You probably agree with many RIAs that building a business can be challenging. The lack of a clearly defined process to promote and manage growth can make it even tougher.
To help, Scottrade® Advisor Services offered access to a series of educational webinars earlier this year designed to assist RIAs with tools and skills they can use to grow their businesses. These webinars provided by practice management firm ActiFi* identified specific steps to help RIAs uncover new clients and increase assets under management.
According to the first webinar in the series – “Build and Manage a Business Development Process” – more than half of advisors polled (53 percent) did not have a clearly defined business development process. Twenty-nine percent did have a process, but did not use it consistently.
The webinar suggested the first step in creating a business development process is to define the way you classify your contacts. Classifications should cover the kinds of relationships you have with people from the time you first hear about them until they become clients.
Examples of these include:
- Lead: Not acquainted, acquired contact information by referral or some other method
- Qualified Lead: Determined to be a good “fit”
- Prospect: Not yet a client, building a relationship
- Client: With an opportunity or life event on the horizon
- Center of Influence: Not necessarily a client, but a potential or existing referral source
- Affiliated Professional: Tax attorney, divorce attorney, insurance agent, etc.
Clearly-defined classifications can reduce confusion when you and your team meet to discuss next actions.
While having an efficient business development process can be valuable in and of itself, a possible side benefit may be the way it impresses prospects or centers of influence (COIs). A defined process can help build credibility among potential supporters.
According to the advisors on the live webcast, nearly 90 percent found this webinar to be valuable or extremely valuable to them in helping to develop and maintain a plan.
Click here to listen to recordings from the practice management webinar series “Build and Manage a Business Development Process.”
Click here if you would like to register for ActiFi’s upcoming webinar series “Enhance Your Client Service Model.” The first webinar in the series will be held on Dec. 13. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinars.