If we are in the prospecting and promotion business, and you truly believe that the most successful financial advisors are the best prospectors, then it is critically important that you continue to enhance your ability to obtain high-quality favorable introductions on a consistent basis. Success depends on your ability to identify and execute on proven techniques that increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your prospecting processes. One of the most powerful prospecting techniques is a concept known as Nesting. This is our topic for this article.
What is Nesting? Nesting is a prospecting technique that can be applied in a variety of situations. For example, a financial advisor might choose to nest within a certain organization, such as a law firm. The advisor might begin by working with a couple of clients in a particular organization and then actively prospect and obtain multiple clients within that same company through referred lead prospecting. Another example is when an advisor obtains clients within a particular industry and then continues to prospect and obtain clients within that same industry. Prospecting within an industry in obviously not limited to individuals with the same role or responsibilities. For instance, an advisor might obtain favorable introductions to suppliers or strategic partners within a particular industry. So what are the benefits of Nesting? What do you have to gain by taking advantage of the Nesting technique? First, it is the most incredibly efficient technique for prospecting. We have all heard over and over again that the name of the game is high activity. The more people you see, the more opportunities you have to make something happen. Take it from me, this is not just management brainwashing. Leaders of your organization are not just preaching activity because they have nothing else to do. They do it because they have an obligation to see you succeed in the business. Look, if you are not seeing three people per day, you have not earned the right to complain about the business. In regards to nesting, the statistics speak for themselves.
The difference between an advisor that sees an average of 2 people per day vs. 3 people per day consistently for a year. . . is four times the production level. (just 1 more person per day). The difference between an advisor that sees 2 people per day vs. 4 people per day consistently for a year . . . is eight times the production level! (just 2 more people on average per day)
How is this possible? Well, think about it. The typical advisor works 18-20 days per month. If an advisor is seeing 1 additional person per day . . . that is approximately 240 additional appointments per year which adds an additional four months of production for that particular advisor. The advisor that sees four people per day is adding an additional eight months of production!!! So here is the correlation between efficiency and Nesting. If you schedule 2-3 meetings in the same organization or building, then you can knock out those appointments in half the time it would take if they were in different locations. There is no time wasted on traveling from place to place. Some of the advisors I coach are nested in several law firms in downtown Chicago. They can see 6-7 people in a day and never leave the building.
You could make a strong case that even having all your appointments in the city for the entire day is a form of nesting. Here in Chicago, some of our advisors spend a lot of time driving from appointment to appointment. One might be in the city, the next in the suburbs. One on the north side of town, the next on the south side of town. If your goal is to see sixty people per month, which it should be, then it is very difficult to accomplish that without taking advantage of nesting. We coach our advisors to set aside certain days of the week to be in the city and certain days of the week to be in the suburbs. This creates maximum efficiency and minimizes stress.
Another benefit of Nesting is you become an expert in that particular organization or industry. You begin to gain an understanding of the group benefits such as the 401(k), the Group Life and Disability Insurance Plan, and possibly the stock option program. You also have a thorough understanding of the personal and professional issues the employees are typically concerned about. Other employees in the organization see you around the office. They see their associates meeting with you. You quickly begin to be perceived as an expert by people in the organization.
When I entered the business as a young advisor, I quickly began to nest in a small technology firm where some of my friends from college were working. At first I was a little embarrassed because it seemed I was always at the firm. People would make comments such as, You should get an office around here. Over time however, I began to realize the power of nesting and that comments such as those were actually a good thing. As a matter of fact, I remember sitting down with one of the employees for the first time and he said jokingly, I was wondering when you were going to give me a call. You’re working with everyone else . . . am I not good enough? Very powerful!
In conclusion, nesting if a very powerful prospecting strategy. It is incredibly efficient and very effective. It increases your credibility and positions you as an expert within a particular company or industry. Remember, mediocre producers are a mile wide and a foot deep while top producers are a foot wide and a mile deep.