Need Prospecting Ideas? Here’s The One That Built My Business
I recently read an article in a well-respected industry magazine that was on how to become a better prospector. The article provided 12 prospecting ideas for top producers that included cold calling, advertising, mailers and teaching seminars, among others.
While this provides a quantity of prospecting ideas to consider, there’s only one I would focus on. No, it’s not the latest social media strategy. Nor is it networking, billboard advertisements, TV commercials or direct response mailings. It requires no new technological innovations or knowledge. It's simply generating referrals.
As an advisor, I used referrals and favorable nominations almost exclusively to build my business and earn lifetime MDRT qualification. I knew that if I could get a client or prospect to speak glowingly about their experience with me to their closest friends and family, the likelihood of them agreeing to meet with me would be high. And, if those individuals would meet with me, then I could have a beneficial, life-changing impact on them.
Skeptics may read this and think to themselves, “this is old fashioned,” or “this sounds great, but it’s really challenging to get prospects and clients to tell my story to their friends and families.” In fact, the challenge of getting clients to “share my story” is exactly one of the cons listed in the magazine article for generating referrals.
However, this is the wrong thought process. I never want my clients to tell my story to their friends and colleagues. I want my clients to tell their story to their friends and clients.
This is not a mental trick. It’s a completely different mindset that must stem from an authentic belief that’s deep inside your core.
My Authentic Beliefs
Here's the mindset that I carried with me when asking for referrals:
The majority of people need financial planning help in big way and I have a systematic process that I believe in that provides this service.
I bring integrity, honesty and trustworthiness to my relationships.
I help people think about things they’ve never thought about in a way they never have before.
I give them an experience they will truly appreciate. When I ask for referrals, I want them to tell the best people they know, the ones that they care about the most, about the experience they had working with me and to suggest to them that they have an open mind about the opportunity of doing the same.
I want them to be able to honestly say that it would be well worth their time and a big mistake not to do it.
That’s a strong nomination.
The Business We Are In Is Not Logical
I often say that we are not in a logical business. We’re in an emotional one. I can apply that principle to nearly every aspect of this business and it always seems to be true, and it is for this topic in particular.
If advisors could get referrals and they were all well nominated, who would cold call? Who would spend money on advertising? Who would do mass email campaigns to book appointments? Nobody, logically. However, there’s a few reasons why the majority of the industry uses those inefficient methods every single day.
It’s because of fear. It’s because of insecurity. And, it’s because of an inability to overcome self-conscious thinking about what their clients will think of them.
There is a skill set and a system to becoming a masterful prospector. But, mastering both of those are easy when you have the right mindset – an empowering mindset.
When you have confidence in what you do for your clients, you'll then have the courage to be able to ask for referrals. When you understand that you’re in a noble career and are on a mission to change the world as it relates to financial security, your confidence allows you to overcome the fear of rejection.
When your intentions are to make a meaningful impact, one client at a time, you learn to let go of what some might think when you ask them for referrals. That’s their problem, not yours.
We are in a time when it’s never been more important to be different. It’s never been more important to get away from transactions and commoditization and focus on building intimate, meaningful relationships with clients.
When you do this, your clients will want their closest friends to experience the same and gladly share their story. And when you get a well nominated referral, you’ll start right out of the gate by being different in your prospects’ eyes, and separate yourself from every other advisor out there.
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