|October 29, 2016
There are two ways to build a successful financial services business, the hard way and the easy way.
Too often I see professionals go around the corner to get next door by purchasing a cold list of names” and relying on marketing tactics, such as telephone cold calling and direct mail. A contact list of names that can be categorized into prospects and converted into clients is the raw ingredient for building a thriving financial services business and becoming a top performer.
Many new and experienced professionals take the hard way with business development, ignoring their natural market, the dozens of people who already know them. Regardless of your offering, your natural market is an excellent and potential source of referrals, introductions, and new business opportunities.
At the very least you should provide the opportunity for the people who already know and trust you to learn about your product and service offerings in an intelligent fashion.
The Law of Reciprocity
Author Robert B. Cialdini says about the law of reciprocation, “We should try to repay in kind what another person has provided us.” If someone does a favor for us, we should do them one in return.
The business world is also built on reciprocity. For example, suppose that you required the services of a plumber; suppose also that there were three plumbers in your area, all equally skilled, and that one of them is a friend of yours. Would you deliberately avoid going to your friend?
No more should you avoid approaching your friends and family and telling them about the services and value you provide.
You see, your friends and acquaintances are logically the people you should contact first. They are easy to approach because they know you and if they do not buy from you or refer others to you, it will be because they need to be further educated about what you do or because their needs are already being taken care of by someone else, and not because they resent having a friend or acquaintance approach them.
Once during a workshop I was conducting for an insurance firm, I asked the participants how many of their family, friends and acquaintances knew what they actually did for a living. After some embarrassing glances around the room, several admitted that they had never mentioned to their friends what they did for a living.
Now this firm provides business and personal insurance services; the participants’ personal contacts are probably purchasing these services from someone else, instead of from the person they know and trust.
Don’t underestimate your personal contacts and network; it’s often larger and more powerful than you realize, which is why pinpointing your ideal prospects makes such good sense, regardless of the stage of your career.
Think of your natural market as a refinery process that will allow you to improve your marketing productivity, just as a manufacturing assembly line would. Suppose, for example, you have two manufacturing assembly lines, side by side, of equal size and efficiency, and each capable of assembling 100 hundred items per day. If one assembly line is operating at 3% and the other at 15%, it is clear that the second assembly line of equal size, equal efficiency, and equal capacity will be four times more effective.
The Easy Way
Comparing this to your present situation, you can see that a list of randomly assembled names would be like the 3% assembly line: if you took the time to approach them all, you may acquire a few new clients, but a large part of your time and effort would be wasted.
Taking the time to build a list of names of people with whom you have some natural contact, you have been able to become much more effective, producing five times the results in a shorter amount of time and with less effort.
The goal is to create and build sales momentum early in your career maintain throughout, and the best place to start is by contacting everyone that you know about the value that you are providing.
Discovering your natural prospects makes good sense regardless of the stage of your card, it’s the easy way fuel growth and to become a top performer.