Let’s revisit two ideas that have helped advisors for decades.
1. Asking for advice
The scenario: You’re planning to build your business in a niche market – physicians or lawyers. Your best client works in a certain field and you want to add a few more like her.
The idea: Instead of asking for referrals, ask for advice.
How you do it: In a 1:1 setting, explain you’re planning to build your clientele in that field: “If you were in my shoes, how would you go about it?”
Why it’s brilliant: When people offer advice, they take on a degree of ownership. The advisor can then say: “You suggested these steps. I followed them and here are my results. What do you suggest next?” They want you to succeed because it’s their advice you’re implementing. They may become even more involved and approach people on your behalf.
Variations: Many advisors form an advisory council of clients. They schedule meetings annually or twice a year. In the meeting, the advisor focuses on their service experience, but also asks for advice on growing the practice.
Whose idea was it? Larry Biederman at PSB Training, a U.S. firm that trains financial advisors, first introduced the strategy more than 20 years ago.
2. The wealthy have multiple advisors
The scenario: Your prospect explains he already works with a financial advisor. He equates your role with marriage: you can only be married to one person at a time. After all, he has one dentist, one accountant, and one auto mechanic.
The idea: Explain wealthy people often have multiple advisory relationships. The average is three.
How you do it: When he explains he has an advisor, you reply: “I expected that. Successful people often have multiple advisory relationships. You’re obviously successful. How many do you have?”
Why it’s brilliant: People may not identify with the words “wealthy” and “high net worth,” but they do identify with “successful”. You’ve established a rationale. Successful people have multiple advisors. If they consider themselves successful, they should do the same.
Variations: None needed. You’ve opened the door to having more than one relationship simultaneously.
Whose idea was it? Russ Alan Prince and Brett Van Bortel wrote “The Millionaire’s Advisor” in 2003. Their research showed a client with between $1 million and $5 million had 2.9 advisors; a client with between $5 million and $10 million had 3.4 advisors; and a client with more than $10 million had 5.7 advisors.