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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Financial Advisors usually focus on the wrong things

Think about Tiger Woods. If he practices just his putting and gets really great, does that assure him of a win? To be a great golfer, it won’t help him to rank a “10” in putting but only a “7” in drives, fairway shots and chip shots. To be great, he must be strong all around and would be a far better golfer if he ranked 8.5 in all phases of the game. And that’s what he does—ha practices all phases of his game but is not #1 in any single skill. In fact—he ranks only 27th in the PGA in drives but his overall game is so good, it allows him to be a world ranked champion.

Advisers need to take a lesson. I see them focus on one aspect of their game, mostly prospecting. But they do little to:
· Improve their sales skills (most have never had formal sales training)
· Telephone appointment setting skills
· Marketing skills (oral and written communication that has prospects act)
· Referral skills (so that they get clients to bring them new business)
· Client retention skills (so that clients generate a lifetime stream of income)

For success with less work, you must have a balanced game and bring all parts of your business along in balance. What good is it if you have the tenacity to cold call all day but your phone presentation is lousy? You waste most of your time because your tenacity is offset by your lack of phone skills. Or what if you have 5 appointments a day but only close 2 as clients because your sales skills are mediocre? If all parts of your business don’t support the other, much of your effort, even in the areas where you rank a “10,” are wasted.

The balanced approach to building a profitable business

These are the 5 key areas of a profitable easy-to-run business
1. Prospecting
2. Appointment setting
3. Sales—how to conduct a prospect interview
4. Drip Marketing (e.g. newsletter for monthly client/prospect contact and client retention)
5. Referrals from clients

Now let’s see what you’re missing in each of these areas.

Prospecting—your prospecting must have people call you in response to mail, advertising or seminar invitations. If you chase the prospect rather than they contact you, your prospecting is all wrong and you have a fabulous opportunity to learn how to change that (and save a lot of time).

Appointment Setting—in our study of 500 advisers, the most successful asked the prospect at least 8 questions and the call lasted for more than 5 minutes. The least successful advisers rushed to set an appointment before understanding the prospect motivations and were often shot down. You can learn winning phone appointment-setting skills.

Sales—most advisers don’t know the definition of sales. Sales is “asking the prospect appropriate questions so that they see the solution for themselves.” It’s not about talking or spouting features and benefits or convincing. It’s about asking the right questions. The good news—you can retrain yourself in about 2 days and soon have prospects asking to buy.

Drip Marketing—if you don’t stay in contact every 30 days with a newsletter with clients and prospects, they forget you and you will lose business. You must have a drip marketing system that operates without your attention

Referrals—if 50% of your new business does not come from referrals, it’s because you have no system. You cannot wait for clients to bring you business because “you’re a nice person.”

Additional posts in this blog will focus on each of these activities in detail and how to do them.

Post provided by Javelin Marketing