Ask any financial services sales trainer, agency manager or advisor what they like least about their businesses, and they will all say the same thing: prospecting. In fact, advisors dislike prospecting so much that only 11 to 20 percent of them do it on a regular basis.
Consider these research results:
* Fifty percent of advisors quit by the end of the first year.
* Seventy-five percent of advisors quit by the end of the third year.
* Eighty-seven percent of advisors quit by the end of the fifth year.
I think advisor retention rates would be far higher if prospecting issues could be resolved. So why do we hate prospecting so much? Because there’s a huge difference between selling and prospecting—and you might be great at the former and not at the latter.
Here are some important differences between selling and prospecting:
1. It’s client-centered. It’s about the buyer not the seller.
2. Specific products and services are provided. The prospect has a discernible problem that needs to be solved.
3. The advisor typically has a sales “track” to run on. The seller has a good deal of control over the selling process (if not the outcome). The sales track is predictable and can be practiced.