The bottom line to growing your top line is activity—no news there. But some advisers pursue activity, any activity, and call it prospecting.
Not All Prospecting Is Created Equal
According to Matt Oechsli, the most effective rainmaking activities include:
- Gaining introductions and referrals from clients and strategic alliances
- Hosting intimate client events
- Strategic networking
Executed well, these activities generally trump moderate-impact methods like PR campaigns and targeted seminars. Methods like cold calling, direct mail and advertising tend to have an even lower impact, Oechsli finds.
The Key: Be Strategic
While rainmaking comes naturally to some advisers, others need a plan to push themselves to increase their prospecting. But no matter which type of adviser you are, or the specific prospecting activities you pursue, it’s essential to follow a strategic approach.
Take golf, a popular way of prospecting for new business. Are you using golf games as strategic prospecting events or more of a lifestyle activity? While organizing a round of golf may be easy, the strategicgolf game involves carefully considering whom you’re playing with and the points you want to cover while you’re on the green.
The same goes for networking opportunities. Where do you interact with prospects? Attending meetings of groups, clubs and organizations may be the equivalent of not working instead of networking if you aren’t exposed to potential clients at those events. And participating in such meetings isn’t very strategic if the conversation never gets around to business.
How Do You Use Your Prospecting Time?
Too often, advisers are involved with an organization for years without mentioning what they do for a living. Don’t get me wrong: if you’re consciously choosing to spend your time socializing or volunteering, that’s excellent. Just understand that there’s typically a difference between prospecting and pure socializing.
When prospecting is the goal, strategic advisers carefully determine which organizations their desired clients belong to, find ways to affiliate with them, and ensure that others in the group are aware of their expertise and the unique value they bring to clients.
Managing Principal of Practice Management
Commonwealth Financial Network