While you may have a healthy book of clients, there are likely a few big prospects you have your eye on. Your whales. These are the prospects that could take your practice to the next level, either through career cases or high-value lifetime planning opportunities. Because of their stature and the difficult nature of converting them into clients, some advisors find going after whales an intimidating enterprise. Here are some tips for chasing your whales.
Maintain Regular Contact
Very few advisors convert on the first touch, high-value prospect or not. The frequency of touch is key in maintain a prospect pipeline and wearing down objections. It can take months, even years before you convert a prospect, especially if they are a high-net-worth business owner, physician, or whoever your whale is to you.
How do you eat a whale? One bite at a time. As you engage with your whale, keep conversations focused on a few things—hitting them with all you got can come across as desperate. And remember, if they keep picking up the phone for your calls or answer your emails, that is a good thing. It means they like you or something you are saying. You just haven’t found the right thing to say to bring them in your book or they just aren’t ready. If you maintain a good series of regular calls or emails with your whale, the more you will both learn about each other.
End Every Interaction with Keeping the Door Open
A whale likely doesn’t have much time to chat with you, so you should handle every call with an awareness of the time you are taking away from the important business they need to attend to. This means keeping conversations brief and focused on a few topics, without getting too deep (at first). This might seem like a disadvantage. However, brief calls mean that you are retaining information out for the next round of calls. You have a reason to follow-up and your prospect has a reason to pick up. If you hit a wall, make sure to ask if it would be alright to check in down the line. If your interactions have been pleasant, the prospect likely won’t object to this.
Really Uncover Your Prospect’s Pain Points
Compared to a regular client, a whale-type prospect often will have more complicated planning needs. They may not be concerned with 401(k) rollovers, basic life insurance coverage, or simple tax maximization strategies. Their needs may be more in the advanced markets realm. This means digging deep to uncover their needs and pain points. Thankfully, if you use a serial contact strategy, you will naturally come to understand what matters to them and what they need. As you further the conversation, draw on your growing knowledge of your prospect’s objectives and challenges.
Pay Attention to Life Events
Prospecting around life events is a great way to engage with a variety of consumers, no matter their profile. But your whale will probably have different life events than a regular consumer, or their life events will require different needs. Consider the life insurance solutions that may be appropriate for a business owner or executive, compared to a regular consumer. A business owner may be worried about transferring the business to the next generation, or shoring up additional protection for the company, or may be preparing for a sale. If you maintain contact with the prospect, you should have a good sense of what’s going on in the consumer’s financial life, what their worries are, and what future events to look out for.
Get Referred or Introduced by A Mutual Connection
Between your current book of clients, friends, and acquaintances, there’s a good chance that you and your whale know someone in common. If you can get your mutual connection to vouch for you, you will gain a distinct advantage over others chasing the prospect. Through platforms like LinkedIn, you can see how you are connected and what connections you have in common.
Build Your Brand in Their Sphere
Think about the places your whale and other whale-level prospects visit. Do you have a marketing outlay in those places? Are you sponsoring or participating in activities that make you visible to your whale? The more your high-value prospect sees you and your brand in their own sphere, the more credibility you may gain.
Rise to the Occasion
Growth is essential when going after bigger clients. The most effective way to achieve that growth is through professional development. That’s why IAMS is hosting our first-ever virtual kick-off event – Ascend.
This three-day conference featuring some of the best minds in our industry will cover new marketing strategies, industry news, sales concepts, and much more.
With carrier presentations and insights from the IAMS team, you will leave this event ready to tackle 2021. We will recognize our top producers and agencies at Ascend, and we have a number of special speakers lined up to discuss competition, innovation, and adaptation—all-important ideas as we head into the new year.
Featured speakers include:
- Keynote Speaker Gary Woodland (Professional Golfer, Winner U.S. Open)
- Moshe Milevsky (Professor of Finance at York University)
- Linas Sudzius, JD (President Advanced Underwriting Consultants)
- Dr. Jack Marrion (NAFA Director of Research)
Join us January 20 – 22 for the 2021 Ascend Virtual Kick-off and learn how you can level-up your business. Sessions run every day from 11 am – 2 pm. Click below for more details, the presentation schedule, and registration details.