January 24, 2014

What You Need to Successfully Prospect

If you are doing any prospecting at all, you need a library of documents to send your potential clients. You need these to produce three important results:

1) Lead Generation
When you are generating new prospects, people frequently say, “Can you send me something?” You better have a compliance approved library of somethings ready to go.

2) Lead Development
Sometimes after someone becomes a prospect, there can be a delay of some days or weeks between contacts. That can lead to the problem of “out of sight/out of mind.” I believe it is vital to keep a light but constant flow of information going, and it should be precisely tailored to what the prospect wants to accomplish. 

3) Sales
It's often helpful to include authoritative documents as part of a sales proposal.

So what are the steps to build your own library of documents to support these efforts? There are three different approaches of various difficulty in doing so. The easiest is to ask for help from your broker-dealer, which likely already has a well-developed library of pre-approved documents. A little more difficult but still easy is to approach wholesalers. Just consider the awesome library MFS has put together. It’s probably already been approved by your BD. A third way which requires a little more work on your part is to build your own library of government documents.

There are millions and millions of government documents. With very few exceptions, they are not copyrighted and are free for you to use and distribute; you just need to know how to find them in the right format. The “right format” is PDF. Don’t waste time with anything else.

Finding Government Docs

Use Google’s Advanced Search tool, which is found online. Be sure to bookmark it, so it never slips away.

Here are the two key fields and what to put in them: Site or Domain: *.gov, which tells Google to only search government domains, and file type, for finding Adobe Acrobat PDF (.pdf) documents.

Now just fill in some or all of the top five rows--I usually just use “all these words.”

I wanted a government document on 401(k) fees. I just put that term in “all these words,” filled in the other two fields as shown, and the document I was looking for was No. 2 in the search results.

What compliance officer will have trouble with a Department of Labor doc?

So how many documents will you need to get started? My best guess is you'll need 50 or so documents that should be approved and ready to send out as soon as possible.

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