How to Get Prospects off the Fence

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How to Get Prospects off the Fence

November 4, 2014

by Dan Richards

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Baupost's investment process involves "never-ending" gleaning of facts to help support investment ideas Seth Klarman writes in his end-of-year letter to investors. In the letter, a copy of which ValueWalk has been able to review, the value investor describes the Baupost Group's process to identify ideas and answer the most critical questions about its potential Read More

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Last week I addressed the question of why it’s so brutally hard to get prospects to move. In that column I talked about strategies to get prospects to use you as their advisor. I focused on two big barriers:

  1. The risk of pain if they choose you and it works out badly
  2. The lack of prospective gain to offset that risk

Today’s column outlines four ways to get prospects off the fence:

  • Provide a concrete benefit to meeting with you
  • Employ a “value trigger” that keeps you top-of-mind
  • Use the “law of consistency” to accelerate decision-making
  • Take the pressure off

Provide a concrete benefit to meeting with you

For many advisors, the biggest challenge with high-value prospects is getting meetings. Given the busy schedules of successful people, even if you get an initial meeting, how do you get that second and third meeting that is often needed to bring prospects on board?

One strategy is to offer immediate and concrete value. In 2011, I wrote about an advisor who’d had success getting in front of high net worth prospects. His strategy? He contacted prospects that he’d talked to in the past and asked for 30 minutes. In that time, he walked them through 21 questions on financial readiness that emerged from a U.S. Trust study showing big gaps among affluent Americans. He had prospects go through the questions and answer yes or no to each one. He then compared their responses to the 500 wealthy investors in the U.S. Trust study.

Along similar lines, my recent article on the #1 hot button for wealthy Americans discussed research by UBS Wealth Management on gaps among affluent investors in family conversations about finances with adult children. This strategy presents an opportunity to share research with prospective clients on a hot-button topic and compare them to wealthy Americans as a whole.

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