“Does scotch stain?” Pickup lines have been a staple of singles bars since TGI Fridays appeared on the Manhattan dating scene in the 1960s. Financial advisors involved in their communities find themselves chatting with HNW individuals frequently. Bringing up business can be awkward. “One liners” can be likened to fly fishing—you cast; you hope for a bite. If nothing happens, you cast again.

Let's look at five one-liners financial advisors can easily work into social situations.

1. The existing relationship. They asked what you do. You said: “I’m a financial advisor.” Modern technology cannot measure how small the time was before they said: “I already have an advisor.” What now? A restaurant-owning friend has a relative selling wholesale poultry. He gets the same response when chatting with other restaurant owners. He responds: “I’m sure you are happy with your current suppliers. Here’s my card. If anything ever changes, please give me a call.” Swap the word “advisor” for “supplier.” 

Why it works: You are establishing yourself as the alternative.

2. Saving money. Rich people are often cheap. You might think “saving money” means discounting fees. Not here. We are talking about the liability side of the balance sheet. You are talking with a friend who knows enough about your profession to ask: “How’s business?” Recalling your firm is offering 30-year fixed mortgages at 3%, you answer: “With everything going on in the markets right now, I can’t believe we are still lending money at 3.00%.” You stop talking. They might say: “I’m happy for you.” However, the might say: “3.00%! Is that on credit cards? Mortgages? Borrowing against stock?” You wait until they’ve stopped talking and say: “You know, I might be able to save you money. But this isn’t the time or place for this conversation. Let’s talk tomorrow morning...”

Why it works: The rate is the hook, getting them interested. You’ve bought some time to study up on lending products.

3. Referral via spouse. You both attend an event, splitting up. You might be working the room, your better half is making conversation. They meet someone. When asked “What do you do, your spouse replies: “I run the household. My spouse is a financial advisor at (firm).” They start talking about their portfolio, because they think it’s a failsafe scenario. Your spouse understands the jargon, yet won’t be trying to prospect them. Their story usually leads to something having gone horribly wrong. Your spouse says:  “You should really be speaking to (your name). He helps people with problems like yours.”

Why it works: Your spouse can recognize problems and spot business opportunities.

4. The person with a problem. The stock market has seen lots of action so far this year. Everyone likes talking about the market socially. Lots of people are using managed money. You might ask if they know anyone who is using managed money and is dissatisfied with the relationship. You would be interested in talking to them. The conversation continues in its original direction.

Why it works: People know other people who complain. They are in pain. It’s human nature to want to help. Dropping your name is a way of saying “This guy might be able to help.” If they are a chronic complainer, the next time they moan the person might say: “Hey, I told you to call this guy. Have you called him yet?” 

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