The number one key to marketing and building a successful business in my opinion is to attract better clients. To do this, we need to define what a better client looks like. Many advisors think that the best potential client is someone with a lot of investable assets. While higher net worth clients are certainly more desirable, the most important characteristic of a potential client is that they have already engaged me emotionally and mentally before they ever step foot in my office.

My goal with every first appointment is that the client is already 70 percent to 80 percent convinced they will hire me before they actually come in to meet me. This mindset is the top reason I’ve grown from gathering $5 million in assets per year to $35 million per year in just five short years.

Persuasive message

How do you provide a message that is so persuasive a client engages you before they even meet you face to face? The key is in how you brand yourself throughout your community. With the right message, potential clients will feel like they already know you even if they haven’t actually met you personally.

My brand is to educate, educate, and then educate some more. It’s like Ed Slott often says, “Your outflow determines your inflow.” If you teach people things they’ve never heard before, and you sound different than the broker on every street corner, people will flock to your office.

Now, once they’re in your office, you need to have a streamlined system in place to convert these prospects into long-lasting clients. You need to know what to say, when to say it, and how to say it. As advisors, we focus so much of our time and energy on marketing, we sometimes neglect the importance of knowing exactly what to do when we’re actually meeting with the client across the table.

Ask, then listen

My main advice would be this: Ask as many questions as you can, and then listen. Then ask more questions, and listen some more. People don’t like to be told what to do. If we ask the correct questions, they will discover and understand their problems without you having to tell them, and then they will own the solutions to those problems.

Who can provide them with the solutions to their problems? You. This is the greatest opportunity in the history of our profession to help people with their life’s savings. We live in very uncertain economic times. If you teach people about how to use their money to accomplish their goals in retirement, the fish will be jumping into your boat.