Windfalls - Your fastest way to grow organically


The 'HOW' of
Windfall Prospecting


(noun)     wind·​fall | \ ˈwin(d)-ˌfȯl  \

First used in the fifteenth century, the word windfall originally referred to fruit that the wind blew from the trees.

Like a prize was there for whoever found it — no need for the ladder and effort of picking it from the tall trees.

The word eventually came to mean any unexpected and easily-gained good fortune, typically one involving money, such as the windfall profit from a lucky stock purchase.

If you have not read my article on the ThinkAdvisor site, do that now.

Then download and print the “Windfall Prospecting Challenge.”

Now, read this page to understand windfall prospecting fully.

And then, take the challenge.  Call 25 clients.  Log your results.

Windfalls for Financial Advisors

There are many types of windfalls.

You read in the local business paper that Joe Blow Energy is laying off 247 people. A good friend works there. You call, get the name of the HR director.  Soon you are counseling a good percentage of the laid-off staff, some with large 401(k) accounts.

An old farmer who still plowed 4 acres in the middle of your town dies.  His three nephews-beneficiaries immediately put it on the market for $7M.  You have a $40,000 Roth IRA with one of the nephews. (Hint: don’t kick your small accounts under the bus.) You set up financial planning meetings with each of the nephews and their families.

Your clients, Bennie Weiner and Bobbie Snodgrass have invested $1M with you but manage $4M themselves.  They retire and buy an RV. After a couple of trips in that new Berkshire RV, Bobbie decides she does not want to manage the portfolio anymore.  They call you.

Question: How do you find these and make sure you get them.


2) Create a habit of asking every client and every prospect one or two of the “windfall questions” several times a year.  You will find all those questions in the “Windfall Prospecting Challenge”. IF you have not downloaded it, do it now.

Remember, their outside assets are sometimes your windfalls. You need to know where they are so you can bring them in when the time is right.

Where Are the Windfall Assets?

These assets are lurking in five buckets.  The questions in the “Windfall Prospecting Challenge” will make sure
you don’t miss any.

  1. Retirement assets. Do you know, and have you recorded all retirement accounts from both spouses? Do you know when they plan to retire? Do you know their menu options?
  2. Surprises. Have you recorded and mapped their extended family?  Do you know the beneficiaries?  Executor?  Are these names recorded in your CRM?
  3. Competitive assets. Many people are reluctant to share these with you.  Start with finding out just one position they hold with a competitor.
  4. Real Estate. Sooner or later, Barb will tire of midnight calls to fix a toilet in their duplex. Two days later, the duplex is on the market.  Will you invest the proceeds from the sale?  Not if you don’t know about it.
  5. Banks and Credit Unions. It’s shocking how many clients have significant balances in checking accounts, savings accounts, or CDs.  Often, they don’t even consider these funds unless you ask them point-blank.

People get new money all the time.  They move it around.  Sometimes they tell you. Sometimes they don’t.

While there are a total of five “Find the Windfall” strategies that are part of the Bill Good Marketing System, the first one is:

Ask every client several times a year. 

What is the Windfall Prospecting Challenge?

My challenge to you is: prove me wrong.

Ask the next 25 clients you talk to one or two of the windfall questions.

Write down your results.  I have even created a log for you.

After poking around in the five windfall buckets 25 times, if you don’t find a few million dollars, you proved me wrong.
You win.  I lose.

Let’s suppose you think, “But I have all my clients’ assets.”

My reply is, “You may have had all your clients’ assets.  But one or more clients just got some more.  And if you are not there when the money is available, their kids may get them to invest in a tanning franchise, or they will give it to “that nice young lady at the credit union.”  Your constant, never-ending mission is:

Find all windfalls so they can be moved to FA Management.

Asking if there has been or will be a windfall needs to become a habit.  You get up every morning and brush your teeth.  You come into the office, a client calls.  Without even thinking about it, you ask, “Bob is there anything coming up I should be prepared for?”

To learn the habit, take the “Find the Windfall Challenge.” 

After you have asked 25 clients, total up how much money you found.  Divide by 25.  That tells you how much it’s worth to ask the windfall questions.

The questions are designed to find some assets available now and some available later.  Try for both.

In many cases, you won’t find anything.  “You have it all,” or “Nothing coming,” are common answers.  Write down the result on your log sheet.

In some cases, you will find something.  Sometimes a lot.  “Funny you asked.  My Aunt Martha died and left Jamie and me $450,000.  The estate should payout in three or four months.”  Write it down in the “later” column.  When you are done with the call, if you are on the Bill Good Marketing System, you will fill out a Record Update Form.  This ensures Aunt Martha’s bequest will become an Opportunity in your CRM.  Because you and your staff have processes in place, the Opportunity will be meticulously followed up and does not fall into the cracks.

You may find more than enough windfalls to pay your first-year fees on the Bill Good Marketing System. In some cases, those windfalls, properly tracked and invested in an advisory account, will generate enough revenue to pay your fees forever.


Bill Good

Founder and Chairman of Bill Good marketing

Bill Good has spent his entire career with one focus: helping motivated financial advisors double their production or work half as much.

In the 1980s, as the Baby Boomers poured into the financial services industry, he taught 40,000 mostly rookie FAs to reach out and open new accounts with cold calling. As they grew up, he created the Bill Good Marketing System, which is still the only system for growing a practice. Some of the very top producers in the industry got to the top and stayed there by adopting and adhering to the best practices Bill identified or created and then built into his system.

He has written 392 “how-to” articles in Research Magazine and two books, Prospecting Your Way to Sales Success (1986) and Hot Prospects (2008), which is ranked No. 60 on the 90 Best Prospecting Books of All Time list. It is available on Amazon.

Bill fervently believes that financial services is a relationship business and that modern marketing tools can help sustain the relationship between personal contact.

Download the challenge today and see if you really have all your clients’ assets.

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