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August 2008

Thinking out of the box is great … but what if the answer was in the box the whole time?

How often do we go on calls with our advisors who are three months into their careers and watch them deliver a completely different sales presentation than what they were taught because they came up with a “new way” of selling? We coach, develop and train our advisors to deliver sales presentations that work, have proven to be effective, but once let loose, they go out and reinvent the wheel.

As managers, we do the same with our recruiting efforts. No one needs to be told that the best source of high-quality, high-performing recruits come to us from existing advisors. These referred candidates come into the business with stronger buy in, a better understanding of the business and a direct support system. From the Kinder Brothers statistics, we have an 8:1 hiring ratio from advisor referrals. A centre of influence referral has a hiring ratio closer to 30:1 and passive recruiting (i.e., resume website searching) is closer to 100:1, so why is it that we spend so much energy coming up with ingenious ways of recruiting the long shots? 

The holy grail of recruiting is sitting at a desk just down the hall from you right now waiting to help you build your firm into the powerhouse that it should be. Take a minute and think of when you last stopped by their office and asked them to help you grow your business. Of course, they’re not going to swing into your office with a list of people they think would be perfect in your business ... they’re busy running a business of their own. But just as we teach our advisors, everyone knows a few people who would be perfect candidates to help us grow.

Your advisors are your clients. They pay your mortgage, the lease on your car and put food on your table. If you treat them with the respect they deserve and put their well-being first, they will reciprocate. Make sure you know what their spouses do for work, children’s birthdays, and call them on their wedding anniversary. (Note: You may only do this if you actually care.)

Asking your advisors for referrals should be natural and not forced. If you have developed the proper relationship with your clients, your business will flourish. There is no downside to that.

So instead of spending all day in a haystack, walk down the hall and take one of your advisors out for lunch. You will likely find that the solution to your recruiting problems was in front of your nose the whole time.

Derek Strokon, BA
Sales Manager – Sun Life Financial – Surrey



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