Building trust with prospects and turning them into clients can take a lot of time and effort. Instead, take a look at your current clients to find opportunities to grow your business.
“Converting prospects into clients [takes] a minimum of six months,” says Sara Gilbert, founder of Strategist in Montreal, “and that is if you keep in touch with them on a monthly basis.”
And if the prospect is a high net-worth individual, that process to turn the prospect into a client can even take up to two years, she adds.
Follow these tips to save yourself some time and find new business by focusing on your existing clients:
> Segment your book
Break down your book to find opportunities to grow your business.
Segment your book, says Gilbert, to find out which clients potentially have assets they can bring to your business.
The clients that are most likely to offer more business are “A” and “B” clients, she says. There isn’t usually a lot of opportunity to gain new business from “C” clients.
> Ask for a reason
Make sure you understand why clients haven’t already consolidated their assets with you. Knowing the reason why can help you to see whether there is potential to do more business with a client in future.
Some clients might say they simply prefer to have more than one advisor, says Gilbert; or, in some cases, the client may have a relative in the financial services industry that he or she wants to do business with. In those instances, you are not going to get more business from those clients.
> Provide more services
In order to gain new business from existing clients, you could offer them more services.
You need to be proactive in consolidating a client’s assets, says Gilbert, by offering a wider range of options, such as retirement planning, financial planning, insurance, tax and estate planning and philanthropic planning.
> Give your opinion
Offer clients a second opinion on their investments with other advisors to show the benefit of consolidating their assets with you.
Show clients how you can help minimize risk, reduce fees or offer better advice for their retirement or legacy objectives, says Gilbert, when you have a full understanding of their assets.
> Make it a family affair
Work with a client’s entire family to build your business.
For example, if you work mostly with one spouse, says Gilbert, talk with the client’s husband or wife to see if you can help him or her and whether the spouse has assets elsewhere. Or, if clients have adult children you can offer to work with them.