Is this “virtual world” here to stay? Yup! OK, maybe the virtual world will not be as prevailing in the future as it is now for most of us, but the convenience and efficiency of virtual meetings are too tempting to have them go away.
I’ve been speaking with some financial professionals who have been spending 50% to 100% of their time working virtually for years.
In all my discussions with financial professionals – no matter what their level of tenure or success – most are telling me they have not yet mastered the challenges of acquiring new clients in this virtual world of ours.
Here are three prevalent challenges and a few solutions designed to remove those challenges:
Challenge 1: Gaining prospects’ attention
- Work from referrals as much as possible.
- Use the power of a target market to gain insight and build your reputation.
- Use pre-call research. Gain as much context as you can about your new prospect before reaching out to them.
- Find and share any commonalities you have with the prospect (education, sports, hobbies, community service, pets, etc.).
- Start all your messages with empathy – appreciation for their circumstances – before saying too much about yourself.
- Use humor with them if you know you can, perhaps based on what you’ve learned about your prospects from your referral source.
Challenge 2: Keeping prospects engaged virtually
- Always use video if the prospect is willing. Give them a heads up when scheduling the call so they will be more prepared.
- Capture their attention quickly with an interesting fact, statistic or point of view. Most movies open with a scene that hooks the viewer. You can do the same.
- Work from an agenda filled with insight-building questions. Questions pull someone back into the conversation even if their mind has started to wander.
- When appropriate, use short videos, infographics and other illustrative devices to put the prospect’s attention back on the screen.
- Keep your virtual meetings shorter than you would with your in-person meetings. You may have to break your process into more steps. Just like in a Netflix series, create an interesting or important hook to make your prospect want to take the next step with you.
Challenge 3: Find and solve the right problems and opportunities
Your prospects and clients will almost always devote more resources (time, energy and money) to problems and opportunities that are most important to them. Critical problems (those that must be solved) are the ones most likely to keep things moving and allow you to win the business.
- Determine how critical or important a problem or opportunity is to them. Try not to waste time on the lower-level issues.
- Determine the cost of inaction. There may be an investment of time and dollars to solve the problem, but there’s always a cost to doing nothing. Help them figure that out and you’ll see how important the issue is to them.
8 Massive Benefits Of Narrowing Your Target Market
- Easier to identify your prospects. In this digital age, finding targeted lists of prospects has become relatively easy.
- You will bring more value. You have more insight into their challenges and opportunities than a generalist.
- You deliver a more relevant marketing message. The narrower your focus, the more exacting your messaging – on your website, LinkedIn profile, emails to prospects, etc.
- You become referrable faster. Because you’ve developed processes geared to your target market, you can create better results faster. You exceed expectations.
- Referrals and Introductions are easier to create. Your clients know people like themselves, and introducing you to others validates their decision to work with you.
- You’ll leverage others targeting the same market. You can create powerful reciprocal referral relationships with these strategic alliances.
- You’ll create a reputation for yourself. Creating visibility is much easier when you go from a scattered approach to a well-defined target.
- Your business will be more profitable. By combining the power of a great reputation with bringing more real value to top prospects and clients, you can often charge more and work more efficiently.
Bill Cates, CSP, CPAE, is president, Referral Coach International. He is the author of Get More Referrals Now, Beyond Referrals and Radical Relevance, and the founder of The Cates Academy for Relationship Marketing. Bill may be contacted at [email protected].
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