The vast majority of financial advisors have difficulty with consistently generating leads, often because they’re not using strategies which are effective in today’s business world. Some of these outdated strategies call for newspaper and magazine ads, direct mail, and cold calling. This is not to say that there’s no hope of success using these tactics, but the plain fact is that in this day and age, they’re just not cost-efficient nor are they time-efficient.
Chances are, if you were to survey a good number of today’s top financial advisors, you would find that most of them rely on other lead generation strategies besides those referenced above. In this discussion, we’ll consider why some strategies of the past are not as effective today, as well as why some other strategies should receive more attention.
Why past strategies aren’t as effective
Direct mail is still considered by most of its recipients to fall in the category of junk mail, and that alone should tell you what its real value is to them. Most of the time, direct mail does not target a specific audience, but is dispersed to a huge group of people who may or may not have any interest in financial advice. The fact is that many direct mail campaigns do more to waste your money than they do to make connections with your target audience. Unless you can personalize direct mail, and make it focused on a legitimate audience, there is little chance that you will derive any benefit from it.
Cold calling is another of the techniques used in the past which is quickly falling from grace in today’s business world. Most financial advisors will be quick to tell you that many of their responses from cold calls are negative, and often end up in frustration. When you consider the fact that cold calls have a very low success rate and a very high frustration rate, they’re really just not worth your while anymore.
Magazine and newspaper ads tend to be ineffective unless they are placed in niche publications where they have a chance to reach a targeted audience. Additionally, it’s almost impossible to reach high net worth investors via this avenue, so the ultimate return on your investment tends to be very low.
You might be surprised to learn that content placed on your website is another strategy which typically has low impact and a low success rate. Unless you can post some outstanding content on your website which is geared toward those individuals you specifically want to reach, this is usually not a very effective strategy. Even if you were to generate a significant number of leads from your website, most of them won’t be local, so you’ll be faced with the additional obstacle of having to carry on long distance negotiations.
Worthwhile strategies for building leads
One of the most important things you can do to build leads is to spend more time communicating and building relationships with your current clients. That may not sound like it does anything to generate leads, but it really does. When you maintain contact with your current clients and show them you’re not just a salesperson, you will be cultivating a solid relationship and an enhanced view of yourself as an individual. This is what can generate a ton of leads from referrals, because your existing clients have such a positive perspective about you that they want others to learn about it too.
In this area, financial advisors often refer to the four C’s, which are credible, collaborative, chemistry, and caring. If you can demonstrate these qualities to your existing clientele, chances are you’ll see client referrals escalating significantly. One good way of cultivating prospects is to attend as many dinner seminars as possible, and to invite specific prospects who have a chance at conversion. This may involve laying out some cash, but if you become adept at it, it could become a very effective way of generating leads and solidifying relationships.
Alternative lead-building strategies
If you’re not the dinner seminar type of person, you might try using educational workshops as a way to reach out to prospective clientele. Many people enjoy attending financial workshops as an alternative to sales meetings, because they’re much more low-key, so attendees feel less pressure on them.
Another method of reaching out to prospective clients is through community networking, although this method will probably take a little longer, because it requires that you establish trust among the community members.
Once you become firmly entrenched however, it can increase your visibility and your level of trust by local citizenry, especially if you can demonstrate consistency and caring. You can also increase your visibility in the community by paying for spots on local radio shows or television shows, as well as podcasts, which have become very popular in recent years. A great many financial advisors reach clients either through their own podcasts or by sponsoring the podcasts of influential people who can help to generate leads for you.
Many of today’s most successful financial advisors have acquired a number of leads by making use of Facebook and some of the other social media. This can be especially effective if you can find groups which are related to financing and become a member of these groups. That will give you access to a number of people who are interested in the industry in the first place, and who enjoy having discussions about various aspects of finances. If you don’t mind investing some time and effort into regularly communicating with such online communities and groups, it can be a gold mine in terms of turning up a number of new leads for your financial advisory business.
If you have been having trouble generating leads for your financial advisory business, try some of the preferred methods described above. You can take heart from the fact that there will be approximately 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day for the next 15 years. Most of these individuals have yet to formulate a retirement plan, and will be in need of financial advice. All you have to do is formulate a strategy for reaching these individuals, and you can expect to take on more leads than you can even handle.