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Ten LinkedIn Conversation Starters for Financial Advisors

A highly personalized approach will require more research and work, but it's much more enjoyable and will keep your reputation intact.

Spamming on LinkedIn has gotten out of hand. How do we know? We get a daily pitch-slap from someone trying to sell something or schedule a phony meeting—I’m sure you do as well.

While this strategy may have been effective a few years ago, the network has evolved tremendously. Users are savvier and can smell the insincerity of a bot a mile away.

We’re not saying you won’t get any results with a mass messaging approach. If you want to play the “numbers game” and message thousands of prospects every month, someone will respond. But you’ll also burn through opportunities and irritate a ton of prospects in the process. 

Our suggestion? Take a highly personalized approach. This will require more research and work, but you’ll be deploying a much more enjoyable strategy and keep your reputation intact.

The following are 10 conversation starters for financial advisors interested in striking up real conversations with prospects.

  1. Common Connection:
    I noticed we’re both connected to [name]. I used to work with her at [past company]—she’s awesome. How do you know her?
  2. Content Posted:
    I wanted to reach out because I read your post on [topic]—great stuff. I especially like your take on [specific topic]. Curious, what do you think about [question about topic]?
  3. Comment Recognition
    I noticed your comment on [name of poster] and I couldn’t agree more. I’d love to know your take on [insert related question]?
  4. Alumni Affiliation:
    Great to connect with another [university] alumni. I attended back in 1995—some of the best years of my life! Did you live on campus?
  5. Job Commonality:
    I noticed you used to work at [past company].  I used to work there as well. Random question … Do you happen to know [person you know at company]?
  6. Sports Fanatic:
    I saw you’re a fan of [sports team]. Go [team name nickname]! Did you catch the game last Sunday? Did you see [highlight]?
  7. Location:
    I have a good friend in [location], how long have you lived there? Do you remember that [popular landmark]?
  8. Career Intrigue:
    I noticed your work involves [specialization]. I’ve always had an interest in [specialization], even took some classes back in college. How did you get into that field?
  9. Website Research
    Thanks for connecting.  I was on your website today and noticed [discovery]. I’m curious, [question about discovery]?
  10. Company News
    I was reading an article today on [website or publication] and I noticed that your company is currently [discovery]. I’d love to hear your take on it.  Do you think [question about discovery]?

Are there other ways to strike up conversations on LinkedIn? Of course! But hopefully the above gets your creative juices flowing. Your objective is to ask a question to create banter back and forth and save the selling for later.

Kevin Nichols is a partner with The Oechsli Institute, a firm that specializes in research and training for the financial services industry. @KevinANichols


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