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3 Reasons to Call Everyone and Ask For Business

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3 Reasons to Call Everyone and Ask For Business

Why are many financial advisors reluctant to prospect or ask current clients for more business?  Sometimes we feel we are calling people who don’t want to be contacted to talk about a product they feel they don’t need.  My first manager gave some great advice.  Under the right circumstances, no one doesn’t want to be contacted.  Put another way, everyone wants to hear from you if you have an important message.  Let’s look at three scenarios.

The Eight Dollar Bottle of Wine

If you are a wine fan, you are probably pretty confident you could buy a tasty bottle for $ 50.00.  Suppose you went to your wine shop and found a bottle that tasted almost the same, but only cost $ 8.00.  Would you tell anyone about it?

Some people might keep it to themselves, but the vast majority of us would tell all our friends.  Why?  Because it’s a great deal.  They would benefit from this information.  You were passing along important information.  They would need to act fast, because it might sell out.

How does this apply to your business?  You are prepared to do a spectacular job for a complete stranger, yet might be reluctant to ask your neighbor to become a client.  In this example, you are the $ 8.00 bottle of wine.  Your recommendation of the wine to a neighbor adds value to your relationship.  Your offer to share your professional expertise should also be a net win for your neighbor.

Everyone Should Have the Opportunity to Say No

For years, I’ve been involved with fundraising for local community organizations.  When the committee meets at our house, it’s amazing the excuses people give to avoid asking someone for a contribution.  “His business isn’t doing that well” or “She’s in a difficult relationship” is the suggested rationale for taking them off the solicitation list.

I patiently explain “Everyone should have the opportunity to say no.”  If you politely ask for their support and they decline, that’s fine.  You shouldn’t be making the decision for them.

How does this apply to business?  According to the New York Times, the average American knows about 600 people.1  Yes, you have ideal client parameters, buy have you approached everyone and given them the opportunity to say yes or no?  Even if they don’t have the assets, they might be flattered that you thought they might qualify.  This might lead to a referral to someone in their family.

Related: How to Explain Market Declines Aren’t Your Fault

You Were in a Position to Help, but You Didn’t

A regional manager at a financial services firm told a very moving story.  It concerned a friend who lost a parent.  This involved financial issues, like providing income for the surviving spouse and arranging their finances.  The advisor didn’t approach the friend, rationalizing it would be predatory to look for business when they were grieving.

Months passed.  The friend sorted out the problem.  The advisor noticed a coldness and distance between them.  One day, it asked the friend: “What gives?”  The friend explained they were upset because they were facing a financial problem they were ill equipped to address.  The advisor had addressed this problem before.  He was in an ideal position to offer help, but he didn’t step up.  The friend needed to sort the problem out on their own.

What’s the business lesson?  Yes, there are two extremes:  Treating the grieving friend as a prospect on one side and standing back, doing nothing on the other side.  There’s a midpoint.  You might acknowledge their grief and let them know you are willing to help, but only if they ask.  You don’t want to be pushy, but if they ever want to talk, you will be there.

Treat people with respect.  Leave no stone unturned.  Realize you are in a position to help people.  You can get business while being tactful.

1 https://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/19/science/the-average-american-knows-how-many-people.html

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