June 20, 2017
Financial advisers should book times to phone clients and not expect they will take a call despite being in an advice relationship, according to a marketing expert speaking at the 2017 MDRT Annual Meeting.
Addressing attendees at the Meeting in Orlando, Florida, Gail B. Goodman from The Phone Teacher said advisers needed to be aware that clients communicated in different ways and calling them expecting to take a random call no longer worked.
Goodman said many advisers started their careers by setting aside blocks of time to call potential and current clients but should think about phone communications in a new way.
“In the past, we were successful by planning X number of hours per week for our appointment setting, and we stuck with that idea for decades. Unfortunately, I’m here to tell you that our ability to dial enough, and only dial, to get our appointments is not true anymore,” Goodman said, adding that contact rates were too low, even with clients, through this technique.
Instead Goodman said advisers should set ‘phone dates’ or specific times when a client will expect a call and will answer it because it has been pre-arranged.
“I’m here to tell you that our ability to dial enough, and only dial, to get our appointments is not true anymore”
“This is a big behavioral change for most of the experienced people I talk to. We all grew up knowing how many hours we needed to dial in order to fill our calendars, but that was also when people picked up,” Goodman said.
“Now you need to set it up so that the other person – whether it’s a referral, prospect, or your own existing client – is expecting your call because it’s in their calendar,” she added.
Goodman said that advisers should take advantage of a range of different communication tools, including emails and texts to set those times, and not use a single form of contact exclusively but should also aim to be included as a contact in a client’s phone.
“You can try to dial when it works for your schedule. I obviously don’t recommend doing a lot of this…but if you are already in the phones of your clients, they are more likely to pick up if you randomly call them at a time that works for you,” Goodman said.
“However, I am obviously going to recommend that you email your clients and ask them when they have some time to talk to you instead of randomly dialing them. Your appointment book will be filled with lots of phone dates in addition to the appointments you are setting.”