In the first part of the post, we looked at the major lead generation offerings. In this post, we answer the question in the title.
The rise of these various services raises the fundamental question—can you really outsource prospecting for clients? Some planners I’ve spoken with have suggested this is impossible—clients do business with people they know and trust, and there’s no way to start building trust if some third-party service delivers people to you.
Yet the reality is that there’s a difference between prospecting and sales—prospecting is the activity you do to meet potential new clients, while sales is the part where you try to convert a prospective client into an actual client (regardless of whether you “sell” a financial product, or financial advice as a service).
Thus, having your prospecting done by a third party service doesn’t eliminate the sales part of the process; for better or for worse, you still have to take the prospects and turn them into clients. What it does—or is intended to do—is deliver a stream of qualified prospective clients to you so that all you have to do is actually persuade them to become your client and pay you for what you do.
Thus, the key value proposition for these lead generation/prospecting services is their ability to deliver a steady stream of prospective clients, and that those individuals actually be qualified prospects for your services (i.e., people who fit your target market, have the financial wherewithal to do business with you, and desire your services). And while these services are difficult to deliver on, they’re not impossible; in point of fact, marketing is an activity that is particularly effective with size and scale, implying that a service trying to reach the public to deliver hundreds or thousands of prospective clients to advisors really may be more cost effective than each advisor doing it individually.