May 01 2023 / Round the Table Magazine
By Marta Borbala Kiraly
While the pandemic lockdown created a sinkhole for many careers, I decided to use this time as a trampoline for my practice. I was ready because I had been working on my flight plan four years before.
When the lockdown ensued, I had already perfected and sharpened my five-step process to give my business momentum and make it bulletproof. Here are the steps that broke me through all the setbacks and obstacles and eventually helped me skip Court of the Table and attain Top of the Table.
1. Personal branding
Branding can foster trust if it is used the right way. Position your best self to match the expectations and needs of your most important target market. Your reputation must arrive before you do, and your personal brand must linger after you leave the room. Develop both attributes through your online content and social media posts, by publishing articles and delivering speeches at conferences. For example, I regularly write articles for professional insurance and banking industry journals in Hungary. I position myself by showing those magazine clips before and after my first meetings with clients and to existing clients to remind them of my financial expertise.
2. Tapping the high-net-worth market
There are no shortcuts here. Start by conquering your fear of meeting highly influential and wealthy business owners. My journey began by having conversations with 10 to 20 of my best clients and telling them exactly who I was looking for and who I wanted to reach from their personal networks. One of the reasons good clients don’t give referrals is they don’t know what we’re looking for. If we don’t know, how can they recommend anyone. Identify what your ideal client profile looks like in detail. Once your profile is broken down to the smallest particulars, prospecting and obtaining referrals will become much easier.
3. Offline prospecting
Dig deeper into your existing network to find the centers of influence. Assemble a group of influencers and develop an internal referral system where you regularly help each other. This way you create a referral culture and become the central hub of this referring network. I regularly organize programs for my group so they not only network and meet each other but also listen to interesting presentations from speakers I invite.
4. Online prospecting
Let me debunk three myths about prospecting digitally.
- Finding high-net-worth prospects is simply a numbers game.
No, you must find your niche even within the high-net-worth segment and post relevant business content that captures their attention. The classic motivational quote and inspiring picture combo does not work on them.
- Amass lots of Instagram followers to jump-start your business.
Quite the contrary. Having a small but devoted and engaged community within your target market can become a viable market to build on.
- You must ask people about their network to get referrals.
I use LinkedIn to map out my clients’ networks, so I can narrow my request to specific people. Then instead of asking my clients who they know, I can get referrals in a more targeted way by telling them who I’m interested in from their network.
5. Sales strategies for big contracts
There are three areas I focus on to land large deals.
Retirement planning: Most of my large, recurring premiums come from purposeful and deliberate retirement planning. In this strategy, I first have clients answer three important questions:
- What is your retirement number?
- How much money do you need monthly when you retire?
- When do you want to start retirement?
Once you know their retirement number, you can give them the right plan.
Be the second opinion: High-net-worth clients are already in contact with a number of advisors and own more than one policy. Provide a second opinion about their existing policies and teach them how to think about their finances.
Premium investments: Especially for entrepreneurs, do a presentation about the risks that their business runs into and how those scenarios make their income and assets vulnerable. After that, they should be open to your ideas about the importance of having investments outside their business.
My flight plan helped me achieve my goals and attain Top of the Table in less than a year and during a pandemic. There are no quick fixes or magic formulas, but if you put in the work, your business can break through to a new level.