Advisors Have a Superpower

You want wealthy, successful clients.  They might be executives, medical professions or business owners.  You’ve discovered involvement in your local community nonprofits is a good way to rub shoulders with them. Financial advisors often find themselves on the development committee and eventually the board.  Why?  Because they have a superpower.

What’s my Superpower?

It’s so obvious.  You do it at work everyday.

1. The ability to look people in the eyes and ask them for money.  This is huge!  Very few people have this skill.  Put another way, you drive revenue, the top line.  Many of your fellow board members or volunteers would rather write a big check themselves vs. asking a friend for a contribution.  This superpower makes you highly valuable to the organization.  Other groups learn about your superpower.  Some attempt to lure you away.  The people running your group need to make it worthwhile for you to stick around.  Connect the dots.

What are My Other Superpowers?

You aren’t a one trick pony.  You bring more value to your nonprofit.

2. Understanding features and benefits.  Some nonprofits approach fundraising as follows.  “You have money.  We need money.  We are a good cause.  Therefore, you should give your money to us.”  You see emotional public service ads on TV.  As an advisor, you understand it’s the benefit that turns a prospect into a client.  This might be a naming opportunity for a very large gift.  It might be as simple as a bumper sticker or shop window decal showing your support for the organization.  You understand what it takes to close a sale.

3. Advisors can handle rejection.  The job of a financial advisor would be easy if you made 100 phone calls, connected with 100 wealthy prospects, asked them for a million dollars, which would go into managed money and fee based accounts at the posted rate.  In reality, it might take many years to connect with the right people, start off small and build up their asset size.  There’s lots of rejection along the way.  Advisors are better at dealing with it.  They move onto the next prospect.  They don’t take rejection personally.

4. Advisors understand cultivation.  You know building up an account relationship takes time.  You work on multiple prospects at once.  Accounts start small, clients get comfortable with you and entrust you with more money.  You know you can’t say to a stranger “I want all your money.”  In the nonprofit world people sometimes get a “No” answer because they ask for too much.  You know how to develop social relationships that turn into business.

5. Advisors know how to ask for referrals.  This category also includes introductions.  You know who you want to reach and who can facilitate a meeting.  Once you have cultivated a client, you ask “Who they Know” that in a similar situation or has the same problem.  You make the introduction as simple and painless as possible.  This superpower helps advisors bring on new donors.

6. Advisors understand the importance of keeping the pipeline filled.  Many nonprofits tend to go back to their previous donors, asking for more support.  There’s an expression, “The ceiling becomes the floor.”  Last year’s stretch gift is this year’s minimum level when the “ask” is made.  Advisors understand turnover.  People leave.  They develop other interests.  You must always be cultivating the new generation of clients (and donors.)

7. Advisors are long term thinkers.  Some organizations believe in “Keep ion doing what we are doing.”  Advisors know where they see their practice in five or ten years.  How will they get it there?  They know about plenty of failed companies that didn’t adapt to changing demand and the desires of the buying public.  Advisors can help an organization stay relevant in the future, not requiring people to accept what the institution has always done.

8. Advisors know how to sell a future vision.  You do it with retirement planning all the time.  It’s the goal that justifies all the saving and sacrificing you are doing in the meantime.  Your organization has a capital campaign.  The goal is measured in millions.  Advisors know how to present it as an achievable goal to potential donors, getting them to want to be a part of this successful venture.

9. Advisors know how to motivate.  In sales, rejection can get you down.  The board or development committee is soliciting donations.  People say “no” or they put you off.  Advisors know how to be cheerleaders and celebrate successes.  They know which fellow volunteers need some support.  They might go out on the next solicitation call together.

Your nonprofit is getting all these service, all these superpowers for free.  It makes you a very valuable resource, someone they won’t want to lose.  People want to be part of this success alongside you.  This brings you into social circles and gives you access other advisors who don’t leave their desks or volunteer can only dream about. 

Yes, you have superpowers.

Related: 12 Reasons Investors Really Need Advisors