Solid relationships are essential to your success as a financial advisor. They are the bedrock on which everything rests. It’s not enough to have clients; you must make an effort to go beyond and forge an individual relationship with each one. Doing so makes all the difference.
When you have an actual relationship, the client undergoes the transition from a strictly financial investor to someone who is emotionally invested as well. As author Simon Sinek points out, “When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.”
But did you know you can use these relationships to grow the number of clients you serve? It’s true. This is an especially powerful tool for young financial advisers looking to expand their client base.
Forget the cold calling strategy that generations of our predecessors relied on. Wasting hours on the phone calling random names on sterile lists is now as obsolete as rotary dial telephones themselves.
For starters, narrow your focus. Define who exactly you want your new clients to be. Rather than using a shotgun approach, narrow in on specific professions or occupations, age ranges, or even people with similar interests.
Once you have identified your targets of opportunity, it’s time to develop a content marketing campaign tailored to their individual activities, goals and dreams. Find out what motivates and inspires them and craft your message accordingly. You can even create a short, catchy video aimed especially at them.
For instance, say the prospective client is an entrepreneur. Your video could address both the financial challenges and the opportunities facing those who go into business for themselves. Your prospects will immediately recognize you speak their language, and affinity is instantly established. (Plus, video production has never been easier or more affordable than it is today.)
When all that is ready, it’s time to engage socially. Social media provide myriad new opportunities for connecting without actually meeting one-on-one in person. Suppose you have identified clients with an interest in sailing. In that case, you can find sailing clubs, sailing-themed Facebook groups, and other networking opportunities that enable you to reach them at their passion point.
Best of all, you don’t have to invest tons of time physically going to actual meetings. The entrée you need is right at your fingertips via your computer. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email and a host of other online channels make it easier than ever to become virtually acquainted. But in this case, you’ll begin getting to know the potential client with one very significant advantage: you already know something they deeply care about. That’s an open invitation for striking an immediate rapport.
However, it’s not enough to know the potential client is a wine connoisseur or collects American quilts. To take the step from potential business clients to establishing a true connection, you must get to know them as unique individuals. That comes from investing time, asking questions, and above all else, listening. Paying attention as they share their goals, hopes and dreams. The fears and worries, the legacy they want to leave behind after they’re gone, both financial and otherwise. Knowing all this will better equip you to help them chart a financial course best suited to their situation.
There’s yet another benefit to using a selective method to grow your client list. By taking a focused approach, by going after a specific type of client, you will establish yourself within your firm as the “go-to” resource for handling that particular type of investor. Instead of being just another team member, you can become recognized as a leader who is pioneering the way —someone others will want to emulate. And, as they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Without relationships, financial advisers are like rudderless ships drifting aimlessly at sea. Using your existing client to enlist new clients is the best way to grow your business portfolio. Always remember that nothing matters more than establishing personal connections. Having useful data means a lot; having the right technology is a priority, but having solid relationships based on one-on-one connections is critical.