I want to begin this tale of woe with two anecdotes.
A couple of years ago, I did a prospecting seminar for a complex manager at one of the national firms. As we were wrapping up, he told me, “Let me show you something.” He pulled up a spreadsheet that listed the 60-some advisors in his complex. There was a horizontal line drawn about halfway down. His comment: “People below this line are negative over a five-year period on net new households.”
I replied, “I know exactly why. They’re not doing anything.” And then I added, “Even a blind pig can find an acorn. Since they are not finding any acorns, they are not doing anything.”
Just two weeks ago, I had a telephone conversation with a complex manager at another firm. He commented that a substantial percentage of the advisors in his complex were not showing any growth in client relationships. Again, those blind pigs are staying in their huts, not rooting around.
Best Practices 2011
In my July Research magazine article, I appealed to my readers to take a 48-question “best practices” survey. To date, 325 have responded. The amount of data to analyze is overwhelming. So I am chipping away at it, both in my monthly feature here, and in my new blog at Research’s affiliated website AdvisorOne.com. (If you want to take the survey, you can go to www.billgood.com/bestpractices. There you will find links to current and past blog articles.)
For this issue, my plan was to focus on prospecting best practices. I spent hours analyzing my data. I did filters and cross tabulations to see if I could locate best practices. Guess what? There are not a lot. But “worst practices” are everywhere.
I use a survey website called “Survey Monkey.” It’s quite a marvelous program with tremendous analytic capabilities. If best practices were there, I would find them.
In my search for best practices, I decided to focus for this article on advisors with $50 million in assets under management and above.
Quite obviously, these are people who have been in the business for a longer period of time. Many of them have “an established clientele.” For the established producer, prospecting is always a challenge.
The table nearby summarizes my findings. Each of the columns except for the last represents a subset of advisors with more than $50 million AUM. These subsets were just different ways I filtered the survey data.