Bill Good Marketing

How Financial Advisors Ignore 50% of their Best Prospects

Imagine this all-too-common scenario involving some of your best prospects:

Let’s say you host a seminar. At the event, you meet a nice couple named Mr. and Mrs. Oldebucks. After your presentation, you spend a few minutes talking with them and answering their questions.

When you get back to the office, you look at the seminar report card they filled out for you. On it, they specifically requested an appointment.

Terrific, right? So, the next day, your assistant calls to set up an appointment. No answer. You try again the next day, same thing. Finally, on the third attempt, you reach Mrs. Oldebucks. She tells you about the birth of their newest grandson – three weeks earlier than expected – and says that she and Mr. Oldebucks will be out of state for a while to help out. She asks that you call back in three months.

On the one hand, it’s disappointing you didn’t get that immediate appointment. On the other, at least you have a new green cherry – a lead who is interested but cannot act until a later date.

So, you make a note in your database and, as promised, call back in three months. This time, Mr. Oldebucks answers. He apologizes but says it’s just not a good time to meet right now and they’ve decided to stick with their current advisor.

Now, here’s where many advisors make a mistake: they assume Mr. and Mrs. Oldebucks are no longer prospects, decide to move on, and promptly forget about them.

In truth, not only are Mr. and Mrs. Oldebucks still prospects – they’re two of your best prospects.

Pitch-and-Miss Prospects

Mr. and Mrs. Oldebucks should be classified as something I call a pitch-and-miss. What is a pitch-and-miss? A pitch-and-miss is a prospect you likely spoke to several times, and with whom you wanted to do business. But for whatever reason, things didn’t work out. You pitched and you missed. 

Maybe you just spoke with them a few times over the phone. Maybe they requested an appointment but then canceled. Maybe you even made a full-blown sales presentation, including profiling, preparing a written proposal, and asking for the order. 

The mistake many advisors make is assuming that, because things didn’t work out immediately, they will never work out. So, they move onto the next person who shows interest. 


How to Develop Your Best Prospects

I will tell you this without any hesitation at all: if a pitch-and-miss prospect is someone you regret not doing business with, do the following:

  1. Add the prospect to your Monthly Drip mailing list and ensure they are seeing your name once every month. 
  2. Call the prospect once every 90 days. When you do, you don’t need to be pushy or keep trying to set an appointment. Simply ask how they are doing, if they have any questions, or if there’s anything you can help them with. 
  3. The next time you hold an event, invite them. For an added benefit, include a short, handwritten note. 
  4. If you have the prospect’s birthdate, send a birthday letter every year.

If you do these things, here’s what will happen: the “one who got away” will, in all likelihood, eventually reach out to you. That’s because:

  • You’ve built “top-of-mind awareness” with them, so that when a problem or question arises, they will probably think of you first – even if they already have another advisor.
  • You’ve firmly established yourself as both an expert and a caring individual.
  • You will probably have given them more attention than their existing advisor, if they have one.

Now, doing this doesn’t necessarily mean that when the prospect reaches out they will instantly become a new client. But, at the very least, you will have a fresh lead who is interested in you, and with whom you already have a relationship. 

Here at Bill Good Marketing®, approximately half our business comes from people who previously turned us down! 

So, ask yourself: are you ignoring half of your potential future business?  Are you giving your pitch-and-miss prospects (your best prospects) the attention they deserve? 

If not, you know what to do. 


Bill Good

Bill Good is the founder and chairman of Bill Good Marketing. His latest book, “Hot Prospects,” is No. 88 on the 96 Best Prospecting Books of All Time list and is available on Amazon. He created the Bill Good Marketing System and has been named one of the industry’s top five coaches.

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