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2-Step Prospecting: Find Prospects by Helping Clients’ Anxious Friends

June 25, 2020 

Get new clients by using talking points to uncover clients' anxious friends and family members

Financial Advisors: This article is based off of our popular Never Stop Prospecting module. Click here to access additional content to share.


Big Drops and Rises Create Prospecting Opportunities

The Dow’s Largest Point Losses and Gains

Largest Daily
Point Gains
3/24/2020 2,112.98
3/13/2020 1,985.00
4/6/2020 1,627.46
3/26/2020 1,351.62
3/2/2020 1,293.97
Largest Daily
Point Losses
3/16/2020 -2,997.10
3/12/2020 -2,352.60
3/9/2020 -2,013.76
6/11/20 -1,861.82
3/11/20 -1,464.95

You clients may not be overly anxious about recent market drops, but their friends and family members may be. Offering to help can lead to prospecting opportunities.

Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors cannot directly invest in an index.

Source: Sizzlers and Fizzlers, Indexology, 2020

A part of our series, Never Stop Prospecting. Developed in collaboration with the Oechsli Institute

Many of us remember the 70s hit show “The Six Million Dollar Man,” in which a maimed astronaut is rebuilt using bionic implants and given superhuman powers. It might have seemed impossible then, but bionic people may soon become a reality. Today, most paraplegics don’t have much chance of walking again. By 2021, Elon Musk is hoping change that. All with the help of a new device that will be implanted in a patient’s brain.

Likewise, without the help of a financial advisor, many investors may have little chance of reaching their financial goals. You’re uniquely equipped to help them create a plan and stick to it. Your advice doesn’t require a brain implant, but it does make it possible for investors to attain their goals while growing your practice at the same time.


What We’ll Cover:

  1. Ask top clients about their anxiety level
  2. Identify anxious prospects
  3. Requesting a connection


First, Ask Top Clients about their Anxiety Level

Your goal is to get introductions to clients’ contacts by offering to help their anxious friends and family members. Begin by identifying your top clients who are your biggest fans, preferably clients with whom who you have both a business and social relationship. These clients may be most willing to provide introductions.

Next, call these top clients and ask them about their level of concern regarding market conditions. For example, “I’m just getting a pulse from everybody out there who we work with; on a scale of one to ten, what’s your current level of concern with regards to the markets right now, and your portfolio?”

A person answering “one” would be not worried at all. Someone answering “ten” would be extremely anxious. Most of your clients probably won’t be a level-10. This is a natural question to ask, especially after many of the 1,000-, 2,000-, and nearly 3,000-point daily swings in the Dow. Plus, it demonstrates that you care about how they’re feeling. If any clients are concerned (and answer between 5-10), reassure them of the plan you’ve built together. 

After addressing your clients’ level of concern, uncover prospects by asking if they have any friends or family members who are anxious about the market.


Second, Identify Anxious Prospects

To uncover your clients’ anxious contacts, who could benefit from speaking with you, ask this related question: “I’m sure you’ve talked to a lot of people about the market’s volatility. Do you know anyone whose anxiety is at a level 10?” Or, you might ask: “Is there anyone you know who’s overly distraught about this, has a lot of anxiety, or is very unsettled about what’s happening in the markets?”

The names your client reveals can be your prospects. So how can you connect with them?


Third, Request a Connection

Ask your client about the anxious person they identified. You could say: “Are they doing OK? I’ve helped people through challenging times before. I know things can take a toll. I’d be happy to have a conversation with them to talk to them about their concerns.” Or, you could ask, “What’s the best way for me to connect with them?” You may find that clients are more than willing to help because they like you and they want to help their friend or family member.

Keep in mind that using this strategy is a numbers game. Don’t expect significant results from making one call to a client. The more calls you make, the greater the probability of positive results.


“Will My Client See This as a Manipulative Strategy?”

Because of your experience and expertise, you’re uniquely qualified to help investors create a financial plan and guide them to achieve those goals. Sure, it’s possible that a client might perceive you asking about their friends’ or family members’ concerns about the market as being “salesy.” But it’s more likely that they’ll appreciate your efforts to help people they know, especially if you’re prospecting with sincerity and skill.


Remember Three Things About This Referral Method

First, begin by asking a few of your top clients about their level of concern about current market conditions. Next, ask if they have any friends or family members who are highly concerned about the market. The people they identify may be prospects you can help. Third, ask you client about the best way for you to connect with their friend or family member.


When Anxiety Is High, the Potential for Mistakes Is Also High

During past periods of volatility, you’ve probably had to encourage clients to stick to the plan and help prevent them from making investment decisions they’d later regret. Without expert guidance, your clients’ friends and family members who are anxious about volatility are at risk of making investment mistakes. Asking about levels of concern gives you a way to find clients’ contacts who are most at risk. Like Elon’s new brain implant, your advice can help increase their chances of success.

Next Steps:

  1. Ask three top clients this week about their level of concern, then ask if they have any friends or family members who are concerned about the market environment. Then ask your client if they’d be willing to connect you with them.
  2. Get more prospecting ideas by downloading the Never Stop Prospecting workbook below
  3. Email this article or share it on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter 



Index Description

Indices are unmanaged, and unavailable for direct investment, and do not represent the performance of any Hartford Funds.

Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq.

The Oechsli Institute is not an affiliate or subsidiary of Hartford funds.