A Game Plan To Work Your Book Of Business For More Profit
It is common for financial sales professionals at all levels to ignore the potential their books of business offer for new sales opportunities.
Whether or not they work for financial institutions, financial sales professionals need to ask themselves whether they are allocating their time optimally. My experience in insurance and investment selling in banks shows that it takes five times the effort to get business from a new customer than from an existing one.
When you work your book of business properly, you accomplish two aims: First, you generate additional sales opportunities. Second, you satisfy the service expectations of the customer.
In the financial services industry, surveys have shown time and time again that customers are less upset with results not achieving expectation than they are with poor communication about their accounts. Setting service expectations at account opening is easy. Keeping that level is a different story.
When you ask them, most sales professionals state that they do work their book of business. Some do, but many dont.
Put yourself to the test. From memory, on a legal pad, jot down your top 50 customers (households). See how far you get. If you can get to 50, jot down what services they have purchased from you and when was the last time you had contact with them.
This self-evaluation can be very enlightening. If your evaluation results are poor, its time to set up your accounts in an organized fashion so you can contact them on a systematic basis.
Getting yourself organized is a simple process, but it is not easy. It takes both time and commitment. However, the initial discomfort you experience will pay off many times both with additional sales and improved customer satisfaction.
For those who have been in business several years, the task of organizing 1,000 customers seems astronomical. When broken down into bite-sized pieces, setting up a book of 1,000 should take three to four months.
Here is a system, introduced to me about 15 years ago by Steven Burke, then with the Dreyfus Corporation. Setting up your books of business can be done either manually or electronically, depending on your capabilities and technology resources.
1. Actually count the number of accounts (households) in your book.
2. Obtain enough binders to hold comfortably all your accounts, plus three sets of alphabetical dividers.
3. Review each account and determine whether a new business opportunity exists or not. If one exists, note it on the first page of the account.
4. Prioritize the accounts from “most likely to do business” to “no chance of doing business.”
Look for customers who:
Have maturing investments or money;
Are about to retire;
Will be receiving rollovers;
Have investments that have met or exceeded expectation;
Want to pass wealth to heirs;
Are forced to take minimum IRA distributions;
Are good sources for referrals;