Nine Essential Questions for Business Development

Have you ever felt stuck in your business? Of course you have, we all do from time to time. But sometimes, the path to get unstuck doesn’t seem clear. Even when we’re not stuck, it’s not always obvious where we should focus to reach our next level of production.

With these challenges in mind, today we’re going to share nine questions you can use to help you identify the areas that may be holding you back.

Once you can answer all 9 of these questions for your business, you’ll be well on your way to really unlocking your business’s potential.

So let’s jump in…

Q1: How Will You Generate Traffic and Attract New Prospects to Your Business?

In other words, how will you reach new prospects with your message? Many advisors pursue multiple traffic sources at the same time – direct mail, radio, online advertising, and social media – and it can be frustrating not knowing the best traffic source for your business.

Obviously, how you answer this question will impact your business greatly as attracting new interested prospects is the lifeblood of your business. You can have the best products, services, and presentation anyone’s ever seen, but without prospects (or a strategy to attract them), it doesn’t matter.

Q2: How Are You Going to Capture a High Volume of Quality Leads Consistently?

Here’s a challenge we hear from the advisors over and over again: “I don’t have enough new leads, and I don’t know how to generate them!” When it comes to lead capture, it’s important that we draw a distinction between attracting prospects and converting leads.

For example, let’s say you get a lot of web traffic, but you do not see any new leads from your website as a result. Or maybe you’re spending a lot of money on direct mail or radio, but you’re not getting any calls or reservations. It’s important to understand that even if you’ve got the right traffic source, you can still fail to generate leads consistently because lead capture requires a strategy of it’s own.

Q3: How Will You Nurture, Develop and Convert Your Leads Into Appointments?

It’s easy to get so focused on generating leads that we don’t think about how to develop them. We spend thousands of dollars on marketing campaigns, bring in a number of new leads and prospects, close two or three of them and then forget about everyone else. We may assume those not ready to close today are bad leads, but in reality, there probably just not ready… yet!

Here at Automated Advisor, we talk about the “buying temperature” of leads, and we use a scale of 1-10. Someone who’s a 9 or 10 is most likely ready to buy now. By contrast, however, someone at a 5 or 6 isn’t ready today, but with the right strategy, will likely become a prospect ready to take action in the not to distant future. So the key is rather than throwing 80 or 90 percent of your interested leads away, implement a strategy to “develop” them and educate them throughout the buying process.

Q4: How Will You “WOW” Prospects and Convert Them Into Clients?

Most of us go out of our way to put our best foot forward in our marketing. Unfortunately, we often neglect to put the same thought into the appointment process. However, this is where you have an opportunity to create a client experience that really differentiates your firm from the competition.
We’ve all read the books that talk about creating your “Starbucks Experience.” Leveraging automation you can deliver a high-end experience during the appointment process and keep the conversation and connection going, deliver A-level service to ALL of your prospects as once you create the ideal experience once, you can automate it, so every prospect has a great experience with your firm, all without requiring your manual effort.

Q5: How Will You Deliver Ongoing Value to Ensure You Retain Your Clients?
Retention is everything. For every year that you keep a client, you receive ongoing, passive revenue. Not to mention earn additional referrals. But to keep your clients, you need a strategy for delivering ongoing value. You spend so much time, money and energy acquiring new clients you cannot afford to lose them.

Now, you may already have a way to keep in touch with clients, like a quarterly newsletter. But have you really thought about how to put a retention strategy in place, one that differentiates you and your firm? If not, there’s an opportunity for you to increase retention, gain additional business from clients and generate more referrals at the same time!

Q6: How Will You Increase the Lifetime Value of Each New Client?

Let’s be honest, acquiring a new client is probably the most cost-and labor-intensive thing you do in your business. It takes a lot of effort to attract new prospects, convert leads, gain trust and implement plans. So why run right out to do it all again before you’ve maximized the value of each client relationship? If you’ve got a strategy to up-sell and cross-sell additional products and services, you can bring in a considerable amount of additional bottom-line revenue that you’d otherwise be leaving on the table.

This is how it often goes for most advisors. A client comes in with a specific concern or problem. Naturally, most of us will focus on that issue, but the truth is, every client you meet with could benefit from multiple products and services.

So how do you ensure you maximize the value of each client? Cross-Sell Funnels. You can implement multiple automated funnels that educate, up-sell and cross-sell your existing clients on other products and services that you offer allowing them to select what they’re interested in, thus maximizing the lifetime value of each and every client you acquire.

Q7: How Will You Generate Consistent Referrals From Your New Clients?

If you don’t ask for referrals – or if you do ask, but only rarely – you’re leaving a lot of new clients on the table. Now, of course, we all know that referrals are important. We probably all feel that we should be asking for them. But how do you make sure you’re asking each of your clients regularly throughout the year?

Again, automation is a great way to develop a referral strategy, one that allows you to ask for referrals in a way that is extremely scalable. It also takes the planning, legwork, and awkwardness out of the referral process. There really is no better source for new leads than clients who already love you and are enthusiastically promoting your firm. Make it easier for them to do so by implementing an automated referral generation campaign. Besides, when automation is initiating the process and asking for you, the strategy is going to feel effortless.

Q8: Which Systems Will You Use to Track Your Business, Prospects, and Clients?

Do you have a way to track the money and time you’re spending, and quickly evaluate the return you’re getting as a result? Have you ever made it to the end of the year and felt a little shocked by a lack of production and income? Numbers have a way of creeping up on you when you’re not watching your business very closely.

For that reason, we recommend putting systems in place that let you track your metrics so that you’re always clear on how you’re doing, and you know exactly how much mileage you’re getting from the time and money you’re investing in your business.

Q9: How Can You Equip Your Team to Run Your Business Effectively?

Many of the advisors we work with get to a place in their business where they feel like their business is running them, rather than the other way around. Even with a staff person, or multiple staff members, keeping the business functioning smoothly can be laborious. Your team doesn’t necessarily know where best to direct their efforts.

It helps to build repeatable, predictable systems and processes for each task that happens in your business. The key to growing a business that others can manage for you is to document the process, then, leverage automation to keep your staff on task and create automated to-do’s and reminders for them so the system is managing them, allowing you to spend your time on more important projects, or better yet, taking some time off and enjoy the freedom your business provides. Having automated internal processes eliminates the heavy lifting, empowers your staff to get more done with fewer resources, and puts money in your pocket by keeping overhead down.

Those Are The Nine Questions – Now How About The Answers?

If you’re like most of us, these questions probably touch on at least two or three areas of your business that need immediate attention. Over time, all of them will need attention at some point. To be successful, you’ll want to check the box next to each of the nine questions above as you develop and implement strategies to solve for each.