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June 1, 2022
71% of financial advisors say that they suffer from moderate to high mental stress because of their careers.
The reason for this is simple. As the income goes up, so do the stakes. The competition is fierce in the financial planning industry and growing assets under management (AUM). Meanwhile, referrals are few and far between.
As an independent advisor, things can get even more difficult when you have to go out there and prospect for new clients. Without a proper plan of action, it’s easy to feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall.
That’s why we created this guide. With a few simple strategies and just the right manner of execution, you can create a steady stream of high-income clients who will fuel your business for days to come. Here, we’ll be sharing our best techniques for finding leads and getting clients as a financial advisor, both online and off.
A lot of people think they know what prospecting is and how it works, but they’re wrong.
The goal of your outreach strategy is never to land a new client on the first point of contact. Leading with your sales pitch may seem like a bold move, but it’s also a foolish one. No one wants to give control of their finances over to a stranger they just met.
That’s why you need to engage with them effectively. And it starts with lead generation. Here, your aim is to secure a triage call or a physical meeting with as many prospects as possible, so that you can hone in on their needs and challenges before making a targeted pitch.
Prospecting, or lead generation, can be a tricky business. You have to pick the right avenues for your marketing plan so that you’re exposing yourself to the largest number of potential clients. Up next, let’s discuss some tips and techniques that’ll help you do just that.
Before we jump into the various ways to drive clients as a financial advisor, let’s take a look at some general tips and tricks to help you make the most of your prospecting campaign:
When your pipeline’s been dry for a while, it’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to “land as many clients as possible.” But here’s the deal: if your services are meant for everyone, then they are good for no one.
Niching down is the practice of defining a target market so that you can offer tailored financial services to clients from a specific industry or demographic. You can easily narrow down your target market to medical planning, financial transitions, special needs, exit planning, and so on.
A buyer persona is a fictitious representation of your ideal client. It helps you further narrow down your outreach efforts and personalize the service experience.
Define your client profile. What is their primary occupation? What kind of financial advice are they looking for? Do they fit a particular investment profile? As your experience working with the same type of clients continues to grow, you’ll be able to better anticipate their needs and provide them with a personalized experience that ends in glowing referrals.
If you’re thinking about engaging in cold calling, online webinars, or email marketing, you’ve probably thought about creating a script. This is one of the more controversial pieces of marketing advice because scripts do have a tendency to railroad your sales pitch.
While a one-size-fits-all approach is almost never the answer, you could try developing a basic format for conducting conversations with prospects. You could even tap into known challenges and pain points to create situation-specific scripts for various client types.
Some might argue that this advice conflicts with the one above, but when done right, the two strategies can co-exist peacefully. In fact, the key to a good marketing plan is to achieve the right balance between automation and personalization.
The best way to create a personalized experience is to maintain a logbook or use a customer relationship management system to gather information on current clients so that you can offer tailored financial advice. The more information you have on their challenges and desires, the better you can customize your offering to their requirements.
Adapting to the needs of the hour is important. With so many people and organizations now switching to a fully or partially remote schedule, it’s important to have a concrete digital presence to make yourself easily accessible online.
As the largest online hub for organizations and professionals, LinkedIn is an excellent platform for developing a digital brand and conducting lead generation. Need help developing a clear action plan for LinkedIn? See how CoPilot AI can help!
But it doesn’t just stop with creating a LinkedIn profile. Offer your services remotely through virtual conferences and video calls so that customers don’t have to travel all the way to your office to get your advice.
Working remotely also enables you to keep your own schedule and access a wider client base from around the world, so it’s a win-win however you slice it!
So, you’re finally ready to dive into the nitty-gritty of client prospecting and start securing yourself some fresh leads. Let’s kick things off by talking about offline strategies.
Cold calling is the most overrated and misunderstood strategy in the history of lead generation. Most financial advisors will focus on quantity over quality when making cold calls, leading to a disruptive and impersonal experience that convinces no one.
But there is a way to do cold calling right. With adequate research on your prospects, you can make cold calls more “warm” and personalize them based on individual needs. Research is hardly a challenge thanks to the internet, so all you got to do is make sure you come prepared before making a cold call.
Very few professionals still rely on direct mail as a sales strategy. It’s slow to deliver and most people don’t even check for physical letters anymore. However, there are some cases where snail mail can still be useful in getting leads.
Not everyone is comfortable with modern technology. If your target audience is composed of people who like to do things old-school and traditional, i.e., they prefer a more hands-on approach to financial services — sales letters sent over direct mail might just be the way to go.
Seminars and workshops offer an excellent way to hunt for new prospects face-to-face, but you have to be careful not to oversell yourself. Use an educational hook to draw people in, perhaps by providing some advice free of charge in the form of lectures and presentations.
While it may seem counterintuitive at first, sharing your financial expertise without expecting immediate compensation is a great way to get people to trust you in the long run.
Like direct mail, not everyone is a fan of print media. However, there’s nothing like an ad in the local newspaper to help you attract clients within your community circle. Print advertising is expensive enough, but the results can be very promising if you work with an older or local customer segment.
The more niche the publication you target, the more likely you are to attract your ideal clientele. You can even try contributing op-eds and features to newspapers as a means to showcase your expertise and draw attention to yourself.
If you put yourself out there as much as possible, you’ll start to build a network within your local community sooner or later. Leverage this community, including your existing clients, by asking people to refer you to new clients who they think might be a good fit.
The trick to getting referrals is to ensure client satisfaction at every stage of the journey. If your clients are happy with your service, they’re more likely to recommend you to a friend or colleague when they get a chance.
By taking your financial marketing campaign online, you have the potential to reach a much wider audience. The downside is that it’s much harder to cut through the noise, but here are some strategies that might work for you:
According to a recent study by Greenwich, 80% of investors use social media as part of their regular workflow, whereas 50% of them use their LinkedIn accounts for financial purposes. When it comes to financial prospecting, it’s the online platform with the most untapped potential.
Attracting leads on LinkedIn is a three-step process: (a) try to attract clients who fit your specific profile by using a snappy headline and industry-specific summaries, (b) do your research on potential leads and personalize your messaging so that it takes individual needs into account, and (c) use a compelling call to action to encourage leads to take action.
Creating a constant stream of educational content that relates to your expertise as a financial advisor is a great way to attract prospective clients. This content can come in different formats, whether that’s blog posts, podcasts, or social media posts.
What makes content marketing such an effective way of marketing your services is the fact that it doesn’t disrupt the client experience and helps attract interested individuals organically. But, you need to make sure that your content is actually useful and informative, not just a rehash of your sales pitch.
You can use cold emails and nurture campaigns to bring in new leads and move them through your prospecting pipeline. Email marketing has the highest conversion rate compared to any other prospecting technique, although you do have to be careful not to spam.
Create an email campaign that’s full of educational material on essential topics like wealth management, investment opportunities, and tax awareness. Then, include a call to action at the bottom of every email to encourage prospects to sign up for a triage call.
Webinars are a very popular way of displaying your expertise before a live audience. You can establish your digital brand and create trust among potential clients, all by sharing your knowledge on what you do best!
You can use platforms like Demio or Zoom to host your online events. Be sure to enable live reactions and participant comments so that you can get a good conversation going. The key here is to offer useful information instead of just focusing on landing the next sale.
In spite of the explosive success of inbound, outbound marketing still remains a valid strategy that should make up at least a part of your prospecting campaign.
Find out who your target audience is and where they like to hang out. As with print advertising, targeting niche platforms relevant to your target market will ensure better results at lower costs. For example, lots of financial professionals have had success generating leads by advertising through professional networks like LinkedIn.
Powered by an analysis of over 5,000,000 interactions on LinkedIn, CoPilot AI is an intelligent prospecting dashboard that helps financial advisors get more clients and make the most out of their professional network. We have helped our customers secure leads from organizations like Salesforce, Raymond James, and Edward Jones. Here’s why we think LinkedIn is the best platform for your prospecting campaign:
Over the years, we’ve developed a proven framework for gathering leads that we believe works best for LinkedIn. Here’s how it works:
As a one-stop lead generation service for LinkedIn, CoPilot AI offers several sales enablement tools and dedicated account management strategists to help you succeed in your financial prospecting efforts. Want to learn more? Take our LinkedIn maturity quiz or book a free demo today!