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How to Fix Up Appointments With Leads and Orphan Customers
Back in the day my client acquisition method was the Phone Book and yellow pages, I’m sure none of you remember those and my first day in the insurance business was cold calling. Hit hard and tiring.
Then came family and friends when they asked me to “tap” my network for referrals, this was more successful. But things got easier when I plopped into an estate agency branch on the High Street so I could feed the drive-thru to the men at the front desk.
Of course times have changed. We can no longer call cold nor do we want to. Our industry has accelerated to become one of the professionals and this increase in height, comes the most advanced method to get new business.
Busy financial advisors tend to work with about 4 methods today:
References, by far the most professional technique from clients and contacts in the industry such as accountants. This method can feed you with non-competitive and long-lasting customer relationships. By far my favorite.
Then come drive either buy in the internet or offered by your office.
Finally comes contact with past customers known as orphan customers. People who haven’t heard of you or your company in a while and may have forgotten about you.
There are many other methods that really work apart, but yes, from a great relationship that exists with your clients who continue to look for you for professional financial advice.
Need to call
All these methods of attracting new customers require another step though. You need to contact them to arrange an initial meeting. Email is only 1 dimension and often leads to failure and the prevalence of spam traps and easy delete keys, so it leaves us on the phone instead.
But getting on the phone with someone you don’t know and haven’t met can create a sense of doom with many financial advisors, so I’ll give you some ideas on how you can do this successfully.
Just like a good decorator. We had a guy in recently decorated and after two days slave at work, I could not see a lick of paint. He was getting ready.
So what preparations do we need to make?
The first part of the preparation is to get it clear in your mind as to the value you provide since you will have to articulate this when, and if, you find your new client. Keep in mind if it is a lead, either purchased and paid for or collected from a referral source such as an existing customer or associate arrangement, they will not know you and may not be fully aware of how you work and the value you provide. there. And the orphaned customer you’re calling may well have completely forgotten who you are and how you work now.
7 questions to ask yourself to know your worth
Ask yourself these 7 questions:
Who am I?
What should I do?
Why do I do what I do?
How do I do what I do?
Who did I serve?
What makes me different from other counselors?
Why should customers do business with me?
Have a trusted friend ask you the questions in a coaching style, audio record your answers and transcribe them into a value proposition or elevator pitch or sound bite. It doesn’t matter what you call it, just get it clear, succinct and valid.
Then do some belief shift work if you still don’t believe in your values. Email me and I will suggest some belief shift exercises for you and some affirmation work. No matter what we do, you just have to be your own number one fan.
The next piece of preparation is to get you up and motivated to make these calls, especially if you have some to do. Let me be upfront and personal about this, most financial advisors I know do not look forward to making these calls, because they invite a “no”.
You see, as a child you did everything possible to avoid the dreaded “no”. And your parents, teachers, family… the last thing you wanted to hear was “no”, so you avoided it at all costs. This same trait continued into your adult years and exists today.
So you have to get over it.
There are many things you can do and there is a time and a place for them.
The time includes how many calls you need to make and the right time to call. Depending on how many calls you need to make will determine how much time you spend but it is known that no more than 45 minutes of calls is desirable. Beyond that and you go flat.
The key is to sit, or stand, in a private place to make the calls. Don’t interrupt while making the calls, make them one after the other because you get into a routine and time flies.
How many calls should you make? Well that depends on how you work. People who do this kind of call for a live work and activity report or funnel as we used to call them. They calculated that if they need 1 appointment, then normally they have to talk to at least 3 people, and to find 3 people they need to make 10 calls or dials. So they calculate 45 minutes is enough time to make 20 calls, which will let them go through and talk to 6 people, and they will make 2 appointments. Not bad for a 45 minute job.
The Golden Rule
This time, the next place. Here are some golden rules when making these calls:
Try and arrange batch calls and make an easy call to start.
Don’t stop what you’re doing and prevent interruptions.
Make notes directly on the CRM you’re using rather than leaving it for later.
Remember you are making an appointment, not selling.
Try and get straight to the next call after each call.
There is a standard answer to voicemail, no tricks, just state you will call back another time.
Call during standard block – 9 to 11 am; 4 to 6 pm; and 7pm to 8pm actually work.
Before we get into the structure of your call, a final word about voice messages and how to leave one.
I’m very busy just like you, but my world consists of very long meetings that can last all day without much time to eat let alone return calls. So when I do that, I usually take about 4 or 5 calls all at once. And that’s the point. Voicemail is linear, you listen to the first, then delete, then the second and delete. Rarely do we come back to hear again.
So start your voice message with your name and number and leave your reason for calling back, then leave your name and number at the end because some people note it down at the beginning and are unlikely to rewind the voice message. Tape-based voice mail machines came out in the 1990s.
The final piece of preparation is your appeal structure or appeal process. Yes, you need this, you can not wing it. We will look at the bullets of a structure that actually works and still gives you the freedom to free-wheel a little and sound human, not like some cold canvasser.
Here are the steps and I will talk about each one in turn:
Request an appointment
The intro allows you to check the person speaking and use their name a couple of times.
The sound bite is your opportunity to give your reason for calling and the value you can potentially provide to the customer. You need to get them interested immediately.
If it’s a reference, say something like: “Did Bob Monkhouse mention my name to you recently and I’d call?” or “Your accountant, Bob Monkhouse asked me to give you a call.”
If it’s an orphan client say something like: “GBD Consultancy in the High Street asked me to call you about the business you did with them recently.”
If it follows a letter, say something like: “I called about the letter we sent you this week, did you get it?”
If it’s a buying lead, say something like: “You were just online and wanted a financial specialist to call.”
At this point you want to hear their reaction and now give your value or sound bite. Which of course is what you honed earlier, not you.
Say something like: “GBD has recently developed a new service to help customers understand the new pension rules and we’d love the opportunity to talk to you about them to see if we can help you retire more comfortably.” or
“GBD has designed a new service to help you mortgage or remortgage your home at a much lower interest rate.” or
“GBD has been working with clients recently to help them grow their investments in the current low interest environment.”
Or whatever the sound is that you created for the call.
Again, get their reaction.
Now take control and ask for a meeting to discuss.
“I’m setting up new client meetings here in the office for next week and I have Monday evening or Saturday morning available. Which would suit?”
It is inertia that you seek to agree on a meeting time. Try not to engage in a long conversation about your service. Keep coming back to the point that it’s best if we meet face to face, it’s an initial complimentary exploratory meeting to see if we can get along. I opened my client bank to accept some new clients so we thought your phone… or whatever works to ensure the meeting.
Agree on the time, thank them for their time and then follow up with a letter or email, whatever you use. And remember to call them just before the given time to share with them how the meeting will work, to remind them to bring multiples and to confirm where to park the car. I used to take tea orders during this pre-call as well.
Back in the day we would encourage learning how to overcome all known objections and had some serious techniques to sway the client around your way of thinking. How times have changed, thankfully.
Try and put yourself in the customer’s shoes. They vaguely remember your company or you and are really busy. How would you like it if some pushy financial advisor was trying to get an appointment from you?
No, instead of accepting the initials “no”; this is often a knee jerk reaction. Show empathy for their position but if you truly believe in the service and value you provide to your customers, reiterate that value and ask for another convenient time to talk. You will be surprised, do not accept the initials “no” but simply repeat your value with a voice of surprise, they will often win them.
Now, most people you deal with will be consumers, rich or poor. But some of us can call small business owners or orphaned customers at work, so you may have to work twice as hard to reach them, especially if they have good voicemail and a loyal personal assistant with the motto “no-one pass” “.
Here are some ideas that can work in these situations.
Call out of hours; say before 9am and during lunch time. Often his PA is not in his office, so you will actually get the person you want to answer the phone.
Use the sentence: “My company asked me to call you Mike”. For example: “GDA Consulting asked me to contact Mike Brown, is he here please?”
Make it very casual, for example: “Hiya, Mike please, it’s Brian”
Make PA your ally. Explain that you need their help to talk to Mike and be very polite.
Or just call them at home or on their mobile.
Let’s finish this article. I firmly believe that all businesses need an element of new business and new customers because there will always be a need. My wife keeps chickens and ducks. At last count we had more than 15 of them pecking away in the garden near our house, but every year my wife brings in a few new chicks or fertilized eggs to add to her flock. I was disturbed so I asked him why. His answer is that every year he will lose some chickens. Some of disease, some of old age and some of the old fox discomfort. So adding news every spring just means it keeps the same number.
Smart really and that’s exactly why you need to keep adding new customers to your customer bank. You will lose some of the natural causes, defection and the competition maybe … so always be added to your flock.
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