These five tips will help you turn prospects into clients.
In part two of our tips on how to convert leads in a non-salesy way, we look at why many financial advisors don’t like the idea that “sales” is part of their own job. The connotation can often be that the products that you are advising on are part of an overall sales package of your own, but, of course, impartiality is something that the industry stands or falls on when it comes to independent financial advice.
Things are different for restricted advisors, of course, but for IFAs, the basis of trust that is needed in any good working relationship with a client must come organically, so an initial “hard sell” isn’t a particularly good way to start.
However, business development is undoubtedly a key part of growth in the sector as it is in any other, so knowing how to grow your client base as a financial advisor is a vital element in building your business at any time in your career.
The question is, “How to increase sales without being salesy?” To answer that, here are the next five of our top ten tips for converting investor leads without sounding like a used-car salesman.
Whether it is with prospects or actual clients, you should always aim at developing and building relationships. Here, a slow and methodical approach is key to success, and by using various marketing methods, such as the DRIP process, you can have a ready-made system in place.
High-net-worth clients always want to get to know you first, but anyone who is coming to you for advice deserves your attention over time, rather than being simply offered a quick-fix interaction. The whole idea must be based around building trust in an ongoing relationship so that the client feels comfortable
A comprehensive approach
The more you can learn about a client in a general sense outside of the investments they want to make will help you build a bigger picture. Taking a more holistic approach means that you can discover other needs and requirements that the client might not even know about. For instance, if the client is the product of one of your pension leads, then you might find that insurance or estate planning concerns are also part of their world view.
In any case, even if there are no actual work-related opportunities to be discovered, getting to know people is part and parcel of delivering a service in which you are trusted to play an important role in someone else’s life.
Dealing with meeting a prospect for the first time is one of the big challenges of how to get clients as a financial adviser. Although you might expect them to be aware of their own situation and circumstances, this often isn’t the case. This is why one of the first questions that you should ask them is, “When was the last time you conducted an inventory of your financial resources?”
You might be surprised at the answer, especially if it is, “What’s an inventory?” Whatever reaction you get, it opens up a starting point where you can gently offer your services and explain ways that you can help that the prospective client might not even have thought about before the meeting.
Get permission to do research
Before you can advise, you’ll need to know the full background details as well as the aims and desires of your client. One of the best tips for new financial advisers is to find out all about dealing with this information-gathering stage. If these first steps are carried out professionally and in the right manner for each individual client, then it can be key to building a successful ongoing relationship.
Obviously, part of this process is getting an agreement to share personal information, and if this comes as part of a “hard sell”, then it can be a turn-off for many prospects. However, it is also an opportunity to explain exactly how you can tailor your own services to their unique situation if you are allowed to do your research. By taking things slowly at this point and getting the necessary agreement, you will be well on the way to building mutual trust.
Converting leads into clients is actually the second step of a process. The first is knowing exactly how financial advisers find new clients in the first place. Today, there are so many ways to market yourself that it really is a case of choosing the right ones and making the most of them.
In the past, local print advertising and word of mouth might have been enough, but today’s consumers expect much, much more. Developing a strong brand might seem like industry buzz-speak, but it really is an essential part of 21st-century marketing. You need to stand out from the crowd and show people how your offering is different. This might mean identifying a target demographic that is slightly niche, perhaps concentrating on investor leads as a priority. Otherwise, it could just revolve around a really good social media campaign, which if you are willing and able to invest time into can be extremely cost-effective if not totally free.
However you feel about “selling” your offerings as an independent financial adviser, the fact is that you need to create leads and then convert them. Thankfully, a non-salesy approach is possible as long as you know your own limits and strengths and are willing to put a little work into how to best get them across to potential clients.