Many of the financial advisors and agents we speak with who struggle with prospecting aren't willing, or able, to spend on marketing and prospecting. They think that by avoiding the high cost of prospecting programs they are saving money. Remember, you can spend time, or you can spend money, but you need to spend on marketing and prospecting. What many agents and advisors overlook is the fact that they're spending thousands of dollars by not having a marketing budget and a consistent prospecting system to execute.
For example, pretend you're an advisor whose time in front of prospects is worth $200 an hour. You spend eight hours a week cold calling or knocking on doors. By my calculations you are spending $1600 a week on prospecting. You're spending $6,400 per month on prospecting. If you are worth more per hour in front of a prospect, then you are spending even more money.
Let's pretend that Fred is a bad advisor. Fred’s time is only worth $50 an hour when he’s in front of a prospect. Fred is only spending $400 a week cold calling or prospecting. That’s only $1,600 per month. In that case, maybe Fred is not wasting a lot of money on prospecting. However, Fred might want to find another career.
What should you do next?
First you need to set a marketing budget, and stick to it.
Then you need to have several prospecting methods that you can execute on a consistent basis throughout the year.
Last, you need to go get a wall calendar and map out the entire years worth of prospecting efforts.
Often we get asked "what should I do when it comes to prospecting?" Why do the top advisers in our industry still do workshops? Because they work. However, if you do not have a consistent process for filtering out suspects, to then identify the right fit prospects, and to then convert them to clients, don't spend money on prospecting. Stop now!
I hear advisors call prospecting programs failures because the programs do not result in sales. But when I press them further, the prospecting program got them in front of people. It got them appointments with people who wanted to meet with them. So what really failed? Not the program.
Your Process Leads to Sales
There is not a single prospecting program in our industry that results in sales. The prospecting program is designed to get you in front of people and an opportunity to turn a suspect into an appointment with a prospect. When someone has raised their hand, figuratively speaking, and said I want you to help me with my financial decisions, the prospecting program has done it's job. It has run its course. It’s over.
If you're getting appointments, and you're not closing business, it's not the prospecting programs fault. Perhaps it’s your process that needs attention. If you don't have a consistent process that leads the right fit prospect to take action and make a decision you’re going to waste money on any prospecting program you try. That's not a prospecting program problem, that's a process problem.
Which prospecting program do I choose?
There are hundreds of marketing companies to choose from. They all have prospecting programs that they believe work. Many of them do work. There are workshop prospecting systems, Internet lead systems, preset appointment programs, radio advertising, and so on. All of these programs have proven results to connect you with a prospect who wants to meet you. They all have a cost associated with them. They all have a time commitment associated with them. Adding together the cost of the program and the time commitment to execute the program equals the actual cost of that prospecting system.
The best programs are designed to get someone to raise their hand and ask to meet with you. They are relatively effective at getting somebody to schedule an appointment. They do not sell financial services or products. If they did, prospects would not need agents and advisors.
Prospects still overwhelmingly want a face-to-face interaction with a financial services professional to help them understand how all of their retirement resources coordinate together. They may research on their own, but many desire assistance with the development and execution of a plan. Having a consistent process to follow will make or break your business. Your process should help lead the right fit prospect to acknowledge their own circumstances and take ownership, lead them to make a decision, and then guide them to take corrective action in order to achieve their financial goals. If you do this, you will be a valuable service in high demand for years to come and prospecting programs will begin to look like a smart investment rather than a money wasting expense.
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