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The 5% Solution

You can grow your business quickly and improve client service by using these strategies.

By Michael Roby

It is possible for you to grow your business quickly and simultaneously enhance the service you offer to your clients. All you need to do is to work smarter, not harder.

Most advisors assume that doubling their business means doubling their prospecting activities, appointments and hours in the field. However, you can grow your businesses exponentially by making incremental changes to your sales and practice-management behaviors. Using a concept called “The 5% Solution,” you can implement the following strategies to create big results.

Know your story
When you meet someone, how do you describe what you do? Many advisors make the mistake of labeling themselves or just giving their title. But telling people you are an agent or a financial advisor doesn’t tell them how you are different from others in your community. Some advisors give the standard 30-second elevator speech, although research shows that people make a decision about whether or not they want to listen to anyone in the first seven seconds.

Give the prospect a short “defining statement” that focuses on benefits, and makes it easy for him to share what you do with his family, friends, business associates and neighbors. A defining statement is benefits-focused, short (seven seconds is ideal), conversational and repeatable. Here’s an example: “People select me as their advisor because I help them reduce the risks associated with saving, investing and managing money.”

Drill deep
The better you know your clients, the better you will serve them. You cannot ask too many questions when it comes to client profiling. Most firms provide factfinding forms and use them as a basic track. Ask thought-provoking questions to learn about your clients’ fears, dreams and motivations.

Rethink your referral process
Most advisors agree that referrals are the best source of new business leads. However, very few advisors consistently ask for referrals. Many advisors say to their existing clients: “Most of my business comes from referrals. Who do you know who...?”

First, this is advisor-focused. Second, people are not prepared to think of names off the cuff, so they usually say: “Let me think about it and I will get back to you later.” Instead, prepare a list of the names of people your client knows and tell the client you would appreciate it if you can mention to those people that your client chooses to use your services.

Develop a marketing calendar
Creating a calendar is a good idea. By building a calendar, which includes marketing activities, such as newsletters, seminars, client events, advertising, mailings and other promotions, you guarantee that nothing falls through the cracks. Delegate this task to your assistant so that you can concentrate on meeting with prospects and generating new relationships.

Your job is to meet people, make recommendations and implement solutions. Everything else can be delegated. Most advisors employ assistants, but rarely take the time to train them to do tasks that are not sales or advising. They believe it’s easier if they do the tasks themselves. That’s true if the task is something that can and will only be done once. But if it is recurring, it is always more effective and easier to train others to do it.

Implementing these strategies will help you grow your business by making small changes in your everyday activities. In addition, the service to your clients will improve and you will earn more referrals. It’s a win-win for you and your clients.

Michael Roby is a sales and marketing strategist, coach and nationally-known speaker in the financial services industry. His website is

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