Appointment setting for financial advisors STINKS (don’t do it!)

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Here are three reasons that appointment setting for financial advisors is crap, and you should probably avoid engaging with these services. It’s a lousy way to go; don’t do it.

But before we get into it, for those of you who are new to my blog/podcast, my name is Sara. I am a CFA® charterholder and I used to be a financial advisor. I have a weekly newsletter in which I talk about financial advisor lead generation topics which is best described as “fun and irreverent.” So please subscribe!

Sara Grillo, CFA is a highly fun and slightly crazy marketing consultant based in NYC.
I am an irreverent and fun marketing consultant for financial advisors.

Let’s get on with the blog!

#1 It’s suuuuuuch marketing

When you hire a third party to go out and set up an appointment for you, the expectations are high on your behalf. You’ve paid your hard-earned money, and you expect that you’re going to get delivered a qualified lead that you can close.

This pressure may be passed on and felt by the prospect whenever you have your first meeting arranged by hiring appointment setting for financial advisors. This is a direct selling situation where the two of you don’t know each other and that’s never really that comfortable. People put their guards up in situations like that.

#2 Disruptive to the brand

The person who is setting up your appointment isn’t necessarily part of your organization. They don’t necessary follow your principles. You don’t actually know if the kind of prospect you get is reeeeeeeealy going to be “on brand.”

It’s this random, not really branded kind of an initial engagement, and that usually is pretty hard for the prospect to overcome. It may even be downright confusing to the prospect.

“I was told you could help me manage my retirement portfolio.”

“Really? I’m a financial planner.”

See what I’m saying? You’re kind of giving up control of your brand. Or how about:

“Beth was great. How long has she been a part of your organization?

“Oh no, she’s part of an external telemarketing service that we hired.”

The prospect is going to see this appointment setter as an extension of you and a reflect of you, whether you like it or not. There’s no way this can be a seamless brand experience and that might work against you. You don’t know what the marketing company said to get the appointment.

They are marketers, after all!

It’s their business to set up appointments. They don’t care if you close it, though! The lead being a suitable and qualified lead isn’t their priority, it’s getting them to agree to the appointment. You’ll never really know what they said to get the appointment.

#3 Robs you of the power of your network

I see this all over the place. You established advisors really shouldn’t be having a need for this kind of a cold marketing service like one that provides appointment setting for financial advisors. When you have 100 people who are your clients and trust you, and those people have:

  • Business contacts
  • Friends
  • Attorneys
  • Accountants
  • Therapists
  • Realtors

…there are a ton of ways you could lock in and engage more deeply with them. It’s a huge opportunity lost if you aren’t. You financial advisors make it so much harder than it needs to be by overlooking the greatest marketing strength that you have.

Most of the time when I ask a financial advisor, “are you connected to all of your clients, their kids, and their beneficiaries on social media? Are you sending them a newsletter?” I get back some BS crap like, “My clients don’t know how to use a computer.”


Get your clients tapped into everything you do online. Get them commenting on your LinkedIn posts and sharing your newsletters.

Your clients should be your #1 source of leads, and there are ways to facilitate this using digital marketing. Stop being spoiled brats and do the work.

#4 Meeting a prospect by way of appointment setting for financial advisors provides no social verification

If you are going to go out a hire an appointment setting service for financial advisors, there is no social verification. There is nobody to vouch for you. It is dumping down the toilet what is the number one marketing strength you have; the ability for a client to say to a qualified prospect that you are legit.

In a way, you are taking your own power away and level setting yourself with a new financial advisor who has no clients to vouch for him or her. Why would you do that?

From a subscriberI subscribed to one of these lead generation services and bought a bunch of leads. Every time one comes in, I call – but they never call me back. Now I’m out $300 a lead.”

Neeeeeeew kidding.

(eyes rolling)

That’s because they don’t know if you’re Bernie Madoff or not.

Take this action TODAY

When you get a lead who knows zilch about you, either because you bought the lead or it’s a referral from a client, do this:

  • Get your iPhone
  • Put on a nice shirt
  • Stand in front of a nice, relaxing picture or plant or something
  • Smile.
  • Press record and say this into the camera:

Hello, Bill and Betty Boo. I’m Elvira Martin. You were referred to me through [insert name]. I know this is weird because you don’t know anything about me, and you may even suspect that I’m the next Bernie Madoff or something. [laugh] Of course I’m not, but you probably wouldn’t even believe me if I told you that – I can’t blame you. And that’s exactly why I’d like to chat for a few minutes – just to say hello so that I can learn about you, and you can see that I’m not just some financial advisor business card. Let me know when you can talk, my email is at the bottom of this email.”

Don’t get mad or sad when a cold lead ignores you. They’re protecting themselves.

Every prospect’s biggest fear, at first, is you’re not who you say you are. It’s your job to call it out and make it so it’s not scary anymore.

Sara’s upshot on appointment setting for financial advisors

What’d ya think? Was this helpful?

If yes…

Learn what to say to prospects on social media messenger apps without sounding like a washing machine salesperson. This e-book contains 47 financial advisor LinkedIn messages, sequences, and scripts, and they are all two sentences or less.

This is a book about financial advisor LinkedIn messages which contains scripts you can use to get new prospects.

You could also consider my financial advisor social media membership which teaches financial advisors how to get new clients and leads from LinkedIn.

The Sara Grillo membership is a social media program for financial advisors - but only the cool ones.

Thanks for reading. I hope you’ll at least join my weekly newsletter about financial advisor lead generation.

See you in the next one!

-Sara G

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