(Related: 6 Types of Financial Advisor)
Many agents and advisors think of prospecting as an ordeal to be survived, similar to pledge initiation week in fraternities. Once you are through you think: “Thank goodness I never have to do that again.” Wrong.
New client acquisition needs to be part of your business plan.
Here are a dozen reasons why you can never put prospecting behind you, an item checked off your “To Do” list:
1. Watch your competitors. Your best clients are your competitor’s best prospects. They are getting called. They are the subject of drip marketing in social situations. Fellow insurance agents are marrying into their family.
Strategy: If your clients aren’t reminded what you do for them, someone else will tell your story. It will not be good.
2. It worked before. I heard a story from an excellent business coach. He would ask an advisor to list their top 20 client relationships. Next, he would ask: “How did you get this client?” A pattern would emerge. He then asked: “When was the last time you used that strategy?” “Oh, I haven’t done that for years” was often the reply.
Strategy: If you owned a horse and it was winning races, would you shoot it?
3. Attrition happens. Clients die. They move to other cities where the cost of living is cheaper. They stop doing business. How are you going to replace them?
Strategy: Clients might age, some even die. Their children age too. They become heirs. Have you asked your client to introduce you? You are going to meet someday. Shouldn’t it be under happy circumstances?
4. Reassignments is not a strategy. Some agents and advisors think they will benefit when older folks retire or newer ones wash out. They consider the accounts they expect to receive the growth strategy for their business.
Strategy: Your manager might have some discretion on reassigned accounts, but they will logically first look at people who are hitting their numbers.
5. Referrals is passive. Many successful people say: “I grow my business through referrals.” It makes sense, but you need to ask for them. You can’t wait for them to come to you.
Strategy: You need to tactfully drive referrals: “Who do you know that’s retiring in the next year?” That’s a classic.
6. My clients know what I can do for them. It’s an excuse why you don’t tell them about investment products or new lines of business. The rationale is they haven’t asked, so they don’t need it. You might be pigeonholed as “my insurance guy.” They need to buy other services. They like you. They would probably prefer doing more business with you instead of starting a new relationship with a stranger.