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Build Your Business During This Recession

Find out how one advisor put $60 million into her pipeline by hosting “Emergency Market Update” events. Follow her lead using these steps—and scripts.

By Matt Oechsli

AdvisorToday.com has had one-on-one podcast discussions with top industry experts and has chosen their best answers to our questions about how to succeed in insurance and financial services. Here is what they had to say—and if you like what you’ve read, be sure to click on the podcast arrow and listen to their complete interview.

Now is the time to play defense (love your clients) as if your life depended upon it, and play offense (be a Rainmaker) as if your future is now.

Anna, one of our advisor clients, was able to put $60 million into her pipeline by using what I call Emergency Market Update Breakfasts. These simple events allowed this Rainmaker to play defense, by caring for her clients, and offense, by engaging in a high-impact activity that allowed her to get face-to-face with affluent prospects. Here are the steps she used—and steps you can use today.

Step 1: Select the attendees.

  • Make a list of the clients and prospects you want to invite to the event.
  • Review their portfolios and create “personal talking points” about their diversification, etc.
  • Create a story regarding recessions, today’s environment, Wall Street’s lack of leadership, your firm’s solvency and the actions you’re currently taking.
  • Create a one-page “Emergency Market Update” to distribute at your event.
  • Involve your entire team; everyone must be a believer.
  • Source names from your clients and their centers of influence. (This should be a constant activity.)

Step 2: Choose a venue.

  • Pick a location that’s quiet and allows you and your staff to interact in private with your attendees. For example, Anna hosted a catered breakfast in her office because they have a beautiful conference room with a view, the office is centrally located and the event was economical and easy to organize.
  • Choose an alternative event, such as a lunch, dinner or wine tasting (the update should occur before the tasting) if it works better for your clientele.
  • Keep the event intimate: five to eight clients and an equal number of prospects.

Step 3: Personally invite clients and prospects.

  • Make the initial call to each client. Communicate a sense of calm and confidence to them and emphasize the nature of the value-added service you’re providing.
  • Inquire about your client’s centers-of-influence (friends, colleagues or family members) who would appreciate an invitation.
  • Here’s a script you can use to inquire about friends, family and colleagues who would appreciate an invitation:

    “By the way John, we know there is a good deal of confusion and uncertainty about the markets right now. Who do you know who would be interested in hearing about what's going on with the markets?”
  • Invite any prospects your clients have mentioned.
  • Invite any affluent prospect you have in your pipeline or are about to invite into your pipeline.

Step 4: Send Emergency Market Update Breakfast reminders.

  • Send an email or a letter with a reminder. (Use the method you usually use to contact your clients.)
  • Include directions and a simple map, if necessary, to the location.
  • Make sure that the time and venue are clear. Breakfast begins promptly at 7:30 a.m. and ends promptly at 8:15 a.m.

Step 5: Get a head count.

  • Have a staff member follow up with a phone call and get confirmations from invitees.
  • Print your one-page “Emergency Market Update.”

Step 6: Host the event.

  • Personally meet and greet each client and prospect.
  • Once everyone is present, open the event, thank everyone for attending and then spend 10 to 15 minutes carefully, but simply, explaining your approach to the markets.
  • Explain your investment philosophy—that your clients’ portfolios are diversified—and your approach to financial planning.
  • Give a historical overview of recessions—bear and bull markets.
  • Hand out your “Emergency Market Update,” but get assurances that your attendees will not pass them along, as they are for your clients only.
  • Make certain that you begin and end on time.
  • Have your entire team in attendance, whenever possible.

Step 7: Get prospects into your pipeline.

  • Make sure your team members mingle with prospects as well as clients.
  • Ensure you get prospects’ contact information, and if possible, uncover something personal about each that will help you when you do your follow-up.
  • If anyone asks a question or expresses interest in your services, “mini-close” for an appointment to review his portfolio.
  • Use this script to “mini-close” a prospect for a face-to-face meeting to review his portfolio:

    “Right now it’s critically important to be properly diversified and have all of your financial affairs coordinated. I’d be happy to take a look at your portfolio to make sure you’re properly diversified and to review your cost structure. What’s a good time for us to sit down?”
  • Create a specific prospecting plan for each prospect who did not set an appointment.

Remember that you can’t control the markets, but you can control what you do during these challenging times.

For more ideas from Matt Oechsli, be sure to listen to his podcast interview with AdvisorToday.com: “The Eight Criteria the Wealthy Use to Choose an Advisor”.

Matt Oechsli, president of the Oechsli Institute, is a keynote speaker, trainer and personal coach who has helped financial professionals take their business and personal performance to a higher level of success for more than 25 years. Click on these links for more information on his Rainmaker Weekend, his teleconference series, and coaching program.


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