How can I grow my business? That’s long been a top-of-mind concern of most advisors.
To get some fresh perspectives on how you can best expand your business in a changing world today, I spoke with three of the industry’s leading sales coaches. Here’s what I learned.
1. Focus on the client experience.
Dr. Maribeth Kuzmeski of Red Zone Marketing says the best advisors are getting referrals without having to ask for them. Advisors need to review their service model and ask how they can improve the client experience, adds Kuzmeski, who has a doctorate in business administration and has written seven books.
Do you proactively reach out to clients, especially when the market drops? Do you pleasantly surprise clients with timely emails or phone calls to show you really care?
Many advisors are uncomfortable with asking clients for referrals directly. Asking if they know anyone who might need a second opinion on their portfolio is a softer approach.
2. Who’s your target market?
Michael Silver, senior managing director of the advisor coaching firm Focus Partners, recommends you examine your current clientele.
If you have lots of doctors or business owners, for example, you may want to focus on niches where you’ve already had success with clients whose needs you really understand.
You should also consider your own affinities, interests and experiences.
Are you a golfer? Do you have your pilot’s license?
How about your family situation? Do you have a special-needs child, for instance, or are you caring for an elderly parent?
These are just a few of many situations that might be helpful to you when pursuing a niche.
Ask this question: Is there an underserved market that you can pursue?
If you’ve identified a new market, you’ll need to spend time researching and learning about it before launching your marketing campaign. You’ll also need to give yourself time to establish your reputation in that space.
Advisors don’t necessarily have to have a niche to be successful, according to Silver. He once coached a well-heeled advisor who told him, “I work with people who are simply really rich and really nice.”
3. Use a multi-pronged approach to attain your goals.
Yogi Berra once quipped, “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.”
That said, it’s essential to write an annual business and marketing plan that contains specific, quantifiable goals and action steps, Silver points out.
Suppose your goal is to raise an additional $50 million in assets under management in the next year. You’ll need a combination of greater wallet share from current clients and some new client relationships to get there.
Here are several strategies that you might employ:
- Convert transactional assets to fee-based assets,
- Look for more assets held away with current clients.
- Build more relationships with centers of influence.
- Do quarterly webinars for clients and prospects,
- Start a networking group.
Make sure to track your results and which strategies result in the greatest success.