3. Their personal tapestry. You understand what makes their situation unique. Every relationship might start with a financial planning questionnaire, but it doesn’t ask: “Are you pleased or disappointed in your children?” You know the strength of their marriage.

4. Personal attention. They know they won’t be your biggest client, but they have the expectation you will provide them with a similar service level. Why? Because they are your friend.

5. Known quantity. You aren’t an anonymous voice on the phone or the “broker of the day.” You are a person they already know.

6. Objective advice. You’ve heard “break it to me gently.” If your physician tells you the test results show you have a serious disease, they immediately start talking about a treatment program. You are friends with each other. They expect you to give them the unvarnished truth. They won’t expect you to be walking on eggshells.

7. They like you. People do business with people they like.

One More Reason That’s Less Than Obvious
During the pandemic, some people have tried to limit the risk of infection by staying home as much as possible. If your friend was interested in investing and you turned away the business, they aren’t going to give up on the idea of investing. They will do it anyway, going someplace else.

Suppose something goes wrong. They lose 40% of their principle. Their portfolio is a mess. What do they do next? They come back to you! They consider you both a friend and an expert. They show you the shattered remains of their portfolio, asking you to take them on as a client and “make me whole again.” Now you are faced with needing to increase their assets 150% to bring that 40% remained back up to 100%. That’s a tough job.

Since you will likely be called in to sort out the mess if something goes wrong, it makes great sense to simply get involved on the front end and try to keep that from happening.

You might feel awkward approaching a friend for business, but “everyone should have the opportunity to say no.”

Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides HNW client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book Captivating the Wealthy Investor is available on Amazon.

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