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Prospecting with Purpose

May 2019 
by John Diehl

Prospecting is a pivotal piece of an advisor’s role. Acquiring new clients may be necessary to combat the cycle of losing clients or may be aspirational to grow your client base.

Either way, it is easy to get lost in the weeds of managing your current clients, causing prioritizing prospecting to seem overwhelming. Instead of succumbing to the stress, answer these three simple questions to help you achieve your prospecting goals.

1. What?

The first step is determining the exact goal you’re setting out to accomplish. It should be more precise than “find more clients.” Are you looking to supplement lost clients, to expand your business, or to enter into a different demographic? A quality goal should be specific, measurable, and challenging but achievable.

2. Who?

Now that you know your prospecting goal, you should determine your ideal client and therein your target market. One way to determine this is to look at your current book of business, see what kind of client you are already successful with, and try to replicate those relationships. You could also look at entering into a different target market, such as the ever-growing number of Millennials who are coming into wealth, buying houses, and having kids and therefore need financial advice.

3. How?

The best way to reach the client you’re after is by establishing your reputation. Market yourself as someone who understands your target client group’s unique challenges. For example, if you tend to work with the aging population, their concerns won’t just be having enough money to live comfortably, but also how they will get around, if it’s a smarter idea to move into an assisted living facility, or what to do with all their free time. Helping clients overcome these challenges, and developing that reputation as an expert, is a great way to market yourself to new clients.

When prospecting, it’s important to remember that clients are just people with unique stories who need help and guidance. They want advisors who understand those challenges, and have solutions for them. When an advisor can do this, they become a go-to resource for more than just financial management.

John Diehl
Senior Vice President, Strategic Markets Hartford Funds

John Diehl is senior vice president of Strategic Markets for Hartford Funds. He and his team are responsible for engaging and educating financial advisors and their clients about current and emerging opportunities in the financial-services marketplace. These opportunities range from tactical strategies in areas such as retirement-income planning, investment planning, and charitable planning, to anticipating and preparing for long-term demographic and lifestyle changes. John also oversees Hartford Funds’ relationship with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab.

John joined the company in 1988 and was promoted to assistant vice president in 1991 and vice president in 1997. He was named senior vice president in 2007, while he led the Retirement and Wealth Consulting Group, which was responsible for building awareness and knowledge of retirement challenges and the latest planning strategies to address them. In 2012, John was named Senior Vice President, Strategic Markets; in this role, he devotes his efforts to serving the needs of financial advisors and their clients.

John has been widely quoted in consumer and trade publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Financial Planning, and On Wall Street. He has also appeared as a featured guest on CNBC and Bloomberg Television to discuss his views on retirement-related topics.

John attended Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. He has been a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) since 1991. In addition, he holds the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®) and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) designations. He is also FINRA Series 6, 7, 63, and 26 registered and holds a life and variable insurance license.

Check the background of this firm/individual on FINRA's BrokerCheck.

John Diehl is a registered representative of Hartford Funds Distributors, LLC.

Check the background of this firm/individual on FINRA's BrokerCheck.