How to improve client onboarding to attract better prospects
Nurturing prospects into signed clients can be one of the most difficult tasks for independent financial advisors to master. We’ve all had this happen – you’ve spent hours building a relationship with a prospective client, investing the time to develop approaches to meet their financial needs and goals. You’ve almost completed the client onboarding process when suddenly your red hot lead goes icy cold. Emails are not answered, calls aren’t returned, and the prospect that looked like such a solid lead is nowhere to be found. What can you do when a prospective client leads you on to prevent it from happening again?
One of the challenges of being an independent financial advisor is knowing what to do when a promising prospect leads you on, then suddenly disappears. It’s natural to blame yourself in this situation, but the truth is, you can be the most talented investment manager and still end up having a hot prospect suddenly cool down. The best way to prevent this from happening is to amend your onboarding process to improve the quality of the prospects you choose. Here are five client onboarding best practices that will help you avoid this situation in the future.
Make sure you are dealing with the decision maker
Sometimes the prospect you thought was a decision maker actually lacks the authority to make financial decisions for their company. The prospect may have sounded so knowledgeable and enthusiastic that you assumed he or she had the power to make financial decisions without verifying it. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that making all the right conversational gambits means that someone is in charge. At the beginning of the onboarding process, verify with the company’s CEO or Board that the person you are dealing with does have the necessary authority to make financial decisions.
Work on your client development skills
One of the reasons that a prospect may lead you on only to disappear is because they reach a decision that you are not the best choice for meeting their wealth management needs. You can help prevent this by finding out as much as possible about the prospective client and his or her personal goals and aspirations. You may need to spend more time on presenting your areas of expertise and expressing your passions, so clients understand that you have the necessary skills and desire to handle their financial holdings in a manner that is in line with their expectations.
Focus on a particular niche
Sometimes a prospect will decide that another financial advisor is a better fit because their approach to wealth management is more compatible with his or her expectations. One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is by focusing on a particular niche. Concentrating your practice on meeting the needs of a particular demographic, such as female investors, medical professionals, or socially responsible investors, makes it easier to stay up to date on the latest investment opportunities that are in line with their priorities. This will help you distinguish yourself from your competitors and attract prospective clients who are a good fit.
Improve your qualifying process
Sometimes financial advisors lose prospective clients because they simply are a poor fit that never should have made it through your qualifying process. Some examples of poor fit includes firms that are much larger or smaller than those you typically handle, ones that are in a different industry outside of your expertise, and those whose price sensitivity falls short of your level. Improving your qualification process will help you identify prospective clients who are a poor fit before you waste time developing them.
Develop more than one prospect contact
In today’s volatile job market, senior executives typically leave a company without any prior notice. If your prospect suddenly leaves and she or he was your only contact at the company, this can leave you back at Square One. Client onboarding best practices calls for developing several contacts at any firms you deal with. Of course, you will have one primary contact, but you should at least meet the other senior executives at the firm who have input into making financial decisions. For the best results, make sure you develop multiple channels of communication with each individual.
Following the above client onboarding best practices will help you develop solid prospects so you can avoid the problem of having a prospective client lead you on. For more advice on improving client relations, visit www.SummitBrokerage.com. Summit Brokerage Services has been voted the #1 boutique independent broker dealer in the country. Let us show you why! To experience the Summit difference, learn more about our network of independent financial advisors, and begin creating your financial planning documents, visit https://www.summitbrokerage.com or call us at (800) 354-5528.
About Summit Brokerage Services, Inc.
Summit Brokerage Services is part of Cetera Financial Group. Summit Brokerage provides a broad range of securities brokerage and investment services to primarily individual investors. Summit Brokerage also sells insurance products, predominantly fixed and variable annuities and life insurance through its subsidiary, SBS Insurance Agency of Florida. Summit Brokerage also provides asset management services through its investment advisor, Summit Financial Group, Inc.
About Cetera Financial Group
Cetera Financial Group® (“Cetera”) is a leading network of independent retail broker-dealers empowering the delivery of objective financial planning advice to individuals, families and company retirement plans across the country through trusted financial advisors and financial institutions. Cetera is the second-largest independent financial advisor network in the nation by number of advisors, as well as a leading provider of retail services to the investment programs of banks and credit unions.
Through its multiple distinct firms, Cetera offers independent and institutions-based advisors the benefits of a large, established broker-dealer and registered investment adviser, while serving advisors and institutions in a way that is customized to their needs and aspirations. Independent financial advisor support resources offered through Cetera include award-winning wealth management and financial planning and advisory platforms, comprehensive broker-dealer and registered investment adviser services, practice management support and innovative technology. For more information, visit www.ceterafinancialgroup.com.
*”Cetera Financial Group” refers to the network of retail independent broker-dealers encompassing, among others, Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Financial Institutions, Cetera Financial Specialists, First Allied Securities, Girard Securities, and Summit Brokerage Services.
All information herein has been prepared solely for informational purposes, and it is not an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security or instrument or to participate in any particular trading strategy.
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