Building your business requires new clients – we all know that. But, how do you find those clients? One of the largest challenges any advisor faces, whether new or experienced, is building and maintaining a prospect list. The standard suggestions on how to do this aren’t bad—many, if not most, advisors succeed using standard practices—but I have found a few tweaks that make the standard suggestions more efficient.
When creating a prospect list with the hope of procuring new clientele, many suggest casting a wide net. Some of the standard approaches to this might include sending scattershot postcards and/or emails to everyone within certain zip codes. Placing ads in upscale publications or through Google. The thought being, if you get your name in front of enough people, you’re sure to get someone to talk to you. That might work for some; however, I’d suggest casting a very narrow yet deep net for more quality leads. I attract more qualified prospects when I focus on specific market segments, geographies, or demographics. Consider the following as you determine the net you decide to cast:
- Understand the Market — There are an almost infinite number of investment specialties— family office, corporate benefits, alternative investments, pension funds, insurance, fixed income, estate planning, wealth management, etc. Some of these specialties have more opportunities than others. Finding these opportunities is the key to success. Talk to other successful advisors and other professionals who deal with wealthy individuals. Dig to find out what these individuals wish their advisors offered.
- Determine the Types of Clients You Want to Attract — Come to understand who you want to serve. Some advisors are interested in young professionals. Others focus on entrepreneurs, inherited wealth, family offices, or retirees. Instead of a client type, some advisors look at specific industries. Maybe they want to be part of a sports management team and handle the finances of athletes. Or maybe they want to focus on the investment needs of entertainers or scientists or corporate executives. Your due diligence on the industry should lead you to define the type of clients you want to work with and what problems you can solve for them. That will form the foundation of your business.
- Develop a Game Plan — Once an advisor has focused on a specific industry niche and client demographic, the next task is to develop a focused, professional strategy or game plan to effectively connect with prospects.
- Be Patient — Growing a business doesn’t happen overnight. It almost always takes longer than anyone thinks. In most cases, it will take at least three to five years. But don’t give up. If you are doing it right and you show consistency, you’ll reach your goal in the end.
- Have a Plan B — No one should develop one game plan and assume that is sufficient. You always need to have a Plan B for when things change (they will) or you run into a roadblock (you will). I had to reinvent myself more than once. And each time, I was able to come out on top because I developed a game plan in advance that allowed me to prepare and be ready for the challenges I faced.
Building your business begins with deciding who you want your business to be built with. Follow these steps and find greater success in your prospecting efforts.