There’s no reason why you can’t do the same.
A Boston advisor used the following technique to bring millions of dollars in new production into his office, and in just a few short months earned him top-producer honors for two months running.
One of the biggest challenges we encounter in trying to convert prospects into clients is getting that initial face-to-face meeting. Face-to-face contact is the ultimate means for turning cold prospects into future clients. Just a brief, informal chat can be the icebreaker that gets you through the door.
This advisor came up with a clever idea. At the time, there was a particularly strong performing Asia-Pacific fund. The specific fund is not important, it was just a fund that was in vogue at the time. This advisor was very enthusiastic about international investing and was touting the diversification benefits this fund would provide for his clients and prospects.
One day this fund company’s wholesaler came by the office handing out compliance-approved DVD’s on the fund. The DVD included short talks from the fund’s managers on the advantages of international investing and a brief overview of some of the fund’s top holdings.
The advisor came up with an idea; he asked the wholesaler if he would send over some additional copies of the DVD. Obviously, the wholesaler jumped at the opportunity.
This advisor began calling on prospects with whom he had previous discussions regarding diversification and the benefits this particular fund could provide in that respect. He told these prospects he had a great DVD with detail information on the fund.
In a very non-threatening way, he told his prospects he’d like to mail them the DVD so they could have a look at the material and see for themselves. More often than not the prospects accepted his offer. It wasn’t as if he was asking for an appointment or a check. All he wanted to do was mail a DVD. What was the harm in that?
So, out went the DVD’s to prospects who agreed. About a week later, he’d call and sounding somewhat rushed he’d say, “Hi Steve, this is Jason over at XYZ Investments. Hey, you know that DVD I recently sent you?” (Most of the time the prospect hadn’t even looked at it).
“Well, I have a meeting with one of my clients who is planning on taking a fairly LARGE position in that fund, but he’d like to see the DVD first and yours was my last copy. I’m going to be in your area tomorrow, would you mind if I dropped by and picked it up? I’ll send it back if you haven’t had a chance to view it yet. You’d really be helping me out of a tight spot!”
The prospect would agree to allow the advisor to drop by and pick up the DVD. In fact, they’d usually watch it that evening so the advisor wouldn’t have to send it back to them. When the advisor arrived, the prospect would not only be friendly, he/she would be eager to discuss the fund; especially knowing that someone else (who they assumed had much more money than they did) was planning on taking a “LARGE position” in it.
(There are variations on the basic theme that can be used here; for example, “I have a meeting in the morning, can I drop by late this afternoon, say….a quarter to 5?” With this variation, there’s not enough time for the prospect to mail the DVD back, plus the gatekeeper will probably have left for the day.)
Not only did the advisor manage to get the face-to-face meeting he wanted, when he arrived, the prospect was typically “pre-sold” on the investment idea!
This technique employed several very subtle psychological tactics that the FA probably didn’t realize were in play.
- The Rule of Reciprocity, which involves returning a favor.
- The Consistency Principle, which studies have demonstrated that the mind tries to make sense out of WHY we agreed to perform some action. It’s important for us as humans to make sense of our actions. Most deduce that the reason they agreed to do a favor for someone must be because they liked the person. And by asking this one small favor you are literally getting your prospect to warm up to you.
- The Liking Principle, has established the fact that we prefer to work with people we like and tend to say yes more often to people we like.
- Obtaining yes responses is a very subtle compliance tactic.
- There are other principles in play as well; for example, the need for Social Proof is employed in this sales technique.
Hundreds of creative approaches have been used by successful advisors to get that first meeting. The technique for getting that initial face-to-face contact can involve a variety of other marketing materials. DVD’s and CD’s work exceptionally well, but white papers or coming across some news article concerning your prospect, his company or industry can work just as well.
The only limit is your creativity. Sometimes the craziest of ideas will work. Be bold, what do you have to lose; an appointment you never had anyway?
We hope this idea brings in as many dollars for you as it did for our friend in Boston. Give us a call and ask for one of our business development experts; we will be happy to work with you to enhance your marketing & sales skills.