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7 Ways to Get Clients When You Have None

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(Related: 10 Useful Phrases for Getting Clients to Commit)

People new in the business have a challenge. They need to build a book of business, aka: Find clients. How do you get started?

Years ago, there was the stereotype of the branch manager handing the rookie the phone book and saying” “Start calling!” Advisors are creative. I always admired the fellow who would open the book, find a name and number and call. When a person answered the phone, he would say: “My manager specifically asked me to give you a call.” Thankfully, the do-not-call rules have knocked out just calling from the phone directory.

7 Strategies to Get Clients

Finding people who will talk with you is what prospecting is all about. It’s important to understand there are short-term strategies and long-term strategies. Cold calling, or ‘smiling and dialing” is a short-term strategy. Prospecting within your private club or raising your visibility at the local museum is a long-term strategy. Why? Because first, you need to develop the social relationship before you can transition it into a business relationship.

Prospecting is a numbers game. You need lots of prospects. A branch manager in Los Angeles once explained: “The problem with our new advisors is many have only one prospect. If they become a client, they have a great month. If they don’t, then they have no business. You need to keep the pipeline filled.

The gallery above gives you several strategies to provide a steady flow of prospects. One more bit of advice: Once the flow of prospects becomes steady, it’s tempting to say: “I’ve arrived, I can stop prospecting now.” Prospecting is like a spinning top. Once it loses momentum, the top falls over and stopping spinning. You need to keep up your prospecting efforts throughout your career. Now, go find an established advisor and ask them what a top is!

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