7 virtual prospecting strategies for financial advisors
It’s time to embrace virtual prospecting.
The coronavirus pandemic completely changed the way we do business. If you’ve been doing business online before the pandemic, that’s fantastic. If not, now’s the right time to shift your business to digital platforms.
Maybe you’re hesitant to launch your financial advisory firm because you feel the timing is off. Let me assure you; it’s a great time to start your virtual business. If you’ve already started your career as a virtual financial advisor, read on below to learn more about how to grow your business through prospecting.
What Is Prospecting?
It would be best if you had already determined how you’ll be prospecting when you wrote your Business Plan.
Prospecting is the first step in the sales cycle. When you prospect, you identify potential customers. You’re building a database or network of potential clients that you’re hoping to develop a relationship with.
Why Is Prospecting Important?
Prospecting is one of the steps in your Business Plan that aims to help you grow your business. Through prospecting, you attract potential customers that you hope to turn into paying clients.
Note that prospecting is an ongoing process. It doesn’t just happen once. You continuously attract potential customers to turn into new clients. Doing this allows you to maintain a good number of clients, even if some old clients stop working with you. You’ll always have more work in the pipeline.
According to a survey conducted by Fidelity, two-thirds of financial advisors reduced their prospecting efforts at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Roughly half of the advisors surveyed said that their virtual prospecting yielded mediocre results.
Today, we’re going to discuss some prospecting ideas that you can implement immediately. If you apply these ideas correctly, you won’t get mediocre results. You’ll be able to reach more prospects than you ever thought you could reach.
1. Send Weekly Emails To Prospects
If you haven’t already, it’s smart to set up a mailing list for your prospects to sign up with. You should send valuable information to your mailing list at least weekly. You can send anything from articles to videos, and everything in between.
Aside from objective content such as industry updates, you should also send emails with tips and advice for your prospects. Show them that you genuinely empathize with them and want to help them. Empathizing with and helping prospects is especially relevant to those who are financially unstable during this pandemic season.
If you’re not already reaching out to prospects via your email updates, other advisors likely are. People want to be updated. If other advisors are offering better content, prospects will lean towards them. So, you’re going to want to make sure your content is of high quality.
Lastly, you want to remember to add a call-to-action at the end of your emails. This can be as simple as asking your prospects to visit a link to your landing page that shows how they can sign up for your services.
2. Update Your Website
A website that hasn’t been updated in years is useless. Conversely, an updated website is a powerful asset. Everyone is on the internet right now, so there’s a high chance of people landing on your website. Therefore, a crucial step is to update your website’s contact information. After all, no one can reach you through outdated email addresses.
You’re also going to want to make sure to post to your blog regularly. Consider posting relevant and time-dependent articles. For example, come Christmas season, you may post financial articles pertinent to the Christmas season. This raises your chances of someone stumbling upon your website because they searched for a timely topic.
3. Hold Webinars
During this pandemic, webinars have become the go-to marketing tool. After all, webinars are great for virtual interactive experiences with a group of people. Please stick with us until the end of the article for a bonus section on hosting a fantastic webinar.
4. Get Active In Social Media Groups
In-person events allow you to leave a strong impression with prospects. However, traveling across the country to attend events isn’t always possible. Luckily, many traditional events have migrated online. A quick social media search will provide you with digital conferences, groups, and events, for you to participate in.
If you’d like to prospect through this route, Facebook and LinkedIn are great places to start. As with in-person events, you wouldn’t want to jump straight into a group ready to pitch your services. Instead, it would be best if you got to know the other members first. Once you’ve established some credibility, you can begin offering your services.
You can build your credibility in these online communities by providing valuable information. The information you provide doesn’t need to be related to your services as a financial advisor. The information, however, must be useful to the other members of the group. This is how you build credibility.
5. Take Advantage of Video
This point is separate from holding webinars. By taking advantage of video, I refer to posting videos on your website and social media pages.
Prospecting through email and phone calls has been the standard for years. Suppose emails have been working for you, great. There’s no need to fix what isn’t broken. If you want to take your prospecting a step further, consider posting content in the form of videos.
Many prospects would rather watch a short video than read a lengthy blog post. This is especially true for your clients who may be pressed for time. Luckily, you won’t have to come up with new content for your videos completely. If you have a blog post that performs exceptionally well (high number of views), you can simply repurpose the content and transform it into a video. It’s as simple as that.
6. Offer a Free Bonus
I believe that the more you give, the more you receive. So before you expect to secure business from your prospects, consider giving them something for free.
Clients are often hesitant to deal with service professionals. When engaging with you, your prospects may feel like all you’re trying to do is close a deal. They may not believe, at least initially, that your services will fit their needs.
To get around their suspicion, try offering them a free bonus. If you’ve written a short ebook, offer it to them at no cost at all. This will allow you to showcase your expertise. Additionally, this proves to your customers that you actually can help them. So, they’ll be more inclined to hire you when they need further assistance.
Aside from offering an ebook, you may provide limited-time free access to one of your paid webinars. Remember, the key is to not pitch yourself. Your goal is to help your prospects without pressuring them with a sales pitch.
7. How To Host a Fantastic Webinar
If you saw previous blog post, How to make your financial advisor webinar exciting – the virtual financial advisor, you’ll see that I’m a big believer in using technology and Zoom to create a successful seminar for prospecting. Here are a few more tips about hosting a webinar.
1. Before the Webinar
Before the webinar even starts, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
First, remember that content is king. You’re going to want to discuss fresh and relevant content.
Second, you should keep the registration as simple as possible. The easier it is for prospects to sign up for your webinar, the more inclined they are to do so. If your registration process involves filling out a fifty-item form, your prospects are likely to back out.
Third, promote the event on social media. Just because you’re planning to host a webinar doesn’t mean people will attend. You need to inform them of the webinar details and tell them how they can benefit from attending.
2. During the Webinar
Keep your sessions short. With the internet, we’ve become accustomed to instant gratification. For example, if you have a question, you can get the answer instantly with a Google search. This means that attention spans are short. So, it would help if you didn’t keep your webinar running for too long. The quicker the webinar, the more engaged your audience will be.
Next, creatively engage your audience. You can hold surveys, polls, and even games to turn your webinar into something more interactive. You can also incorporate competitive elements into your webinar to encourage participation.
3. After the Webinar
If you ran surveys during your webinar, now’s the time to analyze the results. Look out for any trends that stand out in the results. This may lead you to understand your prospects better. Therefore, it may also help you come up with possible ideas for topics for your future blog posts or videos.
Next, follow up with your attendees. Drop them an email and ask them about their experience attending your webinar. Offer to answer any lingering questions they may still have. Or, clarify some points for them that they may not have understood.
If you’d like to learn more about hosting an exciting financial advisor webinar, check out our other blog post on this topic.
#8 – BONUS: Create a LinkedIn event and invite your connections
LinkedIn is great for creating B2B connections that can help you spread the word “virtually” about what you do. When prospecting, there’s nothing better than using Social Media, specifically LinkedIn for creating and marketing an event.
To create an event from your personal LinkedIn profile rather than your business page, see this LinkedIn Post.
To create an event from your company page, click the down arrow on the right under “Admin tools.”
Create an event from your company page:
This is how the LinkedIn event will look once it’s received by your invitees:
Virtual events are slowly but surely becoming the norm. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, almost 70% of financial advisors said in a survey that they were already using video conferencing.
With the emergence of the pandemic, financial advisors are forced to rely more heavily on virtual means for prospecting. If you haven’t leveraged digital means as part of your prospecting, now’s the time to do so.
Don’t be afraid to give virtual prospecting a shot, even temporarily. You may find it so effective that you’ll begin incorporating it permanently as part of your business strategy in the future.
Yes, it may take some time for you to learn the ropes of virtual prospecting. However, the payoff will be great. You’ll be able to reach an audience that you never thought you could have reached before. By embracing virtual prospecting, you effectively keep yourself one step ahead of the competition.