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TheStreet Open House

Still Cold Calling? How Advisors Land New Business

By Hal M. Bundrick

NEW YORK ( MainStreet)--Ask that ripe broker down the hall how he built his business and you may get a grunt and a muttered, "Smiling and dialing." While cold calling has fallen from favor for most modern advisors prospecting for clients, making first contact still accounts for 10% of new business gained by financial consultants, according to a Spectrem Group survey.

Among younger investors, those under the age of 44, 19% were looking for a specific investment product and then hired an advisor that specialized in that product, while 13% conducted their search online and found their advisor from a website profile.

Most clients still find their next advisor through referrals. The wealthiest investors, those with $25 million or more in assets, rely on friends and family for referrals (42%) while 31% said they utilized a key referral from a business associate. 14% reported that they conducted their own search, 13% received a referral from another advisor, and 10% said the advisor made first contact.

Among high net worth investors with a bit less to invest ($5 million to $25 million), nearly half (48%) of respondents said references from friends and family helped them find their financial advisor.

Other leads to their new financial consultant included general advertising, an ad or article in a financial publication, a website that provided detailed information on advisors as well as seminars or special events.

Once retaining a new advisor, there is a generational distinction in how they are utilized. Among respondents to the survey from the World War II age group, 41% said their financial decisions were either advisor assisted or completely dependent upon the advisor. Baby boomers were at 35% advisor-assisted or completely dependent, while Millennials were only 27% mostly reliant on an advisor.

--Written by Hal M. Bundrick

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