Most advisors have limited marketing budgets when it comes to finding prospects and turning them into clients. But the best advisor marketers follow some simple, repeatable steps for closing prospects, according to research done by SmartAsset among the advisor users of its SmartAdvisor lead generation service and other advisors over the past year.
The findings are particularly instructive since the leads that SmartAdvisor provides its advisor clients have already expressed interest in speaking to an advisor through links on various websites or financial calculators. They’ve also been vetted by a SmartAdvisor ‘concierge’ to match prospects with an advisor’s preferred client profile, and the leads are even geo-targeted, so a prospect will be directed toward a local advisor.
AJ Smith, vice president for financial education at SmartAsset, said the research was prompted by the realization that some advisors in its program were performing much better than others in turning prospects into clients, even when both advisors were in the same neighborhood and had similar practice niches.
Looking at its data and talking to “hundreds of advisors,” Smith said, SmartAsset came up with these four deceptively simple steps that are shared by the most successful closers.
1. Take Action Promptly
The best closers respond quickly, meaning within the first week after they receive their leads, said Smith. They also don’t assume that prospects are keeping their interest in hiring an advisor top of mind. That’s why it’s a good idea, she said, to remind the prospect how and why they expressed interest in finding an advisor. Point out to the prospect that they filled out a form online, Smith suggests, and be specific about what prompted them to fill out that form: “You said were interested in retirement planning,” for instance. “Reminding them of why they’re getting in touch and how the connection was made” in the first place “can be a powerful start to the conversation,” Smith said.
2. Five’s the Number
In addition to reaching out promptly, the most successful closers also communicate in multiple ways to prospects, by phone, email or text. And they don’t do so just once. While some consultants might recommend “reach out a few times or don’t give up after one call,” Smith said those who reach out to leads at least five times during the first week after receiving the lead’s contact information have higher close rates. Is that being too pushy? Smith points out there may be some urgency to the prospect’s request to speak to an advisor, so it’s appropriate to communicate multiple times at first.