You may think July and August are quieter months, but Gunilla Haglundh examines how advisers can take advantage of this period and stay ahead of their competitors:
One of the biggest challenges for an adviser is to work in and on the business at the same time. There are many models of how to delegate work, but one of the most important tasks – acquiring new clients is probably best done by you. It is really a job that never stops.
August is a quiet month, since many potential clients have just reviewed their financials and know where they stand. However, Christian Beltrame, financial adviser at BKM Financial services says that this is not the time for advisers to put their feet up.
“It’s good to reflect on the half year that passed and consider what worked and did not, but it’s a great time to follow up with new potential,” he says.
There are a few steps that you can take to attract new clients:
Set up a referral relationship
If you’re not working together with an accounting firm yet, evaluate the right partner to build a working relationship with as they are increasingly viewed as the ‘trusted adviser’ with clients.
“Seek out allied professionals that have a similar professional spectrum as you – age, years in the industry, target markets and above all working philosophies,” says Brent McCartney, partner at DFK Australia New Zealand.
There’s a big chance that they are also looking for new clients to add value.
Law firms can also provide opportunities to establish working relationships.
Use your clients
You can actively ask your current clients for referrals, be sure they are aware of the services you provide, and how your services differ from the market. Let them know what kind of clients you’re looking to bring onboard – which will focus their thinking on providing you with potential clients that might be a good fit.
One common misunderstanding among advisers is that clients make referrals to help the adviser. It is often the other way around – to help friends.
Determine whether you are a direct-approach-person or an indirect-approach-person. An adviser who likes a direct approach is comfortable with cold-calls, while an indirect approach can involve sending out letters and then follow up with a phone call.
Join a chamber of commerce, BNI, Meetups, corporate boards or charitable groups. Build relationships. This will not give you clients overnight, but over time as trust is developed between both parties and your target markets are identified more clearly by your networks.
“There is a very low cost involved in doing that, and it is a great way to get into your community and try to build business relationship going forward,” says McCartney.
Make a list after every event, with what people you met and what they said so that you can build on that next time you meet.
All of this will keep you very busy, not to mention staff appraisals, going through your software so that your fee disclosure statements run smoothly, leadership programs and aligning your goals with your surroundings.
Do you still think August is a quiet month?