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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

Approaching your natural market: Helpful tips to get you started

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Most financial organizations start their newest associates by having them call people they know. There are many reasons for this, but the phone calling still creates anxiety in the new person to approach those friends and family members they are closest to.

When I ask rookies why they resist calling the people in their personal life, I get a lot of similar answers. Some examples include:

  • They know I’m new.

  • I don’t want to make mistakes on people I am close to.

  • They don’t see me as a professional this way.

  • They know me as someone else.

  • Our relationship is different.

  • He/she would never do business with me.

The reasons are endless. But the anxiety is real and when you’re anxious you can’t be eloquent. (Literally: The energy in your brain moves to the opposite side when you are anxious and leaves your linguistic center without much to work with.)

It’s important to have a clear understanding in your own head about why you are calling this person — for reasons other than you were “told to.”

When people tell me that they don’t want to call their closest family and friends I am not surprised, but I always challenge them. When you are new, you don’t really know the impact that the financial services industry will make on your clients, so you have to borrow this aspect of the career from your managers and mentors.

If they aren’t eloquent either, then the real reason for your call is probably getting lost. And it makes it impossible to formulate your words.

If your motivation for being in this career is hard to express, then here are some ideas:

  • Help people manage their money so that it does what they want it to do.

  • Help people to have a secure financial future.

  • Help people feel better about what they’re doing with their money because managing it is out of their realm.

Those words really need to mean something to you — not just be words. If your goal in this career is to truly help people that should motivate you to want to help those you care about the most.

Not all your natural market should be approached in the same way. Some of them you will want to introduce to your team to work with directly. Others you will see as valuable centers of influence for referrals, but not necessarily a client at this time.

Still others you may not have seen for more than a year and need to reconnect with personally before professionally. All of these individuals require different words.

If you first categorize your list of people and then use different scripts for each, it will make more sense to you. But first, you have to know, deep in yourself, that you and your team are capable of making your friends’ lives better by knowing all of you professionally. Once you have that feeling, it’ll be easier to make the calls.

If you are just parroting what you’ve been told to do, then it will absolutely feel disingenuous to those that know you the best. And worse, it won’t work.

Remembering why you were attracted to this career will help you to say something heartfelt, genuine and in the interest of the other person. Remember, it’s not all about you, even though you are at your most self-conscious at this time.

It does get better. And remember: words matter!

Read also these columns by Gail B. Goodman:

To qualify or not qualify the prospect: That is the question

How to fire a prospect or client: using the p&p script

Securing the appointment: the value of a good script



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