Do you have a prospecting pipeline? If so, is it more than just a list of people who might do business with you? Many advisors and agents do have a prospecting pipeline but very few have a step-by-step strategy to move prospects into and through it! That’s why I created for my coaching clients The New Business Strategy List.
Jack Canfield said it best, “I believe that people make their own luck by great preparation and good strategy.”
The New Business Strategy List is a pipeline monitoring tool. It is designed to not only keep track of who is in your pipeline but where each person is in the client acquisition process of converting prospects to clients! The following is a brief illustration of a recent conversation I had with a client to help him fill out this tool and fully understand it.
Understanding The New Business Strategy List
The New Business Strategy List is designed best on an Excel spreadsheet with seventeen columns that make up three separate sections of the tool. Each section has a specific purpose to help the advisor/agent understand the prospect better as well as strategize to move them to the next step.
In order to better understand this tool you may want to create your own New Business Strategy List as you read and digest the following.
Section #1: The Prospect’s Information
Section #1 is made of the first five column headings in order to get a clear picture on the prospect’s information. They are as follow: date, name, dollar amount found in investable assets, insurance policy type and policy face amount.
John T. a ten year veteran financial advisor client of mine needed help creating a prospecting pipeline. Unfortunately, he had spent his entire career using what he thought was the best way to manage his pipeline. He had written down the names of people who were in his pipeline and left it at that!
So, I recommended he start using The New Business Strategy List by filling in the first five columns of the tool to get the prospect information all in one place.
Section #2: Understanding What Stage of the Pipeline Each Prospect is In
Section #2 is made of the next four column headings in order to get a clear picture on the prospect’s stage in the pipeline. They are as follow: Stage #1-Initial Contact, Stage #2-First Appointment (Discovery Meeting), Stage #3-Second Appointment (Closing Meeting) and Stage #4-Referrals or Prospect Call Back-(because you didn’t close initially).
After I explained this section, John and I discussed each prospect in his pipeline to determine what stage they were in and put the number “1” in the appropriate box. I had designed the stage columns to automatically total itself every time a new entry was made so we could see the total number of people in each stage.
Section #3: Understanding the Strategy for Each Prospect
Section #3 is made up of the next four column headings in order to create a strategy for each prospect. They are as follow: Notes, Challenges, Solutions and Actions Steps. It’s interesting that in this section you typically run into the same challenges time-and-time again which requires the same solutions and action steps.
In John’s case, we had already identified that his clog was in Stage 2, the discovery meeting. His biggest challenge was to get prospects to meet with him again to hear his recommendations. The solution was to ask better question to uncover the prospect’s problems, implication of not fixing the problem/s and the value of utilizing solution/s. This helped the prospects see the value in moving to the next step with John as their guide.
Section #4: Recording the Outcome:
Section #4 is made up of the final four column headings in order to record the outcome once the sale is closed. They are as follow: Assets Gathered, Fees/Commissions from assets, Fees/Commissions from insurance and Done.
John started using the aforementioned strategies to unclog his pipeline and was able to close a lot of the prospects that previously had been stuck. Since these columns are automatically tallied as well, we knew exactly how many assets were gathered and the fees/commissions from both investments and insurance at any given time!
Why the New Business Strategy List Works
As you can see the New Business Strategy List works for several reasons. This resource allows you to be able to forecast any potential pipeline problems such as not having enough assets in the pipeline, not having enough people flowing through to the next step or finding bottleneck activities to help ensure a steady stream of people at each step of the process.
So, the next time you are wondering why your current prospecting pipeline process is not producing the results you need, try using a better tool to unclog your pipeline!