Research across multiple industries has shown that it takes an average of eight hours (and sometimes much longer) to land a new client. So clearly, it makes sense to have a plan for maximizing business from the clients you already have!
Here are the Top 3 Ways you may be leaving money on the table, and how to turn it around! Commit to improving just one of them and you will pump more money into your business, while improving how you serve your clients.
Not using your CRM! I know, I know. Many of you would rather re-grout the bathroom tiles than spend time entering info into your Client Relationship Management app. My use of this tool is inconsistent as well. But I can say from experience, that time and again, when I’ve gotten lazy, real money has slipped through my fingers. I’ve forgotten to follow up, (missed opportunity to deliver a workshop – $$); I’ve repeated questions I should’ve known from previous sales conversations (missed referral – $$), and even forgotten to schedule a coaching DEMO for a management team – which is a critical part of my sales cycle.
On the other side, when I’ve been more diligent, I’ve impressed the pants off my prospective clients! Remembering conversational details and priorities and challenges establishes solid trust and credibility. I’m also able to cross-reference relationships we have in common. This greatly compresses the sales cycle.
If you’re harbouring resentment over a company CRM policy, or hoarding client details for yourself, shift your mindset. Do it because it’s good for you! Whether you master these skills and move to another firm or shine where you are, the need to track your relationships isn’t going anywhere. Embrace it!
Prospecting is another generally disliked task – mastering your CRM skills will cut down on the amount of prospecting you need to do in order to make your numbers and build your book of business.
For independent advisors with a small shop, you don’t have to invest in the Cadillac CRM tool right away. There are plenty of free CRM apps.
Being transactional instead of relationship-oriented. Struggling, less successful advisors are transactional. They are reactive. They wait for their clients to call them with a need.
Successful advisors see the whole chessboard ahead of time. They ask meaningful questions during every client interaction that lay the groundwork for more business. They make time-sensitive notes on how they can anticipate their clients’ needs, and proactively prepare for each upcoming call or meeting. There is money on the table for you here!
Focusing on sales, instead of your client. Make the shift to put your client front and centre. This sounds counter-intuitive when we’re talking about not ‘leaving money on the table’, but is an essential shift to generate more success.
When your focus is on winning business, every interaction feels high-stakes for you. This can lead to manipulative questions that create suspicion and erode trust. Bam! You get defensiveness and rejection of further business. Bam! No referrals. Money out the door.
Instead, in your planning and in every call and meeting, personalize the ‘Why’ of each of your recommendations for a client. This is your opportunity to truly communicate as a trusted advisor. Example:
David, you and Nina are carrying 350k on your mortgage. Nina will be staying home with the kids for another three years. If something happens and you’re not able to work, what is your plan to maintain those payments? (Listen.) We have two different strategies that can address that and make sure Nina and the kids are protected no matter what. Let me walk you through the options and the two of you can decide on the best choice.’
This kind of client-focused, caring service will win you inter-generational relationships and generate continued business from your current clients.
True, these are not quick-fixes. But any consistent improvement you make with one or more of these strategies, means more money in your pocket.