Don’t fall into the trap of discussing only one line of business: expert

Given the fierce competition in the market for clients, one industry expert is urging financial planners to look within their books and grow their business through cross-selling.

It is a common mistake for even for the dual-licensed advisor: limiting your discussion with a client to only one line of business. You’ve already built that trust, says one industry expert, why not expand on that trust to cross-sell other products?

One of the most time-consuming activities for advisors is building client rosters. Networking, prospecting, and developing trust takes time, skill and patience before a sale is made. But it’s important to remember that your focus shouldn’t be limited to increasing the number of clients in your roster, says Gary Gorr of the Independent Financial Concepts Group.

“Really, the focus should be a combination of increasing new business, while increasing sales to existing clients that are already in your roster,” says Gorr, who shares these thoughts on how advisors can up their game.

As advisors, we frequently fall into the trap of limiting our discussions with our clients to the product they’re interested in at the moment. When the topic at hand is Life Insurance, we don’t always take the time to let our clients know about all of the additional things we can do for them.

The focus remains on the details and options available for life insurance. Without asking, we may never know that our clients are taking a vacation in the short term and would actually be interested in Travel Insurance as well.

When dealing with existing clients, trust is already established. The networking, prospecting and time spent building the relationship has already paid off. Now it’s time to cross-sell by telling your clients about additional services and products you offer, and communicate with them on an ongoing basis.

Here are some ideas on how to stay in touch:

- Consider sending out newsletters or eblasts to segments of your client roster for specific products that you think they’d be interested in;

- Contact your clients every six months with new information and updates on changes they can make to their plans. Your clients will see this as good customer service;

- Advertise your range of service offerings, special offers and incentives on your social media pages; and

- Position related items together on your website.

One of the best ways to increase your sales is to sell more to your existing clients.

“Since most of your clients only know about the products they’ve purchased from you, by simply telling your clients about the range of products you offer, you can bring in more business,” says Gorr. “Don’t underestimate the ability for your existing satisfied customers to boost your sales just as much as new prospects.”