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How to Prospect as a Financial Advisor


Knowing how to prospect as a financial advisor is essential for growth and success. And while it’s important to focus on retention to keep the clients you have, a certain amount of turnover is inevitable. Prospecting is central to a good client acquisition strategy and there’s more than one way to do it.

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How to Prospect as a Financial Advisor

Once you understand the importance of prospecting, the next step is creating your own strategy for acquiring new clients. Incorporating these tips into your plan can help you build a strong foundation for reaching out to prospects.

Know Who You Want to Target

Prospecting works most effectively when you’re concentrating your efforts on your ideal or target clients. If you’re taking the spaghetti approach and throwing things out to see what sticks, you might end up wasting valuable time that you could be using to connect with prospects who fit your ideal client profile.

If you haven’t fleshed out this profile yet, it’s a good idea to give it some thought. For example, do you want to work with clients who are in a specific net worth range? Or are you interested in offering advice to an underserved demographic?

The better you understand whom you want to target—and their specific needs—the easier it becomes to fine-tune your prospecting efforts.

Utilize Your Network

Networking as an advisor can yield certain benefits. The broader your network, the easier it may be to connect with another professional when you need specialized services. For example, if you need to consult with an estate planning attorney to create a financial plan, then someone in your network might be able to refer you.

That in turn can benefit you if you’re able to establish reciprocal relationships. For example, you might refer your clients to an estate planning attorney who may in turn refer their clients to you for financial planning services.

Collaborating in this way can allow both of you to grow your business, while ensuring that your clients are getting their needs met.

Tap Into Your Current Client Base

SmartAsset: How to prospect as a financial advisor

Referrals don’t have to come from other financial professionals; you can also get them from your existing clients. Getting referrals from satisfied clients can reduce your workload when prospecting but you have to give those clients a reason to make the referral in the first place.

The simplest way to generate leads through referrals is by delivering quality services that help your clients meet their goals. Happy clients are more likely to refer others to you, versus clients who feel that they’re just another number.

You can also utilize your current client base in a different way by seeking out prospects among their heirs or beneficiaries.

Say you’re working with a married couple whose adult children are poised to receive a $10 million inheritance from them when they pass away. You might offer to meet with the family to discuss how that will be handled.

That can be a good opportunity to soft sell your services to the inheritors so that they’re less inclined to move those assets to a different firm after their parents are gone.

Go Where Prospects Are

A lot of prospecting activities can be done online but they’re not a replacement for meeting with potential clients face-to-face. If you have an opportunity to connect with prospects in person in a neutral environment, it could be well worth your time to do so.

There are different ways you might do this. For example, say that your local chamber of commerce is sponsoring a free workshop on financial planning for seniors. If that’s your target demographic then you might volunteer to lead a discussion on estate planning or Medicare planning, if that’s relevant to the type of services you offer.

A prospect generation service like SmartAsset AMP can also help you automate this process. You can be matched with high-intent investors that match what you’re looking for in a potential client. SmartAsset AMP takes care of referrals, sales campaigns, CRM integrations and more. You could even be directly connected with live leads so you can make an appointment right away.

By putting yourself in front of prospective clients, you have a chance to make a strong first impression. That can be important if your ideal clients place a high value on in-person interactions.

Consider Outsourcing

Prospecting takes time and it can easily make up a significant chunk of your day as a financial advisor. If you’d like to streamline your efforts, then it might make sense to use an automated service for lead generation.

With an online lead generation service, for example, you can get prospects sent to your email. You can then review them and reach out to those individuals who best fit your target client profile. It’s a simple way to save time while ensuring that you’re receiving quality leads.

Increase Your Digital Footprint

Digital marketing and content creation can help you to expand your reach well beyond your local area. It can also be a more passive way to attract prospects, as you can create a single piece of content and spin it into multiple forms.

For example, if you have a blog, you could repurpose part of it into an email that you send to your subscriber list or include some of the key takeaways in an Instagram reel or YouTube short. The kinds of content you produce should be designed to appeal to the type of clients you’re hoping to attract. And if you don’t have a social media presence, now may be the time to start building one. Four in 10 advisors say social media has led to converting a client, according to a 2023 Broadridge survey of over 400 advisors.

So, going back to the first tip, it’s important to know who your ideal clients are when prospecting. Otherwise, you could be wasting time creating content that no one is going to take notice of.

Host Free Events

Hosting events can also be an excellent way to showcase your expertise and connect with potential clients in a more personal setting. Seminars, workshops or webinars on relevant financial topics are all possibilities. These events can be tailored to address the specific interests and concerns of your target market.

For example, you might host a workshop on retirement planning for seniors or a seminar on investment strategies for young professionals. Providing valuable information and insights at these events can establish you as a trusted expert and encourage attendees to seek your services.

The same Broadridge survey of financial advisors found that seven in 10 advisors have added clients through events that they’ve hosted.

When planning events, focus on creating a welcoming and engaging atmosphere. Interactive elements such as Q&A sessions, case studies and group discussions can enhance the experience for attendees.

Understanding the Importance of Prospecting for Financial Advisors

SmartAsset: How to prospect as a financial advisor

Financial advisors offer financial advice and make recommendations to their clients to help them reach their goals. Successful advisors understand the importance of being able to sell their services to people who need them. Without clients, you don’t have a business.

Prospecting can help fuel business growth. While you might have a stable client list, you can never rule out the possibility that they might decide to go somewhere else for advice. Regular prospecting can help you to continually acquire new clients so your business can thrive.

Bottom Line

The better you understand how to prospect as a financial advisor, the easier it may be to grow your business.  The most important thing to keep in mind is that your prospecting strategy should reflect your goals and the type of clients that you’re hoping to attract.

Tips for Growing Your Advisory Business

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