Six Ways to Build a Prospect Pipeline

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

One of the biggest issues limiting financial advisor’s business development efforts is a lack of time to press for new business. Sometimes it’s a lack of an effective focus. New business development is not easy. For example, in 2017, Merrill Lynch attracted only about 7,000 net new households, with the average broker opening fewer than one account on a net basis. Merrill raised brokers’ growth targets in 2019 and 2020 but modified the 2020 plan in June to acknowledge the effects of the outbreak of COVID-19 on broker prospecting. The new account requirement was lowered to three households from four and remains at the lower level for the 2021 plan.

Too often, advisors do not have a formal prospect list or it is not updated regularly. It’s great if it’s in your CRM, but if it’s not in your face, then out of sight is out of mind. If it’s in digital form, and it should be, you should have a paper copy of your top prospects on your desk, and you should be contacting five to 10 every week and spending at least 20% to 25% of your time on prospecting to grow your business. That includes the time you spend with clients figuring out how you are going to let them know that their family, friends, and colleagues are missing out by not working with you.

This article discusses how to build a prospect list, from generating leads to getting potential clients to meet with you.