How a Financial Advisor Closed 94% of Prospects

Spread the love

“94%? cough, cough (hand over my mouth) bulls*&t.”

Whenever I read titles like this I’m skeptical. Is 94% really an accurate number?

It turns out that this claim is true, at least for one Blueleaf user.

Financial Advisor Close Rate

One of the things I’ve grown to appreciate about the team at Blueleaf is their proactive nature. Every few months, their team reaches out to me to see if I have any questions about the program and to fill me on latest developments.

As I told them how I used the platform and what responses clients were giving, they suggested that I tweak my process. I was inviting clients to Blueleaf after their plan was completed. Justin at Blueleaf suggested that I use the software much earlier.

He suggested that I make Blueleaf the first tool I use in the prospecting phase.

At first, this caused me to take a step back. Justin wanted me to get every prospect on Blueleaf, to share their information and link their accounts even before having our first introductory meeting.

He then explained why.

A fellow advisor and user of Blueleaf (who requested anonymity for this piece) uses Blueleaf in this way. Making this change transformed his practice. He had a growing practice and won his fair share of prospects, but nothing to shout from the rooftops about.

But after implementing Blueleaf as the first prospecting tool in his arsenal, he increased his close ratio to 94% over the last year.

Out of 32 meetings he had with prospects who linked their accounts to Blueleaf, 30 of them became clients.

The reasons were twofold.

1. Clients got a “try before you buy” experience.

As their initial meeting took place, the advisor was able to talk about goals and get to know them, but also provide constructive criticism to their current investment portfolio. By highlighting problems from the start, clients felt that they were already in the planning process and wanted to continue on this journey.

They also started receiving the weekly email updates and immediately saw the advisor offered a modern, transparent experience.

2. The Advisor could pre-screen.

If a prospect didn’t link their accounts to Blueleaf, he would cancel the appointment and ask them to return when they were ready. By only talking to prospects who were engaged in the process, converting them to clients was made even easier.

Added in the fact that he streamlined his processes, this allowed him to grow at a faster rate than before with less effort.

While this story caused me to sit back and realize that Blueleaf is more powerful than I had realized, it helped me understand how changing processes can have multiple knock-on effects in various business areas.

So what happens now?

I will be introducing Blueleaf much earlier in my process. I realize I was already introducing it later than many of my fellow Blueleaf users. Making Blueleaf the first platform that prospects come into contact with gave me a much better opportunity to win their business.

But what about you?

Are you using Blueleaf and wondering if you’re using it to its fullest capability? Or are you just curious if it can deliver for you the way it has for me?

Get on the phone with their support team and run through your process with them. Having heard many versions of how their users interact with the program, they can offer some best practices that you might not be implementing.

Not a user of Blueleaf? (“Yet”, I might add). Sign up for their trial and test with a couple of clients. Look at the time savings it offers. See how your client’s face lights up when they realize they can see everything in one place. Receive their praise when they start getting their weekly emails. Make your associate’s day by telling them that the data entry part of their job is about to be cut in half.

For your free trial of Blueleaf, sign up here.

Dave Grant, CFP®, is the founder of Finance For Teachers a fee-only RIA in Cary, IL. Dave exclusively serves teachers in Illinois by helping them to organize their financial lives and live a fulfilled life. He is also a columnist at Financial Planning magazine, a ghost writer for various companies, and the founder of NAPFA Genesis, a networking group for over 300 young, fee-only planners.
  • Joe Carbone November 18, 2015, 12:14 pm

    Great article! I would have a hard time sending home a prospect who did not set up their accounts. Many of my clients hire me because they DONT want to manage or aggregate their own accounts. We take care of that process for them.

    • John Prendergast November 18, 2015, 7:32 pm

      Thanks Joe.

      I think that’s the beauty of what we’re doing. Blueleaf actually manages all that so neither you or your client needs to fuss with it once it’s set up.

      That said, the point of sending a client “home” as mentioned in the post is really an issue of readiness and qualification. It’s also an issue of abundance. If you have enough people coming in the front door, it can make sense to triage those that are most ready.

      We appreciate the comments.

  • Avram Dorfman November 18, 2015, 5:14 pm

    Dave, I love the principle behind your practice, exclusively helping teachers. This is exactly the kind of thing I hoped to help enable when I joined Blueleaf. I’m the director of software engineering here. I can still remember the day I met John, and hearing his dream of making expert financial advice accessible to regular people (i.e. the not-already-wealthy). In an instant it turned from a simple job interview into something I wanted to dedicate my life to. I can’t think of a better example than teachers to deserve an ally in finance, I’m beaming with pride in hearing that I helped you make a life out of doing this. Thank you!

  • Steven Fox December 3, 2015, 6:42 pm

    I can definitely see the virtue in taking this approach, thank you for sharing Dave. My only concern is that doing this would send a signal to the prospect that we primarily care about their accounts, rather than caring about them. Financial planning is about much more than managing their investment accounts, and having them link accounts to Blueleaf right away only gives us one piece of their overall financial picture. Shouldn’t any advice we give, even in the initial meeting, be made in the context of their entire financial situation?

    • Dave Grant, CFP® December 18, 2015, 7:56 pm

      Steven, thanks for your comments. I think at some point in growing your practice, you have to get selfish. There’s only so many people you can help with your time, and as a business owner, one of your focuses should be making the most profit. For those advisors who getting close to being maxed out or only want to work with those consumers who are already focused, I think this approach helps both parties.