Use This Simple Approach to Turn Friends into Clients
When building your practice, some of your best prospects are likely to be people you know personally. Building a bridge from a friendship to a business relationship isn’t difficult. It just takes a bit of forethought.
At social gatherings the opportunity to discuss business is sure to occur at some point. In most cases, your prospect will be the one to raise the subject. Elite financial advisors know, when that opportunity presents itself, you should be ready with a plan of action to bridge the gap between a personal friendship and a business relationship.
Sandra, a financial advisor, was a long-time friend of Bill, owner of a small but thriving construction business. At a neighborhood holiday party with several of their mutual acquaintances, Bill casually asked Sandra her opinion of the current market.
Sandra, always prepared, gave an answer she’d used many times before in similar situations:
“As a wealth manager, I take a long-term view of the market. But I have access to one of the best investment strategists in the business. Let me e-mail you his latest report. Then, if you’re interested, we can talk further about how to apply some of his strategies to your situation.”
Sandra’s low-key response set the stage for her to follow-up with Bill, first by sending the report and then secondly, by offering to meet with Bill to discuss investments. At no point is she aggressive in pursuing Bill’s business.
Instead, she positions herself as someone who has access to quality financial information and can serve as a trusted advisor in translating that information into a successful investment plan.
Now is the time to prepare an answer for that inevitable question from friends, “What do you think of the current market?”
Determine what report, newsletter or article you can offer to send. It should be interesting, timely and easy to understand. Then plan your follow-up. Perhaps it’s a phone call to request a meeting or maybe it’s just a second e-mail to ask if your prospect has any questions on the material.
Once you develop your approach for bridging the gap from friendship to business, you’ll have greatly increased your source of prospective clients.
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