It’s never been easy to get FAs to prospect. “I don’t have the money.” “I don’t have the time.” “I don’t know where to
start.” “Cold calling doesn’t work.” “Semi-
nars don’t work.” “Networking takes too
long.” “Compliance.” “Too many ideas.”
“I need more staff.”
These are certainly good “reasons” (or
excuses) not to prospect. But let’s play a
Suppose you knew, without doubt or
hesitation, that each hour spent prospecting would generate at least $1,000
in recurring revenue. You would sweep
all the above off onto the floor and start
prospecting, wouldn’t you?
Let’s assume I’m half wrong and that
an hour of prospecting only produces
$500 in recurring revenue. Does that
change the conclusion? Not even a little
bit! You would be on the phone or even
walking door to door for $500 an hour
in recurring revenue. For $1,000, you
would probably be running for joy, right?
Me: So why aren’t you prospecting?
You: Prospecting doesn’t produce
$1,000 an hour or even $50 per hour.
Me: Why not?
You: Not sure. It just doesn’t work.
Me: There’s more to it than that. Either your prospecting is failing, or your
sales is failing. Maybe both. I have written endlessly on why your prospecting
is failing. Your prospecting can be failing because of your selling skills, right?
You: I guess.
Me: If you are spending valuable time
prospecting but are not convincing very
many people to do business with you,
you will stop prospecting.
The Real Problem with Sales
Let’s clear up whether advisors sell. Of course
they do. They sell their advisory services.
So, what’s the problem with getting
these sales closed? It’s rarely the close.
Failed sales presentations normally
don’t close because of what’s done or not
done before the close. The close is just a
simple question, “Let’s get started, OK?”
The whole process that happens before the close is called sales.
You: OK, Bill. I’ve always heard in sales
you should “always be closing.”
Me: Rubbish. That’s just another old
school myth just like “Don’t believe the
prospect until he or she has said ‘no’ three,
six, 12 or 27 times.” Same stuff.
You: So, if sales isn’t “always be closing,” what is it?
Me: Sales is a step-by-step process intended to increase desire to own the benefits of a product or service to the point
where the desire outweighs fear of change.
Sales is obviously dealing with emotion.
When someone wants your product or service more than he fears losing his money,
the close is easy. It’s just a gentle nudge to
push him off the fence. If you cannot create
the emotion, you can close all day long and
never get people to do business with you.
In my opinion, the real problem today
is simply this: Many advisors do not know
how to sell. Until you solve sales, every
prospecting campaign you launch will fair.
Me: Three reasons: Many of today’s
advisors were never trained to sell. Or
they were trained badly. Or for too long,
they have only been dealing with pre-sold
referrals. They have long since forgotten
their early sales training.
If you cannot close prospects on doing
business with you, you will stop prospecting. To solve prospecting, first solve selling.
The First Pothole
My first clue that the problem with prospecting was selling came from a conversation I had with a client who was giving very expensive seminars but losing
money. He was very discouraged. He
had arrived at that inevitable dead-end:
seminars don’t work today.
I asked him, “What do you do on the
first appointment?” He replied, “I use a
Why FAs Do Not Prospect
To solve your prospecting problem, first solve your sales problem
By BILL GOOD