Cultivation through social prospecting makes sense, but it has a drawback. It can take a long time to get results. The solution is to have many prospects. Some will come around sooner, others later and some never. But what if you have numbers to hit?
Your chances of asking a friend for business and getting it increase substantially if you’ve identified a need. That’s the genius behind financial planning. Once you have uncovered the need, it isn’t going away. At some point, it needs to be addressed.
How to Ask a Friend for Business
Here’s the scenario. Your successful Gen X professional has aging parents. They are getting frail, but are still OK living on their own. The Gen Xer is in good financial shape, but thinks the future might include home health aides or an assisted living facility. They are trying not to think about having their folks move into their house.
Let’s try a seven-step procedure to ask that friend for business.
Step 1: Identify the Need
Clearly, it’s looking after their aging parents. They talk about their folks all the time. You ask about their health. You show genuine concern. In the background, you’ve thought about “what if” situations and how you could help in a professional capacity.
Step 2: Discuss and Demonstrate Understanding
Their parents are a frequent topic, addressed every time you see each other. You always ask about their health. Now you go a step further. “I realize looking after them is the most important thing on your mind. I’ve thought long and hard about it. I think I may have a solution.” Stop talking.
Step 3: Assess Their Level of Comfort or Unease
Now they speak. Are you a life preserver thrown to a drowning person? That’s a good sign. On the other hand, they may put everything in compartments. Their parents are in the family compartment. You are over in the friend compartment. They might say: “Thanks for your concern, but this is a family matter. We prefer to keep this private.” It’s a no go.
Step 4: View Objectively as a Third Party
They see all options leading to one outcome. Their folks move in with them. This usually stops them from further thought. They don’t want to be the Sandwich Generation. You’ve seen this situation before. Long-term care insurance might be the solution. This wasn’t even on their radar.
Step 5a: Offer to Do Something (I’ve Got Your Solution)