It's not that complicated. When approaching friends for business, advisors often assume it’s a complicated process. There was an advisor who approached a friend for business at their private club. The fellow said: “I wondered when you would ask!” The advisor asked why they didn’t approach him first. He explained, “I’ve heard plenty of people around here do business with you.  I only have X dollars (very large number!) I assumed I was too small.” Time for more one-liners.

Five More One-Liners
Earlier we looked at five one-liners to ask friends to do business. Now it’s time for five more.

1. Offer to send something. Many people have hobbies. They might not open their account statements, but read every page of the Wine Spectator. You and friends are at the gourmet cookware shop on a Saturday. They are transfixed. Won’t they ever leave! You mention the chain is owned by a listed public company. You would be amazed at the other businesses they own! Your firm just issued a research report. You will get them a copy. They say: “Don’t go to any trouble...” You say: “It’s easy.”

Why it works: Most hobbies have some public company connections in the background. (Think about it.) The report on that company leads to press releases. Reports on competitors, the industry, the sector. Over time, you have backed into asset allocation. Now you are talking investing.

2. After playing golf. An insurance broker joined the most exclusive club. Multiple times a week he would invite his accountant and two clients or Chamber members to play a round. The only requirement is they are business owners. Afterwards, he buys lunch. Over lunch he says: “May I call next week and setup an appointment? There are some ideas I would like to share. I may be able to save you money.

Why it works: The guests don’t have access to the best club and the best course. They got lunch too. There’s an implied obligation. It’s difficult to refuse an appointment.

3. You scratch my back... This Princeton area advisor would get charity solicitations constantly. Reading the letterhead, he often saw friends listed on the committee. He would mail a check (size isn’t that important) directly to their home. Later he calls to confirm receipt. Referencing (the hospital) he mentions seminars he has given for doctors. He would be glad to do the same at (this hospital).

Why it works: Take away the polite language and you are left with: “You asked for money. I sent some. You confirmed you received it. I’m asking for something. How about it?”

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