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.