Discover what questions are getting in the way of finding clients

I spoke to a financial advisor last week who declared, “I struggle with lead generation and marketing. I’m really good at what I do, though, and I end up closing most of the people I sit down with.”

Then he asked me, “How do I generate leads and get some new clients rolling in?”

I told him, “You’re asking the wrong question. The question you should be asking is who, not how.”

You should ask yourself:

  • Who is going to help you generate high-net-worth clients and prospects?
  • Who is already successfully dealing with these prospects?
  • Who are you going to hire?
  • Who is available, talented and looking for an opportunity?
  • Who are you going to speak to?
  • Who are you going to partner with?
  • Who from your past can help?
  • Who are you going to do joint work with? Whose network are you going to leverage?

I see advisors complaining every day about spending money on leads that don’t result in sales — or even in meetings — with prospects. They talk about mailings that didn’t work, seminars that resulted only in people who wanted a free meal, networking groups that aren’t getting them business, marketing funnels they’ve attempted to build online and other prospecting and marketing ideas that aren’t working for them. These are all the hows that aren’t working for them.

But what they need to understand is that it’s the who that brings them business, not the how. Whos are everywhere and can much more reliably lead to business if we develop relationships with them. 

  • What are they doing to leverage their relationships with existing clients?
  • What are they doing to create and develop relationships with centers of influence?
  • Are they working on strategic partnerships?
  • Do they have help, and has their team been taught how to help bring new clients to their office?
  • Who are they speaking with today?

Ours is a relationship business. Who we interact with and the level of our relationship with them determines our success.

Someone whose relationship with us is a two out of a possible 10 isn’t likely to be a source of business or introductions. And it’s not likely you’ll get to nine or 10 in one conversation with them. This means investing time in moving your relationships from a two to a three, then to a four and so on.

If there’s a how at all, it’s how to take a who to a level 10 relationship, where new business will begin to flow. 

Here is my advice in a single sentence, “Ask who and not how.”

Sandy Schussel is a performance acceleration coach who has been working with financial advisors for more than 20 years, helping them break through to higher production levels.

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