Small continuous improvements and trying ideas that have worked for other financial advisors can keep you moving toward greater success. Try these quick-hit ideas from around the world about referrals, scheduling your work week, prospecting and standing out. They may give you that extra boost forward in your profession.
1. Future proofing
When a client’s CPA recommends dropping life insurance, I ask them to put the recommendation in writing and give me a copy for my file. I tell the CPA that if the client were to die, I want to be able to respond to the frustrated spouse with the reason they don’t have life insurance. This often results in the client opting to keep the insurance in place.
—Peter Jason Byrne, Coorparoo, Queensland, Australia, 15-year MDRT member
2. Referral source
I ask my clients, “Who would be the first person you’d call if an emergency happened to you?” I will then contact this person, tell them that they’ve been nominated as an emergency contact and start conversing with them. That phone call has often helped me secure these individuals as new clients.
—Felicia Oh Su Lin, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia, one-year MDRT member
3. Structure your week
A key part of the structure I’ve incorporated in my life through working with a business coach is using Tuesday through Thursday only for revenue-generating activity. The focus of these three days includes appointments with clients, trying to get appointments with clients or anything client-oriented that is designed to generate profit. I would never spend time on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday doing something that wasn’t client facing. That really has made a big difference. It can be tough but having that structure has really been a big help.
—Mark D. Olson, CFP, MSFS, Austin, Texas, USA, 24-year MDRT member
4. An entryway to approaching prospects
I had a difficult time approaching a prospect from a very well-established circle, so one day I contacted him and said: “Hi, I need your help. I just graduated from CFP class and need to do a practice presentation. May I borrow some of your staff to listen to my presentation? I’m not selling anything, and I will also prepare lunch for them.” He approved and even allowed me to make a sale if the opportunity arose. I presented for 15 people and ended up making six closings on the spot. Later, when I connected with the prospect to ask what he thought of my presentation, he asked me what kind of program would be suitable for him. These closings all came from my initial request for practice.
—Winarni, LUTCF, FSS, Jakarta, Indonesia, three-year MDRT member
5. A better approach
Prospects are worn down by the traditional sales approach, so they end up becoming suspicious, which prevents advisors from establishing trust. A buyer who doesn’t trust you combined with a salesperson who wants something from that buyer is not a scenario for success. The best way to overcome uneasiness is to serve and take the buyer’s defenses down quickly. The first conversation you have should be 80% about them and 20% about you. When you approach a prospect with the goal of wanting to bring them to a better place instead of explaining why they should buy your product, they are more inclined to listen and to engage with you. The goal should be to get them to want to spend more time with you rather than to sell them immediately. This will set yourself apart from the average sales professional.
—Amal Grammas, executive coach and 2022 MDRT Global Conference speaker
These were excerpted from “12 tips for standing out, talking to clients and focusing your work week” in the March/April 2023 Round the Table.