“Your Book of Business (BoB) is typically known as your list of people you’ve done business with in the past,” says Maxine Aravena, the director of operations, compliance and human resources with the Independent Financial Concepts Group Ltd. “However, if you include prospective clients and important information that relates to them in this list, your prospecting efforts and business generating activities will have a further reach. Every advisor has a BoB of some sort, but not all advisors use them to trigger new business opportunities effectively.”
Aravena suggests trying these three strategies and your BoB can become a major sales generator:
Segment your BoB
Segment your clients based on their demographics, profession and life stage. By segmenting them in your BoB, you can market additional products/services to them with effective marketing that brings value to their situation.
Your BoB should list the products and services you’ve sold to each of your previous clients. When creating your BoB, list additional products/services that your clients could benefit from or be interested in at a future date.
To avoid overwhelming your clients, set reminders for three-to-six months down the road to discuss additional offerings.
When you first meet with your clients, discover information over and above their Product and Services Needs. What are their interests? Blue Jays? Leafs? Raptors? By listing this information in your BoB, your communications to your clients will be more personalized and can garner better results when you request referrals and introductions.
When you’ve completed a transaction with a client, request that they send you 3-5 people in their network who could potentially benefit from similar services. Include these names in the “Prospects” section of your BoB, noting who referred them to you so that the information is never forgotten.
Use renewals as a business generating opportunity:
Mention the “Renewals” discussion in your very first client meeting. Let your clients know that you will contact them annually in regards to potential updates and improvements that become available to them.
Add renewal dates to your BoB and calendar so that you can pre-emptively follow up with your clients regarding renewing their coverage.
Contact your clients approximately 6 months prior to renewal date.
“If you’re a seasoned advisor or new to the industry, your BoB will play a vital role in your growth,” says Aravena. “We’ve all heard the saying ’50 per cent of your new business should come from your existing book of business,’ which means that the more detailed you are, the more business you will be able to generate.”
Although it may take time to set-up your BoB in a way that’s easy to navigate and segment, it will be worth your while when you start to deliver results, Aravena points out.
“Your BoB is a key tool to increase your sales, and you’re at a loss if you don’t take advantage of it,” says Aravena. “By helping you sell additional products and services, or obtain referrals and introductions, your BoB can be one of your most valuable marketing tools.”
Everyone has a book of business – but including prospective clients in that book can increase your reach, says one industry expert.