Giving you the right track to run on

A fortnightly pearl of wisdom to fast track your success

CHRISISM #32 - Prospecting For Gold

11 January 2017

Prospecting For Gold

What constitutes gold in your business? Would it by any chance be quality clients? If so, are you prospecting for gold in the most efficient manner? To find out, read on..

When I first started in the business as a life insurance broker in London in 1978, cold calling was still a common way to prospect for clients, especially when you were still cutting your teeth in the business. Indeed I extended approximately 1500 cold invitations to a first appointment in my first nine months in the business (in addition to other forms of prospecting), and the end result was 12 cold clients! I didn’t have to be a genius to work out that this was not the most efficient form of prospecting!

So if cold calling is the least efficient method of prospecting, what is the most efficient method of prospecting?

If you asked anyone building a business in any field what their preferred source of potential new client would be, I don’t know of anyone who would say anything other than a recommendation from a happy client – otherwise known in our business as a referral. Indeed, apart from friends, relatives and social contacts, I myself built two client bases numbering approximately 400 and 150 clients on opposite sides of the world almost exclusively off the back of referrals i.e. recommendations of happy clients.

So it never ceases to amaze me how much time and effort (and often wasted time and effort) advisers I speak to spend trying to prospect in what they perceive as potential gold mines in other people’s backyards where the entrance to the gold mine is usually pretty small and rocky with no tools for access when all the time they are sitting on by far and away the biggest potential gold mine of all in their own back yard where the entrance is huge, the turf is soft and there is a shovel ready to go!!

Why is it that so many advisers in our business are so reluctant to ask individuals who have already experienced firsthand the benefit of being a client for referrals and yet they have no problem asking people who are at arms’ length and who are typically not clients themselves for leads? And please remember, a recommendation from a happy client is a referral – anything else is a lead with varying degrees of warmth!

I suspect that, apart from some irrational fear of getting a client offside by asking for referrals i.e. fear of rejection, one of the most common reasons is that advisers don’t have a process for making referrals a natural consequence of business. This simply requires putting some building blocks in place during the initial advice process, so that referrals become an expectation at the point of sale.  

If you would like to know what building blocks I used to put in place which resulted in 56% of new clients giving me an average of 3.5 referrals each, then you need to come along to my “Client Acquisition & Engagement Skills” Workshop in your capital city this March. You will receive details of this upcoming workshop in an email from my website very soon.

The Risk Workshop by Chris Unwin

Are you a financial adviser who would like all of your clients to have appropriate types and levels of personal protection? But perhaps you feel you need a more structured and client friendly engagement process?