Is the number one ‘practice killer’ killing your practice?

Most financial professionals approach prospects in a way that gets the door slammed in their face.

I’m talking about how most advisors ask strangers to meet with them for a portfolio review and to get a second opinion.

Not that that’s a bad idea, but it’s too much, too soon. You’re asking a stranger to take a giant leap.

Better, because it works more often, is to ask for one small step. Ask them to accept a gift, such as an article with valuable, helpful information.

Don’t give a company brochure, prospectus, or financial product advertisement. They’re not likely to be interested in anything like that at this stage of your relationship.

There’s not much of a relationship there, hardly an inkling of trust. Why should they want to meet with you? There isn’t any, “know, like and trust,” yet.

You want to offer them an article with information they can use, such as, “10 Mistakes to Avoid When Investing for Retirement”, or “The Top 10 Investment Strategies.” Give them good, free advice that’s approved by your compliance people.

When someone accepts your gift you have a prospect — and permission to follow up.

But this is where most financial advisors shoot themselves in the foot.

They don’t follow up.

They assume that if the prospect is interested, he’ll call.

In my experience working with hundreds of advisors, this belief is just a cover-up for fear, the fear of rejection. Once you admit your fear, you can face it and control it instead of having it control you.

Here’s what to do. Think of the worst thing that can happen. He can say no, even be blunt and rude. That smarts for only a little while. If you’re experienced and calloused like I am, you don’t even feel it.

Next, think of the best that can happen. He may want to talk to you — in fact, he may have been waiting for your call. He may be unhappy with his present advisor or a new financial opportunity has opened up in his life. He may be a hot prospect.

As you know, hot prospects cool down very quickly, so you must act fast. Strike while the iron is hot. It’s important you get him on the phone.

Then tell him you’re following up on the article you gave him, tell him your value proposition, and that you want to help him with any questions he might have. Deepen the relationship. Get acquainted. Discover his dreams, hopes and desires. Talk about each other’s family and hobbies. Then segue back to your value proposition. Ask if is interested in achieving similar results. If he is, set up an appointment.

If you don’t reach him and get his voicemail, leave a message with your name, your value proposition, and telephone number. Briefly explain you’re following up on the article you gave him. Tell him you’ll be sending him an email follow-up.

Then wait two days and repeat.

Then wait a week and repeat.

Then wait two weeks and repeat.

Then wait four weeks and repeat.

Keep using this process with all your prospects because the law of statistics says, every “no” gets you closer to a “yes.” And aren’t “yeses” wonderful?  You’ll be among the top 10% salespeople, because 90% don’t follow up. And that kills their practice.

But your practice will survive and prosper!

Best wishes,

Stan

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