Houston: “I’ve got three kids and coach my daughter’s soccer team, there is no way I’m going to give up my weekends or evenings to socialize with clients,” stated Martin with a fierce glare. I smiled and simply asked if he wanted to hear about how a financial advisor brought in $30 million adhering to his exact requirements; no evenings or weekends.
Guess what? Martin’s glare took on an air of confusion, to which I interpreted as a “Yes.”
Let’s face it, every financial advisor, whether they admit it or not, would love to add more affluent clients to their current book of business. To Martin’s point, whether or not they are willing to do what is necessary to make this happen is another issue. Back in the days of ancient Rome, there was a common saying “All roads lead to Rome.” Which, for all intents and purposes was true as the Romans built roads that enabled them to move troops quickly throughout their Empire. Although all marketing doesn’t lead to new affluent clients, there are a number of paths upon which financial advisors can travel – and be very successful.
As I explained to Martin in street jargon, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.” I then proceeded to share a story from one of our coaches, a story that began a couple of years ago.
The financial advisor central to this story didn’t have Martin’s recalcitrance as he’d already hired one of our coaches to help him grow. But like Martin, he had three young children and was actively involved in their activities. As his coach explained it, there was no way he was going to give up any evenings or weekends to socialize with clients and prospects. Upon this declaration, a $30 Million marketing plan evolved.
Not really – neither coach nor financial advisor had a clue what to expect, although our coach was fairly certain something positive would happen.
The plan revolved around two simple daytime activities that would be executed twice a week during work hours. It wasn’t heavy lifting. What were these activities? Two social (non-business) lunches with a client or referral alliance partner (CPA, attorney, private banker, etc.). The mindset of this financial advisor was “I’ll give it a shot and see what happens.” To him, it was a test.
However, where a “test period” for many advisors might be a couple of weeks, maybe a month – this financial advisor committed to have two social lunches a week for the entire year! His coach helped with accountability but his role was much more granular; they discussed each lunch in advance, made certain every non-business lunch was approached with strategic intent, and then reviewed each lunch during the next coaching session.
It didn’t take long for this financial advisor to become sold on the importance of these social lunches. “Here we’re having a non-business lunch and out-of-the blue I’m being told of other assets that are going to be transferred to me, I’m being told of people they know who I should be working with – it’s unreal.”
As I explained to Martin, this was a simple plan but not easy to execute. Initially, this financial advisor was very uncomfortable outside of his business persona. He’d never done anything like this before. But he had the discipline to make a commitment and stick with it. Now, social lunches are at the core of his relationship management – relationship marketing plan.
Will you bring in $30 million following this approach? Who knows. But good things always happen when you make a habit out of getting social with clients and referral alliance partners.
Matt Oechsli is author of Building a Successful 21st Century Financial Practice: Attracting, Servicing & Retaining Affluent Clients. www.oechsli.com