People Get Ready: Creating Your 2022 Prospecting Plan
Can you believe that it is almost year-end again? Where did the time go? Most Advisors tell me that now is a good time for them to begin thinking about looking for new clients to expand their books in 2022. Here’s what successful Advisors have shared with me, what works for them.
Have you checked your client list and considered how you met and got your clients in the first place?
Was it referral via word of mouth, visits to your website, quarterly newsletters, client events, blog posts, cold calling or some other action? One of the problems related to prospecting is the lack of clarity around it. If you do not measure your results, you have little to no idea which of your (hopefully multiple) prospecting methods is generating the best results. Once you have the clarity, then you can focus on what is bringing those clients in and improve or increase that particular effort.
Work with your Marketing and Compliance teams to ensure you have a website presence.
Advisors have told me that in tracking their “hits” to their websites, the most popular page is their “About Your Team” section. Potential clients like to see and read all about personal and professional profiles of the Advisor and their teams. This is the perfect place to showcase your credentials including designations (ensure you explain them) as well as your unique skills and experience. For more information see How Financial Advisor Designations Can Affect Customer Experience.
Engage the next generation and get to know your clients’ children
Set up Registered Education Savings Plans (“RESP”) accounts for your clients’ children or if they are older, have Tax Free Savings Accounts (“TFSA’s”) where parents can deposit birthday and/or holiday gifts. Invite these children, if they’re young enough, into the office so they understand personal finance. You may wish to consider providing a mini financial planning lesson in order to start developing a relationship early on and hopefully before they can go to an on-line platform. Ensure they see the value in face-to-face meetings. Even if these younger leads are already using an on-line trading system let them know you are available to discuss various financial options. You may convince them that on-line trading requires a lot of time, effort and study which they might not be prepared to do as they live their lives.
Volunteer to conduct a “financial class” at a child’s school. Try to speak to a grade 7 or 8 class as most high schools now have finance courses. Explain the benefits of saving, how to buy using cash and credit, and explain the cost of using credit cards. This keeps you in the forefront of their young minds….and their teachers might appreciate your insights too.
You must strive to keep your current client base happy and loyal.
Have client appreciation evenings when the world re-opens to talk about the state of the economy, what might be coming in the future, and current options. Ask the client to bring a guest. One top Advisor told me her clients said they would rather go to a “fun” event with her because they trust her financial advice and find financial events overwhelming. So think about a wine tasting, taking them to a play or even out for a nice dinner.
Send out a “quick” read quarterly client letter talking about points of interest in the financial world and don’t be afraid to ask for a referral.
Remember that the better you treat your clients in terms of being available and consistently reaching out to them, the more appreciated they will feel. You may not want to send a birthday card out every year (except for possibly your top 10 clients) but how about anniversary cards: “Thank you for being with me for 5/10 years…your loyalty is tremendously appreciated.”
You also know the ages and financial situations of your clients. As they approach retirement, talk to them about whether they should start their government pension payments sooner rather than later and the potential benefits of doing so. Some seniors are not very comfortable with technology, so consider having someone available at your “in-office computer cafe” to assist them in setting up their pension payments or whatever else they need, be it insurance claims or health insurance requirements.
Also, be prepared to talk to your clients, where applicable, about estate planning, working with a professional accountant and getting proper legal counsel for matters such as setting up their last will and testament, etc. If you don’t have contacts, look into what your Head Office can provide in that area. One successful team has compiled a list of documents required to make all the applicable changes when a spouse passes away. They actually walk the surviving spouse through all the paperwork, which helps enormously in providing them time for the grieving process.
Consider whether you would be someone to assist new immigrants to the country in establishing financial plans. Their local clubs might offer assistance in setting up “meet and greets” where you can discuss what can or can’t be done for them. New arrivals may not immediately have investment funds, however, many of these individuals making a new home in Canada are fully educated professionals.
Stop and think about turning down that small account – particularly if you are a new Advisor.
While it may not be a big account at the moment, it could be the beginning of something huge. How many million dollar accounts started out small? Look at the client and the potential they may or may not have…what do they do for a living, who are their parents, what is their lifestyle? It just might be worth it to sign them up and watch an account grow.
Good luck with you prospecting planning for 2022!