Running a successful business is a balancing act that takes some practice to master.
Most Advisors who have been working at building their practice typically go through the boom-bust seesaw several times before taking a hard look at it. You need to continually add new leads to your pipeline.
In the beginning when your calendar is empty, there is nothing to balance. 80% of your time is spent prospecting and you can wholeheartedly throw your focus and energy into those tasks. But soon, you’ve closed some business and everything shifts. Now you are serving clients while still needing to prospect in order to bring on new ones.
The other common trap Advisors fall into in their building years is prospecting only in their warm market. Inevitably you reach the limits of that pool. If you haven’t intentionally worked to widen your network, your income could fall off a cliff. This is the pivot point when many Advisors throw in the towel.
It doesn’t have to be that way!
With a little planning, you can always have fresh leads coming into your pipeline, and have a lot of fun in the process, too.
There are many, many lead generation activities that involve cold-calling lists, buying lists, working your social media connections and more. We’re not going to discuss that today.
Instead, I want to romance you on the idea of expanding your social circle.
Here are 3 steps to rapidly and enjoyably add leads into your pipeline.
Make two lists.
The first is as exhaustive a list as you can come up with, of things that interest you. Start with your usual favourite past times and then stretch beyond that with topics of curiosity and ‘I should check that out some day’ interests.
Prospecting should be enjoyable! And you’ll be far more relaxed and effective if you are engaged in an activity you enjoy, surrounded by like-minded people who feel the same way.
The second is a short list of your ideal client demographic groups and what you think their interests might be.
Find communities around each of these activities.
The internet has made this easier than ever. Plug into a Google search phrases like ‘[city name] [your interest] groups’ or ‘events’. Commit to one month of checking out as many different events and groups on your list as you can. Look for an intersection of activities that you genuinely enjoy, and that provide you with access to at least one of your ideal client demographic.
Tip: Select groups where conversation is built into the interaction. A whisky enthusiasts or hiking group would be more effective than a movie-watching group.
Become a regular.
People do business with people they know, like and trust – with the word ‘know’ in first place. Once you’ve explored the field, narrow the groups/communities down to 2 – 4 that meet at least once a month. Put these events in your calendar and commit to them as a business-building activity.
Expanding your social circle in this way creates several new reliable sources of leads for your business. After three or four events where you’re enjoying an activity with folks who have a common interest, they have effectively migrated into your warm market. At least some trust and comfort is there, and you can initiate a conversation about their financial needs.
But seriously. Prioritize fun! Are you all about sci-fi? There are plenty of geeks around! Mini-golf or paintball? Do that! Knitting circle more your thing? Totally works, too.
If you’re asking ‘Yeah, but how do I do that!?’ Don’t panic. Check out other articles I’ve written, to help you transition smoothly from rapport into business.
You can have FUN while you’re prospecting. Imagine that!