“The leads are weak.”
“The leads are weak? No, you’re weak.”
–“Glengarry Glen Ross”
If you’ve seen the film, you are not likely to ever forget its brilliant yet brutal sales room banter.
You’re also likely familiar with the problem with leads, as some are much better than others.
Of course, the best leads tend to come to you organically, and that’s why it’s extremely important for you to be able to generate more leads, and better leads, from your existing network.
By existing network I am not talking only about current clients. I am also referring to past clients, trusted professional colleagues and other close friends and family that can vouch for your legitimacy and efficacy.
Here are a few principles to keep in mind when “working” your network for new leads.
1) Provide Something of Value
You have expertise; you have valuable ideas, and you can help people. So, make your network blatantly aware that you are there to help them and the people they know. Make it clear to them that if they call you, they will come away with some sort of valuable, actionable idea. If you’re a Financial Advisor, it could be something like a free portfolio revue, a free report on some sector you’re analyzing, or even a few great stock ideas. If you want something in return, bring something to the table.
2) Deliver a Sense of Curiosity
Not only do you need to offer something of value, you also need to offer something that nobody else is offering. In other words, you need to get them curious about why they should listen to you, and why they should send leads your way. One way to do this is to give hints about your new plan for investing in, for example, income-generating assets, or a new portfolio of tax-free municipal bonds. The details aren’t that important, but what is important is that your existing base gets intrigued about what you are doing, and why you can help.
3) Always Be in Contact
You know the old adage, “A.B.C., Always Be Closing.” Well, that acronym also stands for Always Be (in) Contact. What does this mean? It means you want to keep working your network on a regular and frequent basis. Financial Advisors, RIAs and anyone who deals with the ups and downs of financial markets has a built-in excuse to stay in contact—market volatility. If the market has a big down day or a big up day, that’s the perfect time to start working that network and offering your services.
It is during times of stress that people are most likely to seek out professional opinions. It’s also when they are most likely to seek out change.
For you, the key is to be the change they’re seeking. But before you can do that, you have to provide them with value, deliver a sense of curiosity—and always be in contact.