How good are you at following up potential clients?

A question often asked by financial advisers and planners is how to effectively get prospects “over the line”. Some cases are very straightforward – you meet a prospect, find out a bit about them, set out how you might help them, and they immediately decide to move ahead with you. But sometimes it’s not like this.

There is a myriad of reason for this. Some clients are just fishing around, some are at the early stages of thinking they need a good adviser, some are talking to a number of advisers to find the right one and others don’t really know what they want! It is very hard to know after just an initial chat what is preventing your prospective client from using your services – they often don’t feel they know you well enough at this stage to open up and give you the reason for their (lack of) speed to commit.

On the other hand, you are busy. You have other clients who are making the leap with you and you have all your existing clients to look after. You just don’t know what is going on in the prospect’s life that is stopping them from moving forward with you, so what are supposed to do with these prospects who aren’t yet committing to you?

You need to stay on their radar.

The great thing about marketing today is that it is so much easier to stay on the radar than in years gone by, with a wide range of tools available to you. It is easier to practically do it, but it will require time and commitment from you to do so. Think of all the ways that you can stay in touch,

  • Diary to give them a call periodically: This might be once a quarter or at whatever frequency you think is best. Yes, this can be hard! You can be rejected a few times – but often the prospect is simply not ready to move forward as yet. Be patient and resilient – don’t give up. Effective follow-up phone calls are one of the most powerful tools available to you.
  • Add them to your regular newsletter: In my book, every financial adviser should have a regular (at least 4-6 issues a year) newsletter going out to clients and prospects. It’s hard to beat having high quality content landing regularly in their inbox. After all, this is a place that most people go to, many times a day. Encourage all prospects to sign up for your newsletter, positioning it as a valuable free resource that you offer to clients and contacts to educate them in personal finance matters.
  • Connect with them on LinkedIn: OK, not every prospective client is on LinkedIn, but many are. If your target clients are business owners, senior executives or professionals, they most likely have a presence on this platform. LinkedIn offers you an opportunity to share your own content, share useful content generated by others and participate in discussions with your network, including of course your prospective clients.
  • Invite them to your next client event: You’re not going to invite every prospect to every client event, but if you have a seminar about a topic that you know from your previous conversation with them is important to them, invite them along. You are now adding value and also demonstrating that you were listening to them when you spoke previously.
  • Invite them onto a webinar / phone conference: For the same reason as above, if the topic is going to be of interest, invite prospects onto particular calls and webinars. It won’t cost you anything and may just get them over the line.

The main point is not to give up. Clients can be slow to move for many reasons. They key for you is that when they are ready to move ahead with addressing their personal finance challenges, that you are top of mind. For this to happen, you have to stay on the radar.