June 6, 2017
Financial advisers should use group workshops to attract new clients and conduct regular reviews, a UK adviser has said, claiming clients enjoy the collective experience.
Speaking at the MDRT Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, Wills & Trusts Director, David Batchelor said he struggled to see new clients while also servicing existing clients using a traditional one on one technique.
He said after struggling to see more clients he realised that “if you see people one at a time, you will sell people one at a time” adding that “If you complete reviews one at a time, you will only do one at a time.”
“It’s obvious, I know, but it is something that we have all been trained to do because this is the way it’s always been done,” Batchelor said.
He told delegates that he had adopted group events to engage with new clients, to move them to commit to a course of advice and to conduct annual reviews with existing clients but had moved away from seminar events, with a low success rate, to group workshops.
“We write more business because the clients are with other clients who have done business.”
According to Batchelor, these workshops were designed as an educational event to create value but without any selling of services or products, and at which potential clients provided information about their own financial issues or concerns.
He said a second workshop, focusing on one or two problems which had no more than three solutions was conducted allowing clients to self-select the appropriate solution or show they had more complex needs and would require a one-to-one meeting.
“Remember, we have qualified them and broken them into groups and we know what their issues will be, and so the workshop is designed around these issues,” Batchelor said.
“Because prospects are in a room with other people doing the same thing, they learn from other people’s questions. Once one person decides to take action in the room, it’s easier for the others to follow suit,” he said, adding that his closing rate was 85% and usually included 10 people at once committing to his advice.
Similar techniques were also used for 80% of his clients who had annual review as part of a “client review workshop”, according to Batchelor, who said clients were asked to complete a preparation sheet a month before the meeting, effectively updating their fact find and creating the content for the workshop.
“We write more business because the clients are with other clients who have done business. It allows us to discuss other areas that may not have come up in a one-to-one meeting,” he added.
“By getting clients together into one room, the client loyalty is increased. The clients feel that they are part of something, that they are not alone as a client, and so it justifies their decision to be a client simply because other people in that room also made that decision.”
“Here is the best bit, and you’ll need to trust me on this. The clients will love you for it! They love doing things in groups rather than one-to-one. I know it seems wrong, but they attach more value to it. And remember that value is in the clients’ eyes,” Batchelor said.