San Francisco – “I don’t think many advisors are comfortable asking an affluent client to introduce them to someone,” Jamie replied during the feedback session of a peer-to-peer exercise at our workshop.  He then got to the heart of his issue, “Don’t clients know you’re basically asking for a referral?”

My answer to Jamie’s question was short and direct, “Of course they do.” But you’re essentially helping them help you by identifying the specific person you would like to meet. This requires work.

In an attempt to make it easier for advisors, our 2014 Affluent Research included a handful of questions to help us determine what phrasing the affluent preferred when asked by their financial advisor for an introduction. 

We hit pay dirt. We uncovered the introduction verbiage today’s affluent prefer when asked. We now have the language most likely to elicit a favorable response. Any financial advisor who masters the following three affluent introduction phrases is guaranteed to get a lot of personal introductions.

However, it requires that these phrases become part of a financial advisor’s DNA – affluent sales skills must be seamless.

The following are the top three introduction phrases today’s affluent have told us they’re likely to respond favorably:

Top 3 Phrases for Getting a Personal Introduction

  1. You mentioned (name) before, is this someone I should get to know?

With this technique, you are allowing your client to tell you something about the person you want to meet. A mistake many financial advisors make is taking the “I think he/she already has a financial advisor” response as a “No.” Don’t! Most affluent investors have at least one financial advisor and it’s highly unlikely that your client knows whether or not they’re truly satisfied. Our research tells us that the majority of today’s affluent have enough statistical dissatisfaction to change financial advisors IF they encounter a superior alternative.

Also, it’s important to communicate to your client that you would prefer meeting this person socially.  This makes it much easier for your client and it’s not unusual to find yourself brainstorming about the best way to get introduced.

  1. I’d love your advice on the best way to meet (name). 

Asking someone for advice is a powerful psychological stimulant for action. Why? Because now you’re allowing your client to take ownership. They are emotionally committed to helping you meet this person.

Once again, make certain your client knows that you prefer to meet this individual socially.

  1. Would you and (name) want to go to lunch or dinner sometime?

Our affluent research has been consistent on this – most affluent investors were personally introduced to their financial advisor – socially.  So here you’re simply suggesting a casual lunch or dinner with emphasis that no business is to be discussed. It’s simply a non-threatening venue to  meet someone you’d like to romance into becoming a client.

Your Introduction Strategy

Master one of these personal introduction phrases and start getting personally introduced.  Whenever a financial advisor is able to seamlessly penetrate affluent  spheres-of-influence, their business goes to another level. 

 

Matt Oechsli is author of Building a Successful 21st Centure Financial Practice: Attracting, Servicing & Retaining Affluent Clients. www.oechsli.com