Nothing replaces the power of face-to-face contact. This is why 90% of the time, your deals close in person, in their office or yours, where you can look each other in the eye before committing your pen to paper.
But of course, there are many different touchpoints that lead to building enough trust and interest in working with you, for your prospect to even say yes to taking even a first meeting.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a little army of sales reps who worked for you, out there talking you up to potential clients or drumming up more excitement with your current book? Then at the right moment, you could take the reins, knowing your team had represented you in a way that makes you proud?
This kind of great communication can lay the groundwork that helps you book more meetings.
Guess what? You can have this front-line support, and far more affordably than hiring a platoon of actual sales reps. When you do it right, a well-crafted warm letter does a lot of heavy lifting in the initial part of the sales process.
Ideal uses for a warm letter:
Re-engage dormant clients. Dormant relationships in your book are highly poach-able. Since you know how much work is involved in winning new clients, first make sure you are making regular, personal contact with your current clients! This builds trust, keeps you top-of-mind for referrals and for additional financial needs they may have. Aim for twice a year. This is an effective way of building business!
Inherit or purchase clients. Any time there is a client transfer from advisor to advisor, those relationships are at risk. You may have inherited or purchased a book only to find that a large portion of them defect. They have no relationship with you and so will feel no sense of loyalty. This critical period requires a well thought-out communication plan, and a warm letter can build trust and a sense of security while you are scheduling all your get-to-know-you meetings.
Prospecting. Send a warm letter to all the local businesses, introducing yourself. Then they will have seen your name and face before you drop in to say Hello in person.
NOTE: To be effective, your warm letter should never feel like a form letter!
How do you achieve this?
Here are 6 key elements to help you do it right:
Grab their attention in the very first sentence. Give a strong, timely reason for why you’re writing. This needs to be compelling enough to get them to read the letter.
Personalize, personalize, personalize. This is hands down the most effective thing you can do to actually get your letter read! I don’t mean put a story in about each business you’re approaching. What I mean is to share something personal about yourself. Whether writing to touch current clients or make first contact to potential new ones, letting them see the real you, works.
Something like: My spouse and I have lived in this great neighbourhood for xx years. Our 12-year old son is an enthusiastic hockey player on the local peewee team and our 10-year-old daughter happily calls herself a computer geek.
This kind of personal touch will make you relate-able and help you stand out from the crowd.
Share some of your personal ‘Why’. What moves you about financial planning? Why does it feel important to you? When people understand your personal motivations, it builds trust. Take some time to think deeply about your core beliefs in this area. Distill those thoughts into one or two sentences, and include them in your warm letter.
Talk about them. Even if they like the vibe of your letter, people care about their own needs, not yours. Be sure and include the outcomes of benefitting from your expertise, like: having just one person to call when you have questions or a goal you’re working toward; steady hand to keep you on track; a plan that will give you an honest-to-goodness roadmap to your most cherished dreams.
Declare your follow up. Let them know your intent to either call or stop by. Then stick to whatever you said you’d do! This principled follow-up is the beginning of establishing trust and credibility.
Include all your contact information.
Expect to put some time and effort in crafting a warm letter that truly captures you, your values and how you can help. Before sending it out, ask a couple of trust friends to read it over. Is it clear? Does it make an emotional connection? Once you’ve got a Yes, send it out in batches, instead of all at once, to allow you sufficient time to follow up.
Contact me if you’d like support in creating your warm letter communication plan.
Now you’ve got a little army of sales reps out there making contacts that you can build into prosperous, mutually beneficial relationships!