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16 Financial Advisor Prospecting Ideas


You can’t simply sit back and wait for clients to come to you; prospecting is an essential aspect of your success. Advisors who grow thriving businesses know that it takes effort to identify promising leads, capture their attention and convince them to become clients. Some of the most effective financial advisor prospecting ideas are also some of the simplest – they just require consistency and a little patience.

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16 Proven Financial Advisor Prospecting Ideas

Generating new leads for your business may seem overwhelming at first, but it doesn’t have to be. By identifying the possible channels you could use to connect with prospective clients, you can narrow down which strategies hold the most promise for your firm, based on your goals.

1. Referrals

Tapping into your existing client base may be one of the easiest ways to identify prospects. Clients might be more than willing to refer you to people in their circle, including friends, family members, neighbors and coworkers. They may just need a little nudge from you to encourage those referrals.

You could boost referrals by:

  • Asking for them directly
  • Offering an incentive-based referral program
  • Generating new leads organically by delivering superior service

Hosting client appreciation events is another opportunity to gain more referrals. These events allow you to engage with clients on a more personal level, and it gives them yet another reason to tell people about your business if you deliver a memorable experience.

2. Look Ahead

If your clients have children or grandchildren, they could be future clients for your business. Including adult children or grandchildren in financial discussions when relevant can help you build a framework for bridging the gap.

For example, say you work with an older couple that has three adult children. As they get closer to retirement age, you might suggest having a meeting with them and their children to discuss their estate plan.

That can give you a natural opening to offer their children a chance to schedule a one-on-one chat to discuss their personal finances.

3. Volunteer

Doing pro bono work can be emotionally rewarding, and may also allow you to connect with prospective clients who engage in philanthropy. For instance, you might come in contact with high-net-worth donors who support the causes that you’re volunteering with.

You automatically have some common ground for starting a conversation since you’re both involved with the same organization. As time goes by and your rapport grows, you may have opportunities to steer the conversation toward their financial needs and the services you offer.

4. Sponsorships and Donations

If you’d like to increase your business’s profile in the local community, sponsorships and donations can get your firm’s name out there.

For example, you might sponsor a local youth sports and recreation league. Or you might make a significant donation to a charitable cause that’s gained attention from local or even national news outlets.

If you’re not sure where to allocate sponsorship or donation dollars, consider your ideal client’s persona. What causes or local efforts are most likely to get their attention? Which of those causes aligns with your firm’s values?

Ideally, there will be some overlap between the two, so you can support organizations that matter to you while also getting on the radar of your target client base.

5. Email Newsletters

Email marketing holds plenty of potential for advisors when done correctly. Sending out an email newsletter consistently can allow you to:

  • Start a conversation with prospective clients
  • Gauge their interest in your business
  • Identify their most pressing challenges or concerns
  • Determine which type of content they’re most likely to respond to

Remember that when leveraging email marketing, you must follow compliance rules. You can’t include false or misleading statements in email communications, and you must maintain accurate records of all messages your firm sends.

6. Direct Mail

Sending physical mail might seem a little outdated, but it’s a prospecting strategy financial advisors shouldn’t overlook.

Direct mail marketing can be a complement to your other marketing efforts, including email newsletters and social media. Prospects may be more inclined to open a piece of physical mail out of sheer curiosity, versus sending an email to the trash folder unread.

Third-party direct mail marketing services can help with drafting content and sending it out. You can segment your mailing list to create content that’s relevant to individual categories of clients so the right message reaches the right people.

7. Digital Ads

Digital ads are everywhere, including websites, blogs, social media platforms and search engine results. If you have extra funds in your marketing budget, you might consider experimenting with digital ads as a prospecting tool.

Again, deciding where to advertise your services hinges on where prospects are most likely to see them. When researching social media usage, you might consider:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Education
  • Income
  • Political affiliation
  • Geographic community/location
  • Race and ethnicity

Pew Research collects data on social media usage for these metrics, which you might find helpful in narrowing down where you want to allocate your advertising dollars.

8. Local Search

Prospects may use search terms like “financial advisor near me” to find advisors in their local area. Search engine optimization (SEO) and a Google Business Profile can help you improve your odds of showing up in the top search results.

SEO is a set of strategies used to boost your business website’s visibility in search engines. The higher your site ranks for specific search terms or keywords, the easier it is for prospective clients to find you.

Having a Google Business Profile is also part of SEO and can help improve your ranking for local searches. It’s free to create your profile, and the more detail you add, the better.

9. Networking

Networking with advisors and other financial professionals could generate leads if those individuals are willing to refer clients to you.

For example, say that estate planning is one of your specialty areas. You might have an estate planning attorney in your professional network who refers clients to you for help with services they’re unable to provide, and you could do the same.

Networking could also be invaluable if an advisor is ready to exit their practice or plans to pivot their services. They may be willing to sell their book of business to you if you’ve established a solid relationship.

10. Collaboration

Networking with other financial advisors or other financial professionals is one prospecting idea that can help.

Collaborating with other advisors, local businesses or financial influencers is another way to get prospects’ eyes on your firm.

Some of the ways you can collaborate include:

  • Being a guest on a financial advice podcast
  • Writing guest posts for financial blogs or websites
  • Hosting a Q&A session via live stream with a financial influencer or another advisor
  • Doing a cross-promotion with a local business in the financial space
  • Sharing your knowledge with media outlets via PR outreach efforts
  • Working on a joint case study

Collaboration allows you to promote your business to an entirely new audience and demonstrate your expertise. You can also gain some SEO juice if you’re able to build backlinks to your website. Backlinks – meaning another website that links to yours – is an authority marker, which can also improve search ranking.

11. Workshops and Seminars

Participating in workshops or seminars is another way to prospect an audience that may already be in buying mode but needs a little more information to reach a decision. You can join an existing workshop or seminar, either locally or online, or create one yourself.

An evergreen workshop, seminar or webinar can be an excellent lead magnet for prospects visiting your website. You can record a workshop on a relevant topic and share a link with site visitors when they add their names to your email list.

Prospects get the benefit of the information you’re sharing, along with some perspective on who you are and what you do as an advisor. Once they’re on your list, you can send them marketing emails telling them more about your services and how you might be able to help them.

12. Cold Calling

Cold calling may seem like an old-school way to prospect and one that’s out of place in the current digital age, but it can still hold value if you’re using the right script to chat with potential clients.

The point of cold calling shouldn’t be a hard sell; instead, the goal is to start a conversation that encourages prospects to take the next step.

When deciding who to target with cold calling, keep your ideal client persona firmly in mind. Time is a limited resource for busy advisors, and you don’t want to waste it calling people who don’t need the services you offer. You’ll also need to be aware of federal regulations governing telemarketing, including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

13. Digital Content

Your digital footprint matters when trying to reach prospective clients who may be searching for financial help online. Content creation can take many forms, including:

  • Blog posts
  • Case studies or white papers published on your advisor website
  • Social media posts
  • Short and long-form videos
  • eBooks
  • Online courses
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts

Creating this type of content can help expand your reach if you’re using SEO tactics to drive traffic, or your content goes viral on one or more platforms. When creating digital content, remember to keep the SEC’s marketing rule in mind, as well as FINRA compliance rules to ensure that you’re not making any misleading or unsubstantiated claims.

14. Online Forums

Online forums like Reddit and Quora have millions of users who are looking for information on a variety of topics, including finance and investing. Advisors may leverage these forums to prospect in a couple of ways:

  • Creating original posts
  • Answering user-submitted questions

Compliance is central to utilizing these platforms correctly. Advisors must use caution in the information they share to ensure that it’s not misleading, and they must be fair and balanced in their approach.

If you’re considering using online forums, it’s helpful to view them as a way to highlight your expertise and answer questions, rather than trying to hard sell your services. And don’t send unsolicited messages to forum users – let them message you if they’re interested in learning more about your services.

15. Free Consultations

Offering a free initial consultation can help you connect with prospects who might otherwise pass you by. You can offer consultations in person or virtually; either way, it’s a chance to break the ice with a potential client and get a feel for what they might need from you.

If you plan to use free consultations to generate leads, consider how many you can reasonably schedule weekly or monthly without taking time away from your other responsibilities. You might create a simple script to use when meeting with prospects that can help you maximize the allotted time as efficiently as possible.

16. Lead Generation Tools

Lead generation tools can help you capture more leads that you might otherwise miss. Some of the ways you might use them include:

When deciding whether it’s worth it to pay for leads or use lead generation tools, consider the potential ROI. Establishing a benchmark return you’d like to achieve, in terms of conversions or revenue generated, can help you evaluate whether the cost of these tools or services is justified.

Bottom Line

Financial advisor prospecting ideas can help you gain more clients so that you can build a more sustainable business.

These financial advisor prospecting ideas are all designed to help you gain more clients so you can build a more sustainable business. You might try one, a few, or all in your pursuit of attracting more prospects to your firm. Once you’ve captured their attention, you can focus on the real challenge: selling your services to increase conversions.

Tips for Growing Your Advisory Business

  • Working with a third-party platform to market your services can add hours back to your busy schedule. SmartAsset AMP helps bring leads to you and gives you the tools you need to nurture relationships with prospects on autopilot. Schedule a free demo to learn how you can leverage it to grow your business.
  • FINRA and SEC rules govern compliance for financial advisor communications, including marketing. As you shape your marketing plan, it’s important to review it for potential compliance issues. Utilizing compliance software can help you pinpoint trouble spots that you may need to address.

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