How does community involvement lead to business?

Many agents and financial advisors give back to their community. They do it because it is the right thing to do and they’re grateful they can help others. They also realize joining the right organizations can provide an entry into the high-net-worth community.

Here are some ideas for networking opportunities that may arise while you’re volunteering:

  1. You get business from the people you meet. This is straightforward. You get to know people and you eventually ask, “What do you do?” They ask you the same question. They understand how you help people. You drip market to them when they ask, “How’s business?” Make sure they understand who you are, what you do and why you are good at it. And do you know the same about the people you meet?
  2. Source of introductions. The people you meet know other people. Those people may travel in different circles, and you would like to find a way to meet them. Who are the people in the community you want to meet? Have you built a list? Have you shown your friends three to five names on the list at a time and asked, “Do you know any of these people? I’d like to meet them because I think I can help them.”
  3. Sources of referrals. The people you meet understand how you help people. They each know lots of other people. Friends tell other friends about their problems. If they come across a friend with a need you can address, they will logically bring up your name. Be tactful, but you can get the ball rolling. From time to time, ask, “Who do you know that [has this problem]? I have helped others before. I might be able to help them too.
  4. Business within the organization. Your firm provides wealth management. The organization you volunteer for might have a pool of assets set aside for the long term, such as an endowment. Can your firm compete for consideration as a professional money manager?
  5. Referrals from other organizations. The endowment at your museum is fine, but the endowment at the aquarium is underwater! The membership and development staff at these organizations all know each other. If they see a need elsewhere, they might bring your name up.
  6. Life-changing events. You know plenty of people where you volunteer. They each have lives. Life-changing events take place from time to time. It might be an inheritance or needing care for an aging parent. You are in regular contact with your friends. You should hear about these issues as they unfold in real time.
  7. Speaking engagements. You can speak on behalf of where you volunteer in front of other groups. For example, the museum where you volunteer is having a capital campaign. Someone needs to make the rounds at the service clubs and tell their story at luncheon meetings. You can be that speaker. Although you are speaking as a representative of your volunteer organization, your professional credentials are often given when you are introduced.
  8. Seminar location. Perhaps you volunteer with a cultural organization. They have a great building. The building is available for rent as an event venue, but many people might not know that. You rent the space for your next public seminar or event. You gain the prestige of the location. That is a draw that increases attendance.

There are many ways, both direct and indirect, that your community involvement can lead to business. At all times, though, make sure you take the high road and put the organization first.

Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. His book “Captivating the Wealthy Investor” is available on Amazon.

For more ideas on how to amplify your networking and community involvement:

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