SpeakerFrippNews: September 30, 2009
Want to Have More Clients? Earn the Right!
By Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE
David was a successful professional I interviewed at a financial planners' conference. He told me, "I used to be in another industry, then when I
was thirty-three years old transitioned into financial planning by
joining my father's small financial planning firm. He'd been in the
business for years. However he was clear I had to go out and get my own
David drew up a list of twenty movers-and-shakers in his community,
twenty affluent people with large spheres of influence who were eagerly
pursued by everyone in the investment community. David knew had less
experience and credibility and that he hadn't yet "earned their
He called on each of these affluent leaders and said, "I am new to this
business. I know you know about my father, but you don't know me. I am
not trying to sell you. I know I haven't earned the right yet. However,
could I please have a ten-minute interview? Would you, as a leader in
the community, tell me what I should do to earn the right to do business
with people just like you?"
What is the lesson? He made it safe. He told them up front that he
wasn't going to try to sell them anything. He only wanted ten minutes.
Frankly, I think you have to be very lucky to get ten minutes of an
important person's time. Yet David was so polite and presented it in
such an appealing way that no one turned him down. And he kept his side
of the bargain. After ten minutes, he left unless they invited him to
At the end of his first year, three of these people actually gave him a
small portion of their portfolio to manage to see how he would do. At
the end of three years, seven out of the original twenty people had
placed a portion of their investments under his management. He'd now
earned the right.
I used to say that there are two kinds of people to market to: those who
know and love us and those who never heard of us. You can advertise
traditionally and on the Internet, network and join organizations, send
out direct mail, and do a combination of activities to drive new
business. Please don't think these methods substitute for keeping in
touch with the people who now know you and love you. These are people
who have inquired whom you've met at a meeting, who've done some
business with you in the past. Keep in touch with these valuable
When Homer Dunn was an up-and-coming salesperson at IBM, he told me
there are actually three kinds of people that he calls on. "First, there
are the people I've already made a sale to. I keep calling on these
customers, making sure they are satisfied with the product and the
service." That's maintaining a sale.
"Then there are the people I'm calling on, those that are in the sales
cycle which can be a long-term process." (And, with really high-ticket
items, this can be a really long-term process!)
"Finally, there are the people I want to do business with. I have not
earned the right yet to do business with these people, and I am
maintaining a relationship, letting them know of my progress and
success. When I have finally earned the right to the sale – in their
eyes – they are all mine!"
1. What are you doing this week to earn the right to people's business? Write it down.
2. What more could or should you do? Devise a strategy and timetable.
3. Who have you targeted in your community? Who else should you cultivate? Make a list.
Tell me what you say you want. Show me one week of your life and I can
predict if you will get it. Daily habits! How good are yours?
Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE
Sales Presentation Trainer, Keynote Speaker, Executive Speech Coach
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