Practice makes perfect: why more calls leads to more business

By Ryan Smith on September 19, 2018

A simple phone call can lead to your next client.

You might be one of those financial advisers who is great at your job but hates calling finance lead prospects. There’s no shame in that as most people who aren’t actively involved in a “selling” role find it hard to market themselves and their services on what can essentially seem to be a “cold call” basis.

However, the whole nature of the cut-and-thrust world of financial advice means that it’s very likely that you will need to develop your own skills when it comes to converting leads into clients, and like most other things in life, practice really does make you a lot better at doing it.

Be ready

As part of your own strategic and proactive marketing and sales, you need to have an “always on” approach. This allows you to capitalise on opportunities as they occur and make the most of converting prospects that have come about from your research, whether that means pension leads or any other aspect of your work.

Having an effective 30-second pitch can be an important tool for you in these situations, and, of course, it can also be a great way to make the most of a call to a prospect. Known as an “elevator pitch” in America, being able to concisely describe what you do and point out how you differ from your competitors is a skill that needs work and is a perfect example of where repeated use can improve a specific area of your marketing.

Call to action

In the world of online marketing, a big buzz phrase is the “call to action”, but, of course, it’s just another example of something that has been around for ages. Essentially, anything that says “call now”, “find out more” or something along those lines constitutes a call to action. Newspaper adverts have successfully used the approach for years, and it basically lies at the heart of most marketing for service industries.

Phrasing your advance to an explicitly clear, immediate and definite action is something of a skill in itself, and yet is another aspect of calling investor leads that benefits from the number of times that you actually do it. It can be difficult to “shoe horn” a call-to-action phrase into the natural rhythm of a conversation, but it’s a trick that needs to be learned in order to get good rates of conversion.

The challenge

Making a call to a financial advice prospect is a challenge. It is setting you up to try to make a place for yourself in another person’s life and means picking up your phone and calling people you don’t actually know.

Your fear of rejection is natural and is an almost automatic response when faced with this challenge. It is a fact that you will be rejected and sometimes quite forcefully. Again, this is where repetition can eventually lead to a softening of the blows, but it also clearly demonstrates how calling prospects is a numbers game.

The numbers game

The reason that the more calls you make to financial advice prospects makes your chances of achieving a higher conversion rate better is that it is simply a numbers game. Qualified leads for financial advisers aren’t that easy to come by, and because the success rate from them is not that high, it can be time-consuming to get results.

However, if you work out realistic expectations based on your experience in making the calls, then you can start to get a good idea of your actual success rate. Work out the ratio of calls made to conversions. Once you have this knowledge, you can start to increase the effectiveness of your calls, and one way to do that is to make more of them.

A hard sell?

It’s simple – you shouldn’t go for a hard sell. Prospects can be put off easily, and although you should have your tried-and-tested 30-second pitch, whether it’s cold or lukewarm, the real result you’re looking for from a call to a prospect is to build an ongoing relationship.

Instilling potential clients with a confidence in your own abilities is something that can only be achieved if you actually sound confident in them yourself, and again this is something that only comes from repeated attempts to do so. If you treat your prospects like you would any other person with whom you were striking up a conversation, then you can realistically hope that it might be the first step towards a valuable long-term relationship.

Following up

Of course, making more calls to financial adviser leads doesn’t just mean those who you are speaking to for the first time. Following up on a prospect’s interest is what sets them apart from being an initial lead, and it is a process that needs to be attended to carefully if you are to score that desired conversion to them becoming a client.

Knowing how to keep in contact is another skill that only comes from actually doing it. Judging when it is right for the deal-sealing side of the conversation to come into play is another. Getting follow-up calls right is just as important as making a good impression on the first one and allows you to find out what your prospect really wants. Once you know that, you can tailor your approach and give it your best shot.

Practice really does make perfect

The more calls you make to prospects, the greater the chance you have of building your client base. It’s quite simple really, because when you first start out as a financial adviser, you step into unknown waters. You soon learn that your phone skills are a key element in your success because people appreciate a humanising touch in an increasingly impersonal and computerised world.

Making more calls makes you better at getting your message across and generally increases your own capacity for communication. It also makes you a better listener, and when it comes to giving financial advice to others, this is probably the most important attribute that you can have.

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