This article is based on ideas from my book, Captivating the Wealthy Investor. It’s on Amazon.
Friends want to do business. Much has been written about why they don’t. It’s time to look at the factors in your favor.
Two Points To Consider First
This article is all about positives.
1. Friends may have wanted to do business with you for a long time. The thing they haven’t figured out is why they need you. A New York advisor shared this years ago. It never gets old. The message is friends need to know what you do and you are accepting new clients. Put another way, you are ready to help a friend.
2. Everyone should have the opportunity to say no. Don’t take people off the list because you think they don’t have enough money or they work with someone else. At the very least, they should be flattered that you asked.
Six Factors In Your Favor
You’ve been told lots of reasons friends don’t do business with friends. So where’s your advantage?
1. Trust. You’ve already earned their trust. In other situations, it’s built up slowly over time. Think about a time when you brought on a new client. Things might have been cordial, yet formal. There was a distance. How long did it take for them to really open up to you? You are at that point with your friends.
2. Understand their lives. Financial planning involves lots of questions. Often some important ones are missing because they are abstract. Are they pleased or disappointed in their children? What’s the strength of their marriage? People consider themselves unique. You understand why.
3. Personal attention. We are used to telephone trees when we call the phone company. Many firms try to force your interaction online by eliminating options or charging you to speak with a person. Your friend knows they will be treated as an important client. Why? Because you are more than an advisor. You are a friend.
4. You are a known quantity. Not all personalities get along. You have relationships with people providing services. Some you seek out, others you avoid. When a person decides to establish a relationship with a financial advisor, they know little about this stranger. Are they good at what they do? Will they say, “It’s my way or the highway?” Your friends know you.
5. Telling them what they need to hear. You’ve seen TV dramas when the doctor says “The news isn’t that good.” In life, we often hear what we want to hear, tuning out the important parts of the message. These people are your friends. You will be a straight talker, explaining “You are taking too much risk” or even worse, “What you want to do is illegal.” It’s unlikely they will misunderstand your message.
6. They like you. This last point is simple. People do business with people they like. As an advisor, you are often involved with fundraising for charities. Wealthy donors know when they are being cultivated. Over time, some of them become friends. Here’s an example: Awhile back, one of these folks said: “If you want to ask me to give money to something, that’s fine.” They may get many requests, but they prefer to work with people they like.
Now Is The Time
If the first, earlier point is true (they’ve wanted to do business) it means they’ve already made a decision. They might not have approached you yet. Consider it means they are waiting to be asked. You know what to do.
Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides HNW client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, Captivating the Wealthy Investor can be found on Amazon.