Who have you been in the most contact with over the past year? Most likely, you can easily identify a handful of close friends and family. Now reflect on those people you haven’t been in contact with – those casual relationships. The person you always have small talk with at the gym or the colleagues you used to have over for dinner. Where did these relationships go?
One of the unintended consequences of this prolonged pandemic is how naturally all of us have segmented our relationships. It’s not as though we intentionally cut people out of our inner circle, it was that we were forced to be more selective. As our inner circles shrunk, the relationships with those on the inside got stronger. However, many casual relationships drifted away, succumbing to the proverbial out of sight, out of mind cliche.
The prevailing thinking, or really assumption, was that those casual relationships would be back in the picture as soon as things got back to normal. However, that won’t always be the case.
In a New York Times article, We Want Our Friends Back!, by Alex Williams, he quotes a professor of sociology and gerontology at UNC Greensboro, Rebecca Adams, who studies peer networks. She says, “Everything has changed the way they interact. Over the past year, we stopped exploring, often limiting our rare encounters to tiny groups of trusted intimates.”
Adams goes on to talk about the challenges of developing new casual friends if you’re not frequenting public places and why it’s so important to not allow your “casual friends to drift off your radar.”
In fact, for financial advisors, many of these casual relationships could be ideal prospects whom you’d love to transform into clients in the future. With that mindset, let’s get vigilant!
Step 1: Build Your List
Your first step is to build a list of the people who have drifted off your radar over the past year or more. Think of people you know from your Country Club, Civic Organizations, Pilates class, and other pre-Covid social activities.
Step 2: Review Their Social Feeds
Take a moment to see what they’ve been doing over the past year. Review their Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn feeds to uncover any major life events and gather intel.
Step 3: Craft Your Message
Consider how you’ll open up the dialogue with these casual friends. Your message might be along the lines of “It’s been too long! I hope you and your family have been safe over the past year. We need to catch up, let’s… ” Whenever possible, mention something personal that has been a connection point for you in the past.
Step 4: Follow-up
Your first message may get missed, so don’t be afraid to follow up again. Remember, it’s been a while and this is your first attempt at reviving a casual relationship.
Everyone has been deprived of the levels of social interaction they once enjoyed. This has created the perfect environment for not only resuscitating your casual relationships and making them stronger – but also the opportunity to transform as many as possible into prospects and then clients, over time.