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As an entrepreneurial financial advisor, you’re likely always on the lookout for prospects. After all, getting new clients and helping them with their future planning is the only way to grow, right? Well yes, it is. But the unfortunate truth is there are hundreds or even thousands of other financial planners right in your own city who are looking in the exact same places for prospects. While setting yourself apart and having a rock-solid value proposition—as well as using a fee-only model that establishes you as a professional rather than a salesperson—is of enormous value, it’s often not enough to rise above the aggressive competition.

So the question becomes, how can you find the prospects that your competition hasn’t already approached? The answer is easy: look in different places and do it in a different way. Here are three ideas to get you started.

Utilize the Reciprocation Bias

Social psychology fascinates me. I love understanding how people think and why they take (or don’t take) the action that they do. One of my favorite social psychology rules is that of reciprocity. Basically, it means that people in general are a lot more likely to do something for you if you do something for them first. In the case of finding prospects for your business, this means that if you want new clients to trust you with your money, you should first give them something of value. No, I’m not saying you should go around handing out $100 bills at your next event. What I am saying is that something as simple as giving value in the form of thoughtful blog posts or interesting e-books can often be enough to spur prospects into at least meeting with you to talk about their financial situation.

Stop Going to Networking Events

I used to go to a lot of networking events. You know what I found? When I looked around the room, I usually saw a big chunk of realtors, lots of insurance salesmen, and a ton of financial planners. To put it a different way: I saw a lot of competition and not very many prospects. Financial planners have long been advocates of networking and most groups and events are saturated with them. So why keep going? When you take the time commitment of networking events out of your schedule, you have time to develop engaging content, work on your online marketing plan, and find other ways to set yourself apart and give value.

Find a Non-Traditional Referral Source

So if you’re not going to networking events, where are you supposed to find your prospects and potential referral partners? I always like to think outside the box. What type of businesspeople meet with those who have gone through a recent change that could affect their finances? A good source of referrals are grief counselors. They often work with widows who have suddenly been thrust into a situation of making financial decisions they’ve never had to before and it’s estimated that 70% of widows make a change in financial planners after the death of their husbands. Not only do they make great prospects, but you can get a lot of satisfaction from helping these individuals through a rough time and putting their mind at ease when it comes to their financial futures.

If you’re just getting started as an entrepreneurial financial advisor, finding prospects is vital to the success of your business. When you go about prospecting in a way that is different from your completion, you can stand out in the crowd and find those people who really need your help.

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How I grew my advisory to $140 million in assets under management, working 15 hours a week & with one employee

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