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Making prospecting pay off

Liz DeCarlo

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Get prospects to call you, hosting unique events and three ways to tell a client "Happy Birthday."
What we see and how we react are based on life experiences,” said Jose Anselmo Feliciano, CFP, CLU. “How we work as financial advisors is the same. As professionals, we have to be open to opportunities right in front of our eyes.”

Feliciano, a 10-year MDRT member from Tyler, Texas, was presenting information on strategic alliances to an audience at the most recent Top of the Table Annual Meeting, held October 18–21, 2017, in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. During the meeting, speakers and panels discussed a wide variety of topics, including the power of storytelling, prospecting, succession planning and becoming a 21st-century leader.

Are you paying attention to your social media presence? You should be — the biggest explosion in social media is people over 65. Our largest investment client ever came from Twitter, and he was over 65.
David Braithwaite, Dip PFS
9-year MDRT member, Tonbridge, England

Getting prospects to call you
What makes my phone ring every day? It’s these four things:
  1. Sponsorships. We sponsor many local sports teams, as well as holiday events. We sponsor the city’s Christmas tree, so I get to talk a bit when they switch on the lights.
  2. Marketing. We advertise at things like the local cheese fest, which is actually the biggest in the world.
  3. Seminars. Our business has been built on these.
  4. Referred leads. We have three rules for referred leads: Look smart, be on time and do what you say you will do.
David Pritchard, Dip PFS,
19-year MDRT member, Nantwich, England

Will we become extinct?
As more and more people are able to get insurance and financial information online, will that make financial advisors an endangered species? I don’t think we can be replaced by a do-it-yourself financial plan via computer search. As more people look for a way to consolidate all aspects of their financials into a financial plan, they’ll need our help. Financial advisors can simplify a client’s life.
Jose Anselmo Feliciano, CFP, CLU,
10-year MDRT member, Tyler, Texas

List it out
We’ve created a process that has helped in building a successful financial planning operation, one where we never run out of appointments and where we retain 97 percent of our clients. We created a book of lists, segmenting clients in many different ways. We’ve developed many touch points for clients on the lists, and the lists help us figure out services and products for each segment. Here are examples of some lists we’ve created:
  • Significant ages: 40 to 65, 59½, 62, 64 to 65, 70½, 90
  • Birthdays, anniversaries and other important dates
  • Tax and tax completed dates (We started our own tax practice for clients.)
  • Divorce
  • Multigenerational planning
  • Annual review
  • Annual payment
  • Life premium
  • Will and trust
  • Pending sales
  • Retirement dates
  • Prospects
  • Hot prospects
Rick B. Stanzione, RFC, CSA
15-year MDRT member, Washington Terrace, Utah

Project vs. paycheck
How many of the people in our prospect funnel are a project that won’t ever turn into a paycheck? Prospects don’t become clients because they don’t have:
  1. The need. Or the awareness of a possible need.
  2. The capacity. They don’t have the money or assets.
  3. The desire.
If all three don’t come together, chances are you’re working on a project and not a paycheck. Learn to walk away from useless, time-consuming, non-income-producing projects.
Mark Dorfman, CLU, ChFC
21-year MDRT member, Lynbrook, New York

3 ways to tell a client happy birthday
  1. I make a video of myself playing “Happy Birthday” on the flute. (They know it’s a real effort since that’s the only song I know and it’s obvious!)
  2. The next year, I hire a musician to go to the client’s home or office and play “Happy Birthday” while delivering flowers or a cake.
  3. For children’s birthdays, I create a video of the child telling their dad how much money they would have had at 25 if he’d starting investing at their birth. Then I show what could still be possible at the child’s current age.
Priti Ajit Kucheria, LUTCF, CFP
16-year MDRT member, Mumbai, India

Tuesdays with Jo Ann
On the third Tuesday of each month, we hold an evening event for clients. They can bring family or friends. We partner with a local business and do a one-hour tasting, with bottles of the wine or beer available for purchase at the end. Any family member can take home a bottle just for coming. After the tasting, we have a speaker. Their topic can be business or fun-related. We’ve had one on grilling techniques, a wine and paint night, a dietitian to talk about healthy eating, and a speaker on creating your travel bucket list. It costs us about $300 per event to create the “wow” experience.
Jo Ann E. Favia, CLU, ChFC
28-year MDRT member, Villa Park, Illinois

Why my clients don’t want to talk to me
The traditional model of prospecting is to use cold calls and meetings. I wanted to have more free time to meet with clients and to be with my family, so I automated the process into what I call the Internet Advisor System.

The first step in the process is to attract and educate potential clients. We do this through blogs, Google, media activities, webinars and portals on our website. We have a comprehensive website with forms, a place to sign up for our emails, and a detailed question-and-answer page. We also have professional videos on our website. To make them, we invested 5 percent of our revenue, which increased business by 300 percent.

Next we educate more. We add prospects to our mailing lists and send out regular e-newsletters on many different topics. The third step is to ask them if they want to continue to receive the e-newsletter and if they’re interested in talking with us.

This is where we get personal details about the prospect. After they sign with us, it’s service and support. We keep them up on new products and news that might affect them, and have contact points such as sending a gift.

So why don’t my clients talk to me? Because they don’t need to. They already know everything.
Remigiusz Stanislawek,
5-year MDRT member, Poznan, Poland

"If you see a lot of people, you’ll hone your skills. You’ll make a lot of mistakes, but you’ll learn faster. And, if you see enough people, you’re going to meet someone who’s ready to see you."
James D. Pittman, CLU, CFP
43-year MDRT member, Portland, Oregon

“Stress is the perception of demands versus our ability to cope with those demands. You can become a prisoner of your life and your mind. Once we turn the stress response off, we get more engaged creativity, focus and reach peak productivity.”
Romie Mushtaq

The 5 keys to success
  1. Building relationships
  2. Givers get
  3. Clients above self
  4. Solve problems — don’t sell products
  5. Impact: Don’t lose sight of the power of what we do.
Take this challenge: Resolve to help three people a day. Give, and expect nothing in return. As you give, you will receive.

Eszylfie Taylor
14-year MDRT member, Pasadena, California

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