A Client Acquisition system brings together the methods an Advisor uses to find and cultivate people to see on a favorable basis. It includes ways to generate, process, and track people from the “prospect” stage through the “client” stage.
First, let’s examine sources. The best practice is to have at least five sources of prospects to generate names for the Advisor, on an ongoing basis. These 5 sources should include referral-gathering. For Prime Performers, referrals are the source of all the prospects needed.
Prospect sources to explore:
- Natural markets & affiliation groups
- Public forums (seminars, trade shows)
- Observation and face calls
- House accounts (orphans)
- Worksite marketing
- Lists, personal and purchased
Prospecting should be driven by a marketing strategy. There are several steps to plan the approach to a market. Among them:
- Identify the market. Does it meet the criteria of a true market (common communication links, common needs, ability to refer)?
- Find links to the market. People who can assist with access to the market.
- Understand the market. Find out what key issues the market faces, what common benefit packages they share, how members of the market conduct their business and forms of ownership. Package a unique set of products and services tailored to that market.
- Determine a tactical entry into the market—how to approach members of the market: collectively, singly, through what media, with what message?
- Immerse in the market (own it). Be the “go-to” person within that market for financial services consulting.
- Transfer maintenance of the market to another person. Once the market is worked fully, plan who handles the day-to-day maintenance.
- Evaluate the marketing strategy and possibly explore a new market.
Other Client Acquisition considerations are:
- Use of a contact management system or paper method for prospect management.
- Use of a contact management system or paper method for future marketing opportunities.
- Determine what strategic information to collect about prospects and referrals.
- Identify the steps to process a new prospect.
- Use of a calendar and method to track prospecting activity.
- Establish a “minimum acceptable prospect” profile.
- Identify correspondence to use for prospecting.
- Determine what tools and materials to use to prospect and market the practice.
The Client Acquisition system also explores the prospecting roles of:
- Marketing Assistants
- Centers of Influence
- Top Clients
- The Firm
Finally, the statistical results of turning prospects into clients should be analyzed. These include:
- Ratio of initial interviews to fact-finders
- Ratio of fact-finders to closing presentations
- Ratio of closing presentations to sales
- Activity statistics week-to-week and day-to-day
Client Acquisition is where Practice Management begins. Bringing on board a critical mass of clients ensures the Advisor’s success!