Advisor Today - September/October 2015 - (Page 54)

sales & marketiNg REFERRALS By Lisa Horowitz, CLU, ChFC Building Your Natural Audience Seeking out your natural audience can offer sources for relationship building, which can lead to sales. W hen I first started selling insurance and building my practice, the best way to get new clients was to ask for referrals from existing clients. But our 21st century culture of social media and technology has changed the way we communicate with one another. Spending so much time online has allowed us to learn more about each other and the issues that matter to us more than ever. What if we take this newfound access to information about each other and the world at large and use it to connect with likeminded people? How then do we translate this interconnectedness into the development of new clients and new markets? In his book, Intentional Practice & The Art of Finding Natural Audience: A Framework for Artists and Professionals, creative development advisor Marc Zegans maps out a method for cultivating a community around shared vision and values. He develops a sales model that relies on values, such as accountability, transparency and integrity. Zegans says that instead of trying to convince people about whom we know nothing to buy something, we'll do better to take the time to locate our natural audience- people whose problems we are best suited to solve. Connecting in this fashion allows us to form authentic, mutually beneficial relationships- the foundation for many positive exchanges. Instead of waiting for new business to come our way, let's take steps to make it happen. How can we get out of 1980 and into 2015? How can we take this new connectedness with each other and use it to show new clients and markets the value of working with us? 54 ADVISOR TODAY | September/October 2015 Collaboration and mutually beneficial exchanges are the foundations for successful business relationships. Here are a few steps you can take to build your natural audience: * Operate from a clear purpose. Place your key values at the core of all of your actions. When you lead with what is genuinely real and important to you, your integrity will be apparent in everything you do and will be easily recognizable to the people you are seeking. In so doing, you will be able to attract likeminded individuals who appreciate your vision. * Get inside the mind of your audience. When you're clear about the people to whom you're talking, everything you do will be in harmony-your style, your product and your language will come together to create precisely targeted messaging. The more you can appreciate the needs, habits and experiences of your audience, the better your chances of being well received by them. * Find your supporters. To take your business to the next level, you'll need key individuals in positions of influence in your industry or related industries to make introductions and vouch for the quality of your work. Think about the best ways to become acquainted with them, and do the legwork to make those connections. * Give Often and Generously. Collaboration and mutually beneficial exchanges are the foundations for successful business relationships. In every overture you make, including those to colleagues, champions and prospective clients, think about what you can give back. As I described in my last article on the AT blog, Plant Your Seeds and Watch Them Grow - Your Financial Garden in Full Bloom, I've been meditating on my past successes to help guide me in creating new growth and opportunities. I know that for many in the insurance/financial-advisor arena, their business is shrinking, their clients are downsizing, and there are fewer opportunities for broadening their client base. Seeking out a natural audience can provide new sources for relationship building, and eventually for more sales. As I continue to deepen my connection with my own natural audience, I encourage all of you to do the same. By increasing my commitment and presence among those I consider my natural audience, I am finding great success and satisfaction. Whether it's the gay/lesbian community, adult children providing support to their aging parents, or my peers in the broker/ advisor population, interacting with my natural audience challenges me to be the very best I can be. If we all do that, our practices will grow and evolve for the better. Lisa Horowitz, CLU, ChFC, has had her own insurance practice for 26 years and specializes in various disciplines, including life insurance, LTCI, DI and Group/ Employee benefit programs. She recently started Lifecycles: Resource Management for Lives in Transition, which offers a holistic approach to managing and coordinating the details surrounding difficult medical transitions.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Advisor Today - September/October 2015

Why You Need a Mentor
The Key Attributes of Top Performers
Success Tips from a Golden Gloves Boxer
How I Use Social Media to Build my Practice
Getting Started on LinkedIn
Discussing Your Client’s LTC Needs in Retirement
How to Boost Your LTCI Production
¿Habla Español?
Providing a Retirement Safety Net
Ongoing Challenges, New Solutions
Four Under Forty
NAIFA’s 125th Anniversary
Demystifying CPA Alliances
Building Your Natural Audience
Holding Workshops?
Ideas to Help You Sell More
Special-Needs Planning
Planning for Divorced or Widowed Women

Advisor Today - September/October 2015