Bill Good Marketing

Top Advisor’s Growth Plan: A Proven Process for New Clients

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    As a financial advisor consultant, the question I’m most frequently asked is some form of…

    “What are other advisors doing to get new clients?”

    “I started in the business cold-calling but haven’t done any prospecting in YEARS. What’s working now to generate new qualified leads?”

    Or the ever popular…

    “How do I get more high net worth investors as clients?”

    Whether you’re a new financial advisor, a seasoned veteran, inching toward retirement and preparing your successor, or anywhere in between, prospecting is essential to survival. If your business isn’t growing, it’s dying. Nothing stays the same for long.

    So, you know your business needs to grow, but how much is enough?

    How much do you want to grow?

    The first step in creating a winning plan is to set a goal. When setting a growth goal, it’s good to push yourself to see how high you can go. At the same time, you’re best served by setting SMART goals – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely.  

    While you consider how much you’d like to grow, using other successful financial advisors’ growth as a reference can help. You can see what’s truly attainable. For example, many of our clients double their gross revenue every two to four years, depending on the size of their business and how aggressively they want to grow.

    Therefore, a realistic annual growth target is 20 – 30% per year. In some cases, 40%+ is possible, too. With the right strategy and resources to help you accomplish that goal, massive growth is well within reach.

    From $0 to $100M in AUM in 2 years? It can be done, and not just through acquisition. Believe me, we helped make it happen. The magic trick? SEMINARS. Ok, so it may not seem like magic, but a winning strategy, a sizeable investment in your growth, and good honest hard work will make it happen.

    How fast you grow is entirely up to you.

    Now, let’s assume you’re looking for a more aggressive growth rate.

    You‘ll need to find…

    New Assets from Current Clients

    First you calculate where the growth will come from. Consider your lowest hanging fruit first: additional assets from existing clients.

    (If you’re a brand-new financial advisor, skip to How Many New Clients Do You Need and start there.)

    If you’ve been in the business for a few years, you need a strategy to locate held away assets and leverage your existing relationships to bring them under your management. The most successful financial advisors consistently identify these held away assets and potential windfalls.

    When you track those opportunities, you can advise your clients on their complete financial picture. By doing so, you build trust and will capture more wallet share through the years.

    Set yourself a target to collect 10% of those held-away assets each year.

    Let’s take an example, Susan Brokerman is an advisor in Lubbock, New Jersey. She currently manages $200 million in assets with about 250 households. Since her clients came mostly from seminars, many of them invested some of their assets with her to try her out. To capture more, she needs to strengthen the relationships she has with them.

    We know, from working with advisors for 45-plus years, that Susan manages only a percentage of her client’s wealth. It could be as low as 10%, and as high as 50%. VERY RARELY will she have 100% of the assets. That’s just not human nature.

    So, there’s a potential of $200 million or lots more out there. Now some of her client’s other assets can’t be moved to Susan right now. The money is tied up in real estate, annuities, and company retirement accounts.

    Some of her clients invest their money with their family members, so they feel guilty moving it to her.

    But some of it can be moved immediately.

     And if Susan’s clients aren’t getting the service that they should be from other advisors, they’re more likely to move it to her when she’s communicating better, providing better advice, and overall doing a better job than the other advisor.

    So if her target is to move 10% of these held-away assets each year, she will add $20 million in new assets just from her existing client base.

    Using just this strategy alone, Susan can double her assets under management and gross revenue in three to four years.

    This is an aggressive approach to growth. Some are ready for it, Some aren’t. If you want to grow at a slower pace, you might want to check out Daily Planning for Growth.

    But if you want anything more than 7-10% growth per year, read on to learn how.

    How Many New Clients Do You Need?

    To double in three years, Susan will need another $47 million in assets each year. If the market is anything like 2023, some of her growth will come from that.  There is no plan that can account for or duplicate that. So, let’s remove it from our equation.

    If Susan’s average client has $500,000 investable assets, then she will need 80+ new households to reach her new asset goal.

    That’s a lot of service for a single advisor.

    Susan needs a better strategy, one that will take her up market, into the realms of the High New Worth Investor.

    How to Clone Your Ideal Clients

    Susan’s top clients are business owners within 5-10 years of selling their business. They’re so focused on their business they haven’t had time for proper financial planning. They need help with comprehensive wealth management including retirement planning, succession planning, estate planning, capital gains taxes, and more.

    Most of these clients have two million invested with her, and big liquidity events within 5-10 years. So, being our client, we focus Susan on meeting with prospective clients who fit this profile. She will only need 10 of those new HHs to reach her first-year growth target.

    Now take a moment and answer these questions:

    • Who are your best clients?
    • What kind of help do they need?
    • Do their needs align with your niche?
    • Do they create enough ROI to make the relationship good for both of you?

    Of course, any financial advisor wants more clients like Susan’s ideal clients.

    But where do you find them?

    Multiple Lead Generation Channels

    To choose the right prospecting activities, you need to know what’s working now.

    The most successful financial advisors will always have multiple sources for new leads. You should have at least two or three new lead channels that can produce enough qualified and interested prospective clients to ensure you always reach or exceed your production targets.

    But how do you know which channels are right for you? And how do you know which ones will reach your target market?

    The most predictable new client marketing strategies in the financial services industry include:

    1. Referrals from clients
    2. Client introductions (yes, this is actually different than referrals)
    3. Strategic partnerships
    4. Connections
    5. Webinars
    6. Seminars
    7. Cold calling
    8. Direct mail
    9. Targeted In-Person Prospecting (TIPPing – door knocking to a target audience)

    Cold emails, digital marketing, and social media marketing are not on this list. While some social media platforms are essential to building a robust online presence, they don’t have the same proven track record as the other channels above. And you will need to nail so many variables to generate new leads that convert to new clients, that your time and money is better spent elsewhere.

    Moreover, the kind of clients you want to add to your client base don’t often come from email marketing or social media marketing alone. Higher net worth investors are more likely to choose an advisor referred by someone they trust.  

    So with all this in mind, you need…

    Better Strategies to Attract Your Ideal Clients

    So which lead generation marketing campaigns will work best for you?

    Begin With Referrals and Cloning Top Clients

    You have some clients who you love working with. Wouldn’t you love to work with more just like them?

    A great activity to help you generate more ideal clients is to look closely at your top 25 client households and where they came from.

    Ask yourself,

    • How did you meet them?
    • Why is it that you love working with them so much?
    • Where do they spend their time? Work? Social groups? Charities? Etc.
    • Are they a center of influence (COI)?
    • Who are their connections (family members, neighbors, friend groups, other potential ideal clients you could be introduced to?)

    History does tend to repeat itself. Use what you know about the demographics of your ideal clients, to determine the best strategies you need to put in place to meet more of them.

    Then do a lot more of that.

    And when you go through this activity, other great ideas jump off the page.

    You may notice that five of your top-tier clients are all business owners in the construction industry. Business owners are a key part of your target market. So specialize by focusing on the services that solve problems unique to these business owners. Focus your marketing campaigns on lists where word of mouth is more likely to occur.

    What’s Working Now

    If you built your business through cold calling or seminars, your top clients came from relationships you cultivated across 30 years. What worked yesterday may not be your best marketing tactic today.

    What’s working for other advisors who are generating the type of ideal clients you want to work with are what we call relationship marketing.

    • Referrals from clients
    • Client introductions
    • Strategic partnerships
    • Connections

    If you have sufficient relationships to make them profitable, relationship marketing is our first recommendation.

    Of our clients who focus heavily on relationship marketing, they make as much as $100 million+ in new assets every year. And about 80% of the financial advisors we work with hit their production targets with relationship marketing alone.

    These are low cost strategies that provide the highest ROI for your marketing efforts. More bang for your marketing buck, adds a lot more to your bottom line.

    For more on each of these relationship marketing strategies, review our Prospecting Playbook.

    Webinars can work double duty – as cold outreach and existing relationships. Many advisors who run webinars use them to nurture existing relationships and move them forward faster. It’s a great low-pressure setting that encourages clients and strategic partners to introduce their connections to you and your investment strategies.  

    At least 80% of advisors are going to reach their growth goals with relationship marketing, but what do you do if your current relationships don’t generate enough new leads to meet your production targets?

    Then it’s time to launch into…

    Mass Marketing Campaigns

    Simply stated, mass marketing are the strategies designed to generate leads from cold lists. These are potential clients that on paper look qualified, but you don’t know them and they don’t know you.

    If you’re new in the business, you’ve opened a new location, or you want to target a new demographic,  we suggest starting with the following four strategies:

    • Seminars
    • Cold calling
    • Direct mail
    • TIPPing

    Seminars are the fastest way to grow your client base outside of business acquisition. If you’re considering seminars and would like to know how to make them as profitable as possible, check out our seminar success zone guidebook.

    Cold calling. If you saw that and wondered, “does it still work?” Yes, it still works.  But differently than it did 30 years ago.

    To be successful, you need a very targeted list, a great offer, and the time to dedicate to consistently making lots of dials with a great script. For cold calling marketing tips, get some of our cold calling resources and don’t miss the 33 Undeniable Truths About Cold Calling either.

    Direct mail and TIPPing (Targeted in Person Prospecting) require strategies similar to cold calling with some differences in the delivery of messages… for a custom-tailored approach for each of these strategies, schedule some time to chat.

    At this point, you may be wondering…

    But what about digital marketing, social media, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikToks, podcasts, SEO, and website optimization?

    All of these are components of marketing, and they definitely have their place. But let’s refer back to the best ROI for financial advisor marketing to answer that question.

    For digital advertising to work, you’ll need a budget of about $7,000 to $10,000 per month for ad creative and ad spend. You’ll need four to six months before you can even expect to get any good results. For most, this timeline and expense isn’t workable.

    Podcasting is a good PR activity and can help you increase your conversion rate from new leads becoming clients. SEO and optimizing your online presence also helps to shorten your client acquisition from first contact to signing new account paperwork. But these strategies alone don’t have the successful track record for new lead generation in ALL markets.

    As younger investors age and come into more wealth, social media and online marketing strategies are going to become increasingly important for financial advisors. Currently though, the minimum requirement is that you have an online presence and that it represents your brand. If you can’t be found online, or if you don’t look good, then it can push you into the red zone on the scale of trustworthiness.

    Enjoy Your Marketing, and Leverage Your Strengths

    Now you have a few ideas of which marketing strategies you want to use to generate consistent new leads. Review that list and make sure these strategies are activities you have the resource for and will enjoy.

    For any marketing to work, you need consistency. If you only try an activity for a few months and drop it just as you start to pick up steam, you will be doing yourself a disservice.

    All the strategies listed above have proven to be successful time and time again. But there is a learning curve to implementing them. Give yourself enough time to follow through with these good ideas and then stick with them once they’re producing results. Don’t get a good idea and change it as many of us will do.

    And the best way to ensure you’ll stick with it is choose the activities you enjoy and have the resources to keep up with. For many advisors, that enjoyment will come from hosting client educational events and appreciation events. Networking with like-minded professionals. Offering to provide financial advice to your client’s family members and friends.

    However, if you’re not overly social, but you like to educate, and can give a good presentation, seminar marketing may be the best route to go. You can target business owners and highly compensated executives through LinkedIn for small, targeted luncheon events. You can host dinner seminars for pre-retirees that fit your target market demographics. And if you enjoy talking to people, but don’t have the funds for seminar marketing, cold calling could be the route to go.

    Any route you choose, make sure it’s enjoyable for you, and then stick with it. It takes time and consistency to get that pipeline functioning.

    For more on each of these strategies and to determine if they’re a good fit for your growth plan, watch our webinar: The Top 7 Prospecting Strategies in 2024

    In this webinar, we will show you how to get the following results from the strategies:

    • Recommendations on increasing your client referrals and introductions to ideal clients.
    • Ways to build a strategic partnership network that can become a consistent source of good referrals.
    • And how to leverage an excellent communication plan to take advantage of market growth by enticing clients from other advisors.

    Evaluate and Adjust to Ensure Consistent Growth in Your Client Base

    We have found over the years that the two biggest mistakes financial advisors make are either:

    1. having a good idea and not sticking with it, or
    2. having a bad idea and sticking with it too long.

    It’s important to evaluate your results. Adjust your marketing strategies if they’re not producing as they should be and stick with them when they are.

    To reach your own financial goals, you need business growth systems to help you quickly and consistently implement what’s working now. That’s where we come in. We provide training, content marketing, practice management, coaching, and a phenomenal CRM to help you implement the right growth solutions to reach your goals.

    Whether you’re American or Canadian, these financial advisor prospecting strategies will work for you. If you’re not getting the results best practices are, we can help. We build best practices. Call 888-495-7303 or schedule on the calendar below to get help with your own growth strategy and get on the fast track to becoming a best practice today!


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