Been there. Done that. You meet a person at a party. They ask what you do. You answer is “I work at Hyer and Hyer Investments. I’m a financial advisor.” Before the word “advisor” left your lips they’ve started to say: “I already work with an advisor.” What now?
In many cases we change the subject. However, here are several ways you can address this scenario.
1. Establish yourself as the alternative. A food supplier used this strategy with restaurant owners he would meet socially. “I’m sure you are happy with your current suppliers. Here’s my card. Please give me a call if anything changes.”
Why: Maybe they aren’t happy. You don’t know. Inertia keeps most people at their financial services firm. You’ve subtly changed the scenario from “moving money out to who knows where” to “moving money in to work with (you).” They keep the card.
2. “How have they done for you lately?” Yes, we know investing is a long-term journey. Many clients think short term.
Why: Asking this question gets them thinking “Is my advisor on the ball? Are they paying attention to my stuff?
3. Head them off at the pass. Logically, they aren’t going to interrupt you. You say the two sentences in the introduction followed by “You probably work with a financial advisor already.” You took the words out of their mouth. They need to think of something else to say. Most likely it will be: “Yes, I do.”
Why: It moves the advantage in the conversation back to you.
4. “That’s a fine firm.” Never be dismissive of the competition. People can get defensive and territorial. Being respectful established common ground. If they are dismissive or unimpressed with their firm, you have an opening.
Why: Most people want to be complimented that they made a good choice. You’ve seen servers do it in restaurants often.
5. Draw out the positives. The above strategies put you into a position to gather information. Let’s focus on the positives. Ask how long they have been together? What do they like best about them?
Why: You want this person to like you, or at least be agreeable to keeping the conversation going.