In your financial services business, you likely rely on several tried and true sources for finding new clients, such as phone book ads, your existing clients and perhaps even your website. There are many opportunities to find new clients in your community outside of the traditional gold veins, and not all of them will add to your marketing budget. Mining them can set you apart from your competition and add to your bottom line. Here are four sources of new clients you may not have contemplated:
1. Credit Unions
While you may think that large regional and national banks may be an easier source of investing for clients than smaller, local financial institutions, they often sell competing products, either directly or through their investment arms. Most of that business is required to be referred internally. Credit unions, on the other hand, often only offer basic savings vehicles and have no competing products; this means that their in-house investment advice is lacking. Set up a meeting with the manager of your local credit union and discuss opportunities to refer clients to each other. Be sure to work as hard at referring your clients to the credit union, as you want them to work on your behalf.
2. Small Business Fairs
Many financial services businesses focus on individual clients and consumer investment advice. The small business sector is growing, however, and entrepreneurs are often confused about how to integrate their business and individual financial planning goals. There is a growing opportunity to cater to this segment of the population. Small business expos and fairs are filled with new business owners and those considering taking the plunge. Consider setting up a booth to talk to small business owners or offer to present a seminar or workshop. The goal is not to hard sell, but to show potential clients that you are an expert in your field and can explain financial concepts in an easy-to-understand way.
3. Accountant Conferences
Accountants have always been a great source of referrals for investment and financial planning companies. Accountants often focus on income and estate tax and general financial planning strategies, which can be fleshed out in detail by you. It's a win/win situation. You can offer your clients value by recommending an accountant who understands your investing philosophy, and he or she will look brilliant by recommending someone who can act on the general advice he or she is giving. You can always network with individual accountants, but consider speaking at accounting conferences and workshops to help accountants understand the benefits of the advice and products you offer. Showing them how they can integrate financial planning into their traditional offerings can score you new business.
4. Parenting Classes
Both expecting and new parents are a perfect fit for a financial services business. They are in the midst of a huge life change, which is often a point when people re-examine all aspects of their lives. Their financial objectives change and they are likely in need of new goals and plans, and their circle of influence is likely to include plenty of other new parents. Check your local community for parenting classes or shows. Offer to write content for any publications they put out, or speak at the event about financial issues focused mainly on people with small children.
The Bottom Line
To keep your financial services business growing, expand your marketing efforts outside of your usual channels. Be visible in your community and work to present yourself as knowledgeable and helpful. Always look for overlap between your target clients and other groups. Clients can come from the most unusual places!