Advisors need to keep the prospecting pipeline filled. This presents many challenges, including knowing which jobs and professions pay well. Many confident advisors can feel awed when talking to professionals like doctors or lawyers. This feeling increases if the other person considers the advisor or agent a salesperson. Let’s look at a four-step process to address these problems.
Step 1: Find Those High-Paying Professions
This will be far easier than you might imagine. The Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks this data. Do an internet search on “BLS Salary” and the name of your metro area. The results should include “May 2019 State Occupational and Wage Estimates,” followed by the name of your city. In some cases, the 2019 report isn’t available. You will likely get the 2017 report.
It lists hundreds of job titles. Using New York City as an example, you might find there are more than 112,000 accountants and auditors earning about $98,000 a year. There are also more than 77,000 lawyers averaging $168,000 a year. These seem like obvious prospects for advisors.
Here are some professions that might surprise you. Dentists make about $167,000 a year. Real estate agents (4,700 of them) average $111,000 a year. Executive secretaries and assistants average more than $73,000 a year. The city’s 820 boilermakers average $86,000 a year. Pile driver operators come in at $103,000 a year. The city’s 178,000 registered nurses average $87,000 a year.
Your project: Review the professions. Build a list of jobs that pay well.
Step 2: Who Does These Jobs?
You have a list of professions. Some jobs on the list are there because you know people in the field. They might be current clients. Others are on the list because they look like good referral sources (accountants, lawyers). Others are unlikely jobs that pay well.
The website searchsystems.net is a collection of more than 70,000 public access databases. Most are free. This is where you will find licensing information. It varies by state — there isn’t a uniform system for accessing data. Choosing a state, then choosing licenses should direct you to a list of a couple hundred professions. Many have a search feature, used to verify that a practitioner’s professional license is in good standing. The same feature can often be used to “Show me all the CPAs in this town or zip code.”
You have other, more intuitive sources. You have friends doing these jobs. Now you have an idea what the profession pays. Do they have the cash flow to qualify as a client?
Your project: Build a list of people doing these jobs in your local area. Try to get detailed contact information.
Step 3: Get on Their Radar
Getting their attention can be done in several ways. You might connect via LinkedIn because they are a second-level connection. You know many of the same people.
You might build several lists of 10 to 15 names. These lists are people who work in the same field, went to the same school, work for the same company or live on the same street. You show lists to friends, asking: “Who do you know? This is the type of person I would like to meet. Would you introduce me?”
They might belong to the same organizations as you. Attend meetings and run into them. You might join the professional association for the industry, assuming they have associate memberships for people not directly employed in the field.
You might drip market using mailings, email or simply calling their office in off hours.
Your project: Develop a strategy to reach out and get a conversation going. It doesn’t need to be a phone call. It might be via LinkedIn messaging, email or a face-to-face intro from a friend.
Step 4: Convince Yourself You Are Their Equal
Now it’s time to beat the intimidation factor. Go back to the BLS salary report you looked at in Step One. Look up the following category: 13-2052 Personal Financial Advisors. What do they average in salary? NYC’s 26,000-plus advisors average $166,000 a year! That’s up there with dentists and lawyers. Far above accountants.
You might say: “That might not be me. They might be private bankers, financial planners or RIAs.” Be more positive. If you look at category 41-3031 Securities, Commodities and Financial Services Sales Agent, you learn those 67,000-plus people average $153,000 a year.
The point is you are in or near the same economic bracket as your prospects. Your children likely go to similar schools. You drive similar cars. Eat in the same restaurants. Vacation in the same islands.
Your project: Talk to these people as peers. Think of yourselves as gym buddies or neighbors. Don’t let the perception that they went to school longer or might be richer intimidate you. Build a list of personal things to talk about. Gradually transition to business.
It’s an easy way to keep your prospecting pipeline filled.