How To Attract, Not Chase, Clients

By David Scranton, November 28, 2023, Financial Advisor Magazine

I remember my early years as a financial advisor when I was pursuing clients by knocking on office doors at industrial parks. It was a tough way to generate business leads, but I was new to the industry and full of enthusiasm.

Now, as a veteran of the industry and founder of a diversified financial services company, I know there are better ways to gain clients. Attracting clients vs. chasing them has proven to be a much more effective and successful approach.

It sounds straightforward, but it comes down to having the right mindset and being able to properly execute.

Meet AIDA 
Marketers are familiar with the AIDA strategy of attention, interest, decision and action, but financial advisors are trained in wealth management, not marketing and sales. Most advisors join the industry because they want to help clients achieve their financial goals. And, while some attain financial planning certifications and licenses to enhance their skills, obtaining marketing and sales skills is less likely.

Applying the AIDA approach is a simple enough strategy that I have employed successfully when I’m helping advisors understand how to attract clients instead of chasing them. The caveat: execution. This strategy only works when each step is successfully implemented.

Four-Step Funnel
The first step of AIDA is to attract by gaining a potential client’s attention with a unique value proposition or specific niche. For advisors, it could mean working with a specific age group, asset threshold, profession or investment strategy. The risk here is a willingness to turn away clients who don’t fit into your niche. That can be difficult for financial advisors who are just starting their practice and want to quickly build a book.

The second step requires grabbing a potential client’s interest with your established brand and reputation. This can be a value proposition that makes a client want to engage with you or your firm. I’ve seen advisors succeed in this area by publishing a wealth management book or hosting a podcast or radio show. Some larger firms can provide support for these channels. For example, we have built several broadcast studio sets in our headquarters to accommodate the video production needs of our advisors.

The decision, or desire, phase, depends on the strength of your lead generation program. It’s when the potential client pursues the opportunity to discuss your firm’s value proposition, which could be tax-saving strategies, estate planning or portfolio management.

The final “action” phase is converting the potential client into a client.

Avoid The Mortal Blow 
The four toughest words for an advisor, or anyone, to hear are: I’ll think about it.

This is the proverbial death knell because it signals that the potential client is no longer attracted to your value proposition and is not willing to enter the decision/desire phase of the relationship. This can be the tipping point where you risk chasing a client instead of attracting them.

How does this happen? In some cases, it’s when an advisor overwhelms a potential client with investment products and spreadsheets.

Remember, your investment experience, advice and processes are solutions. The products your firm offers are not the solutions. They are just the means to carry out the solutions. Focus on the client’s challenges and problems they want to solve. Discuss products after onboarding them as a client.

Most of the successful financial advisors I know are ones who built their businesses by attracting clients, not chasing them. It just takes a mindset shift to embrace attraction-based lead generation instead of the traditional cold-calling or dinner seminar method.

By David Scranton, November 28, 2023, Financial Advisor Magazine

David Scranton is Founder and CEO of Sound Income Group, a diversified financial services company that includes Sound Income Strategies, the Retirement Income Source and Advisors’ Academy. Investment advisory services offered through Sound Income Strategies, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm. Sound Income Group LLC, Retirement Income Source LLC, Advisors’ Academy LLC, and Sound Income Strategies LLC are all associated entities.

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