4 Powerful prospecting methods for financial advisors

Prospecting methods to win business

For those that are entering the field or have been in the field for 30 years, prospecting should always be a part of your business process. Over the course of your financial advisor career, you may find yourself under the strain of client service, administrative tasks, CRM management, adapting to shifting rules and regulations as well as balancing your personal life.

These are all small bumps in the road that make the journey of building a practice that much more difficult (not even mentioning competition). Every edge, piece of information, timing and follow up is needed to even secure a meeting. The difficulty of succeeding in such a field is the reason why the turnover/washout rate is around 50%.

In order to be on the right side of the statistics, Odegee aims to be your partner by delivering better data to help your prospecting efforts.

There are some of the tried and true ways of prospecting and you will hear similar stories of how successful advisors have prospected and grew their business. Read on to find out more.

1. Cold Calling Prospects

Firstly, cold calling is not “dead” and is effective, both cost and time perspective. There are 3 averages to understand when utilizing this technique to maximize your time and efforts of your team:

  • 2% Success for straight cold calling. This means you have minimal information at hand and you are trying to cast a large net over a broad market. You also need to think about the mental resiliency of your team taking this approach. There is a 30-40% turnover rate for such marketing professions.
  • 20-30% For leads and prospects with better data at hand. You are able to take a direct approach and it peaks the prospects interest.
  • 50% For a referral from an existing client or someone that can vouch for you.

Cold calling is effective when you have up-to-date, relevant and real time information that is received before your competition can.

This is a skill that must be taught, learned and experienced first hand. Your team will naturally get better at this skill over time (and very quickly) after constant repetition. Financial advisors continue to prospect leveraging cold-calling.  It should be part of your marketing efforts to secure more clients.

It is the most effective use of your time during business hours and should be your primary way of prospecting. The other ways we list here are supplementary and should be used secondary to them.

Taking a look at the numbers, lets see what the effectiveness of cold-calling would be in scenarios with different success rates. Working the numbers forwards and backwards will help measure your success and prospecting efforts. The Odegee platform keeps tracks of these metrics as well as a qualified pipeline.

Scenario 1: Prospecting without data

You are an established Financial Advisor Team. Your firm has implemented a “3 household a year rule”, which will affect your pay if you negatively or positively based on your success or failure.

  • You make 125 calls a week
  • List is generalized from a “Information Site” such as name, number, company and title
  • They each have $1,000,000 of investable assets
  • 2% success rate for meetings
Result: 
  • You earn 2.5 meetings based on your efforts and potentially close 1 based on your skill level.
  • Charging 1% on $1,000,000 of assets
  • Result in $833 per month on a 100% payout rate.
  • This equates to $208 per week or $5.2 per hour based on a 40 hour work week
Scenario 2: Prospecting with data

You have data and intelligence at your disposal about the prospect that you use to target them such as Odegee

  • You make 125 calls a week
  • List is targeted high net worth individuals
  • They each have $1,000,000 of investable assets
  • 10-25% success rate for meetings
Result:
  • You earn 12.5 meetings based on your efforts and potentially close 4 based on your skill level.
  • Charging 1% on $1,000,000 of assets
  • Result in $3,322 per month on a 100% payout rate.
  • This equates to $832 per week or $20.8 per hour based on a 40 hour work week

Determine Your Hourly Rate

Building a business takes time, resources and sacrifice. You need to focus on the process of each and every marketing effort on targeting prospects. If you are seeking to build a successful financial practice quickly and be able to scale it even at your capacity, you need to leverage information and technology to become part of your prospecting process.

Prospecting with data

The only difference between scenario 1 and 2 is the data provided to help target better opportunities. You will be investing time and money somewhere between these 2 scenarios. You need to ask yourself which side of the fence you are on when prospecting.

Ask yourself what is your hourly rate to conduct business. If the task you are performing while prospecting does not equate or will not equate to that hourly rate, you should outsource or delegate it to another.

2. Seminars

Targeted seminars have been a great value add for prospects. Providing an educational and eye-opening seminar can easily peek prospects interest. It is also a more relaxed setting where prospects can interact with each other. It turns into a think tank of shared ideas and has the opportunity to evolve into a close knit community. The seminar success rate depends on the prospects you bring the the event and the topic of discussion.

Better Ideas = Better Prospects

Avoid general topics such as these:

  • Preparing for retirement
  • Social security

Do these types of specific seminars instead:

  • What to think about when selling your business
  • What alternatives are there to borrowing for a business?
  • How to effectively manage company stock options
  • Navigating Estate Planning
  • How to achieve generational wealth

Process For Achieving Great Results

Seminars earn the most revenue from your invested time and money from the follow-up and feedback received. A small, 2-minute survey is something that everyone will gladly fill out for you (unless you made them feel uncomfortable or tried to hard sell them). Check out the questions provided by Survey Monkey for a painless, simple 10 question survey for your prospects.

Connection and follow up are critical to the relationship building process when staying in touch with prospects. There are some items to remember when following up:

  • Do not email or write saying “Just wanted to follow up”.
  • Do not press them to commit to anything during or after your first encounter (unless they ask first)
  • Do not give up but continue to provide touch points
  • Do provide additional value add resources and educational pieces
  • Do provide contacts or introductions to your prospects (CPA, attorney, etc)
  • Do continue to invite to events or outings to strengthen the relationship.

Success Rates 

These statistics of seminar success can vary based on the quality of prospects and topics of conversation. The more specific you become with your seminars, the higher your response and success rate will be. Leverage platforms like Odegee’s data platform to target specific opportunities and prospects to invite to your seminars.

Direct Mail Advertising

3. Direct Mail

Direct mail prospecting should not be a method solely on its own. It is meant only as a complement to when communication has already been established either by person, phone or social connection.

There is about a .5 – 2% success rate on direct mailing. Our opinion on this is that the cost outweighs the ROI. Just think of what you do with mail that you receive in your mailbox and where it ends up. If you are prospecting high net worth individuals, you will need to only use this as a supplement and not a primary method.

For a better, higher touch service, write a handwritten letter (or hire a service to do it) thanking them for speaking/meeting with you or coming to your event. Highlight something in the letter from your conversation to show the prospect you were listening to them.

Bottomline, if you are using direct mail as a primary method of prospecting, they are ending up in the trash.

4. Social Media

social media prospecting

Due to rules in regulations, this can be very difficult and challenging to navigate. However, it should not be ignored and should absolutely be leveraged. This is a great way to get in front of prospects in a “non-traditional” way. Larger firms have a little more difficulty when leveraging social media elements besides LinkedIn (even now it can be a bit limited).

If you are under the umbrella of a larger organization, use social media such as Twitter and Facebook to give people the opportunity to see who you are outside your profession. Leverage and retarget LinkedIn ads with information from Odegee to increase the scale and amount of meetings and closed business.

There are some very simple and effective methods to securing meetings through social media. With prospects becoming more social media friendly, it should come to no surprise that more decisions are being made over an online chat. Leveraging Odegee data, connect with prospects with data that will hep provide the building blocks to a fruitful relationship.

Try, test and revise

We are developing some tools to help calculate what your prospecting efforts would look like with a combination of marketing efforts. Too often, advisors can lose track of marketing efforts and flail around day by day, week by week. Odegee helps maintain and track your prospecting efforts while delivering a real-time pipeline to the platform, everyday. We help iron out a process for you so that you can continue to scale and grow your practice.