Every financial planner has made a cold-call attempt at least once in their lifetime. However, statistics show that only 5-10 percent of the people you call will actually pick up the phone. And once you have someone on the phone, you’re depending on a slim 3 percent who might be interested in purchasing at any given time. Now, that’s about a ton of calls you have to make if cold-calling is your primary source of leads. (this itself is one of the top mistakes killing financial planners – referrals should be your number one source!)
Believe it or not, adopting the referral-based practice is a game-changer. What then is the success ratio for referrals?
It has been revealed that referrals are 5 times more likely to pick up your calls with at least a 50 percent chance of settling with an appointment.
A lot of us are aware of the importance of getting referrals but let us recap some of the more common mistakes financial planners encounter that could make or break your growing referral-based business.
#1: Failing to communicate your passion
Boring openers. Repetitive scripts. And none of which would capture or relate to your prospects. “I am from XXX and -“
One of the deadly mistakes you’re probably making is turning every cold call into a pitch session. After all, a prospecting call is never the ideal time to showcase your best offering. Especially for newbies in the trade, it’s perfectly easy for us to get too caught up with the excitement of impressing your prospect. At the same time, we have to acknowledge the fact that we completely neglected the relationship-building process with our audience.
TO DO: Switch off your sales voice. Let go of your ego. Share your personal finance journey – the highs, the lows and the transformation points.
#2: Not keeping in touch with referrals
Most of you may already have your very own referral database. Yet, a lot of you are missing out on the importance of regular contact. Regular contact does not necessarily mean swamping your clientele with multiple offerings – period. Staying in touch has proven to be one of the best ways to keep communication active and opportunities open. Rekindle with a former prospect right now! A virtual update or a casual coffee invite won’t hurt.
Also, your clients will be more inclined to adopt offerings they trust during times of adversity. Trust is built up through regular contact and can help ease them through the adoption by making them appear less dramatic.
TIP: Keep the regular pitches at bay. Take note of golden details such as birthdays, anniversaries and special events that your referrals are partaking in from their social media. Moreover, clients generally appreciate when you go all out to update them on latest industry trends.
#3: Failing to master objection handling.
A lot of the hesitation we built upon ourselves before a phone call has got a lot to do with our fear of objections. When we fear to fail, we are unlikely to handle it well either. In fact, 83 percent of customers are willing to refer a friend after a positive experience. Yet, only 29% actually do. When faced with rejection, it’s always important to still show reassurance of the value that their friends will gain through a casual meet – even if they do not buy your product right after.
BE PREPARED TO RESPOND: Remind your clients of the value they have gained from their single meeting with you, and ask who he or she knows that could benefit from experiencing the same.
#4: Not value-adding to the referrals
One of the mistakes that often go unnoticed is that we tend to look beyond the main goal of developing a sustainable referral pipeline. In actuality, our aim as financial planners is to create value in every meeting set and for every client. By value-adding, you’re sharing information, insights and resources to your client – be it in the form of a printable or an infographic bite – which he or she may not find on their own.
MAKE EVERY MEETING AN EXPERIENCE: In order for them to open up to you, be an active listener and share similar experiences relating to their pain points. Get to the heart of the discussion by asking follow-up questions frequently while at the same time encouraging open-ended responses from your client.
And before closing off, be sure to ask if there’s anything else that you need to know. One of the more powerful ways to find out if you’ve overlooked anything is to let the customer tell you if you have. Rarely do people get the opportunity to voice out and have people listen to their stories. So, the key here is to drive the conversation and let your customers take the floor.
Ultimately, think of that wow-factor takeaways or snippets that will turn your clients into better-informed individuals than before they met you.
So, what are some of the common prospecting that you’ve made in mistakes, and how did you fix them?
Look out for our next InsurBites edition so you’ll always be at the forefront in all things financial planning!
Alternatively, contact our growth consultants to find out more about our upcoming masterclasses and programmes. We are committed to creating real change in the community in our in-class sessions, and hope to see you and your teams’ breakthroughs!
For you FAs out there: Here’s where you can step in to educate your peers in the industry.
Step 1: Right-click to save a copy of the infographic at the bottom of the page; or
Step 2: Copy the URL of the article
Step 3: Forward the copy/link to your close peers in the industry! Or even better, share it on your social media to show your circle what you’ve been reading up on!