If you are in financial services—banking, insurance, advisory or some other avenue—you probably got into it because you like to help people and you are good at what you do. Much less likely, you got into the industry because you were really good at sales and business development. You may also be good at those things, but they are probably not your core competencies.
Through our work with people in the financial services industry, we have seen some common trends—advisors, lenders & brokers who are doing well but looking to get more clients and more business; and advisors, lenders & brokers who are having trouble developing business entirely.
In the financial services industry, you work hard servicing your clients. However, sometimes we forget to pick our head up from client work and remember—“Oh yea, I need to identify where my next client is coming from.” The return on business development activities is not always immediately visible, so we often forget to do it. This does not just mean calling on potential prospects, but rather the macro activities that guide you toward a larger group of prospects. Let me explain.
ON vs. IN Your Business
This is an important topic to build on, specifically for those in financial services. It is so important to deliver to the client; however we must also set aside time to work ON the business. What’s the difference?
Working IN your business makes up those tactics & actions that drive weekly & quarterly performance.
- Meeting new clients
- Getting new referrals
- Servicing existing clients
- Calling prospects
- Administrative work
Working ON your business includes the strategies, plans, processes & goals that optimize your tactics & actions.
- Establishing your vision & values
- Developing a marketing plan
- Developing a professional brand
- Building strategic partnerships
- Creating critical processes
- Investing in relationships
- Investing in professional development
What we have found to be beneficial for people in financial services has been a 10% time commitment working ON your business. That means that for about 4 hours a week, you spend time doing those activities that set the direction of your business, and then the rest of the time you spend making steps forward on that path.
Still want to get more leads and grow your business in financial services? Here are some important ways to do that.
3 Tips to Get More Leads & Win Business in Financial Services
At this point, you have done an excellent job of servicing your clients so far, and you would like to expand your business to service more people.
It all starts there—are you servicing your clients well? Once you feel comfortable saying absolutely, yes—then you are ready to consider the next group of questions (and then the answers) about developing more business.
1. Do You Know Your Professional Brand?
A few years ago, we worked with one financial advisor who had been very successful in his business. He had grown his business to be the top in the agency, however he felt he still had room to grow—both financially and in his calendar scheduling meetings. With a great team to support the needs of his clients, it was time to expand the business.
He called on us to work with him and after doing an assessment of his business challenges & opportunities, we recognized that he had not fully established & understood his professional brand in the marketplace.
Your brand is not what you declare it to be. Your brand is what your clients, family, friends, colleagues, employees and other stakeholders think it is. You can certainly have a hand in determining what it will be, but at the end of the day, other people decide.
How do you impact your brand? You identify your professional vision & goals, your values, your passions and your tangible & intangible assets. Once you have that in a plan, you can go and execute that plan every single day. That’s what builds a brand—defining it and persistently & consistently refining & honing it.
That may seem like a lot of time and effort, and that’s what the 10% of time working ON your business is for—developing a brand plan and taking action. We talk much more about building your brand plan in the velocityHUB Sales Academy.
2. Do You Know Your Ideal Client?
We had a New England insurance broker come to us distressed over not having enough leads. Through our engagement, we identified that it was not that she did not have enough leads, it was that she did not have the right ones.
Many businesses of all kinds spend too much time servicing the wrong clients and pursuing the wrong prospects, that they get a low return on their efforts.
In order to correct this, we had this broker spend time working ON her business and identifying her ideal clients. We talked about geography, family size, income levels, personal interests, profession and more demographics & psychographics that narrowed down the types of people this broker should be targeting.
While at first she was a little nervous because we had narrowed the pool, over time she realized the fruits of her efforts. She could not possibly be everything to everyone, which is what she was trying to do before. Instead, she was able to target her message at a smaller group of people and saw that she was able to form better connections, relationships, prospects and ultimately clients.
What she also did well was recognize that it doesn’t stop here. She had to go and find where those ideal clients were. What groups were they part of—either in-person or virtual in places like Meet-Up or LinkedIn? What did they do in the evenings or on the weekends? When was the best time to reach out to them?
She developed her ideal client, and then we worked together to build a plan specifically targeting those people. Now, she finds that the right people just seem to walk through her door!
3. Do You Have a Process?
A young commercial lender was in our office a few weeks ago, and he shared with us how he is challenged with finding new business. “I can target the ones that the bank tells me to target,” he said, “but it seems I am not able to get any new leads.”
The first thing he did was sign up for the velocityHUB Sales Academy starting this March, but then we showed him our PACE Sales Process that sets a methodical process for generating leads from the top to the bottom of the sales funnel.
It starts with making the first outreach. Here we build a territory plan, strategies for making the first outreach, and develop a pipeline driven by numbers & factors that will serve as a great tool to track progress. Our PACE Pipeline helps you to target which area of the pipeline needs more attention and how likely you are to hit your number.
During the ACT phase, we have prospects that are either warm leads or have displayed some form of interest. We talk about accelerating the engagement and conversation with these prospects and attacking new markets in a differentiated way.
In the CONNECT phase, we have prospects who have a high level of interest and are what we would call “opportunities.” It’s important to have tools like a clear template for proposals, a compelling value proposition, and the ability to communicate effectively to win opportunities. Additionally, we must have a targeted approach for renewal business.
During the EARN phase, it is about that final influence that turns an opportunity into a client. Here, we learn to close the deal, win new business, negotiate effectively and get close to hitting your number. Additionally, there are important strategies to keeping your clients that we execute post-closing.
In the velocityHUB Sales Academy, this lender has built a pipeline that he is working on every day and moving more of his prospects through the funnel. And, might I add, these are NEW prospects that he has identified outside of what the bank has suggested for him.
Do You Need to Develop More Business?
Do you want to start generating more business today? Do you want to work with a proven sales coach who has sold over a billion dollars in revenue?
We have representatives from the financial services industry currently in our Sales Academy. The next enrollment is going on now. Let’s get your business to the next level. Contact us today.
About Brendan P. Keegan
Brendan P. Keegan is Founder & Managing Partner of velocityHUB, a leading management consulting firm. He is a 5-time industry leading President & CEO of large, private-equity-backed companies and served as the Fortune 100’s youngest Chief Sales Officer for EDS, a $22-billion technology industry leader. Brendan has raised nearly $1.0 billion in capital and returned over $2.2 billion to investors through successful exit strategies. He has trained over 100,000 leaders, led nearly 50,000 employees, driven sales of over $100 billion and worked globally in over 150 countries. Brendan was named a Distinguished Fellow by Dartmouth College, a Fast50 Executive by FastCompany, a successful entrepreneur by Enterprise Bank, Best-of-the-Best CEOs by Incentive, 100 Fastest Growing Companies by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Business of the Year by NH Business Journal, Top 10 Coach of the Year by USA Football, and Volunteer of the Year by & Youth Coach of the Year locally for his commitment to community service. Brendan is a sought-after speaker by companies across the globe on leadership, sales and performance. He has authored over 200 articles and been published in global publications including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Fast Company and InformationWeek.
Brendan serves on corporate boards to include Revolution Armor, Merchants Auto Group, ExpressIt Delivery, Olaeris, velocityHUB and nashuaHUB. Brendan and his wife Dana founded the Keegan Courage & Faith Foundation with the goal of giving back $1.0 million for youth education, athletics and at-risk youth across Southern New Hampshire.
velocityHUB delivers results-oriented training programs, high-value consulting and targeted executive coaching to many of the world’s leading companies, small and medium businesses, and non-profits. Our vision is to build one million leaders to drive performance, sales and revenue growth.
Contact: Amanda E. Rogers | 603.402.1734 | firstname.lastname@example.org