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
If you’ve spent the last six months cold calling a list with over 1,000 names pulled from a database (i.e. all benefit plans with $X in assets, $X participants, in the state of Y) – we should talk.
You’re vertical cold calling – moving down a list, using the same pitch, maybe with a little too much selling and not enough information, and checking names off after the call, never to talk again. Odds are you sound the same as the other nine advisors who called the “decision maker” already this year.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s good to have a large pool of prospects. But when it comes to cold calling – a good way to “warm” it up is by thinking horizontally.
A couple of weeks ago, after a return from an East Coast trip, my five-year-old asked me, “Dad, what do you do on all those trips?” So I went to work and started telling him what his old man does – custom solutions, strategic planning, moving the needle, and all the other buzzwords that rock my world. I was about two minutes into it and he cut me off. “Hey Dad,” he asked, “Can I watch cartoons now?” Yep, I’d lost the sale.
It got me thinking about how we tell our stories – or our value propositions. Through the years, I’ve reviewed hundreds of mission statements, value propositions, core belief statements and I’m convinced most of us (myself included!) suffer from the curse of knowledge (Want to know more about it? Read this short article from the Harvard Business Review).
We’re writing value propositions for our peers – not our prospects and clients. Just like my five-year-old, our target audience doesn’t spend their whole day worrying about retirement plans – but we spend our lives there, and as a result, we’re not addressing prospects and clients on their level. Read more