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Pipeline Planning Ideas to End the Year with Momentum

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At the beginning of each year, you tell yourself that this year will be different. This will be the year to hit your goals. You start off on track, but then something happens that causes a slowdown in business activity … the holidays! 

It doesn’t have to be this way. In high school science class, we all learned Newton’s Laws of Motion: “A body in motion stays in motion, a body at rest stays at rest.” The same is true in your business. You’ve spent the year building the momentum, and there are plenty of ways to keep it going through the year’s end and into 2012. Here are three ways to generate new leads and create activity for your business.

1. Step up client reviews. Many advisors meet with their clients twice a year or more; however, not every advisor consistently conducts annual or bi-annual reviews. A review is a great opportunity to get in front of your clients and reinforce why they chose you as their advisor. It’s also a great time to catch up on your clients’ lives. Throughout the year, numerous events may have occurred that require your support.  For example, a marriage or the birth of a child may require updates to their beneficiaries on their insurance policies or investment accounts. Countless other reasons may generate the need for updates to their retirement plan. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to build rapport with your client base, and ask if there are additional ways to help them plan for retirement. Ongoing communication is key to the long-term retention of clients. 

2. Schedule a “Bring-a-Friend” event. At this point, you should know the profile of your ideal client; whether they are small business owners, doctors, engineers, divorced women and men, or newly married couples. To find more clients that fit the profile, invite your existing clients to a fun networking event where the price of entry is to bring a friend who may also be a good fit for your practice. As you’re planning the event, contact 5–10 of your best clients and talk through your ideas to see what type of event they would like to attend. Usually they are more than eager to help. The event doesn’t have to be big or extravagant; it just needs to be fun.  The point is to give your clients and their guests a chance to get to know you and your staff better.   

3. Schedule a charity event. Want to build additional rapport with your clients? Schedule an event for a charity that you are passionate about and invite your clients to participate. These events bring value to your community and give your clients the opportunity to learn more about you, all while sharing in a common cause. Some examples of charities advisors have supported include Toys for Tots, Meals on Wheels and the Make a Wish Foundation. 

The time is ripe to differentiate your practice by becoming more visible to each and every client, particularly during the holiday spending rush, when many consumers have a heightened concern for their finances. How will you bring added value to your clients, beat the holiday lull and set the pace for 2012?