For independent advisors and agents, nothing is more important than attracting a steady stream of prospects that could (they hope) become long-term clients. It’s the lifeblood of the advisory industry.
For that reason, experienced financial planners typically advise that if you see enough people you will eventually gain enough clients to have a successful, sustaining practice. So all you need to do it get out there and talk to as many people as possible and your business will grow in leaps and bounds. Sounds easy, right? Well, yes and no.
“Commit to doing it for at least a year.”
The commitment Marc Silverman refers to is to doing workshops. Yes, workshops, the lead generation method that usually makes most advisors groan with frustration. But Silverman, CLU, ChFC, president and CEO of Silverman Financial, Inc., says that if you choose your audience wisely, workshops can be a fruitful avenue to attract prospects and clients. He strongly advises against sending out invitations to the general public — unless you want to be a star on the plate-licker circuit where the only people who will show up are those looking for a free meal.
“A more empathetic approach.”
Philip E. Harriman, CLU, ChCF, a partner with Lebel and Harriman, LLP, and former MDRT president, characterizes his firm as one of the largest providers of life insurance in New England. Since his Falmouth, Maine-based practice deals mostly with business succession/estate planning issues, his leads come mostly from referrals from other professionals such as HR executives, attorneys and CPAs, as well as existing clients. Like Silverman, the clients he seeks are those who would have a true need for his specialized services.
“Not a cold call person.”
When she began her career in long-term care insurance (LTCI) back in 1988 as a marketing manager for Blue Cross in Chattanooga, Tenn., Phyllis Shelton gave cold-calling a try. After three calls (“One person was too old to talk to me, one person was rude, and one person was polite but thought I was calling to mow his yard,” she recalls.), she soon realized that prospecting method simply was not for her.