• Products
  • Insights
  • Practice Management
  • Resources
  • About Us

In 1961, the Beatles drove 10 hours through a snowstorm for a 15-song audition at Decca records. The Decca team thought the Beatles were good but decided to sign a local group instead. One Decca executive allegedly told the Beatles manager, “Guitar groups are on their way out.” Decca’s decision is known as one of the music industry’s greatest mistakes. Similarly, we can make the mistake of letting great prospects slip through our fingers. Avoiding that mistake involves recognizing prospecting opportunities when they present themselves or learning how to create them. Let’s discuss some tips from Oechsli to turn conversations into prospecting opportunities.

First, How to Respond to Impromptu Conversations

Many financial professionals are unsure how to respond when they encounter a prospect in social settings; they either avoid the prospect’s inquiry or they end up overdoing it. Knowing how to provide an appropriate response in the moment can lead to a more in-depth business conversation.

Now that you’re aware of the potential of marketing-related questions, let’s look at how you can turn a social contact into a client.


Second, Proactive Social Calls

Think about people you know socially but with whom you’ve never talked business. Unfortunately, many financial professionals avoid bringing up business with these people because they don’t want to come off as being too salesy. That’s a mistake. Follow the talking points below to turn social contacts into clients.

When you reach out to these people, your conversation should be simple and direct. The more lead-in preamble you insert, the more awkward the call becomes. Go straight in with something like:

“I’ve been talking with my clients and friends to evaluate the level of risk in their portfolios. I’d be happy to provide you and your family with that courtesy as well. Are you open to that discussion?”

A simple and direct approach tends to work for proactive social calls, and it works for our last category too.


Below are three impromptu situations that can lead to a business conversation.


Someone asks you a question about the markets or a certain investment.

Approach: Answer their question briefly, then mention how you’re helping clients who’ve had questions or concerns like theirs.


Someone’s going through a life or business event and could benefit from your services.

Approach: Show empathy, then segue into a story of how you helped someone else in a similar situation.


You see someone you’re familiar with and who you think would be an ideal client—but you’ve never talked business with them.

Approach: Acknowledge that you’ve never talked to them about your business and ask to take them to lunch.

Third, Prospect Re-Approaches

Who have you prospected in the past that might be worth re-approaching? They could be people with whom you met with or simply those with whom you’ve had market-related conversations in the past. Don’t be discouraged that these prospects didn’t become clients. Their situation could have changed and perhaps your guidance could help them.

There are countless excuses for not doing this. Some financial professionals worry about being perceived as too pushy if they suggest a business appointment, so they avoid it. Or we often hear, “People know what I do for a living. If they need me, they’ll ask for my help.” Well, probably not as often as you’d like. Elite financial professionals gather the courage to say things like, “You and I have never had a chance to talk business. Are you open to having lunch?” Below are three approaches to tactfully talking business in social settings.

In terms of language, once again, simpler is better. You might say something like:

I was thinking about you. In the past, we’ve had some discussions about the markets. How are you feeling about your investments?

You’ll get a variety of responses. Hear them out and be curious and empathetic. If you sense they’re concerned about their investments, you might ask:
Can I make a suggestion?
They’ll likely say “sure”— that’s how most people would react. To which you reply:

We’ve been working hard to make sure our clients are well diversified, but also positioned for opportunities. Are you feeling OK about how your portfolio is currently positioned? If you’re open to it, we’d be happy to take a look.

To Summarize

First, when someone brings up the market in conversation, don’t talk endlessly about the state of the markets or economy. Second, it’s tempting to avoid talking business with friends and acquaintances. Resist this temptation. Third, previous prospects who never became clients may still be good prospects.


Next Step

Choose one of the methods above. Practice the talking points and make them your own. Put your method into action with prospects.


Oechsli is not an affiliate or subsidiary of Hartford Funds.




The material on this site is for informational and educational purposes only. The material should not be considered tax or legal advice and is not to be relied on as a forecast. The material is also not a recommendation or advice regarding any particular security, strategy or product. Hartford Funds does not represent that any products or strategies discussed are appropriate for any particular investor so investors should seek their own professional advice before investing. Hartford Funds does not serve as a fiduciary. Content is current as of the publication date or date indicated, and may be superseded by subsequent market and economic conditions.

Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. Investors should carefully consider a fund's investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other important information is contained in the mutual fund, or ETF summary prospectus and/or prospectus, which can be obtained from a financial professional and should be read carefully before investing.

Mutual funds are distributed by Hartford Funds Distributors, LLC (HFD), Member FINRA|SIPC. ETFs are distributed by ALPS Distributors, Inc. (ALPS). Advisory services may be provided by Hartford Funds Management Company, LLC (HFMC) or its wholly owned subsidiary, Lattice Strategies LLC (Lattice). Certain funds are sub-advised by Wellington Management Company LLP and/or Schroder Investment Management North America Inc (SIMNA). Schroder Investment Management North America Ltd. (SIMNA Ltd) serves as a secondary sub-adviser to certain funds. HFMC, Lattice, Wellington Management, SIMNA, and SIMNA Ltd. are all SEC registered investment advisers. Hartford Funds refers to HFD, Lattice, and HFMC, which are not affiliated with any sub-adviser or ALPS. The funds and other products referred to on this Site may be offered and sold only to persons in the United States and its territories.

© Copyright 2023 Hartford Funds Management Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Not FDIC Insured | No Bank Guarantee | May Lose Value