Wouldn’t it be great to have all the free advertising that Donald Trump has acquired this far into his presidential campaign? Wouldn’t you like the same amount of prospects filling your pipeline that Trump seems to have at his waiting?
Well, I am here to tell you this is not a free ride…. but it is about the closest way to landing paying clients as you can imagine.
So, what is the secret? Following up with your existing prospects is the easiest and quickest way to fill your sales pipeline.
Swimming in a Sea of Prospects
At Capstone, some of the simplest conversions we make are the result of successfully tapping into the existing pool of prospects that are already in connection with our company.
A lot of time and money is wasted on filling up the sales funnel, especially when advisors have prospects right at their beckoning call. We commonly find advisors who would rather spend more money and resources than needed in an attempt to try and attract new prospects, rather than follow up with the ones they already know about.
The first step of the process is to think about the road map that your prospect must travel on to become a client with you. Visualize the process! Maybe even create a process map of what will happen, followed by a calendar of when each “destination” will be hit.
The moment a new connection reaches out to you through a social media network, you should have an idea of what will happen next. As soon as the first form of contact is made, you should know exactly what type of outreach will occur for future interactions.
For example: once a person visits your website, there should be an immediate call to action in order to capture his or her email address. Upon receiving contact information, it is your responsibility to send an engagement “gift” detailing what the prospect can expect from you in the future. If you’re not sure what they will take away from your connection, then all your efforts filling prospects into the marketing pipeline are a waste both time and money.
Building a Bond: Implementing Steps of Action
The next example is my favorite. When you go to a marketing event, do you know what you will do with any new relationships made during the occasion? I am currently working with an advisor residing in China. He is a U.S. expatriate and has a great calendar of events due to the wonderful local expat community. However, he has no idea of what to do once he engages in a new relationship. The common first step is to schedule a time one day after initial contact to reach out and call or email your new prospect inviting them for coffee.
If you expect a sale to happen, you need to map out in advance how and when your next follow-up will occur.
It is wise to create and refer to a list of action steps like:
1. Introduce them to a colleague they may find interesting
2. Provide them with something useful that you learned in conversation
3. Send them research that may be able utilize
4. Introduce them to a person that may help with overcoming a hurdle
5. Share a link to a video with relevant tips or a client success story
Forming a Habit is Key to Conversion
Having a list of actions you can refer to is certainly helpful, but it is not enough. Your follow-up process needs to become a habit as with everything else you do. Whether you’re taking the kids to baseball practice, attending the community board meeting, or going to the pool on a hot summer day, be sure to fit in following up with prospects to maximize your potential for conversion.
Too often, I hear financial advisors tell me they are uncomfortable asking for business. The problem with this is that advisors tend to view following up as reaching out to the prospect, begging them to buy. Successful follow-up does not need to be direct. You can create a rewarding experience just by providing your new relationship with something of value to them.
Donald Trump’s “Art of the Deal” is all about creating entertainment and encouraging the voter to lean one way, without ever outright asking for the vote. Taking a play from his strategy may allow you to effectively follow-up with more of your existing pool of prospects.