Believe it! If you don’t have deliberate (and creative) ways of staying in touch and reminding prospects and clients that you’re a valued resource, they won’t call you. Everybody is busy and rarely does it occur to your prospects that they should be getting in touch with you. It’s your job to remind them — and it’s simply a case of staying top of mind.
In the spirit of OOSIOOM (see the catchy title), here are some approaches you can put into practice to jump start your strategy.
1. Make your calls
Way back when, I worked on Wall Street as a broker, which is to say I was a cold caller. This was before the Federal Trade Commission and Do Not Call list made things interesting. I was lucky enough (or unlucky enough) to work directly for the CEO and make all of his calls, which amounted to about 250 calls each day. Think Glengarry Glen Ross leads, The Boiler Room and a Rolodex. I got pretty good at making calls, but was ready to snap after six months.
I don’t want to see this happen to you as an advisor. Make the same number of calls every day, but keep them modest. The idea is to gain momentum and to get good. You can do this by setting a routine. Make 20 calls, 30 calls or whatever the number is at the same time of day, every day. Morning is always a good time to do this, say between 9-10:30 a.m. Get it over with and go into the rest of your day with momentum.
And remember, there are different types of calls. You may be looking to set appointments, follow up, return calls or create alliances. Whatever your purpose, make a specific amount of revenue-producing (RP) calls every work day. Learn from the best phone person in your office (or look up Gail Goodman and learn from the best phone skills trainer in the industry).
2. Send a card
A handwritten card, that is. When was the last time you received a handwritten card in the mail? Exactly! Think of the reaction you’ll get from prospects, clients and networking connections when they receive a handwritten card. This shouldn’t be anything “salesy” or pushy, just warm and engaging. You’re just looking to touch base in a personal way in an effort to compare notes and catch up.
Start each day by putting anywhere from one to five cards in the mail. One a day is five a week, 20 a month, and 240 a year. That’s a lot of touch points! Keep it simple. Purchase blank cards in bulk. This shouldn’t be time consuming or a lot of work. If it is, you won’t do it. Make it fun!
3. Mail an article
If you stumble upon an article in a business magazine, newspaper, newsletter or blog, why not forward it to those you think will appreciate it? It’s best if you can send it snail mail, with a personal note attached:
Hey Barney! I hope all is well! Read this and thought of you! Let’s catch up soon.
4. Develop a blog
Why not develop a blog (like this one!) targeting an industry where you do your most and hopefully best work? Blogs are fun to write and usually contain quick and timely information. If you can provide short pieces of writing that discuss different types of insurance or financial planning approaches, you can position yourself as a resource and “go-to” person within a specific niche. You will begin to be viewed as an expert, and will ultimately position yourself to do more work within that niche. Blogs can go out every couple of days, every week or every other week depending on your purpose. Naturally, you’ll want to coordinate with your operations or compliance department before sending anything out.
5. Write an article.
Come up with the top 10 (approximate) biggest issues that your clients ask you about. Now you have the topics for 10 articles, which you could start writing quarterly. (Again, get whatever you write approved by your firm.)
Articles don’t have to be lengthy, but they should be packed with solid information. Magazines and business journals are always looking for great content to publish. Simply contact the managing editor and ask how you can be a resource. Imagine if you were able to develop a column on long-term care insurance or financial planning for the medical professional? How credible would you look to prospects and clients if they received your articles?
6. Break some bread.
One of my favorite OOSIOOM strategies for both social and business reasons is to have lunch or dinner with at least one client or prospect a month. It’s a great way to get to know one another, have some laughs, learn and create alliances. Just don’t use this as an opportunity to sell your stuff. This is not a scheduled sales appointment. It is, however, an opportunity to learn more about each other’s business — or in some cases personal — objectives and see how you can be of service to one another. The more specific you are about what you’re after, the more successful you will be! (Important note: Take this same approach on the golf course.)
7. Think about how you use social media.
Linked In, Facebook and Twitter are dicey areas right now, because firms have so many different guidelines. Some firms won’t allow advisors to use social media at all. Others are starting to come around. Wherever you’re at with social media, stick with the concept of being a resource, adding value and contributing something that’s good enough for others to become curious about you.
Some — or maybe all — of these approaches may not be new to you. Whether this has simply been a reminder or it’s a whole new train of thought, ask yourself the question: How good is my OOSIOOM strategy?
Michael Goldberg is a speaker, consultant, author and the founder of Building Blocks Consulting. His book, “Knock-Out Networking! More Prospects, More Referrals, More Business!” is available now. For more information or to subscribe to Michael’s free blog, The Building Blocks to Success, please visit www.TheBuildingBlockstoSuccess.com or www.BuildingBlocksConsulting.com.