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6 Effective Financial Professional Prospecting Tactics

Valerie Rivera March 8, 2022

Financial advisor prospecting online
Updated on: December 13, 2023

Knowing how to prospect effectively is an essential skill for anyone looking to grow their firm. Financial advisor prospecting—identifying and pursuing potential clients through outbound marketing channels—can be a profitable complement to a larger marketing strategy when done thoughtfully.

Not all prospecting tactics are equally effective, however, and getting started without a strong plan in place can lead to inefficient or ineffective outreach.

3 Pre-prospecting Must-haves for Financial Professionals

Every financial professional should have a clear understanding of why and how they’re prospecting, beyond the simple goal to get more clients. For this, a business plan for financial advisors is essential. Consider each of these must-haves before starting the work of prospecting for new clients.

  1. A well-defined goal for prospecting: Is your goal to connect with a new audience? To find more clients like your best clients? To build next-generation relationships? Be specific about your prospecting goal and how you will measure success, and then plan accordingly.
  2. An effective closing process: The work of identifying prospects is wasted if you are unable to convert them to potential clients. Think about what has worked for your existing clients and establish a process for converting prospects; you can fine-tune over time.
  3. An overarching marketing strategy: Prospecting is just one way of finding new clients. A multi-faceted marketing strategy, balancing inbound and outbound channels, is important for the long-term health of your business and will be far more effective than prospecting alone.

If you feel you have each of these things in place, then you’re in a great position to start prospecting for new clients and build your financial advisor sales pipeline.

6 Prospecting Tips to Find Clients in Search of Financial Advice

Once you’re ready to start prospecting, the following tactics may deliver some of the best returns for the investment of your time.

1. Define Your Ideal Clients or Target Clients

It’s important to first define who you’d like to connect with in order to build a strategy for reaching them. It can be useful to start by taking a look at your existing base and identifying the clients who you enjoy working with the most and the clients who are most profitable for your business. What commonalities do you see? Could you be successful in a particular niche? How can you appeal to similar prospective clients?

If you’re hoping to break into a new market, you can create a fictional archetype of a target client to inform your outreach. Archetypes may look a lot like your buyer personas if you have them. Find out what their financial needs may be, where they spend time, digitally and in-person, and where they may be in their financial lifecycle. This information will dictate where and how you reach out to these new clients.

2. Build a Strong Professional Network

There are many different types of professionals you may need to refer your clients to: specialty insurance professionals, estate lawyers, tax professionals, or even financial therapists or counselors. While most prospecting will focus on getting in front of potential clients, building an affiliate network is an investment in the future of your business.

Not only can you complement your own business by having a deep professional network, but you can build a solid pipeline of inbound referrals by making a dedicated effort to identify and network with professionals who could best serve your existing clients. These could even be other financial professionals—maybe other advisors that focus on asset allocation, for example, whereas you focus on financial planning.

3. Start Next Generation Relationships

Your current clients will eventually pass on their assets to the next generation. Prospecting time may be well spent trying to connect with your clients’ heirs to retain assets in the long term.

Depending on the age of clients’ children, you can start inviting them to important planning meetings, help teach them about proper money management, or even talk about the future of their financial circumstances. The key is to establish your expertise and start to build a trusting relationship. That way, when they do receive an inheritance, they’ll be far more likely to continue working with you.

4. Plan Fun Client Events

If you plan events that clients actually want to attend, not only are you likely to see far better engagement, but you may get a better turnout from prospective clients as well. If you’re going to a sporting event or booking a private wine tasting, for example, your clients are more likely to invite a friend, a coworker, or bring along their children or other family members.

Educational seminars or virtual webinars have their place, but adding an element of fun to your client events can lead to new introductions, while also improving the experience of your existing clients.

5. Make Connections on LinkedIn

LinkedIn can be an incredibly effective prospecting tool for financial professionals. Its search feature is particularly useful for finding prospects based on title, experience, industry, or company size, among many other features that may correspond with your ideal clients.

You can also use the advocate search feature, which searches for connections of connections or other commonalities you may have with people to spark an introduction. You may even consider looking through your own connections network to see if any profiles fit your ideal client type.

It’s best to post frequently on LinkedIn, including your own original content, while sharing and commenting on other content. This enhances the visibility of your profile and positions you as a subject matter expert.

6. Create Content for Your Prospects

Whether you’re making your introduction over LinkedIn, email, phone, or even in person, it can be helpful to have something of value to offer prospects from the start.

You can create content focused on a particular niche or for common financial obstacles to demonstrate your understanding of someone’s situation. You could cover timely topics like corporate benefits, taxes, or recent legislation. Creating educational content can be your reason for reaching out to someone you’ve never met—offering something of value can also improve the chances they’ll respond favorably.

You could write blogs, eBooks, or record your own webinar presentations. Regardless of format, when a prospect consumes your content, they’re also getting to see a little more of your personality, your planning philosophy, and your subject matter expertise, which could be a powerful motivator for reaching back out to you.

Finding Other Ways to Drive New Business

Prospecting for new clients can be an important source of new business, but there are many other proven digital marketing strategies for financial professionals. From search engine optimization (SEO) to social media and email marketing, there are many ways to connect with people in search of financial advice.

One often overlooked type of marketing is communications with existing clients. Typically, we think of marketing as an activity for connecting with new clients, but marketing can start with existing clients, and it can even be a source of growth for your business.

Learn more on this topic in our recent eBook, Elevating Your Financial Planning Business: Improving Client Engagement and Experience Through Better Marketing.

Image of Valerie Rivera
About the Author

Valerie Rivera, Senior Product Marketing Manager at eMoney Advisor, leads the go-to-market strategy for eMoney’s suite of business development solutions. Valerie began her career at eMoney in 2012 as an Account Executive and then a Live Trainer where she trained over 1,000 advisors on the eMoney platform – helping them drive success in their firms. In her spare time you can find Valerie outdoors--snowboarding, hiking, and mountain biking in her home in Colorado.

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