When Merrill Lynch Wealth Management executives surveyed their top 250 acquiring financial advisors last year, the firm identified several key tactical client acquisition strategies responsible for the majority of new business results.
During their third year, advisor trainees are introduced to the top tactics as part of what Merrill calls its Optimal Practice Model, focusing on business management and development, planning, investments and financing, relationship management, and service and administration.
Here are three of the strategies:
Targeted seminars: The idea here is to organize an event around the needs and interests of the client. As an example, one Merrill advisor—whose client owns a Mercedes dealership—held an event on investments for the dealership’s clients. Another hosted a retirement celebration for a client and dozens of the client’s friends. The advisor spoke briefly at the party about the transition to retirement. “It’s not rocket science but it’s really smart,” says Dwight Mathis, who heads new advisor strategy. Merrill helps fund the seminars up to a point.