Over the past few years, I’ve heard the joke that ends with this punch line: “Yesterday you were a prospect, today you’re a client!” It resonates in the sales world because of the feeling some clients have once they sign on the dotted line.
It’s a feeling of under appreciation and loss. Why? Because before a client has signed, they’re courted as prospects – receiving high touch, responsive and on demand service.
But, once the sales experience is over, the prospect becomes a client and gets handed off to a different set of people and processes. And sometimes, all of the sudden, the courtship is over! The end of the attentive service is significant, because as I’ve said before: your clients are your competitor’s best prospects, and the end of this courtship experience is exactly what I’m talking about.
The good news is that moving out of the courtship stage doesn’t have to be a letdown. In fact, there are plenty of great retirement plan teams that haven’t lost a client. Why? Read more
Many years ago, when I worked on sales presentations, my team would spend 80% of our time working on the PowerPoint – debating slide order and color, bullet points and font size, this graphic over that graphic. You name it, we debated it. After all that, we’d spend only 24 hours preparing to present that flawless PowerPoint presentation. We would scramble to get our story together, adding undue pressure and stress to ourselves, and we wouldn’t personalize the story as much as we should have.
Eventually, we began thinking differently, flipping our energy and focus – 80% of our time forming the story and preparing our team, and 20% on the supporting materials. This 80/20 rule helped us focus on our end goal: preparing for a sales presentation, not the supporting materials.
Using the 80/20 rule
It’s all too easy to put your time and energy towards your PowerPoint and supporting materials. But PowerPoint doesn’t run your sales pitch – you and your team do. Applying the 80/20 rule (80% story/team preparation and 20% supporting materials) can keep your sales preparation focused and on track.
Here are four tips: Read more
I frequently talk to advisors and financial professionals about the prospects they’re working. Their sales pipeline can range anywhere from 10-50 active deals they’re working routinely. Odds are some of those great opportunities are their competitor’s clients. That’s why I’d like to share some insights about how client segmentation can build a moat around your client base.
Let’s begin with client segmentation
I have yet to meet an advisor or advisor team who doesn’t struggle to manage service delivery and growth…and for that matter, their sanity. Segmentation helps you strategically analyze how you communicate to clients and how your service model applies, or doesn’t apply, to their needs. Most importantly, it’ll help you create efficiencies so you can put your energy toward new client opportunities. Read more
Last week we went over marketing plan goals and measurement. Now that you know what your goals are, and how to determine what success looks like, let’s start talking about your target market and marketing tactics.
Target market: Take a look at your current book of business to help you figure out your niche – or possible niche. Who’s on the list – manufacturing firms, start-ups, hospitals? This can help you figure out what kind of clients you want to have. You want clients like the ones you’re successful with. What are their characteristics? Do they have an engaged committee, or are they parental, committed to participant education? Whatever the case might be –think about having a profile of your ideal clients and figure out who fits that profile to determine the size of your market.
Once you’ve identified your target market, it’s important to develop a pipeline management process. Your marketing activities toward each prospect will depend on where they are in your sales pipeline. Where are they in the buying process? Maybe you’ve met a CEO a few times socially, but you can’t get him to commit to a meeting. This can help you determine your marketing collateral needs – you’ll need different strategy and collateral for a CEO than a prospect you haven’t made contact with.