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Reaching a prospect who already has an adviser – part 1

10 October 2017Myra Knoesen

Every adviser, according to Leslie Kramer, contributor at Investopedia and author of ‘How to Reach a Prospect Who Already Has an Adviser’, has been in that uncomfortable position where you start to chat with someone you think might be a potential client only to hear those most dreaded words: “I already have a financial adviser.”

However, Kramer says that does not necessarily mean it is time to end the conversation. In fact, there are many reasons to keep talking. You may find out that this person is indeed open to switching to a new adviser.

How to gauge interest

Kramer says you need to try and recall your introduction. “Was it you who brought up the fact that you are a financial adviser, or did the potential client ask you what line of work you are in? Did the person seem interested when you mentioned you work in the wealth management business? Or did he/she quickly want to change the subject?”

“If the person seemed generally interested in you and your line of work, there may be an opportunity to promote your business. Try to assess whether or not the person seems generally happy with the adviser they are working with. If he/she seems less than enthusiastic, this is a good indication that he/she may be interested in working with someone new,” continues Kramer.

By taking some time to read the reaction of the person you are talking with, Kramer says you will be better able to respond to him in a way that can open the door for further discussion. “The key is to ask keep asking questions. Show an interest in the person and their level of satisfaction with the current financial adviser. Find out what that adviser is doing that has impressed the client? Do they have a specialty or do they work with a particular type of client? Do they offer comprehensive services? If the person had to rate his/her financial adviser on a scale from one to five, what rating would he/she give them? All of these questions will lead to the person to realize that he/she has options.”

Enforce the positive

If the potential client is happy with his/her current adviser, Kramer advises that you should complement the person on finding someone who seems to be a good fit. “You can reassure the person that working with a quality adviser is a great step to take in achieving long term financial goals. You can also let the prospect know that if he/she ever has any questions about financial plans or would like a second opinion, that he/she should feel free to contact you for a meeting. By complimenting the person’s decision to work with a financial adviser in the first place, you are ingratiating yourself to him/her and keeping open the possibility of him/her working with you in the future, if he/she chooses, at some point, to switch advisers.”

“If you note a pointed lack of enthusiasm from the person about their current adviser, you should try to find out what aspect of the service this person is not satisfied with. Does he feel he's not receiving enough personalised attention from their adviser? Or does he feel the adviser is not keeping him up to date with how his investments are performing? How about the adviser's tech know-how?” Continues Kramer.

In part two of the article we will take a look at the other topic you should address when talking with a potential client.

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