Your Prospects Aren’t Looking for a New Friend

Ari GalperAdvisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Recent studies from the University of Kansas call for a marked shift in how advisors should approach selling.

In a communications study conducted by Professor Jeffrey Hall, it was found that it takes 40-60 hours for an acquaintance to become a casual friend, and an additional 140-160 hours for a casual friend to become a close friend.

Most surprising, however, was the following caveat to these findings:

A close friendship can be formed in less than 200 hours if the interaction is meaningful and there’s a mutual willingness to be open and vulnerable – but 200 hours spent together doesn’t necessarily guarantee that two people become close friends, each person has to want closer friendship with the other.

Considering the prevailing norm in the advisory profession of attempting to cement a real relationship pre-sale, and the generally low conversion rate among advisors compared to other consultancy-based professionals, your prospects aren’t looking for a new friendship to hire you.

And if you’re brutally honest, neither do you – until a mutual relationship develops after they’re a client, not before.