In order to be a successful financial advisor, you need to be able to find and acquire the clients who are right for your practice, service those clients, and manage your business efficiently. That can be harder than it sounds, especially for new advisors or for those who have hit a plateau in their growth. Today’s guest provides coaching services that are aimed at helping financial advisors manage their practices in a way that ensures they are prepared for the future.

Grant Hicks, CIM, is an author, coach, and speaker. Before he began coaching financial advisors, he had his own successful advisory practice. Now he runs his own financial coaching and consulting firm, Advisor Practice Management, and speaks at conferences and workshops for financial advisors. His book Guerrilla Marketing For Financial Advisors is part of the Guerrilla Marketing series, which has sold over 21 million copies worldwide.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • What Grant’s firm does and who they serve
  • How practice management helps advisors
  • Why Grant switched from being an advisor to being an advisor coach
  • The biggest mistakes advisors make when it comes to finding clients
  • The six people you need to have in your database
  • What metrics can be used to determine who your ideal client is
  • What an advisor can do to find more ideal clients
  • How to quantify value for a new prospect
  • How to educate prospective clients about what they’re not getting from their current advisor
  • What made Grant successful in his practice before he became a coach
  • Grant’s e-book, Guerrilla Marketing for Financial Advisors
  • The most exciting things about Grant’s current business
  • Grant’s words of wisdom for advisors

Links and Resources:

Email Grant at: [email protected]

Advisor Practice Management

Free E-book: Guerrilla Marketing for Financial Advisors

Bill Bachrach’s Advisor Roadmap

Quotes from Grant:

“What I discovered that was lacking in the marketplace was the need for solid metrics to measure success for the financial industry.”

“I’d say the first thing that I see all the time is that advisors are targeting too many young clients.”

“If you want to grow your practice, feedback is valuable.”

Grant is passionate about helping advisors manage their practices in a way that prepares them for the future, whether we’re talking about changes in technology, regulations, pricing, or consumer behaviour. Today’s show is focused on finding and engaging your ideal clients, and we know you’ll love his insights. Below we’re covering the following three highlights from the show:

  • The four biggest mistakes advisors make when it comes to finding clients
  • The six people you need to have in your database
  • How to convince your prospective clients to pick you over their current advisor

To learn more from Grant, including a quick exercise you can use to identify your ideal clients,  the three secrets to his success as an advisor, and more, catch the full episode through the link above or on iTunes or Stitcher.

The four biggest mistakes advisors make when it comes to finding clients

As a former advisor and current coach, Grant has seen (and, he admits, made) plenty of mistakes in the field. He shared his top four with us, so you know to avoid them:

1. Focusing too much on young clients: Grant sees the sweet spot for clients as those aged 50-60 years and older. Not only is this an underserved market, but at this point in their lives, folks have accumulated most of their net worth and have the money to pay well for advice. Even better, they’re in a place where they want comprehensive services to put everything together, so they actually value the advice you can provide.

Hint: If 50+ isn’t your crowd, never fear! Check out the full episode for Grant’s three-step process for identifying your ideal client regardless of what your niche is.

2. Poor time management: Too many advisors focus their time on the wrong things and the wrong clients. For instance, everyone is searching for those ideal clients, but are you actually putting in the work, or are you spending too much time with clients who aren’t helping you meet your own revenue goals? Top advisors spend a lot ‒ about 20% ‒ of their time with ideal prospective clients.

Hint: The prevailing wisdom used to be that advisors should seek out as many clients as possible, but wouldn’t you rather have fewer clients and earn more money? Focus on delivering more value rather than seeking out more clients.

3. Not meeting enough people face to face: Social media and digital marketing are great, but consider how many more people you could convert if you actually sat down with them and had a chat face to face. Look for more opportunities to meet people in person, so you can actually show them that you really want to help them.

4. Focusing too much on referrals: This might sound strange, but Grant makes the distinction between referrals and favourable introductions. The problem with referrals is they are often focused on a one-on-one approach. Instead, he suggests asking your client, “If I were to meet successful people like you (pilots, surgeons, entrepreneurs, or whatever their profession), where should I go?” Have them suggest an event or gathering that you can come to, and have them introduce you to the whole group, not just one or two people. You’re not the expert on how to market to people like them ‒ they are, so make the most of their knowledge.

The six people you need to have in your database

Grant suggests having six centres of influence ‒ six people whom you can count on to cross-refer and to help you help your clients. They’re people who can take care of your clients in specialized ways, and they include:

  1. An accountant: You already know this one.
  2. A lawyer: This one’s pretty obvious, too.
  3. A realtor: When someone is working with a realtor, as Grant puts it, “that’s money in motion,” meaning that people are more likely to need your advice.
  4. A mortgage broker: Again, when someone’s looking for a mortgage, they’re probably also open to receiving your help.
  5. Insurance agency: Sure, you can create a killer financial plan, but if you can help people with risk management too, your plan can cover the full gamut.
  6. Commercial professionals: If you’re working with successful entrepreneurs, you’ll also want to make sure you’re in touch with individuals who specialize in the commercial aspects of the above professions.

How to convince your prospective clients to pick you over their current advisor

Most of your prospective ideal clients is that they probably already have an advisor, and they’re probably happy enough where they are. They’re not going to switch over unless you can definitively show them how you can provide more than their current advisor.

Grant suggests doing this through education.

For example, many people don’t even know what they’re paying their current advisor or institution. Sure, they might be able to throw out a percentage, but do they understand what that means in dollars? Do they know what they’re actually getting for that money? Prepare a fee audit to help them understand what they’re currently paying and what they’re getting for that monthly or annual fee.

Hint: This is especially important if your work is fee-based and your prospect’s current advisor charges a percentage. Your prospect might not even know how to compare these rates and yours might seem high until you can show them what they’re paying and what the gaps in the service are.

Want to know more about the fee audit? Shoot Grant an email at [email protected]. Also, don’t forget to sign up below and subscribe to the show on iTunes or Stitcher to make sure you never miss an episode.