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5 Ways Financial Advisors Miss New Business

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As a business coach, I hear advisors talk about getting stuck a lot. Whether they’re excuses, blind spots or impasses, the point is that these issues cost them leads.

I understand that running your own practice is a full-contact sport, and sometimes you need a minute on the bench to catch your breath. But sitting out for too long, for any reason, can let vital relationship and prospect opportunities slip away, faster and more frequently than you think.

Beware of these five common mindset traps that you can fall into that prevent you from getting new business. If you find yourself thinking any of these things, pick yourself off the bench and get back into the game.

1. Inflexibility

“If they can’t fill out the paperwork, we’re not setting a meeting — we don’t want them.”

Everyone wants the prospect to be the one who does the work first. But that’s idealistic, not realistic. A lot of serious prospects need a little hand-holding. Maybe they’re not prioritizing you or maybe they’re technology-averse.

A little nudge in the beginning might be what gets the ball rolling. Set the appointment, welcome their assets, cater to their needs and help them gather the necessary information. It’s more important to help your client than to be right.

2. Giving Up Too Easily

“We sent them an email to come in for a review and never heard back.”

Did someone in your office follow up by phone to encourage your client to come in? Sending an email might be quick and easy, but they are just as easily opened and ignored. Calling someone might require more effort, but it will leave a deeper impact.

Phone calls have a personal touch since you’re hearing someone’s voice and not just reading words on a screen. Don’t just communicate with your clients and prospects — show them you value them and pick up the phone.

3. Outdated Criteria for Screening Clients

“They already have an advisor.”

“They don’t have a particular pain point (divorce, college planning, etc.).”

“They are a DIY-er.”

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It’s time you update your outdated sales criteria with some positivity and create room for more prospects in your funnel. Screening for a narrow group of prospects is important in certain circumstances, but not for everyday business.

Only two criteria really matter when it comes to identifying a good prospect. First, can they meet your minimum asset/fee requirements? Second, do they need the services you provide? Get people in the door who meet this criteria, and go from there. You can learn more about their specific needs or pain points later.

4. Thinking It’s Too Late to Follow Up

“It’s too late now, we should have called them two months ago.”

No lead is an old lead. While they’re not sitting and waiting for your call, it’s never too late to reconnect.

Let’s say you met Jane through a client at a prospect event in October. Now it’s February. What do you say when you decide to call them?

You don’t have to explain the delay in contact. No one needs the go-to “sorry I was busy” excuse, even if it was the holidays. Keep it simple and personal. Show off your interest — and your memory.

“Hi Jane! It was great seeing you at our event this past fall. I wanted to let you know we have a seminar coming up…”

5. Dwelling on a Bad Meeting

“I blew it. I should have said this or that in the meeting but didn’t — lost opportunity.”

Bad meetings happen to everyone. You miss a cue. You forget to bring up a crucial point or ask a critical question. Prospects don’t know what you were planning to say and they likely don’t know what the next steps are — that’s your job.

Don’t let one bad meeting in your eyes taint the entire prospect relationship. Follow up with them. Call them and say, “I enjoyed our meeting, thanks for coming in. I understand what you were saying about your needs, and I know we can help.”

Keep it short and not salesy. The conversation should be about them, not you or your value.

Here’s a quick phone call outline:

  1.     Thank them for meeting and sharing their situation with you
  2.     Ask to set another appointment
  3.     Answer any questions and express excitement for the next meeting

Pivot Toward Positive Thinking

Think about what habits or attitudes might be hindering new business that’s knocking at your door. If you find yourself backing into a negative corner trapped by excuses and worry, remember to pivot toward positive thinking.


Tammy Breitenbach is an advisor coach in the Carson Coaching program.