Approaching Strangers Can Only Change Your Practice for The Better
You were probably brought up being told ‘don’t talk to strangers’. However, this rule doesn’t apply to adults, especially if you work as a financial advisor. Many advisors struggle with ‘cold’ approaching strangers and prospecting, because it makes them feel anxious and fearful. However, unless you conquer this fear you will not be able to take your business to the next level. People are voice-activated. They are not going to talk to you. You’ve got to talk to them.
There is no quick fix to curing your anxiety, but if you motivate yourself to strike up conversations with strangers you will improve not just your business life but your life in general. Research suggests that people who talk with strangers are happier than those who keep to themselves.
In this post we’ll look at some practical ways to overcome your hesitation when it comes to approaching strangers.
Spend a day introducing yourself to strangers
This is a fun exercise that can really help you overcome your fears. When you’re out and about, in a shop, in the elevator or in line at a store and see someone you don’t know – say hello.
When you first start this exercise you will probably feel awkward but the only way to grow is to experience a level of discomfort. And once you’ve done this numerous times you will see your confidence levels lift.
So develop your confidence by making approaching strangers a habit. Ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen? If the other person is not interested, you will likely never see them again.
Introduce yourself to small business owners
Business owners are often too busy managing their own affairs or too engrained in their habits to track down a financial advisor – or even consider employing one. Yet millions of small business owners are in need of thoughtful financial and retirement advice.
So it makes sense to get to know as many small business owners as you can. They are unlikely to respond to cold calls or attend seminars and they won’t be keen to have their names handed out as referrals. So the best way to touch base is to simply walk into their premises and introduce yourself.
Start a conversation and ask them about their business. It may surprise you how many don’t have plans in place for an exit strategy or for their retirement.
You have nothing to lose except a potential new client
If someone told you they would pay you $100,000 to walk up and say hello to a wealthy couple, it’s unlikely you would turn this down. But in fact not introducing yourself to new people could quite conceivably see you lose this amount and more. So make the move, overcome your shyness and introduce yourself. Tell people what you do for a living, let them know the kind of clients you already help. You may pique their interest and get the ball rolling. If you don’t – nothing changed, so what’s to lose?
Always remember that ‘it doesn’t matter how many cards are in your Rolodex, what’s important is how many rolodexes your business card is in’. Make sure you are in as many rolodexes as possible by telling everyone you meet what you do for a living.
Word of mouth is still a highly effective prospecting tool. Rich people don’t surf the internet looking for expensive things to buy. If they want to buy a boat, they’ll ask their friends where they bought their boat. In the same way if they are looking for an advisor they will ask their acquaintances who manages their money. So make sure your name comes up time and time again by getting out there and introducing yourself to people.
Fear blocks all, so take a deep breath – maybe try using visualization to imagine yourself being calm, relaxed, friendly and coherent – and start approaching new people.
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