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Five Steps to Social Prospecting Success

Personal interaction is highly valued.

Following a recent presentation in Chicago on Five Unstoppable Affluent Trends, time was allotted for Q&A and discussion. This was a free-flowing conversation with a group of top wealth advisors from the Midwest.

Trend No. 2, which was “The affluent are willing to work with friends,” took the discussion down an interesting path. It quickly became apparent these top wealth advisors recognized they were, at best, rusty in the art of selling to the affluent. We had an animated discussion about conducting business in affluent social circles. The common thought was that it was considered “poor form” to pitch your services in affluent circles.

While business is often conducted in affluent social circles, it must be done carefully in order to not come off as “salesy.” This requires confidence, sincerity, and above all else, high-quality relationships.

Here are five simple steps you can follow to help you successfully prospect to the affluent:

  1. Play in traffic. Schedule more social outings, whether with specific people or by attending events that are happening in your community.
  2. Build an approach list. Make a list of social contacts who like you, trust you, and respect you professionally. Many of these people are prospective clients—they just don’t know it yet.
  3. Be more inquisitive. Practice being a proactive listener. Ask good questions, show genuine interest and learn more by asking follow-up questions.
  4. Share relatable stories. Most people don’t truly know what you do; enlighten them through engaging storytelling.
  5. Suggest more business meetings. Whenever an opportunity arises, mini-close by suggesting a business meeting. You might say something like, “I know we’ve never had a chance to talk professionally, but I’d like to take you to lunch.”

The key takeaway—don’t let antiquated sales skills or a fear of being seen as “salesy” hold you back in today’s affluent circles. The stars have been aligned for a good while, yet only a small percentage of advisors are capitalizing.

Practice, develop and hone these skills. The affluent have given us the gift of wanting us to mix business with pleasure. It’s within these affluent circles that you build trust and uncover opportunities. Personal interaction is still highly valued; the more we become digitized, the more we crave personal interaction with people we like and trust.

Matt Oechsli is author of Building a Successful 21st Century Financial Practice: Attracting, Servicing & Retaining Affluent

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