New business development is very much like Google search.
You know it has what you need.
You can’t live without it.
Sometimes it can get you results lightning fast, and you’re cruising.
Other times you can tear your hair out in frustration.
But as crazy as it looks, you know there is a method to its madness.
By now you know what the secret to success is….the narrower and the more precise your search terms, the better the chances that you’ll strike gold, and strike gold fast.
Because you’ve done it over and over, and the feedback is immediate, you learned pretty quickly that if you want good results, you’d better be able to describe it very, very precisely.
The market is exactly like Google search.
The more precisely you tell it what you want, the better the chances that it’ll serve up something close to your desire. The more vague your search, the worse the quality of your “search results”.
Yet many professionals who wouldn’t waste a minute on pointless Google searches seem to think nothing of wasting hours and days on poorly designed “new business searches”.
- They’re happy to talk to anyone as long as they meet their revenue or asset criteria
- They look at many sources to get leads, without focusing on any of them
- They can’t tell their referral sources the exact kind of client they’re ideally fitted to serve
This is the equivalent of typing in a vague search term and hoping to sort through a million results because you don’t want to “miss out” on a possible good match.
It’s easy to understand why this is so common: you’re not just “typing in” a search term and seeing instant results.
It’s more like you’re typing in multiple vague searches on many different search engines. There’s no immediate feedback, tracking is tough and the results take weeks if not months to crystallize.
By then you’ve forgotten what you searched for, and maybe even where you “typed in” your search.
But it pays to focus.
The more clearly you can tell the market what kind of results you’re looking for, the better the chances that you’ll get better and better search results, also known as prospects.
How good is your search quality?
Do You Have Scatter Focus Syndrome?
Even if you think you have a clearly defined audience in mind, you may be suffering from “Scatter Focus Syndrome” if you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms:
- Inconsistent prospecting results: You have clear goals for new business every month, but you’re just not stumbling across good prospects consistently – it’s hit or miss
- Broad (or no) channel focus: You haven’t focused on 1 or 2 channels to generate leads
- Conversion effectiveness not tracked: You don’t have a clear understanding of which prospects convert better and why
- Inconsistent pitch resonance: Your pitch is consistent and well-honed, but it’s anybody’s guess when it clicks and when it falls flat.
- A hammer-only toolkit: You have trouble finding the exact right hooks, stories and examples that appeal most to your prospects – sometimes their eyes light up and it all works out. Other times, it’s like you’re talking Greek and Latin
- A bland value proposition:You have trouble articulating exactly why you’re better for your prospect versus the financial advisor next door, without resorting to tired phrases such as “peace of mind” or “we tailor our service to your exact needs”.
Scatter Focus is Like Throwing Money Away
When you’re not sharply focused on who you want to do business with, you’re leaving good money on the table because
- You waste precious marketing dollars and even more of your precious time
- You’re losing out on all the experience you gained over years of serving clients well
- You’re not standing out to the precise base of prospects you’re really well-positioned to serve – you’re getting crowded out in the noise
The Fix Is Simple
Fixing this problem can be surprisingly simple – and doesn’t have to involve months of effort.
Here’s what you can do right now to sharpen the focus in your prospecting. You’ll soon become a pro at spotting your best prospects a mile away:
- Look at your existing client base. Are there common themes that characterize your best / favorite/ longest-tenured clients. Do they belong to a certain demographic? Do they share a set of occupations? Religious beliefs? Or did they come to you triggered by a similar set of financial or life events?
- Zoom in on one to two segments that feel like a good fit. Focus your prospecting efforts on this group for the next 6-8 weeks. Continue other prospecting and closing efforts as you normally would.
- Track your success rates (time to close, % close). Are you getting better results with this group than you normally would?
It’s not hard. It’s free. You can get started immediately.
Best of all, you may even begin to enjoy rainmaking.
Who’s your target audience?