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11 Ways Clients Can Help Your Business

11 Ways Clients Can Help Your Business

By Bryce Sanders

Your clients and friends want you to succeed. They may often say, “Just tell me what I can do to help.” How can you make the most of this opportunity?

Let’s assume “get me clients” is off the table. Too blunt. Here are 11 specific suggestions for those who wish to assist you.

  1. They could become a client. That’s probably the most important first step. Consider this scenario. Your father-in-law tells a friend, “My son-in-law is a financial advisor. You should really do business with him.” When his friend asks whether the father-in-law does business with him, the answer will dictate whether more business is warranted.

    Rationale:
    When he says he’s a client, it communicates: “I trust him with my money. You should, too.”
  2. Problem. Solution. Action. Remind your client of a problem you solved for them. Ask whom they know with a similar problem. Suggest they invite the friend to meet you over dinner. You will pick up the tab.

    Rationale:
    You’ve almost scripted it for them. “I had a problem. My advisor solved it. You have the same problem. Maybe he can solve it for you, too. I’m having dinner with him Thursday. Why don’t you come along?”
  3. Dollar cost averaging. Your friend doesn’t have much in savings, but she has good cash flow. Suggest she get into an investment program where she has a monthly automatic debit on her chequing account that puts money to work for her.

    Rationale:
    The reason many people don’t save much is they “pay themselves last.” You’ve introduced the idea of “paying yourself first.”
  4. Retirement assets. It’s never too early to get started. Let’s assume your friend already participates in a company retirement savings plan. Has your client established a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP)? It’s a good way for her to get a tax deduction on her annual contributions.

    Rationale:
    Although young people might consider saving for retirement, you are giving them a way to put money aside they can actually see, while getting tax advantages.
  5. Consolidate assets. Your client likes you, but she has money elsewhere. You can make the case why transferring assets in can simplify her life.

    Rationale:
    They may keep money in “buckets.” If you are providing the best advice, why not give you a bigger bucket?
  6. People advising others. Your clients may not have much money, but their parents do and they are finding it difficult to supplement their fixed income in a low-interest rate environment. They don’t know where to turn for advice.

    Rationale:
    If your client is their child, she is a trusted advisor to her parents. If your client feels you are honest, ethical, and patient, she may see making the introduction as a way of helping her parents. You need to be respectful of risk tolerance.
  7. Summer BBQs. Your friend hosts an annual summer BBQ. Will she add you to the guest list? The easiest way to approach this is to hold your own get-together before her. Invite her to meet your friends. She will likely reciprocate.

    Rationale:
    You probably won’t even need to bring up business. She will likely introduce you around, saying complimentary things about you. Offering to help tend bar or take a shift at the grill puts you in the position to meet lots of guests while showing you aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty.
  8. Tell me about your charities. Friends and clients often give back, volunteering their time for worthy causes. Depending on the size of the organization, there might be a foundation or endowment in the background. They might even be on the committee responsible for it. They know you advise on handling money. Will they introduce you to the right people?

    Rationale:
    They may be a longstanding member. An influencer. This establishes credibility before you even speak.
  9. Who is a complainer? Referrals are often discussed in terms of fresh money. “Who do you know that recently sold their business?” Those folks are likely few and far between. They know plenty of people who complain about their advisor, lack of attention, or poor outcomes investing in the stock market. You want to meet those complainers.

    Rationale:
    When a person complains, people often want to help. Making the introduction can be seen as a way of doing just that.
  10. Who is a person in transition? People lose jobs. They lose spouses. They often need advice and don’t know where to turn. There’s a suspicion people “want to make money off me” or “take advantage of me at this difficult time.” Your friend may know some. Her endorsement of you goes a long way to building trust.

    Rationale:
    You may be working for free, giving advice for a while. You should eventually build up a level of trust. There’s money in motion.
  11. Can I host a group talk? Your client feels you know a lot. You explain things simply. Find out which of her community groups feature guest speakers at meetings. Tell her about your compliance-approved seminar topics. What does she think would be the best fit? Would she make an introduction to the person who schedules this stuff.

    Rationale:
    People who schedule speaks for groups often have a tough time finding new material. Your client’s endorsement is a major door opener.

 

Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides HNW client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, Captivating the WealthyInvestor, can be found on Amazon.ca.

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