Having a social relationship with affluent clients can pay off big. In fact, nearly half of clients who have a social relationship with their financial advisor have given one or more personal introductions to their advisor over the past year, according to first-quarter 2016 Affluent Investor Research by The Oechsli Institute. That compares to only 22 percent of clients who only have a business relationship.
And these clients also seem more satisfied with what they’re paying. Ninety-one percent of clients with a social relationship say their advisor’s fee is “fair” or a “bargain,” compared to 77 percent of those with only a business relationship.
How do you develop a social relationship with a long-standing client with whom you’ve only had a business relationship? Inviting clients to a non-business lunch is a good start.
According to our Affluent Investor Research, 65 percent of affluent clients said they had a social lunch with their financial advisor, and this was the top referral driver, leading to at least one introduction in the preceding 12-month period.
All of these activities led to at least one introduction. So, how do we ask an affluent client with whom we’ve only had a business relationship to lunch? Very naturally. The following script has proved effective with advisors we’ve coached on asking an affluent client to lunch; it’s delivered over the phone.
Financial Advisor: Hello, Mary. This is Matt Oechsli. How are you?
Financial Advisor: It’s been far too long since we’ve caught up. I want to take you and Robert to a non-business lunch. I’m not bringing any paperwork.
Financial Advisor: Great. How does next Tuesday at noon sound?
Financial Advisor: I’ll be responsible for making the reservation, and you bring Robert.
A financial advisor’s ability to deliver the above in a conversational manner is as important as the verbiage used. Most advisors talk too much, listen too little, and don’t realize how scripted they can come across. The idea is to be concise, conversational and deliver your message with confidence.
Scheduling a non-business lunch with an affluent client is easy. You just have to do it. And when you do, you’ll most likely increase the number of new affluent clients acquired through personal introductions.