Think of social prospecting like fly fishing. You cast out. If you get a bite, that’s great! If not, repeat the process. Suppose you’re at a party. Everyone is talking about everything and anything. How do you slip in business without seeming like the stereotypical salesperson portrayed on TV?
The First Conversation Starter — Answering “How’s Business?”
Let’s look at three easy-to-use approaches. None of these are original. They’ve been around for years. You meet a lot of advisors in my line of work. They share ideas.
In the first scenario you are an advisor who works for a bank or whose firm is owned by a bank. The bank does lending and encourages cross-selling. You are chatting with another guest. You’ve been through where you live and what you do. They ask: “How’s business?”
You respond: “With all the talk about the Fed raising interest rates, I can’t believe we are still lending money at (X)%.” You quote the rate the firm offers on long-term fixed mortgages to people with sterling credit. You stop talking.
They might respond in one of two ways. The first is ignoring your answer or saying “That’s nice” and changing the subject. The second is a sign you’ve gotten them interested: “Is that rate on credit cards? Home mortgages? Borrowing against stock?” You pause for a moment and say: “I think I may be able to save you money. This isn’t the time or place to talk right now. We’re at a party. Let’s talk on Monday morning …”
Rationale: The attractive rate got them interested. You gave yourself a couple of days to brush up on mortgages, credit cards and asset-based lending. You’ll be prepared on Monday.
The Second Conversation Starter — Responding to “I Already Have an Advisor”
The second approach addresses the standard “I already have an advisor” roadblock. You are at another party. After leading with “Where do you live?” you’ve moved onto “What do you do?” Seconds after the words financial advisor leave your lips they’ve countered, I already have one.
I learned this approach from a restaurant owner with a relative who was a supplier in the food services business. Here’s the financial services industry version of his approach, once the other person has established they have an advisor: “I’m sure you are very happy with your current advisor. Here’s my card. If anything ever changes, please give me a call.” Move onto the next subject immediately. You aren’t asking for contact information of expecting their card in return.