Five “One Liners" When Advisors Attend Parties

No one wants to be “that guy.” He (or she) stands alone at a crowded party. Are they contagious? No. They sell something and want to tell everyone about it. You sell something! You want to tell people about it! How do you avoid becoming “that guy”?

Five “One Liners”

No one wants to be “switched on” all the time. However, we don’t want good prospects to walk away either. These simple strategies are like fly fishing. You cast. The fly lands. If a fish bites, that’s great! If not, that’s not a problem. You cast again in a different direction. Maybe you focus on enjoying yourself.

1. Saving money

Wealthy people want to stay that way. They are always interested in saving money. If your firm is owned by a bank, you probably sell lending products like mortgages. Get an answer to the question: “What’s the lowest rate on a fixed mortgage for someone with perfect credit?” It might be 3.5%.

Approach: Someone asks: “How’s business?” You work in: “I can’t believe we are still lending money at 3.5%.” Stop talking.

Outcome: They might say: “That’s nice.” You change the subject. They might say: “3.5%! Is that on credit cards? Mortgages? Borrowing against stock?”

Opportunity: You say “I think I may be able to save you money! Why don’t we talk on Monday…?” The rate got their attention. You have time to research those other products they just mentioned.

2. The common issue

You have kids. They have kids. You intend to send them to college. They do too. You will end up paying. So will they.

Approach: You mention since we both have children about the same age, we both face a common issue. Mention it. You found out about college savings plans. That’s your solution. What’s theirs?

Outcome: They might ask “What’s a college savings plan?” They might say: “Got it covered. My parents are footing the bill.”

Opportunity: The first is obvious. With the second, you now know something you didn’t know before. Who pays the taxes on the money in the meantime? Who decides where the money is kept? You can discretely probe for that information another day.

3. The shared passion

You can get to people through their passion. Whatever their interest, its likely there’s a public company involved somehow. You are at the mall with friends. They head straight for the cookware/housewares store. It’s decked out for spring. They handle every item. It’s obvious this is their passion.

Approach: You mention: “Did you know (store) is a public company? We just put out a research report on them. You would be amazed at what else they own and their plans for the future. I’ll send you a copy.”

Outcome: They don’t want you to go to any trouble. You explain it’s no big deal. You send the report. They love it. This opens the door to news. Earnings. Competitors. The industry. The sector.

Opportunity: Over time, you have eventually backed into asset allocation. You got their interest and worked backwards. Now you are talking about investing.

Related: 5 Less Than Obvious Ways to Ask for Referrals

4. Referral via spouse

People may hesitate talking with you about investments if they think you are going to try and sell them something. This rule doesn’t hold for your spouse. They assume the lingo is understood, but they don’t have a license. They can’t sell anything.

Approach: You and your spouse mingle at a party. Your spouse meets someone who asks: “What do you do?” They answer, mentioning their career and yours. The other person starts talking about their investments.

Outcome: Often, there’s a complaint in there somewhere. Something went wrong. They say: “You really should talk to (your name). He helps people with problems like that.” They circle back and tell you. Maybe you change your seating at dinner. You sit near them. When introductions are made, they might say: “Your spouse just told me about you. I’ve got this problem…”

Opportunity: Getting an appointment doesn’t get much easier.

5. The existing relationship

Someone asks: “What do you do?” When you answer, they counter: “I have one already.” Happens all the time.

Approach: You respectfully say: “I’m sure you are happy with your advisor. Here’s my card. If anything ever changes, give me a call.” You change the subject.

Outcome: They likely keep the card. It gets put into a drawer. It’s in the back of their mind. You left a favorable impression because you didn’t push business. One day, their advisor retires. Or quits. Or the relationship deteriorates. They still have your card.

Opportunity: Over time, you are planting seeds, doing this a hundred times or more. Occasionally, someone calls. You jump on it, ready to help.

These are fairly subtle strategies, compared to the ones “that guy” mentioned earlier tries using. You aren’t pushy. You change the subject away from business, while allowing them to say: “No, let’s talk business now.” Your one liners might land some prospects .