By Michael Brady
Having been in the business for 24 years, I’ve developed a three-step process designed to effectively gain new clients for advisors. Through identifying new prospects, networking with clients and building long-lasting relationships with them, I have gained some recognition and credibility in the wealth management sector.
My clients come from all different backgrounds and financial standpoints. They range from building toward retirement in advance to actively enjoying their golden years. My three-step process enables any financial advisor to engage with clients at any stage of their development, whether that be introduction, new-client or client-friendship. By following this process, I can hope you can find success in future social ventures.
Identifying: To begin, I recommend classifying clients as either “warm” or “cold”. A cold client gets its name from the method used to connect with them: a cold call. At this point, both parties are entering into a new relationship without knowing much about the other. This method results in, on average, a one-to-three percent success rate.
A warm client, though, has already been pre-disposed to your work and has an opinion of your company already (hopefully a good one). A warm client can be someone who knows you personally or has been referred to you by someone they trust. This referral increases the success rate by approximately 40 percent. I tend to focus on warm clients, due to my involvement in the community. I have come across warm clients through dentist appointments, martial arts classes and volunteer opportunities in my neighborhood.
Networking: As anyone in a business field will tell you, networking is the key into the locked hearts of skeptical potential clients. If you forgo venturing out into the world and living life, you are also passing up the opportunity to take on new challenges and connect with new people. I came across many different calls to action and opportunities to get involved with my community and interests. In doing so, I not only grew as a person but as an advisor and as a businessman. I became treasurer for three different organizations, one of which led to a presidency; I am a board member for Peacemaker’s Institute; and I have a little brother in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado organization. These types of neighborhood groups, religious events, exercise classes and even charity work have integrated me into different societies, filled with people with different needs. These, often unexpected, areas of society outside the purely business realm can assist you in building trust and connecting on a personal level–– two factors that can lead to a lasting relationship with warm clients.
Building: It isn’t enough to get a client’s interest. Once they are on board, it is just as important to show them you care about their goals and needs. Like the saying goes: “Time is money.” Time really is money in this case; the more of their time they feel you are wasting, the less money they will entrust you to invest. Listen to them; comment on their interests. If a client talks about travel, send them a Places to See in your lifetime book. If they are interested in art, commission art for them. Word-of-mouth marketing is the most highly regarded form of marketing, so you want to make sure each and every client of yours is regarding your in the very best way.
Knowing the worst ways to attract clients is equally as important as knowing the best. Converting cold clients into actual clients through snail mail, email or social media is not the way you want to begin a new relationship. Response rates for these tactics range from .12 percent to four percent. It is hard to translate your true potential without showing them your personal brand. They cannot efficiently value what you will bring into the relationship unless they fully understand you and your approach.
As a client, they deserve to be treated with respect. The same can be said in reverse. If you want to be taken seriously and treated professionally, avoid advertisements in newspapers and magazines. Few people pick their doctors that way, and they don’t pick their advisers like that either.
Michael Brady is president of Generosity Wealth Management, a mission-based firm located in Boulder, CO dedicated to investors seeking to grow, preserve and distribute their wealth in an efficient manner to ensure the well being of their family and their interests. Learn more at http://www.generositywealth.com/.
Registered Representative, securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a broker/dealer, member FINRA/SIPC Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc. a Registered Investment Adviser. Generosity Wealth Management, LLC and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. are not affiliated companies