News article

Why turning prospects down could damage your brand

From time to time, you will need to turn enquiries away. Do it in the wrong way and you could find yourself in a whole world of pain. Get it right though, and you’ll create opportunities.

In our experience, most advisers/planners convert 25% to 40% of all new enquiries.

The remaining 60% to 75% will be:

  • Potentially a “right-fit” but now’s not the right time
  • Uncontactable, despite your best efforts
  • “Wrong-fit”, for any number of reasons.

The first two groups, who don’t immediately become clients, should be nurtured.

Your aim here is to add value and demonstrate knowledge so you become the go-back-to expert when the time is right for the prospect to engage.

That leaves the final group.

It’s here where you need to tread carefully.

Diplomacy, empathy, and no dead ends

Advisers, planners (and marketing agencies) always regret taking on “wrong-fit” clients.

To avoid supplier remorse, you’ll need to say “no” from time to time. You need to do it in the right way though. If you don’t, the consequences can be very painful because a spurned prospect can be as troublesome as a spurned lover!

  • They might leave a negative review online, causing “right-fit” prospects to think twice about contacting you
  • They could become a critic of your brand, sharing their grumbles with anyone who will listen and perhaps even taking to social media to voice their displeasure
  • They won’t get the help they need (and be left with a negative impression of our profession).

None of those are great, right?

So let’s look at a few things that’ll prevent them from happening, while also creating potential opportunities.

  1. Grasp the nettle and explain to the client why you don’t think the fit is right or why you’re not the right adviser/planner for them. Sure, it might be a hard conversation, but it prevents one that’s much tougher in months and years to come. Plus, if you handle it with honesty, diplomacy, and humour, the prospect will respect your reasons.
  2. Try to never be a dead end. Instead, recommend alternative advisers/planners who might be able to help, suggest other websites where they can find the assistance they need, or pass them to Money Helper/Unbiased for help. In fact, do whatever it takes to make sure they get the support they need.
  3. Be prepared to invest a few minutes chatting to the prospect, even after you’ve established that you’re not right for them. Offer guidance, be helpful and empathetic, and make sure they know you care.

Combined, these three things should help you avoid the fate of some advisers/planners who’ve been left battling negative reviews and keyboard warriors on social media.

An opportunity to improve your Google review count

If you’ve followed our advice, the prospect (even though you’re not right for them) will have found your conversations valuable. That means it’s the perfect time to ask them for a Google review or first impression review on VouchedFor.

Unfortunately, most advisers and planners let that opportunity pass them by, which is a shame as Google reviews are hard to get. It turns a potential threat into an opportunity and it’s so easy to do; finish the conversation with a request, then send the links they need by email.

In our experience, most people will be very happy to “pay” you for your time by leaving a review.

More practical ways to get Google reviews

Google reviews are important but can be frustratingly hard to get.

The firms who succeed:

  • Run an initial project (well, we usually run it for them!) to boost the number of reviews on both platforms by emailing all clients at the same time.
  • Amend their processes so they send a review request after every new client has been onboarded and after every review meeting. As an aside, this is not the time for compliance to poke their nose in and request a client survey. After these key interactions (onboarding and annual reviews) your clients are feeling extremely positive about working with you, so you need to harness that by requesting feedback in public (through reviews) not in private (through a pointless compliance survey that they probably won’t fill in anyway).
  • Look for other opportunities in their day-to-day dealings with clients, prospects, and professional connections. We’ve previously revealed five opportunities to collect Google reviews that most advisers/planner miss. Click here to read the first two and here for the next three.

What’s working for you?

If you have an impressive number of Google reviews, we’d love to hear your secret.

Share it with us by emailing or calling 0115 8965 300.

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