Each week I spend a considerable amount of time speaking to clients, answering their questions and suggesting possible courses of action. Without a doubt, one of the most frequent pieces of advice I offer is to keep going. Keep going with structured and reliable call rotations, keep mailing letters to your clients and prospects, keep communicating with your inside champions and/or Client Advisory Council, and keep the faith that you will realize a breakthrough.
Don’t make the common mistake of assuming that because you work with people similar to your target market, those people will want to hand you their investment portfolios. You cannot get around the fact that you are a stranger to them, so you have to take time to build familiarity and create in them the desire to meet you, and the desire to know what you believe in as a person and a financial professional.
Above all else be interesting and patient
In your written pieces, identify with your readers. If you know that most people are busy and reluctant to read a stranger’s newsletter or emails, state that fact right off the top. By doing just this one thing, you already distinguish yourself from every nearly other financial advisor.
Always try to send an interesting magazine article or newspaper clipping with your paper communications, or links to informative articles with your email communications. It will highlight as much about your client service as it does your professional services. A popular article used by several of our clients outlines the pros and cons of buying versus leasing a vehicle. While it may not seem like much, your prospect will come to understand over time that things like this separate you from other financial advisors.
Consider the effect of an article with a personal note that reads:
“ I recently met with a couple and, among other things, we discussed their plans to replace their existing car. After the meeting, I searched my article library on my computer and found this item to send them. It helped these particular clients decide between leasing or buying. I hope that when the time comes, you will find it helpful as well. Keep it handy.”
Other article ideas include health and fitness, vacation destinations around your area, on-line directories of local businesses and restaurants, etc.... Do not fall into the trap of ‘sameness’, and send another article on mutual funds or other strictly investment-related content.
Don’t stop sending until they ask you to
So what happens when you invite people to one of your social or open-house type events and they don’t come? Well, you could choose to ignore them, but that won’t get them ‘in the door’ for an initial discussion. I suggest that you follow-up with them via email or letter and tell them that you were sorry you didn’t see them there, that a great time was had by all, and that a lot of information was shared. Pass along a few of the questions that were asked together with the answers, and then point to your next event or remind them you are always available to meet to act as a sounding board on their investment and retirement plans.
As we stated near the beginning of the article, keep going, and ensure you keep differentiating yourself, and positioning yourself as a professional so that you will attract them when you reach them at their correct stage of readiness.