener at a competitor.  Some might think you were too conservative with your recommendations.  How has 2023 turned out for those former clients?  You won’t know until you ask.  Make the call.  Let them know they are welcome to return.

5. Clients who are retiring.  This might not sound like a huge opportunity.  Clients who are retiring are well prepared, thanks to your attention.  Here is the opportunity:  Client who are retiring know other people at their firm who are retiring.  Have they embraced financial planning to the same extent as your client?  Let them know you would like to meet their colleagues who are also retiring in 2024.

6. People new to my neighborhood.  You will want to meet them anyway.  They are likely attending neighborhood association meetings and holiday parties.  Are they locals who have traded up into your development?  Are they relocated executives new to the area?  Take an interest.  It is the neighborly thing to do.

7. LinkedIn connections who are getting interested.  You know who I am referring to in this example.  You have certain connections who comment on your posts or add “likes.”  You likely have a dialog already going.  Do they invest in the stock market?  Where do they get their advice?  There are state licensing considerations.  Ask questions.  They probably already consider you a subject matter expert. 

8. Referrals from my accountant.  They know who you are and what you do.  They know the returns you have earned in your own account over the years.  They have plenty of other clients who are investors.  They know the returns they are getting.  They know if anyone is paying attention to balancing gains and losses.  They know how much they are paying in fees to get those returns.  Let your accountant know you are open to helping people they think need help in the investing arena.

9. Businesses where I am already their client.  You are often targeting strangers or social connections as prospects.  Some seem to sit on the fence forever!  Have you talked business with the people who are already selling you stuff on a regular basis?  Make a list of the services, stores and restaurants where you are a regular patron.  How much do you spend in a year at each establishment?  How many years have you been their client?  Have you approached them for their business?

10. My lawyer.  Attorneys handle estates.  They know of situations where the surviving spouse needs some financial advice.  This can include financial planning and budgeting.  Do they know how you help people?  Have that conversation.

11. My religious leader.  Like lawyers, the leader of the local congregation is approached by parish members for advice on many subjects.  Some are within their area of expertise.  Others need a professional skilled in that field.  Do they know how you help people?  How you can assist in the area of fixed income?  Let them know you can be a resource.

Sometimes we need to cast a wider net when it comes to prospecting.  For an experienced advisor, many prospects can be close to home.

Related: New Year Resolutions for Clients