Abhishek's client acquisition strategy gets him 80% conversion
Abhishek Sipani, Black Swan Wealth Managers LLP, Mumbai
In a nutshell
He has a brand new start up IFA firm. No existing client base to simply transfer to his ARN. But he has a clear idea of who he was targeting and how his proposition is better than others. But, that's not enough in today's competitive world to meet prospects and win clients. That's where Abhishek's innovative digital prospecting strategy is paying off - enabling him to get a fantastic 80% conversion rate on prospect meetings, helping him grow his business month after month and at the same time leave enough time to serve existing clients of his growing business.
I have been a wealth manager through my career and have worked for HSBC, Religare Macquire and my last stint was with Trust Plutus. I set up my own wealth management firm 2 years ago called Black Swan Wealth Managers LLP.
Clear target client segment
There were two gaps I saw from my work experience, which I thought I could exploit as an entrepreneur.
The big wealth management firms were focusing on big businessmen and large business families. Two segments that were underserved by holistic wealth managers were SMEs and CXO level professionals.
These segments were often offered product focused wealth management services and not holistic services. Relationships often tended to be transaction based, leaving huge scope for offering a superior proposition.
Traditional cold calling will not work
I knew when I set up my practice, that I had to be different in my approach to prospecting, and different in my approach towards the proposition I offer to my clients. Today's affluent clients are new age - they are tech and media savvy, they value transparency, clarity and simplicity, they value their time. There is no room for traditional cold calling if you want to break into these relationships.
The first thing I did was to set up a website (www.mywealthwiz.com) - where investors can not only get a lot of information, but can also complete their risk profiling and goal planning through easy steps. This helps showcase simplicity, clarity and transparency of the proposition we offer to clients.
Digital prospecting strategy
The challenge is how to get prospects to engage with us. We innovated with an improvised digital prospecting approach, which is serving us quite well. The first step is to identify who you are targeting. These could be CXO level professionals in mid and large sized firms. It could be successful SME businessmen.
I am very active on LinkedIn, on social media, and I scan through a number of business magazines. Many professionals who are in my target segment are either interviewed or profiled in these business magazines or write contributory articles on topical issues. When I see an article I like from somebody who fits my target client group, I send them a congratulatory mail expressing my thoughts and reactions to the article. I do extensive googling to get their email ids. I do a lot of research on them and their business. I then follow it up with a mail asking the prospect to see this 90 second video, to decide whether it makes sense for them to meet me or no:
This video values the time of today's investors - it comes straight to the point and in 90 seconds, the prospect can decide whether to call me or not. We don't send this video out randomly to thousands of email IDs. I spend a lot of time in collating email IDs of prospects who fit my target client segment and then send out personalised mails to them.
I have prepared a series of short educational videos which I send as a follow up to prospects who are in my pipeline and of course to my clients. These videos are uploaded on my website as well.
80% conversion rate
Its now a little over a year that I started using this approach. I go out to meet only 1 or 2 prospects each month, but I send out mails to many more. My conversion rate is around 80% - out of the people who respond to this approach, I am able to convert 4 out of 5. This makes the entire prospecting effort very productive and efficient.
My AuM today is around Rs. 42 crores, of which around Rs. 25 crores in in mutual funds and the rest is in bonds. I work with 19 client families as of now, most of whom have come in through this client acquisition approach. What also helps me is that many of my clients have readily agreed to provide reference checks to any prospects I go to meet. So, when I meet a prospect, I tell them that they can do a background verification with my clients, who have authorized me to provide my prospects with their email ids for this purpose. This acts as a huge confidence booster to new clients.
What my client acquisition strategy has enabled me to do is to devote sufficient time between managing existing clients as well as continuing to seek new clients, without giving up the required focus on either aspect.
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