By Daniella Rand
“Wealth management” and “enhanced sales” don’t often appear in the same sentence. However, in a rapidly changing finance industry, wealth management professionals are increasingly cognizant of the importance of client prospecting. Word of mouth may no longer be sufficient to sustain a thriving practice.
4 Tips for Better Client Prospecting
For wealth managers more comfortable with market research reports than sales calls, the good news is that attracting new clients doesn’t require an overly aggressive approach. This isn’t a car lot, after all. If there’s one consistent theme in these four tips for better client prospecting, it’s that a gentler approach still gets the job done.
1. Represent Your Approach Honestly
Why hide who you are? If you’re willing honestly and forthrightly represent your approach to wealth management, you’ll find prospecting a far more efficient exercise. These frank early conversations help clients self-select into relationships that fit their needs and investing philosophies. That’s far preferable to the alternative: trying desperately to shoehorn prospects into relationships that fundamentally disagree with their priors (and yours).
2. Be Clear About What You Look For in a Client
By the same token, it’s important to be upfront about what you look for in a client. Without limiting yourself to any great degree, emphasize your strengths, whether that’s working with small business owners, younger investors with high student debt loads, or high net worth families with complex financial holdings. Your prospects will appreciate the honesty.
3. Don’t Push Prospects to Sign Before They’re Ready
At some point, you’re going to have to make the ask. But hold off until you’re sure the prospect is ready to pull the trigger. Discretion is the better part of valor.
4. Never Forget Who You Work For
Lastly, never forget who you work for: the clients who’ve entrusted you with their hard-earned money. Your dedication will shine through in prospect meetings, if you allow it to, and you’ll attract the sorts of clients that you’ll genuinely enjoy serving. Think of this as a softer approach to enhanced sales — a way to allow your practice to speak for itself, rather than the other way around.
A New Approach to Wealth Management
No one seriously argues that wealth management professionals should prioritize sales prowess over the myriad other skills demanded by the job. While reasonable people can differ on the precise emphasis, it’s generally understood that wealth management professionals do well when they’re able to balance a range of competing interests while maintaining an even keel. Clients tend to stick with steady hands.
At the same time, we can’t ignore what’s going on around us. As attention spans shorten and technological disruption threatens long-settled business models, the wealth management industry must adapt — as must every other profession facing the same inexorable trends.
If that means adopting a more, shall we say, outgoing style, then so be it. At the end of the day, any wealth management professional thrives on excellent client service. Whatever we can do to deliver on that promise — within ethical and practical bounds — is fair game.