In today’s competitive financial market, it takes a lot of effort for financial advisors to master the skills required to best serve the needs of their current clients, while continuing to improve their business by expanding the client roster. Tapping into niche markets such as equity compensation is an excellent way to not only add value-added services for existing clients but to also grow through the acquisition of corporate executive clients. 

By implementing the following seven-step active marketing strategy targeted at grant recipients into their weekly routine, advisors have the opportunity to attract new assets under management and drive revenue by providing professional assistance.

Step 1: Make a list of everyone you know who may receive equity compensation, or who may be able to introduce you to a potential client that does.

Ask current clients if they, or their spouses, receive equity compensation. Clients don't always remember to mention their company stock and option grants especially if the stock price is down.  Consequently, you may have clients with equity compensation that you don't know about. 

Do not be afraid to ask for referrals from clients you are currently providing equity compensation assistance.

If you don’t currently have any clients that receive equity compensation or anyone who can refer you to someone who does, our article, “How to Find Companies that Grant Equity Compensation,” provides a six-step guide to help you seek out companies in your area that grant equity compensation.  

Step 2: Start with people you haven’t met or clients and friends you may not have seen or talked to in a while. Make it a habit to call and meet with one person each week.

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. While some financial advisors would simply sit back and wait for the appointment, the best advisors have a pre-meeting process that includes preparing an introductory package, take away materials, and customizing a client presentation.

In his article, “How the Best Planners Win Over Clients,”  Vince Valenti gave us his best pre-meeting tips to help set yourself up for success and make a lasting impression.

Step 3. Start your meeting by focusing on and truly listening to them. What are they currently interested in? How’s their family? How’s work?

Expressing a genuine interest and listening to a client, not only helps establish an emotional connection but can assist you in determining what’s important to them in regards to their short and long-term financial goals. Perhaps they have a child in high school and are thinking about tuition costs?  Perhaps their spouse recently received a promotion and now they too are potentially receiving equity compensation. These details may help you tailor your “elevator” pitch in the future, showing you genuinely were listening.

Step 4. Don’t skip the opportunity to talk about yourself on a personal level. Tell them about your family, hobbies, or any sports you may participate in.

Non-work related conversation helps a potential client see you as a genuine person, not just a number focused advisor. Talking about yourself furthers the emotional connection and helps build a deeper relationship with the prospective client.

Step 5. Share a client success story, as well as the elevator pitch or presentation you came prepared with.

You may have come prepared with a favorite client success story, but after truly listening to this potential client, maybe you have a story that better highlights something you now know is important to them. Don’t be afraid to switch it up.

Not sure what to include in your elevator pitch? Here are “Four Questions to Ask Individuals with Equity Compensation.”

This is also the  perfect opportunity to use StockOpter Sample Reports to demonstrate how you can potentially assist them in making informed decisions regarding their company stock and options by valuing their holdings, illustrating risk/reward and proposing a decision framework.

Step 6.Don’t give up on an executive prospect too quickly.Even if they didn't show too much interest in getting help with their equity compensation, the opportunity is not lost. 

Try showing them a sample equity compensation analysis and encouraging them to provide you with their grant summary information.  Creating and explaining a comprehensive company stock and option report will demonstrate your expertise and provide tangible insights. If this is still not enough send them an updated report after a couple of weeks.  A small change in stock price can have a dramatic impact on the value of their options. Equity compensation is complicated so, persistence and patience pay off.

Don’t feel bad ending the appointment seeking a referral, just because they may not be interested in your services, for the time being, doesn’t mean they might not know someone who is.

Step 7. Send a thank you letter or email.

Regardless of the response, always follow up with a thank you letter or email within a day of your meeting. Use this as an opportunity to thank them for their time, and to recap what was discussed and/or your recommendations.

By making this seven-step active marketing process a regular habit, you will not only a bring added value services to current clients, but you will attract new clients in need of your professional services – driving revenue and creating sustainable growth. 

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