The rules of success for community group involvement

How much do people know about you as a financial advisor or life insurance agent? Suppose someone across the room pointed you out. How would that person describe you, and would it be accurate? When you join a local nonprofit or other community organization, you might be surrounded by high-net-worth individuals, but are they aware of you and do they know how you can be of service to them as an advisor?

Let us consider four steps you should be taking. The first three are easy to explain. The last one is more complicated.

  1. Become a center of influence (COI). Everyone is trained to cultivate COIs. This is good advice, but like the real estate business, there is a buyer and a seller. The COIs you meet attract other people who ask for help or referrals, and you hope to get on their list. If you become a COI, the roles are now reversed. If you chat with people and know how you can help them solve a problem, offer your advice. In many cases, this doesn’t directly involve business. It’s the, “I know a guy who knows a guy” scenario. Now you have people seeking you out. You’re making new friends. If they have one need, they likely have others.
  2. Be near the money. You want to first confirm your firm is OK with this strategy. You might become the organization’s assistant treasurer or join the finance or investment committee. People think, “He must be good with money and honest.” Why? Because the organization entrusts you with handling their money. Now you are associated with money.
  3. Quietly raise your visibility. Many advisors and agents are Type A personalities. They quickly determine, “I could run this group better.” They shoulder their way in, and the old guard pushes back. The established members might not be the best at running the organization, but they are Olympic class when it comes to freezing out someone they don’t like. Take the time to do it right. You are wading into the swimming pool, not cannonballing off the diving board. Meet a few new people at each meeting or event. Say hello to people you met previously.

Now we get to the more complicated strategy.

  1. Learn about every member of the group if you can. This is done slowly over time. As someone once told me, “It’s conversation, not interrogation.” You want to learn three things about them.

a)  Who they are. That’s obvious. You want to know their name. People like it when you address them by name. It means you were paying attention and listening.

b)  What they do. What’s their profession? This allows you to take a guess at their income. If they are retired, what did they do previously?

c)  Where they work. Is it with a major employer in the area? Thinking ahead, they might be able to help with introductions to people you want to meet.

You want them to know three things about you:

a)  Who you are. You want them to know your name. You want them to connect a face with a name if they see you out in public.

b)  What you do. This often comes up in conversation. You already have different ways of providing an answer.

c)  Why you are good. This takes time. It’s low key. When they ask, “How’s business?” you might share anonymous success stories.

If you are already involved in the community, you probably know people who do this very well. They are likeable. People want to know them. They want to do things to help them. You want to be that person.

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

For more about working with the high-net-worth, read:

  • Vandra, thanks for commenting on my article. You make a good case for giving back.

  • If you are affiliated with more Groups and more NGOs, sports’ team, Volunteers’ group, Religious Group or Community activities..Music Groups,Yoga groups, Adventures’ group, Social Services’ group, Labour Welfare Groups, Health activities’ group,Eye donation Group, Blood Donation group, Libraries or Reader’s Group, Students’ activities group,Old age home services,Orfans welfare activities,Red Cross Society, cultural groups, Army’s welfare activities etc…if you are active with these groups,Naturally you are Live and Dynamic personality…Your businesses grow and Develop automatically…

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