One of the biggest challenges that Financial Advisors face is how to effectively turn personal relationships with affluent individuals into business relationships. It is relatively easy for Financial Advisors to put themselves in the right position to meet affluent individuals through involvement in non-profit organizations, introductions by current clients, and getting involved in the community. But transitioning to a business relationship without compromising the personal relationship is not nearly as easy.

The development of personal relationships with wealthy individuals and turning those relationships into clients is one of the most successful marketing approaches that Top Advisors in our industry use. In working with Top Advisors as well as interviewing them for the book, The Million Dollar Financial Advisor, (available on Amazon.com) successful FAs described the process as more of an “art” than a “science.” However, as I dug deeper to find out exactly how they accomplished that transition, I discovered there was a common fourstep process that all Top Advisors shared.

  1. Put yourself in positions to meet people with money. Top Advisors do this primarily by participating in all the opportunities that their lifestyles provide, including their children’s schools, their neighborhood associations, country clubs, and various local non-profit organizations.
  2. Begin the relationship building process by investing time with targeted individuals through social activities of mutual interest. Examples of those type activities could include: golfing, fine dining, performing arts shows, professional sporting events, skiing, and many others.
  3. Ask (in the course of the relationship building process) the prospects normal but pointed questions about their financial situation, Examples of conversation starters could include:
    • Tell me about your business.
    • How are things going for your business these days?
    • When are you thinking about retiring?
    • What kind of challenges do you face in your job?
  4. Develop a transition strategy for moving these personal relationships towards doing business together. This transition takes patience. It is a costly mistake to rush the transition strategy before the personal relationship is fully developed. The “art” of this process comes from the timing of the transition. The Advisor must develop a sense of when the moment is right to execute the transition. The Advisor must also have a Top Advisor’s mindset when undertaking this business development strategy. The proper mindset is for you to truly believe that the prospect is better off working with you than anyone else.

Top Advisors approach this transition in two different ways:

  1. They wait for the prospect to provide an appropriate opening; or
  2. The Advisor approaches the prospect directly.

Your Prospect Provides an Opportunity by Asking You:

“What does your firm think about the market these days?”

Your Response:

“Since you asked, I am not an expert on the short-term moves of the market. If you would like, I am happy to send you the latest commentary from our investment strategist. I focus on helping my select group of clients achieve their long-term financial goals. I am proud of the special and unique way that I work with my clients. If you are interested I would be glad to share my approach with you.”

“What do you do exactly at XYZ Financial?” or “How do you work with your clients?”

Your Response:

“Since you asked, I work with a select group of clients to help them reach their longterm financial goals. I am very proud of the special and unique way that I work with my clients and if you are interested, I would be glad to share my approach with you.”

Directly Approaching a Prospect:

Mr./Ms. Personal Contact we have known each other for some time and I know you are an investor and you know I am a financial advisor. I feel good about the work that I do for my clients, especially during these challenging markets, and wanted to ask if you would be open to meet so that I can share with you how I have helped my clients and see if I could add value to your current investment situation.”

“No thank you, I’m covered right now.”

Your Response:

“I understand but I would like to make it an open invitation if your circumstances
change (then move on to the next subject).”

Follow these four steps and you’ll soon find your social life to be more enjoyable, and your business portfolio growing. —by Dave Mullen, Financial Advisor Trainer, Author, Coach ©