Editor’s Note: This is the third in a ten-part series identifying the best sales techniques for 2016. To view the rest of the series, click here.
80. Let referring professionals and satisfied clients sell you to others.
“Our practice focuses on collaboration and education of women in transition — for example, women who have undergone a spouse’s death or divorce. On several occasions, I handed a few of Kathleen Rehl’s books to an accountant and an attorney with a note about her work. They passed along these books to women clients who would read them, call me and become my clients.
Also, we once invited 20 existing clients to bring their adult daughters or friends to dinner as our guests. So these people, 20 of whom we didn’t know, heard Kathleen Rehl speak. Afterward, half of them became clients of ours. Once you start working with these very vulnerable clients, they will literally drive new clients to your office.”
— John Finn, Principal, Finn & Rodriguez Wealth Management
79. Be clear about your advertising goals.
“Tell the reader exactly what you want him to do — the action you want him to take. Don’t be shy. You won’t appear ‘pushy.’ Most important, you won’t repeat the classical sales error of failing to ask for action — to ask for that order.”
— Andrew Byrne, insurance marketing product manager with Playboy Enterprises Inc., in the March 6, 1982, issue of National Underwriter Life & Health
78. Are you doing the best you can?
“The question I ask myself like almost every day is, ‘Am I doing the most important thing I could be doing?’ … Unless I feel like I’m working on the most important problem that I can help with, then I’m not going to feel good about how I’m spending my time.”
— Mark Zuckerberg, chairman, CEO, chief executive, Facebook
77. Become a center of influence.
Focus your prospecting efforts on a very specific niche market that interests you. Identify a Center of Influence appropriate for the niche and consult them for their advice. People that are asked for their advice are flattered to have been asked, they are generally more than happy to give it because everyone wants to think they’re an expert at something, and they feel invested in wanting the advice they give to work.
Ask the question like this: “Mrs. Smith, Do you have a few minutes to give me some advice?” Assuming that she says yes: “I’d really like to expand my financial services practice with more successful (insert niche description) just like you. Do you think that’s a good idea?” If yes: “If you were me, how would you do it?”
The listen and let them architect your lead generation strategy. Under no circumstances should you bring up the word referral. You also shouldn’t care if the person that you ask advice of is a client. If there’s radio silence for a bit that’s ok.
Give them time to think. The more thoughtful their advice the better it will be for you. Even if it turns out that they don’t think you should focus on the niche you originally had in mind, they may well raise some really valuable points that could save you a lot of time and energy.
It’s probably the most effective marketing technique I’ve used and some of the most successful advisors I’ve ever met built their practices using it. Almost every advisor out there asks for referrals. Very few ask for advice. It’s a differentiator and a game changer.
— Rebecca True, President / Sr. Financial Advisor, True Financial Advisorsa True, President / Sr. Financial Advisor, True Financial Advisors
76. Know who your clients AREN’T.
The best financial advisors (and insurance agents) know exactly who their clients are … and aren’t. This sounds obvious, but isn’t easy. Oftentimes, we see advisors make exceptions to their Ideal Client Type. This can end badly. The most successful advisors have the courage to avoid (and cull) potential clients who do not fit … and remain laser-focused on finding clients who do.
— Ray Sclafani, president and founder of ClientWise