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5 Clever Ways to Find New Clients
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
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Advisors are getting creative with clever strategies to find and attract new clients.

A new study from Charles Schwab indicates that 67% of advisors rank asset growth as a top priority in the next few years. Yet competition is growing and it's getting harder to stand out, say advisors.

To remain competitive, it’s important to keep growing.  So what creative strategies are advisors employing to bring in new business?

Here are some smart, innovative ideas to get in front of your target audience – and, we hope, bring in some new clients.

1. CONNECT WITH JOB SEEKERS

Szarka Financial has turned a longstanding relationship with a local staffing firm into a robust pipeline of potential clients -- as well as an opportunity to give back to the community. What started as financial seminars and workshops at the outplacement firm has evolved into a highly successful and well-attended recurring networking event for professionals and executives.

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The Olmstead, Ohio, firm now hosts the growing monthly session for job seekers. It’s not unusual for 60-70 people to attend, and for those who have found employment through the group to come back to the events, says Mike Perry, president of Szarka Financial. “We are able to get in front of people we wouldn’t have otherwise known,” Perry says. “And let’s face it, there is money in motion and there’s an opportunity to capture the business.”

But it’s not just about business development, Perry says: “Yes, it drives clients in, but over the years it’s turned into a way to pay it forward and give back to the community.” People who find jobs through the event become advocates for the firm, Perry says.

“We really see this as an opportunity to help each other, it’s not just us facilitating a meeting,” says Kelley Drumm, head of marketing for Szarka Financial.

2. COLLEGE HELP

Advisor Melissa Guevara Sotudeh of Warner Financial in Bethesda, Md., began partnering with a local college planning consultant working with affluent families in and around Washington, D.C. Sotudeh presents the financial perspective on planning for college at sessions led by "College Lady" Wendie Lubic.

Though Lubic's sessions focus on what it takes to get into schools in a competitive academic environment, Sotudeh comes in to cover what parents need to be think through as they prepare to fund their children’s education.

This is a new venture for Sotudeh -- and while she hasn’t gotten new clients yet, she says she has established a connection with a community of affluent families who are in their highest earning years and facing major financial decisions. “I’m at least building a warm prospect list,” she says. “I know what the demographics are and can reach out with a very targeted message.”

Although she knows this strategy will take time, Sotudeh has added these prospects to her newsletter list and can specifically address their concerns. “This is a long pipeline,” Sotudeh says. “But if I can be identified as a problem solver in one area, hopefully that extends to other areas.”

3. MOVIE NIGHT

Advisor Hugh Anderson of HighTower’s Las Vegas office recently held a fun client event that turned out to be a particularly well-received prospecting event, too. His team rented out a local movie theater and invited both clients and prospects to a private, family-friendly movie night -- with popcorn and all. Many clients brought their grandchildren and appreciated the opportunity to do something fun with their families, Anderson says.

Anderson says the event offers a different way for prospects to get to know the firms. “They got a chance to kick the tires and see what our clients thought about us,” he says. The event also shows prospects that the team is confident in their client relationships, he adds: “I’m confident none will say we’re perfect, but no one will hesitate to say we certainly try to be.”

4. SPA PARTY

Advisor Kristine Hartland of Peace Wealth Management in Largo, Fla., targets potential clients through her running community. She invited members of her Fab 50 team -- a group of female runners that meet weekly -- to a Health & Wealth Spa Party, hosted by the firm. “This was an opportunity to let the women I run with each week know about what I do as a financial planner, while [treating] them to a wonderful afternoon,” Hartland says.

(2) Comments
Great tips and examples! Regarding "Business Dating:" Time spent on social media is a good business investment, but three hours seems too long for financial professionals. There are some great tools like Hootsuite (https://hootsuite.com)that integrate multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn so users can post and engage with people on a single platform. Finect (https://www.finect.com/) is also a great tool for integrating social media channels, and it is built for financial professionals. With tools like these, advisors can prospect for new clients more efficiently.
Posted by Sherry C | Wednesday, July 03 2013 at 11:45AM ET
When you know who your idea clients are, you know all about their passions and hobbies. Then it's easier to know what type of events would attract them to attend.

Passion marketing -- marketing to your audience based on their passions or hobbies is so very helpful. Especially if you share those passions with your clients, too. And for some reason, passion marketing gets you out of the "box" of the type of marketing everyone else is doing.

Posted by Maria M | Wednesday, July 17 2013 at 7:47PM ET
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