One of the easiest ways to start a relationship in the absence of any face-to-face contact is to build familiarity. Here’s an example. Every day when I drive home from work, I see a giant billboard with a local real estate agent’s face on it. The billboard changes every so often, but there’s always some tagline about how he’s the best in the business and can sell your house (at the best price) faster than anyone else in the area. I do not know this person personally, but I assume he’s an expert in the business and if I were thinking about selling my house and he called, I’d certainly listen to what he had to say. He has, in some strange way, established himself in my mind as a leader in the community and an expert in his field. He is familiar to me even though we’ve never spoken face-to-face.
Most financial advisors don’t put up giant billboards by the side of the highway, but that’s OK. You don’t have to.
The key to building familiarity and establishing yourself as an expert is to keep your name in front of the prospect. There are several ways you can do this. One way is to contact your local newspaper and offer to be a resource for the person who writes the financial column. You might even write a short article and send clippings to your prospects and clients. This helps to establish you as an expert in your field.
Another way is to make sure your mailings have “stickiness”. Let’s say you send out a mailing to 1,000 people in your area. If you’ve addressed it properly, many people will open it and even scan through the contents. After that most of them will toss it in the trash. Generally that’s OK, since the handful of people who hang on to your materials and become clients generate more income than the mailing cost in the first place. But, how do you get more people to hang onto your materials? “Stickiness” refers to how long your mailing hangs around their house before getting tossed in the trash.
The key is to give people something they don’t want to throw away. You can include all sorts of things in your mailing. You could share an investment calculation chart, your great grandmother’s incredible tomato sauce recipe or a crossword puzzle or a calendar of upcoming events in their local area. Just make sure it’s something a good number of them will want to hang on to. Of course, the preferred method is to write something of value on retirement planning, something that directly relates to your expertise and positions you as a trusted advisor.
To reiterate, there are two crucial points here. Firstly, what you create and send over must be useful and reflect on your expertise. Secondly, you have to make sure to know your target market to increase your ROI. Our latest software called Prospects of Wealth 2.0 contains data on millions of potential prospects, along with place of employment and lots of other useful information to zoom in on best potential prospects. Once you find them, send out something useful to them. It must not be salesy, but useful to them regardless of whether they want to hire you. I recommend you include some reference table or a calculator that they hang on to.
Each time they see it (whatever it is); your name becomes a little more familiar. You might even come up in casual conversation at the dinner table. Some people will still toss your mailing in the trash, but this strategy will easily quadruple the number of people who hang onto it. Especially, if you have the right tools to pick the correct target market.
And guess what! If they use your reference table or calculator, they will likely remember you.
People often ask, “What’s the best way to prospect high-net-worth individuals?” The answer of course is that there is no one “best way”. Different approaches work for different people. In sales, the best approach is always to be yourself and do what comes naturally to you. Remember that it’s OK (even desirable) to put a little personality into your prospecting efforts. Take note of those parts of your personality that cause friends and family to gravitate toward you. The prospects who appreciate those qualities will be your best clients.
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