Want to Convert More Prospects to Clients? Follow These 10 Tips

Want to Convert More Prospects to Clients? Follow These Tips

6 MIN READ 

Most independent financial advisors don’t fancy themselves salespeople, however, when you own a financial planning practice, sales comes with the territory. Yet when we think of fiduciary financial planning, we typically imagine the furthest thing from sales—after all, fiduciary financial planning really is separate and very distinct from selling products. In fact, many XYPN members set out on their own and join the Network to escape the sale of products and to instead focus on providing quality financial advice.

But just like broker-dealers pushing products next door, fiduciary financial planners are similarly in the business of persuasion, which, at its heart, is really what sales is all about. The bottom line is if you don’t know how to sell your prospects and clients on the value of you, then quite simply, you won’t succeed as a financial advisor.

So ditch the sales stigma and instead, start implementing these 10 tips from XYPN’s Sales Team in your financial planning practice.

 

Chris JohnsonHave "Dumbo ears": listen, listen again, and listen some more. The most successful salespeople are completely present when they talk to prospects. They’re fully engaged, and as a result, their conversations with buyers are deeper and more meaningful. Active listening is a difficult skill to hone because many of us spend more time thinking about what we’re going to say than listening to the person we’re having a conversation with. But it’s worth the effort to develop. You’ll build stronger relationships and gain valuable insight that will help you position your services as the best option for your prospects. Listening intently to prospective clients’ unique situations will help you understand what your prospects need from you and help you communicate why they need what you're offering.

–Chris Johnson, Business Development Specialist

 

Aimee ArnaudFind out in your initial conversation with a prospect whether they prefer to be contacted through phone or email. Many people will provide both work and personal contacts, so be sure to clarify which is best. Also note in your CRM a time frame (morning, afternoon, or evening) when they are the most available. Knowing this information will decrease frustration for both you and the prospect in connecting.

–Aimee Arnaud, Business Development Specialist

 

Philip NaroKnow your target audience, their profile, and how best to communicate with them. As Michael Kitces emphasizes, “Find your niche; and be the best at it!” An advisor should identify their niche from day one, understand the needs for that niche, and then develop their value proposition accordingly. Bottom line: “Read the room, know your audience and make it worth their while (deliver value)!”

On that note, buyer personas are also incredibly helpful when trying to get a clear picture of your target audience. A clearly defined buyer persona is crucial to an effective sales process. The most effective salespeople research their prospects to make sure they’re a good fit. They stick to their ideal buyer persona and know exactly whom they're “selling” to and why.

Philip Naro, Senior Director of Business Development

 

Chris JohnsonBelieve in the value of the service you are offering; believe in the value of what you do; believe in your team; believe in yourself. Only when you do that can you convince your prospects to believe in you. The truth is nobody cares about your product, service, or solution. All they care about is the difference you can make in their life. Focus on painting the picture of how working with you can help your prospects achieve their goals; more broadly, focus on making a difference. Helping a prospect visualize the amazing things they can achieve with you as their financial planner is much more powerful than telling them about the comprehensive financial plan you’ll develop for them, or the fancy reports you’ll deliver each month.

–Chris Johnson, Business Development Specialist

 

Aimee ArnaudSales can take a lot of energy and it's not everyone's strong suit. That's totally fine! Be honest with yourself about how much energy you have for prospect calls and when you are your best self. If you are a morning person, don't wait until the end of your workday to follow up on prospect calls or have your schedule open for consultations. Determine how much availability your pipeline demands for dedication to sales, and then figure out how to work it into your schedule when you will most enjoy it and you can be your most engaging and charming.

–Aimee Arnaud, Business Development Specialist

 

Philip NaroCraft your value proposition so prospective clients understand who you are, your beliefs, investment philosophy, what you bring to the table, and how you can help clients achieve their dreams, goals and objectives. Ensure that the your value proposition is consistent and aligns with your marketing materials (website, blogs, emails, and other digital collateral).

Philip Naro, Senior Director of Business Development

 

Aimee ArnaudClearly communicate expectations about scheduled sales calls—which number you will call them at (or the Zoom link you expect them to join), how long the meeting will last, what information you will provide them, and what information you expect them to bring (if any). This will help prevent prospects from canceling or no-showing from fear that the meeting will be taxing or may impede on other obligations. Also be sure to detail your expectations after the meeting. If they have something to complete for you, be sure to tell them something along the lines of, "If I don't hear from you by XX, I will call/email/send up a flare to check on your progress."

–Aimee Arnaud, Business Development Specialist

 

Chris JohnsonOnce you start a relationship with a prospect, own it! Make sure you have a solid nurturing process for prospects so you don't lose them along their journey to becoming clients. A nurturing process will help you slow down, which will actually speed up your sales (pretty counterintuitive, huh?). Many financial advisors are so eager to be successful that they try to wow their prospects with their impressive knowledge. But the more they try to rush prospects along, the more resistant to moving forward most prospects will be. When you slow down and advance the sales process one step at a time, you will be much more successful at converting prospects to clients.

–Chris Johnson, Business Development Specialist

 

Philip NaroDo what you say you’re going to do—net/net execute on behalf of your clients. If you say you’re going to develop a comprehensive financial plan for your client in two weeks, get it done! Words are cheap and you need to deliver in order to develop a solid relationship and trust with clients. Without this trust, they won’t be long-term clients.

Philip Naro, Senior Director of Business Development

 

Aimee ArnaudAsk creative, open-ended questions to help your prospects feel comfortable and express their needs/ goals organically. The question "what are your goals?" is difficult for most people to articulate. Instead, ask questions like: if you never had to worry about money again, what would your ideal month look like? What keeps you up worrying at night right now? What was your decision process for scheduling this meeting? This will bring up wants and concerns that you can match with your services and solutions. Keep detailed notes in your CRM and include basics about FORD (Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Dreams). These details will help you build a rapport as you recall previous information a prospect shared. 

–Aimee Arnaud, Business Development Specialist

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