Client Outreach: A Business Primer for College Grads

Client Outreach: A Business Primer for College Grads

If you have clients who just celebrated a child’s college graduation, now is a great time to bond with the new graduate—who is your NextGen client. After taking this approach to reaching out with some financial guidance, it’s time to take the next step by offering some sage advice about how to survive—and thrive—in the workplace.

Whether you send the information in an email (direct to the new grad!) or schedule a face-to-face meeting, offer these business tips and leave the door open for questions, today and in the future. Supporting their early success in the workplace is a great way to position yourself as a trusted advisor from the very start—and set the stage for your newest client’s sound financial future.

The move from the classroom to the boardroom is quite a shift! Unless you’ve spent your summers interning, this may be the first time you’ve entered the business community. Just like any new adventure, it’s smart to learn the lay of the land before you begin—both to avoid any missteps and to be sure you’re putting you best foot forward from day one. Here are three tips that I wish I’d known starting out. I hope they serve you well!

Network. And network some more. 

By now you probably have your LinkedIn profile up and running, but whether you’ve already found a new job or not, it’s a good idea to have someone in your chosen field to review it and offer recommendations for improvements. Every industry is different, and whether it means knowing how to list your experience or which groups to join, someone who understands any industry-specific nuances can help tremendously. Of course, don’t limit networking to online activities. Check out Andrea Nierenberg’s latest book, Savvy Networking: 118 Fast & Effective Tips for Business Success, for daily tips for effective networking in all types of businesses—from manufacturing to financial services, from technology companies to retailers. And take her advice: make networking a vital part of your personal business plan.

Present your best self—every day.

Image isn’t everything, but in business, it communicates a lot to your colleagues and, if you’re in a client-facing position, your customers. Jeans and a t-shirt may have 

been your wardrobe for the past four years, but now is the time to invest in a functional, professional wardrobe that aligns with your new office culture. Feeling wardrobe challenged? A personal shopper can help you put together a great set of pieces that work together at fraction of the price of doing it yourself. Looking professional is often perceived as being professional, so err on the side of overdressing—at least until you’ve impressed the office with your skills!

Own your mistakes. 

Ask any successful professional how they learned this lesson, and they will surely have a story to tell! It’s rarely easy to admit when you’ve done something wrong. It’s even more difficult in a work environment where your focus is to do everything as right as possible. But mistakes happen, and when you do mess up, the best thing you can do (really!) is to go straight to the person who is affected and tell the truth. Someone told me years ago that “bosses never like surprises.” Never let your boss—or anyone—learn about your mistakes from someone else. Instead, earn a reputation for being open about your failures and you’ll find your successes are much more respected as well.

I could go on and on about my own experiences, and I’ve learned many lessons (personal and financial) from some fantastic teachers, colleagues, family, and mentors. I’m happy to share more if you’re interested. In the mean time, I urge you to go ask as many people as you can to share their own experiences. Just like in college, asking for help is never a bad thing. In fact, I can’t think of anyone I know who wouldn’t be happy to offer advice. Once you’ve heard what they have to say, note what feels right to you and let the rest go. You’ll walk away with new knowledge that may help smooth your own path into the business world—and the confidence you need to succeed.

Click here to learn more about IndexIQ.


The information and opinions herein are for general information use only. The opinions reflect those of the writers but not necessarily those of New York Life Investment Management LLC (NYLIM). NYLIM does not guarantee their accuracy or completeness, nor does New York Life Investment Management LLC assume any liability for any loss that may result from the reliance by any person upon any such information or opinions. Such information and opinions are subject to change without notice and are not intended as an offer or solicitation with respect to the purchase or sale of any security or as personalized investment advice. 
Laura McCarron
Building Smarter Portfolios
Twitter Email

Laura joined New York Life & MainStay Investments in 2009, and is currently the Director of Value Add Marketing. She is responsible for the development of investor educati ... Click for full bio

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: March 19-23

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: March 19-23

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on, March 19-23, 2018

Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!

1. Multi-Factor or Not Multi-Factor? That Is the Question

Let’s pretend you are a US investor that wants to deploy some of your money overseas.  You think international developed market stocks are attractive relative to US stocks, and you also think the US dollar will decline over the period you intend to hold your investment.  — Chris Shuba

2. The Lies Spread by Bankers About Cryptocurrencies

I had a chat with The Financial Times the other day, and provided lots of background as to why I don’t think cryptocurrencies are the choice of criminals. The comment that was reported was the following ... — Chris Skinner

3. Alternative Investments? You May Need New Shock Absorbers!

During the tumultuous red and green gyrations of the capital markets this year have your clients anxiously called to ask: “What’s going on with my portfolio?” What do you do when the usually smooth ride in your luxury automobile becomes as bumpy as Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride in the Happiest Place on Earth? What does the average investor do? — Ted Parker

4. Why Fear of Inflation Is Rattling Investors

Inflation is a bad thing, right? It make things more expensive, right? For those of us of, let’s say, a certain vintage, we recall the runaway inflation of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. So why does the Federal Reserve – in charge of managing the country’s currency and value thereof – actually try to create inflation? It’s called the inflation targeting and it matters to your money. — Bill Acheson

5. The Best Retirement Investments for a Steady Stream of Income

As you near your 60’s, your prime earning and saving years will transition into a period of time where you get to enjoy the “fruits of your labor,” a.k.a retirement. We call this segueing from accumulation to decumulation, the period when you will be drawing from your accumulated nest egg. Dana Anspach

6. An Emerging Theme In Thematic Investing

Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are popular vehicles for market participants looking to engage in thematic investing. Thematic investing looks to take advantage of future growth trends, including disruptive technologies. Given that forward-looking approach, stock-picking in the thematic universe is equally as hard, if not harder, than in traditional market segments. — Tom Lydon

7. 8 Winning Questions You Should Be Asking Every Prospect

It’s not enough for your salespeople to be product experts, they also need to be capable of having the kind of conversations that position them as business experts and even strategic resources. — Lisa Rose

8. 10 Steps to Successful Strategic Alliances

Business growth doesn’t come from wishful thinking. As you know, it takes a lot of hard work. The growth of your business is not an option – it is a necessity. Coordinating the right mix of strategies to gain market share and improve client acquisition rates is essential to advance your firm in today’s economy. — Michelle Mosher​​​​​​​

9. Keep It Light: Harnessing Humor for Financial Marketing Success

It’s undoubtedly true that investors’ financial security is no laughing matter, and this is reflected in the stolid, dour, reliable imagery and branding that is, by and large, the industry standard. This is hardly surprising—investors need to believe they’re placing their hard-earned money in the hands of experienced, trustworthy professionals. — Alexandra Levis​​​​​​​

10. Do the Economics of a Move to Independence Really Add Up?

The number one question advisors ask when exploring a move to independence is how the economics compare to accepting a recruiting package from a major firm. It’s certainly a valid concern, because while the recruiting deals being offered by the wirehouses are down, it is still very possible for a top advisor to get a really attractive hard-to-pass-up offer. — Mindy Diamond

11. Four Big Reasons Why Short-Term Muni Bonds Should Excite You

Municipal bonds might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a sexy investment. They don’t typically command news headlines like the stock market or bitcoin. — Frank Holmes

Douglas Heikkinen
Twitter Email

IRIS Co-Founder and Producer of Perspective—a personal look at the industry, and notables who share what they’ve learned, regretted, won, lost and what continues ... Click for full bio