What’s the best way to prospect for new clients? Focus on keeping it simple.


Prospecting is the most difficult task when it comes to building our business — especially if we’re trying to figure out how to do it with more clients.

I was reading a book over the weekend called The Distraction-Proof Advisor by Paul Kingsman. He talks about how he prepared for the Olympic Games. As a swimmer, he said, training was simple, but it was not easy. A lot of people ask me, “How can I make prospecting easier?”

The answer is that we need to shift our focus like Paul Kingsman did. We need to talk about simplicity, not about making it easy. Paul talked about how training was simple. He had to be in the pool a certain number of hours. He had to lift weights a certain number of hours. He had to eat right to fuel his body. That’s not easy. But it is simple.

The same is true with prospecting. Let’s think about how we can make it simple. There are three steps to take:

  1. Referral Track: The first step is to really have a good referral track for every appointment — and for every time that you give someone value. Getting a referral isn’t just asking for the next person. You must have a real, clear image about who you want to build your business with over the next 10 years and you need to be able to paint that picture for the person you’re talking with. They need to be able to visualize your next-level referral.

  2. Automation: We have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of email addresses. They largely go unused. We need to make sure that we are implementing nurturing campaigns for existing clients to take them to additional products and additional services. For most of our clients, the first few products we showed them didn’t meet their needs. We persisted until we found the right solution. As financial professionals, we need to continue to nurture those relationships, to get more ingrained with our clients and continue to provide solutions.

  3. Technology: You may think that technology and automation are the same. I disagree. I consider automation the process. Technology is the tool to keep your client focused on you. How many times have you gone to or conducted a seminar and not been able to get the number of appointments you wanted? And, at the same time, not been able to get the clients back into the office? It makes holding a seminar seem like a waste of time and money. But today’s technology can change that. Now, consider employing geofencing to target your attendees. For 30-45 days following the seminar, they’ll receive targeted advertising reminding them of the problem that is still unsolved. And reminding them that you have answers.

Use the next week to focus on developing a solid referral track, learning about how automation can help nurture client relationships and using today’s technology tools to enhance your reach.


Transformational Tactic

Keep it simple.

high performing practice retirement simple prospecting

Innovation in Simplicity


At a carrier conference earlier this year, I had the chance to listen to Robbie Bach, the former president of entertainment and devices at Microsoft. Responsible for developing and building out Xbox, Xbox 360, and Windows Mobile, along with other entertainment aspects of the computer giant, Robbie spoke about how he turned the online gaming division into a profitable business. Because it wasn’t always profitable. In fact, his division lost $7 billion in one of its early years.  

What Robbie Bach did to turn a huge loss into a gaining market share – and ultimate success for Microsoft, even in the demanding Japanese market – was turn toward simplicity. He outlined three major components to delivering innovation:  


1. Business

Robbie looked at his business in a different way. He started charging a subscription-like fee for the use of his online games. Every vendor told him no, but he thought it would be an innovative way to price the services. Eventually, people began to gravitate to his model because they could share the gaming experience, talk to friends and see other people online. It wasn’t that the games were different – but the business model was.

2. Experience

This isn’t what you might think. Having experience on your staff is not the focus of innovation. Instead, we need to turn our attention to the client experience. How our customers view us is far more important than the number of years our staff has been working. Take Uber as an example. The company isn’t using any new technology – they only have cars and a mobile application. But, they took a look at the experience offered by taxi services and improved upon it. Microsoft took a look at improving the customer experience in gaming and communicating. It changed the way people play video games. 

3. Technology

Without question, technology plays an important role in innovation. However, it should not be the focus. Instead, we need to keep the first two points as priorities and look to see how technology can accommodate or improve them. Not the other way around. 

Clearly, our industry needs innovation. However, we are often paralyzed by the enormity of “trying to be innovative.” I challenge you to think simply, not big. The timing is right to evaluate your practice. Find ways to transform your business model and create a more valuable client experience, with or without the help of technology. 


Bottom Line

Time has changed our industry, so it’s time to change the way we do business. Change can doesn’t have to be complicated, however. Look to simplicity for innovation. 


Learn More

Robbie Bach:


About the Author

Mike McGlothlin is the Executive Vice President of Annuities at Ash Brokerage. His strength is helping advisors become more efficient and effective in their businesses. He and his team provide income-planning solutions focused on longevity and tax efficiency, and they also assist advisors with entering defined-benefit termination planning and structured settlement markets.


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