you using today, and can you talk about which works best for specific kinds of prospects you
serve? For example, what do you find works best for young professionals, what works best in
attracting baby boomers, what works best for women, etc.?
Silverman: The prospecting methods we’re using today are referrals, prospecting to our
existing database and, most successfully, workshops. We do approximately 40 of these events
per year to our target audience — those ready to retire. We invite people from specific companies where we have learned their pension plan incredibly well. That way, the workshop
really is tailored to our attendees. These dinner workshops are held on Tuesday or Thursday
evenings starting at 6 p.m. at a great local restaurant. My practice has been doing this for years, and it really has worked
best for us.
Henderson: My firm and I now work in an extremely
niche market. We have customized our approach so it is
very attractive to those who live and work in our targeted
marketplace. The prospecting method we use most is to
maintain a tremendous top-of-mind preference in the prospect’s mind. You may develop this preference through association seminars, drip marketing programs, keynote addresses or just being the advisor to know. The goal is to
be so entrenched that prospects know us before we know
them. Thus, when the actual approach occurs, there is a
comfortable familiarity that already exists.
Kelly: First and foremost, strive to be very, very referable. Learn as much as you can. Work
toward the LUTCF, or the CFP, CLU, ChFC, M.S.F.S., and other designations. Be a professional. Dress like a professional. Act in a manner suitable to that of a professional.
One of the best ways to prospect is with other advisors to the type of clients you want to
work with. Thus, even from day one, you can dress and carry yourself as a professional, and
bring along mentors, agents and other knowledge carriers to join you on meetings.
Find the kind of people, situations and needs that appeal to you, and find resources you can
bring in to them that are bigger than just the products or services for which you can get paid
directly. Become known as a resource for connecting people with needs and you will have
people seeking you out in short order.
In the Wealth Legacy Family of Companies, there are various services we offer — risk
management; marriage, family and business counseling; investment management; fee-based
insurance contract evaluation; litigation support — but usually our bread gets buttered through
the door marked Wealth Legacy Group, which provides consulting services to business owners and highly compensated professionals and executives.
Before creating these various profit centers and ways to network, I still focused on business
owners, professionals, and executives, but I now have a very different approach since I position my firm as fee-based for five of the groups, with our insurance group being commission
but also fee-based on certain products. In this predecessor to Wealth Legacy Group, I joined
with other professionals in the financial services arena nationally. We created a common name
that we could operate under when we were in situations that called for that kind of perceived
national firm. Despite this operating umbrella, we were all still separate entities. It gave the
outside perception of a national planning firm, but, in reality, we ate our own kill and shared
expenses to a very minor degree.
Career companies bring a credibility and expertise when you have not yet created your
own. Some find that, for them, they fit well into a corporate structure and agency setting. I am
very grateful for the eight years of training and relationships provided to me through the career company with which I started. My easily distracted and creative personality type doesn’t
fit so well in that world, and so I have been
independent for most of my career. Surveys
show baby boomers respond best to options
and more of a consultative approach, which
works well with my personality and commitment to always learn and be the best I can be.
Finding prospecting ideas
Hirsch: What do you find to be the best
source of fresh ideas for prospecting? Do
you have a network of associates with which
you share prospecting ideas and techniques?
Do you read books and articles from other
producers? Or are you creative enough to
continually generate new ideas to find new
people to talk to?
Henderson: My very best sources of
fresh prospecting ideas have come from the
MDRT Annual Meetings and my MDRT
study group, without question. At the annual meeting, you can network with the best
minds of the business and share ideas that
will bring great value to your business. In
addition to MDRT, I am a voracious reader
in the areas of practice management, pros-pecting/rainmaking and practice positioning.
Kelly: I have co-created and chair a nonprofit that seeks out ordinary individuals doing extraordinary things to make a lasting,