Network Builders for New Advisors

Minneapolis: "You'd be really proud of me. I've sourced 15 names since our last meeting", Don told us during a coaching session."It's like I'm seeing the world through a whole new lens.I'm uncovering connections in every conversation.”

“The only downside is that you got me in trouble with my wife."He goes on to tell me, "We were out for a date night at a nice restaurant.She was telling me a story about a woman at her office and I guess I was a bit tuned out of the conversation.I caught myself listening to the people at the table next to us; they were talking about something that happened at the hospital that day.I was listening for names!"

We must say, this story brings a smile to our faces.Not just because it's somewhat comical that he's sourcing names by eavesdropping on other dinner parties, but because he's so dialed-in to uncovering connections.This is the kind of creative energy necessary to really broaden your social/business network. Obviously, Don needs to listen attentively to his wife as she can be a real asset in social prospecting as well.

Social networks are big business for financial advisors.Your marketing efforts depend on the number and quality of connections you develop.Hence, most advisors are eager to meet new people.Sourcing names is simply the first step in being able to use your existing contacts to find new contacts.This is one of many ways that elite advisors build relationships with the wealthy in their community; the following are a few others:

Five Network Builders for New Advisors

1) Arrange Introductions
Nearly everyone you know (friends, family, neighbors, etc.) has potential to introduce you to a someone you’d like to do business with.We’re not fans of asking directly for referrals (our research shows that 85% of affluent investors feel uncomfortable in that situation), but we do suggest that you ask them to help you build your network.You do this by sourcing names, then asking to be introduced to a specific person. “Jim (friend), what’s the best way for you to introduce me to your business partners? I’d love to meet them.” By the way, our studies tell us that 8 of 10 affluent investors would be willing to provide that type of introduction.

2) Get Charitable
The affluent are a charitable group.This can play into your network building efforts, but you must go in with the right intentions.Find 2-3 groups for which you have a passion and get involved at the ground level. If you commit yourself to the cause, show a genuine interest in achieving their goals, you’ll develop many quality contacts.

3) Get Involved with your Kids
Sports teams, PTA groups, academic clubs, and the like provide a perfect opportunity to meet the parents of the other children.This is all about double-dipping; spending time with your kids and building your business.The family unit is extremely important to today’s affluent and they like to see their advisor exhibiting this type of balance.

4) Exercise with a Group
We’d recommend that all advisors get regular exercise – you need physical activity to maintain your energy amidst a very taxing financial crisis.Why not work on your business while you work on your body?Find a walking group, join a cycling group, or take group exercise classes at your gym.These are all great ways to meet people with similar passions.We’ve heard many instances of new business coming from the gym.

5) Look for Local Events
The core of your networking approach should be a handful of regularly scheduled events (Rotary meeting, running group, etc.), but you’ll also see benefit in attending some one-off events that offer opportunity to “see and be seen”.These can come in the form of a festival in the park, a charity dinner, or any other event that might attract the wealthy in your community.The objective – meeting new people and deepening existing relationships.You never know who you’ll bump into.

There are many opportunities to broaden your network, regardless of the size or demographics of your community.Don has his head in the right place and is razor focused on building his community footprint.He still has a lot of work to do, some of involving his wife, but his connections have grown tremendously in the past months.

The same is possible for every advisor, regardless of how long you’ve been in the business.We’ve said it before – act as if your goal is to become the mayor of your community.To win the election, you’ll have to meet and connect with as many “qualified voters” as possible.

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