Financial advisors are not monks. They do not belong to some monastic order, rising with the sun, working at their desks, eating an evening meal and retiring for the night, then repeating the same routine again the next day. That might be the business model some might believe for “no load” funds and “no commission trading.” It’s not true. Financial advisors are real people with families, children, relatives, interests and hobbies.

What do financial advisors do for fun? When I researched my book Captivating the Wealthy Investor, I surveyed plenty of advisors, asking that same question. Here is what I learned:

1. Family activities. This primarily includes children’s sports. You become a sideline parent, bringing your child to games on weekends and cheering them on. This includes baseball, football, soccer, gymnastics and plenty of other sports.

Business opportunity: You will likely see the same parents week after week cheering on their children. Simply wearing a logoed windbreaker or using a logoed umbrella will get the message across of where you work. If you get involved with the logistics of moving everyone from game to game, you have a legitimate reason to be in touch with other parents, e-mail them and draw conclusions about their jobs.

2. Personal sports. Golf was the major answer advisors provided. You might be a runner. You might belong to a running club. You might get together with friends and play basketball. We might even include working out at the gym in this category, even though exercise is not necessarily a sport.

Business opportunity. You can learn a lot about where people work or their personal interests by taking notice of the tee shirts they wear or the bag they use to carry their gear. The bag might stay the same, but the shirts change. This provides the chance to start a conversation and ask questions.

3. Religious activities. This can be an important part of life for many people. You might attend weekend services occasionally or regularly. The religious community is also a social center in many communities. It draws a cross section of the population.

Business opportunity: You would never consider this as a prospecting opportunity, but you can tactfully raise your profile. You might get involved with a ministry such as reading at services or singing in the choir. You might join one of the social activities and meet more people. Word will spread about who you are and what you do, even if you are not the one spreading it.

4. Spectator sports. Now you are on familiar ground. You have a favorite sports bar. You attend home games for your favorite team. You tailgate before the game.

Business opportunity: If you go to a sports bar, why not pick a bar in an office building filled with lawyers or accounting firms? At the bar, watch the game and talk sports with others in the crowd. They should gradually accept you into the group. If you attend live games and sit in your season ticket seats, take notice of the people sitting around you. You see them all the time. Who are they?

5. Chamber of Commerce membership. This is another way advisors give back and prospect for business. Unlike other social groups where bringing the conversation quickly around to business might be discouraged, this is what the Chamber and networking groups are designed to do! They organize plenty of events to bring members together.

Business opportunity: Someone once said: “You get out of the Chamber what you put in.” They mean you need to actively work to raise your visibility. You paid to belong. Take advantage of your membership.

6. Scouting, Junior Achievement and other youth activities. In organizations like Scouting, there is terrific loyalty going back generations. People keep in touch. There are adults involved supervising the children’s activities.

Business opportunities: You get to know the other parents and where they work. If you move higher up, you get to interact with leaders in the community.

7. Alumni association. Many people respect the “Old School Tie.” In some situations, it can open doors. There is often a local alumni club in town. Some colleges are famous for their school sports. Isn’t that what March Madness is all about?

Business opportunities: Sometimes we associate “alumni” with undergraduate college education. You might have several alumni connections. Don’t forget your high school and graduate school. Did you go to prep school?  

8. Service clubs. Joining Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions and other groups is a way of both gaining fellowship and providing service in the community. This category might be stretched to include volunteer fire companies in rural areas. This is often the type of organization established families in the area have supported through the generations.

Business opportunities: If you are working side by side with established business owners and community leaders, they get to know you on a personal level and vice versa. No one is trying to prove anything. You are a worker, not a slacker. This comes across. People often do business with people they like. Is there an opportunity to talk about what you do? Is there an opportunity for getting your picture in the paper as one of several people working on a community project?

Let’s add something about hobbies too.

9. Favorite interests. I did not ask advisors about hobbies, but the person restoring a classic car, painting landscapes, birdwatching or collecting wine is likely passionate about their interests.

Business opportunities: If you have the same interest, that is ideal. Do not try to fake it. If you are not an enthusiast but have a sincere interest in learning, that can be almost as good. Enthusiasts like sharing knowledge with people who want to learn. Do some studying up ahead of time. The questions you ask should be thoughtful, not idiotic.

Everyone should have a passion, something that gets them excited. If you find like-minded individuals and become part of their circle, there can be business opportunities too.

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.