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Combat Complacency With One Social Lunch a Week

Committing to executing one weekly social lunch with an affluent client requires a change in routine.

Allow me to ask you a question; if I shared with you the No. 1 social activity corresponding with new $1 million or greater clients coming into your business, would you be interested in hearing more details? My guess is that most of you would. After learning about this social activity, would you do it?

That second question is the million-dollar question.

Recently, during a keynote presentation, I asked for a show of hands of those interested in acquiring more affluent clients. It seemed as though all hands went up. I then shared our research that identified a social lunch with an affluent client as having the strongest correlation to new $1 million clients. It was the No. 1 social activity for generating new affluent clients. After getting everyone’s attention with this simple activity, I asked for a show of hands of those who could incorporate one social lunch per week into their routine. Again, nearly every hand was raised.

At this point, I took the opportunity to give this group of financial advisors a dose of reality. For the past two years, I explained, we’ve been sharing this information with financial advisors, everyone is enthusiastic, and yet unless one of our coaches is involved, few, if any, actually do it. After letting all of this sink in with the audience, I then asked them “Why?”

The discussion that evolved was quite revealing, and after a lot of twists and turns we agreed on the heart of the issue. The consensus was that most financial advisors make a lot of money relative to the general population, which can lead to complacency.

Committing to executing one weekly social lunch with an affluent client required a change in their routine. As simple as this appears, it tends to be a bit uncomfortable at first. What will the client be thinking? What will I say? And so on.

Hence, this No. 1 social activity for generating new business is rationalized onto the back burner. The thought sequence goes something like, “I know I should do it, but things are a little too crazy right now. I’ll start having these social lunches when ...”

Let’s look at Webster’s definition of complacency, which is “self-satisfaction accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies.”

Complacency is more obvious and dangerous in some other professions. If a pilot becomes complacent, they might become casual with safety, and we’re all in trouble. In our world, the plane isn’t going to crash. However, our potential is limited when we become casual about our work or have an unawareness of our deficiencies.

Self-awareness is key here. If you find yourself feeling a little short of “highly motivated,” here are three actions that can help you break through:

  1. Establish a serious affluent client acquisition goal for 2020. We define a rainmaker as an advisor who brings in 10 or more $1 million clients over a 12-month period. Take the challenge!
  2. Broadcast your serious 2020 affluent client acquisition goal to your team. Repetition is the motherhood of learning. Keep reminding yourself, and everyone else, and you’ll keep your goal top of mind.
  3. Change your routine to strengthen your goal focus. Whether it’s a weekly social lunch, asking for personal introductions or hosting an intimate event, a change in actions will make this goal commitment a reality. Adjusting everyone’s routine to support this goal should be the next step.

So, how about it? Have you been complacent, even though your revenue is up? Whenever I listen to an advisor tell me about either asset or revenue growth, after a brief congratulations I always ask, “Just out of curiosity, how many new $1 million plus clients did you bring last year?” Most stumble in their response. A true rainmaker will not only provide me with the exact number but also typically segue into a pipeline conversation—there’s absolutely no complacency—no hesitation. Whatever the answer, it’s a significant future indicator of their business.


Matt Oechsli is author of How to Build a 21st Century Financial Practice: Attracting, Servicing, and Retaining Affluent Clients.

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