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7 Tips on Growing Your Business From Top Sales Coaches

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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. 

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4. Keep your higher purpose in mind.

Financial advisor coach Jim Rohrbach of Success Skills believes that it’s critical to infuse your daily activities with an awareness of our purpose: “If someone has a sense of mission, they are more likely to attain their goals.” 

This purpose can be to find unique solutions to client problems or to build long-lasting relationships with them. It can also be to help them earn enough money so that they can provide for their children’s education or their parents.

Rohrbach focuses on helping advisors create a goals-based personal mission statement and urges them to recite it every morning.

5. Build deeper relationships.

“Real networking happens one on one,” Rohrbach explains.

When you build a relationship with a client or center of influence, you can look at each other’s LinkedIn contacts and make mutual introductions by email or in person. But first, you have to forge meaningful connections with others who know, like and trust you.

It’s fine to show up at local chamber of commerce meetings — but it’s useful only if you’re forming worthwhile bonds with others. That happens by getting together one on one with them.

6. Leverage the advantages of our virtual world.

Due to the current pandemic, clients have become more accustomed to interacting with their advisor online. This means advisors are no longer as limited to networking in their local communities as they used to be. In other words, it’s now easier to get clients anywhere. If your niche is, say, engineers, you can prospect nationally.

One upside of webinars, according to Kuzmeski, is that even though they may attract fewer people than in-person seminars, attendees are more likely to be people who are genuinely interested in a particular topic rather than being there to enjoy the free food and drink. 

Thus, webinars have a higher closing rate with prospects than in-person seminars, as industry research has confirmed.

7. Coaches hold you accountable.

Remember that detailed business plan that you wrote up with all your lofty goals for the year? 

A skilled sales coach can really hold your feet to the fire and ensure that this plan doesn’t just collect dust in your file drawer.

Silver refers to his firm as a group of “accountability partners.” They push their advisor clients to execute on the plan via weekly or monthly calls.

Plans are written collaboratively with advisors. Advisors have to honestly assess what worked and what didn’t over the past year. Did they speak with clients as often as they promised to? Did they host the number of WebEx events that they planned? If not, why not?

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As head of Mark Elzweig Company, a New York-based executive recruiting firm that specializes in helping financial advisors find the right career paths, Mark brings more than three decades of experience to his work with advisors and writing for industry publications.

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(Image: Shutterstock)