If there’s one goal I hear advisors talk about more than any other, it’s the desire to double their business, and understandably so. Doubling your business is certainly a worthy goal, and in our experience, one that almost every advisor has the potential to achieve.
Still, most advisors struggle to understand how to bridge the gap from knowing that they should be able to double their business, and knowing which specific strategies to implement to get them there.
There is a prevailing myth that if you want to double your business, you have to double your marketing spend. Whether or not you’ve been told this directly, most of us act as if this is true. But it’s not. In fact, in almost all of the cases we’ve seen, doubling the amount of money you spend on marketing produces only incremental growth.
To make matters worse, those who’ve tried “doubling down” on their marketing budgets usually end up feeling that the goal of doubling their business is always eluding them, or worse yet, while they may increase production, their overhead and costs increase just as quickly. They will never actually get there.
The truth is, you can double (or more) your business if you focus on the following nine business development leverage points.
More traffic means more prospects. (Photo: iStock)
1. Double your traffic
In marketing, traffic usually refers to the number of prospects who visit your website. But we’re talking about something much broader. Doubling your traffic could mean getting twice as many prospects to visit a seminar registration page, download a white paper, click to watch a short video or even simply to read a blog on your website. Simply stated, doubling your traffic means doubling the number of prospects who take the first action in your sales process, typically once they’ve become aware that they have a need.
The fastest way to double your traffic is first to get crystal-clear about whom you want to attract, then to making sure you’re speaking to that market specifically. In other words, you have to stop talking to all prospects the same. The reality here is that only a small portion of a really broad message is going to resonate with any one prospect. It’s a case of one-size-fits-none.
But, if instead you focus on making one big, bold promise to a smaller segment of the market, you’ll see a dramatic increase in the total amount of traffic you generate.
Give prospects something they want to turn them into leads. (Photo: iStock)
2. Double your leads
Once you’ve increased traffic, it’s time to create a game-plan for converting that traffic into leads. One way is to pair a high-value offer with an extremely low-commitment call to action.
For example, if you mail thousands of direct mail pieces asking people to attend a live seminar, you’re asking for a very high commitment from a very cold audience. If, however, you offered prospects something of value, something they want — say, a valuable case study or free report — in exchange for something that’s easy for them to give — their name and email — you can dramatically increase the total number of leads you generate from each marketing campaign.
An automatic system to set appointments can help turn leads into clients. (Photo: iStock)
3. Double your number of appointments
Once you’re generating lots of leads, the next step is to convert them into appointments. This is where a lot of advisors become quickly overwhelmed, because the only way they know to do this is to pick up the phone and start dialing.
If you dread making calls the way I do, or you don’t have the time to spend on it, your leads are going to end up wasted. Sure, they’ll sit on your desk for a week or two, while you tell yourself you’re going to call them, but after enough time has passed they’ll eventually end up in the proverbial “trash can” (if not literally).
There’s got to be a better way, right? Right.
To make this stage of appointment conversion easier, you can leverage automated campaigns using a combination of emails and video, sent to each lead you generate, offering them the option to simply click and schedule their own appointment on your calendar.
Regardless of how you handle it, set up a system that can automate this process for you so that every lead generated receives follow-up contact, multiple times, and is given the time they need to warm up to you and schedule an appointment.
Sometimes appointments don’t show up. Don’t lose momentum. (Photo: iStock)
4. Double your number of kept appointments
Let’s say your marketing is working pretty well, and you’re generating leads predictably and consistently converting them into appointments. But you begin to notice a large number of these appointments are not showing up. Not to worry. It happens. But rather than letting it suck the wind out of your sails, recognize it as just another challenge to solve on your way to doubling your business.
The best way to solve this is to eliminate any momentum killers, which happen when time lapses from when the appointment is scheduled to when it occurs. You can eliminate these momentum killers with a pre-first-appointment engagement campaign.
Let’s face it, sometimes prospects can get cold feet and second-guess their decision to consult with someone they’ve never met. Sometimes they even simply get distracted and forget they scheduled the appointment. An appointment nurture campaign addresses this head on by building anticipation leading up to the appointment with a steady stream of value-added content and resources nurturing the initial interest and reason for coming in to see you.
Follow up with hesitant clients. (Photo: iStock)
5. Double your closing ratio
If you’re already a pretty good closer, you might think there’s little room for improvement here. But if you were to add up all the first appointments you have in a year, then look at the number of new clients you close annually, I’d guess that you’re closing three or four prospects for every ten first appointments you schedule.
Now, some of those prospects that don’t close may not be qualified, while others may not be a good fit. But more likely than not, there is probably a percentage of those who don’t close that simply thank you for the information and promise they’ll get back to you, but of course never do. The challenge with these prospects is to continue to follow up and advance the conversation, understanding that they may not make a decision for many months.