Posts Tagged 'Prospecting'

Pizza Time

Here is an idea I recently heard! What a terrific gift.

First I contacted all the pizza places in town and found the best super large pizza’s for the best price ($8.00/ per pizza which included tip).

I was able to do this because I told them I wanted to order and have delivered a pizza to every CPA and tax preparer firm in town.

Then I went to MSFT Word and found a picture of Uncle Sam pointing his finger and I did a flyer that said “Take a break on us”, Compliments of myself and my firm. I took the flyer to the pizza place and attached it to the pizza box.

The pizza’s were then delivered and my telephone rang and rang with thank you’s from the CPA and their staffs. Referrals started coming in. It was a win win for the pizza place and a win win for me.

Guide – People remember and appreciate the gift of food, especially when they are hungry.

Action Item – Try Pizza Time in your town.

© 2010 The Advisors Center, LLC – All Rights Reserved

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Client Event Idea – Shredding Day/Week

 

How can we add value to our client and center of influence relationships, help them, and do good works?

Make Thursday, April 22, 2010, Client Shredding Day!

Oh, by the way,  This also happens to be Earth Day.

Here are some of the benefits:

  • Clients properly dispose of  papers with personally identifiable information
  • Reduces the risk of identity theft
  • Encourages clients to tell their friends
  • Encourages your COIs to tell their clients
  • The shredding truck charges by the hour, not by volume
  • Promote it in the community as a “Green Event”
  • It is not very expensive
  • Partner with the shredding company – You are promoting them too
  • Create a press release for the event and get it in the newspapers
  • Make it a “Community Shred”
  • Leverage “Earth Day”
  • It should be easy to find sponsorship that may defray some of the cost
  • Invite local law enforcement to take part
  • Invite other community organizations to join you
  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Drive traffic to you

You get the idea.  An event that is easy to leverage!

Guide – Great client events can be fun, easy and not too expensive.

Action Item – Hold a Shredding Day in Your community on Thursday, April 22, celebrating the end of tax season and Earth Day.

© 2010 The Advisors Center, LLC – All Rights Reserved

Please leave comments to share with others by clicking the comment link below the title of this article.

Now! Spend time with your COI’s.

 

Spend 3 hours with your best centers of influence.

A quick lunch is not enough.  Following the theme of going deeper, not wider, really getting to know these people is key to any lasting relationship.

Right now is the time of year for planning.  Planning your relationships is just as, if not more, important than other planning.

You really need to get to know your centers of influence and they REALLY need to get to know you.

Consider this – Do you know your COI’s spouses’ names, the children’s names or where they go to school?  Do you know where your COI’s went to school for that matter?  Do you know if they belong to a church or synagogue?  What their favorite causes or charities are?  What they REALLY care about?  Are their parents living?  Are they dealing with family matters?  Are they happy in their role within the practice?  How do they get paid?  Salary and bonus?  A percentage of profits?  Are they an equity partner or just a profits partner?  Do they have their own assistant?

You get the idea!

Go out and learn about your center of influences just as you would any client.  Take a fact finder.

Go deeper, not wider – It will pay off in a stronger relationship.

Guide – Knowing more about your key centers of influence gives them the comfort of knowing you understand them.  This results in a stronger relationship.

Action item – Call your COI’s now and ask them for some time – Not 20-30 minutes, but an opportunity to get to know each other.

© 2010 The Advisors Center, LLC – All Rights Reserved

The Rainmaker Dinner

The most successful event in the history of my practice by a long shot?

The Rainmaker dinner!

What is the Rainmaker dinner?

This annual event brings together 7 to 9 professional advisors that you have worked with or want to work with for a private dinner.

  • Identify the attendees – These are the best advisors:  CPAs, Enrolled Agents, Attorneys, etc.
  • Secure a venue.  This would be a private dining room in a nice restaurant.  The seating should be a rectangular table (not round) like your dining room table at home, so everyone can talk with everyone.
  • Identify an outside guest speaker (maybe) – As a newer advisor, you may want to bring in a speaker to talk about a topic your guests would find interesting in the area of practice management or business building.
  • Personally invite each guest with a phone call and explain to them this unique networking opportunity to meet with you and some peers to discuss some ideas.
  • If possible, order dinner in advance as it only takes away from your time together – Give each attendee the choice of a seafood, beef, chicken or vegetarian entrée.  Salads and desserts can be standard.
  • Gather about 6pm for drinks but make sure your server insists that you be seated by 6:30 sharp.  Engage the staff in helping get the group seated.
  • Thank all for being there.  Go around the room and ask the guests to introduce themselves, the name of the firm and their specialty (or ideal client!)
  • After salads are served, ask your speaker to engage the group casually in the topic for the evening.
  • Again after dessert, thank your entire party for their participation in your practice and for coming this evening.
  • Make sure a credit card has already been filed with the restaurant so there is no need to pay as dinner ends.

Be sure and follow up within 48 hours with each guest to set an appointment to discuss the concepts that were brought up over dinner.

This dinner is virtually guaranteed to add value to your relationships!

Guide – Bringing together peer advisors over dinner leads to great comradery and is valuable for all as a cross networking opportunity.

Action item – Set up your rainmaker dinner as soon as possible.  It is really worth it.

© 2009 The Advisors Center, LLC – All Rights Reserved

Don’t Talk! or Please Listen?

Most advisors spend too much time talking and not enough time listening?

True or False?

Of course the answer is… It depends.

Some recent examples I have experienced:

I was teaching a workshop of 16 advisors and one young man did not find it necessary to listen but found it acceptable to chat throughout the entire workshop to his friend. I am thinking that this was not a worthwhile meeting for him because he certainly did not listen to what I had to say. It would lead me to believe that this same advisor has a hard time listening to his clients or prospects. He wondered why he wasn’t closing!

I met a recently widowed woman who came in with a trusted friend. I asked “How can I help”? She then spent the next two meetings telling me her story, how the other advisors told her what to do and what she needed. At the end of the second meeting I asked if she would like to be a client and she said “Yes, because you listened”.

Now without citing lots of statistics, we know that most people like to talk about themselves and do not like to listen to stories about others. I would suggest that advisors who spend the time to listen will develop deeper and more meaningful relationships with their clients and prospects.

A deeper relationship will mean more loyalty. More loyalty means better retention and better retention leads to higher profitability.

Think of it this way, how would you feel if the doctor gave you the prescription without listening to you first?

Guide – Allow people to tell their story and how you can help them. If you ask them, they will usually tell you if you let them.

Action item – Try to spend much more time being an active listener. Really pay attention and take notes. Let them know you are listening and most importantly, don’t interrupt – It’s rude.

© 2009 The Advisors Center, LLC – All Rights Reserved

Develop Your Niche! Where do you Start?

 

You have heard this before! Develop a niche.

Become an expert and service that niche!

Right? So where do you start?

Start with this exercise:

First, write down the names of your five FAVORITE clients. These are not necessarily your five biggest (but they could be), but are the five your really like. Whenever they call, you are happy to talk to them. None of these folks should give you that electric probe to the gut feeling…

Now look a the list carefully.

Write down anything and everything these five have in common–age, occupation, geography, hair color, type of car, favorite football team, risk tolerance, goals, whatever.

You may likely see some things in common.  These are the clients you are passionate about.  These are the type of clients that may have caused you to become an advisor in the place.

A pattern may be emerging! 

Now start a second list.

Write down how you came to know each of these great clients. How were they acquired? Who referred them?

Perhaps another pattern?

This may be the beginning of your niche. Try to become an expert in the needs of these people.

Want to serve more of them? Sure!  Let these clients and all your referral sources know that you’d like more new clients just like these!

Guide – Developing a niche gives you the satisfaction to fuel your passion.

Action Item – Let your niche be known and become even more of an expert to those people you love.

© 2009 The Advisors Center, LLC – All Rights Reserved

Please leave comments to share with others by clicking the comment link below the title of this article.

Do I need MY own website?

Asking if you need you own website is like asking if you need your own business card. 

Do you carry a company card?  This would be like a business card that doesn’t  have your name on it.  Or a card with your name printed,  but SOOO small that no one can read it!

I truly believe that today’s consumers and business clients DEMAND and deserve a personalized website.

This may be as simple as an electronic brochure to validate your existence (clean and neat) or as sophisticated as an interactive educational experience highlighting the virtues of your business and services.

I urge you to consider not using an advisor page template from your organization.   If you are selling your firm’s services, then maybe you are just another sales person and not a trusted advisor?  Think about that!

The benefit of your own personalized site is just that: personalization.  It speaks about you and your unique value proposition.  The cost is up to you.  You can spend several hundred dollars for a template site (like business cards from a mass marketer) or you can spend many thousands to create a custom design.

Guide – Not having your own website  = Not having your own business card.

Action item – Find a web developer in your area and within your budget to create something personal.


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