Too many financial advisers and insurance agents use the hit-and-run methodology of client acquisition. These professionals employ some type of marketing system which could be anything from seminars to direct mail to pursuing Internet leads. In each case however, when these hit-and-run advisors encounter a prospect who is not ready to take immediate action, drop the prospect like a hot potato. The hunter then moves on to stalk their next prey. This is not how the riches professionals operate.
With the wealthiest advisors and agents do is to build a pipeline of people who are viable. Viable means that these prospects have money and have interest and meet the criteria that the advisor has for a new client. These prospects then go into a database and the advisor drips on them. Dripping means that these prospects receive some communication from the advisor or agent once every 30 days.
Prospect's Criteria for Becoming a Client
What the successful producers realize is that once they've met a prospect and identified them as having money and interest, 50% of the work is done. Now, it is just waiting for the timing to be right and for there to be sufficient trust for the prospect to take action. Not every prospect will trust you immediately. Some prospects require several contacts until they feel comfortable in writing a check. Hit and run producers never do business with these types of prospects. Being trustworthy in the prospect eyes usually entails the following
- multiple contacts so they see you have staying power (i.e. you are not a "hit and run" type)
- they need to see you are knowledgeable and competent
- they need to view you as an authority or expert
The above elements lead to trust and trust is the precursor to doing business.
The other issue for converting a prospect to a client is of course timing. Not every prospect is liquid or has assets appropriate to move when you initially meet them. Often, that liquidity event happens six months , 20 months, or even five years later. So simply dripping on these prospects at a low monthly cost for communicating, particularly in these days of the Internet, is a tiny investment for what could be tens of thousands of dollars in commissions or fees.
The Perfect Drip Mechanism
So if you've been using the hit-and-run mentality we suggest you change that to the pipeline mentality. Many advisors have successfully employed an e-newsletter for drip marketing. A newsletter generates all 3 of the above criteria that prospects need to fulfill: to see that you have staying power, that you are knowledgeable and competent and that you are an expert or authority in your subject area.
[...] an insurance huckster rather than the insurance professional you had envisioned because of your hit and run mentality (if the prospect is not ready to buy today, then you [...]
[…] I also maintained a database of prospects, about 800 or so. Each month these people received my newsletter and also occasionally received an invitation to an upcoming seminar. Over time, they received a continuous flow of new and smart observations convincing them that I was a person that added value. While they were not yet clients, each communication was moving them closer and closer to converting from a prospect to a follower (i.e. new client). (See earlier post on why you must drip on prospects). […]