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There is only one silver bullet guaranteed to get prospects beating a path to your door. Be cheaper than anyone else. It works for Walmart. Most investment and insurance professionals do not want that. They want people to buy from them, paying the going rate. You know how to prospect. You can find clients. How can you create an environment where they come looking for you?

  1. Win a people's choice award. Most areas have a local competition asking residents to nominate businesses, then vote on which is the best. People like to do business with a person or firm ranked the best by third parties. Engage a local public relations firm to advise you who is running contests, how to enter and get the word out.
  2. Incentivize clients to provide referrals. You do not want to do anything that can be even remotely thought of as paying clients for referrals. (This works for credit card companies, but the financial services industry would have problems.) You might hold an annual dinner only for clients who have provided referrals. Perhaps both the client and the referral attend. A simpler strategy is to follow up efficiently when you get a referral and be genuinely thankful to the client.
  3. Become a published expert. Visibility equals credibility. With your firm's permission, find a local newspaper or trade publication that does not have a personal finance column. Make the case why they need one. You would provide it for free.
  4. Focus on a narrow niche market. You become the acknowledged local expert. Medicine is a good analogy. If you have a serious medical problem, your family doctor sends you to another physician who is known as the best in their profession for dealing with this narrow area of specialization. Let clients know in addition to your general practice, you are uniquely qualified to help people with this specific problem.
  5. Cultivate influencers. You know people who know people. Cultivate a relationship. It is not a requirement they become clients, but it helps. Drip market with stories about how you help people with a specific problem. When they encounter a person needing your kind of help, they bring up your name.
  6. Have a prime position. This strategy works for McDonald's. They are on many of the right street corners. There is plenty of parking plus a drive-thru. They have a counter at the airport. When people have a need, you are the easy solution.
  7. Maintain extended hours. Your office is open on Saturday. You are at your desk at 7 a.m. You let everyone know. You work it into your advertising. You are aligning to the prospect's timetable. You are willing to be available when they need you.
  8. Be the family advisor. You married into the family. Your spouse became a client. Your parents are clients. You have gotten your in-laws as clients. Help them understand how you help people. Let them spread the word within the family you are the person ready to help them.
  9. Develop a good reputation. This involves word of mouth advertising. Make sure everyone in your orbit knows what you do and how you help people. Word spreads in ways you cannot imagine. Drop market to everyone with stories of how you help people.
  10. Have a stellar online presence. Your prospect will do background research online. Do you come up on the first page of results? Is everything positive? Is your record clean? Are your professional certifications visible? You want to be the first local name people see. You want your record to be unblemished.
  11. Join a service club limiting the number of members. Some organizations only allow one person to represent each field. The organization exists to do good, but members unofficially accept. If they need help in a certain area, they will reach out to a fellow member. Serve others and hopefully business comes your way.

Related: 10 local organizations that attract HNW business owners

As an insurance or benefits professional, you will always be actively looking for clients. There are steps you can take to make it easy for prospects to seek you out.

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Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides HNW client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, "Captivating the Wealthy Investor" is available on Amazon.

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Bryce Sanders

Bryce Sanders, president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc., has provided training for the financial services industry on high-net-worth client acquisition since 2001. He trains financial professionals on how to identify prospects within the wealthiest 2%-5% of their market, where to meet and socialize with them, how to talk with wealthy people and develop personal relationships, and how to transform wealthy friends into clients. Bryce spent 14 years with a major financial services firm as a successful financial advisor, two years as a district sales manager and four years as a home office manager. He developed personal relationships within the HNW community through his past involvement as a Trustee of the James A. Michener Art Museum, Board of Associates for the Bucks County Chapter of the Fox Chase Cancer Center, Board of Trustees for Stevens Institute of Technology and as a church lector. Bryce has been published in American City Business Journals, Barrons, InsuranceNewsNet, BenefitsPro, The Register, MDRT Round the Table, MDRT Blog, accountingweb.com, Advisorpedia and Horsesmouth.com. In Canada, his articles have appeared in Wealth Professional. He is the author of the book “Captivating the Wealthy Investor.”