I see so many financial advisors who come across as the stereotypical financial advisors to new prospects. If they’re doing seminars/direct mailings, they’re identifying who they are before making personal relationships with prospective clients. I’ve found that absorbing myself into that community is more effective.

By absorbing into the retirement community, the relationship begins as a common friendship, not as an advisor-client situation. It eventually turns into advisor-client, but trust has to be built first on some kind of common ground — whether it be hanging out at their grandchildren’s or children’s soccer games or interacting with them at the mall where many take their morning walks — and then the business relationship can develop. For my business specifically, a lot of my clients are clergy, so there are Christian-based situations in which I interact.

I’ve been a big proponent of not going fishing, but having the fish chase the boat. If you have the fish chase the boat, then you make yourself so attractive to whatever your target market is that they’ll jump in the boat themselves. In a coaching session with Darnyelle A. Jervey, she presented how to work toward an audience of one. Everyone wants an audience, but I’m only looking for an audience of one particular client who is looking for me. This is where absorbing into the community helps, too. As you seek an audience of one and absorb into their retirement thought process you provide an opportunity for them to engage with you.

Once you have your clients, it’s important to help them hear you. We’re going through an interesting time in the financial services industry, not only with regulations changing, but also because there is a lot of “noise” out there. You have to filter through that noise so the clients can actually hear you.

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