You are ethical. Although there are lots of upset investors out there, if someone’s advisor is putting in the same effort as you, then they have a good advisor. You tell them and leave them alone. Many other investors fall into a different category. They decided to invest on their own. They eliminated the middleman and bought index tracker funds. Others see an advisor’s name on their statement, yet haven’t received an incoming call during 2020. These folks are unhappy, with good reason. How can they become your clients?
How Do These Opportunities Present Themselves?
The pandemic is still with us. Most states are talking about a multi-step process to get business going again. Some states have already started the process. Although social distancing rules will be with us for a long time, we will start to see friends face to face again. An obvious venue will be the barber or hair salon, as millions of people wait for a haircut.
They know you are an advisor. If not, the logoed ball cap or windbreaker is a good clue. They might start a conversation with: “I’ve lost $150,000. My advisor is rubbish.” If the market is down 15% year to date, you get the clue they started with a million in equities.
Strategy No. 1: They Approach You
Use a strategy you would deploy if someone said: “I already have an advisor” in those calmer days back in 2019:
“We’ve had a difficult three months in the market. If your advisor is there for you, returns calls and keeps in touch, these days, that’s about as good as it gets.” Notice, you have set a pretty low bar here. You mentioned nothing about being proactive. If you wanted to add that, you might drop “keeps in touch” and add “talks about opportunities.”
They should either agree or disagree. If they agree, congratulate them on having a good advisor. Suppose they say: “I don’t have an advisor. I invested on my own” or “Not a chance. My advisor never calls. I don’t even know their name. I never met them.” Now there’s opportunity. Since you are at the barber shop holding a deli-style ticket with “40” on it and they are cutting head #3, it’s likely you are in a crowd of nosy people. You might glance around say: “This isn’t the place for this conversation. Let’s exchange contact information. I’ll call you this afternoon.”