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Last week I spoke to an advisor with a billion dollars under management about how he turned his favorite activity into multi-million dollar clients.
This advisor – let’s call him Bob – has three rules for accepting new clients:
- They must be willing to go through an in-depth planning process typically lasting 60 days.
- They must have assets of $2 million or more.
- He must like them as individuals. When he sees a meeting scheduled with a prospect and if he’s not looking forward to sitting down with them, even if the prospect signs on, he’s learned this almost never works out.
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Given these constraints, three years ago Bob became concerned about a drop-off in new clients from historical levels. Then he implemented a simple initiative that has paid big dividends.
Converting passions into connections
Bob’s an enthusiastic golfer and many of his best clients are equally keen. In the spring of 2010, he invited his top four clients to join him on a one-week golf outing to Scotland, including a day at the Old Course in St. Andrews, often referred to as “the home of golf” with a heritage going back to the 1400s. It’s where the British Open is played and is one of the few courses of its stature open to the public.
Everyone paid their own way, although Bob organized the logistics. Once plans were finalized, he gave each client the opportunity to invite one close friend to join them, something which three of the four did.
And here’s where it got interesting: Even though there was no talk of investments or finances during the trip, within three months after returning he opened accounts with two of the three guests. Given their net worth and established relationships, he didn’t get all their money, but as long as they met his minimum, he was delighted to do business with them.