Client acquisition is a crucial factor in a financial advisor’s success. You could know everything there is to know about financial planning, and you will fail to build a practice if you don’t have clients to share that knowledge with.
It’s as simple as that. If you don’t have clients, you don’t have a business.
Consolidated Planning understands the importance of client acquisition to financial advisor success and provides unparalleled support to help advisors with their prospecting and marketing efforts. Our Marketing Administration, Practice Management, and Solutions (MAPS) Team is dedicated to assisting advisors to gain clients with a full suite of tools and service offerings unique to the industry.
This focused support creates an environment that allows our average inexperienced advisors to earn more than $250,000 by their fifth year in the business.
In this article, we’ll discuss how financial advisors gain clients. You’ll learn what works and what doesn’t regarding client acquisition. You’ll be equipped with the knowledge to decide if you can implement these areas in your financial advising career or decide if this doesn’t sound like the best path for you.
Do Financial Advisors Work With Family And Friends?
Often new financial advisors are selling a product in a very pre-mediated way. This approach is often transactional and in the first meeting there is a product pitch. If this is your approach to working with family and friends, you’d likely prefer to work with strangers first.
However, if you really believe in the planning process, experience, and value that you create in the lives of clients you’ll see approaching family and friends differently. You’d quickly come to the conclusion that helping your friends and family is more important than struggling to help strangers. After all, if not you adding this tremendous value, then who?
It’s therefore important to find a firm that provides a planning process and experience that you’d want for the people that you like and love. That could be for just investment advising, just insurance advising, or financial advising.
Once you’re clear about the value you’ll bring to future clients you need to make a list. Who are the family and friends you know in your life that have responsibilities for others? We’ve found that the more responsibilities for others a prospect has, the better they’ll be as a client. This isn’t often true, but it usually is the rule.
Financial advisors with a large natural network of friends, family, and acquaintances typically have greater early career success that builds a strong foundation for long term practice success. But, as we discussed above, the must why they approach these people is more important than how they approach them. The how can be trained at any firm, but if your ‘why’ is not aligned with what you’re doing everyday and internal conflict will exist.
How Do Financial Advisors Find New Markets?
Eventually, you’ll market your practice beyond your natural market. Your growth into new markets is exciting and vital to your success as an advisor. But how will you find new markets?
To develop new markets, you’ll need to meet new people. You’ll do this in a few key ways:
● Referrals – Referrals and introductions from satisfied clients allow you to expand your circle of reach beyond your existing client base and are an easy way to meet new prospects.
● Personal Observation – The best prospectors always have their antenna up and aren’t afraid to initiate a conversation when the opportunity presents itself. In this business, everyone needs our help and learning to identify and seize opportunities is critical.
● Centers Of Influence – Other professionals like CPAs and attorneys are great sources of prospective clients because they do complementary work for our clients. Developing these relationships takes time to build trust, but they can provide a stream of clients for years to come.
● Niche or Target Markets – Tailoring your services to meet the needs of a specific client type allows you to become the “go to advisor” for that market.
How Do Financial Advisors Build A Niche or Target Market?
A niche is a small, targeted subset of a larger group. Common niches may be specific to a client’s profession, life circumstance, company, or interests. Financial advisors often work in specific niches to provide specialized services and develop a deeper understanding of their client’s needs. We also call these Target Markets.
Sometimes advisors uncover a niche within their natural market. Maybe your spouse is a physician, so your natural network has many other physicians. Or perhaps you are changing careers, and your old industry contacts create a natural niche for you.
Other times, advisors methodically create a niche for themselves over time. Building a niche one client at a time is like pushing a snowball down a hill. It starts small and slowly but quickly grows bigger with increasing speed.
As you gain clients within your chosen niche, you’ll learn more about the common planning problems and solutions facing them and will be better able to serve and market to these needs. Eventually, you’ll be regarded as the expert in your niche.
What Tools Do Financial Advisors Use To Find Clients?
Technology has changed how the world works, and financial advisors are no exception. Dozens of tools available today can amplify and streamline your prospecting efforts. Keep in mind that niche, targeted markets are key. The tools below come alive once a new advisor’s niche is clear.
Some popular tools used by advisors at Consolidated Planning include:
● Weylman Center for Target Market Building: This training center provides the tools you need to become a trusted advisor in your target market.
● FMG Marketing Suite – This is a robust content sharing tool with email and social media integrations that allows you to quickly and efficiently build and schedule prospecting campaigns.
● My Name Flow – This automated monthly newsletter tool helps you build distribution lists and deliver relevant content to subscribers with minimal effort required beyond setup.
● Smart Office – This is a robust client relationship management tool with marketing capabilities. It helps keep you on top of client and prospect engagement and tracks your revenue and pipeline.
● LinkedIn – The professional networking site is a powerful prospecting tool.
How Will I Find Clients As A Financial Advisor?
It all starts with the belief. The belief in your why, the belief in the firm you align yourself with, and the belief in yourself.
The fear of building your client base is a very real and valid feeling, but we’re here to help.
- Learning how to navigate your natural market
- Developing a suitable target market
- Marketing efforts
- Software and tools to help your pipeline
If you have that belief, it’s time to further evaluate if the reward of a career in financial advising is worth the risk.
Reach out to our recruiting team today to learn more about the support you’ll receive at Consolidated Planning and for your copy of our practice building playbook to earn $250,000 within five years.
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