It’s a common assumption that wealthy individuals already have financial advisors assisting them, making them difficult to engage as prospects. But this isn’t always the case; some have quietly accumulated wealth over their lifetimes without the help of others – through higher earnings, real estate, employer-sponsored plans, inheritances or good old-fashioned savings (and a bit of luck).
There are also affluent investors who may, in fact, be working with an advisor but are looking to switch. Take, for example, an executive who accepts a position at a company that requires relocating to a different state. Understandably, they may prefer to work with someone close to home who can help manage their finances.
As an advisor, it begs the question: how will that executive or another affluent individual get introduced to you? The answers can vary.
Ask a Personal Friend or Family Member
Word-of-mouth has been a reliable source of referrals for advisors since the dawn of the financial institution. What’s often overlooked by advisors, however, is the simple act of asking for those referrals. Assuming your clients are satisfied with your services, you should feel confident in reminding them that you’re actively seeking to grow your book of business. When the topic of finances comes up at the next family gathering or get-together, they may be reminded of your simple request and be more likely to talk about your services and how you’ve helped them.
You also may want to consider incentivizing your referrals. Offering a gift card or other small token of appreciation is a nice way to show appreciation for successful referrals that result in a complimentary introductory meeting. Just make sure you remain in compliance with any related regulations if you choose to offer gifts.
Ask a Professional Colleague
Professional networks are another avenue for individuals to find an advisor, especially among older generations. The same principles apply as with getting referrals from family and friends: don’t forget to ask. Influential clients, such as business owners and community leaders, are prime candidates for letting others in their spheres of influence know about your services.
Also consider how you can get involved in professional networking opportunities. Step out from behind your desk to attend Chamber of Commerce events, leadership forums or various community gatherings. Offer free seminars focused on the importance of investing for the future or participate in panel discussions and Q&A sessions with other professionals. Being visible and connecting with others outside the office helps build credibility and trust.