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By David RichmanNational Director, Eaton Vance Advisor Institute

You are proud of your team and understandably so. Is it possible to bring them to the table prematurely?

An advisor shared some recent challenges with a prospective client, Susan. We stepped back to recreate the first call in which he uncovered a variety of complex moving parts in her life. He quickly recommended a virtual meeting for two weeks later with three of his team members — Susan accepted the invitation.

As our simulation played out, it was clear why the follow-up meeting likely proved unsuccessful. It was a classic "show and tell." The advisor introduced Susan and then asked team members to introduce themselves and explain their roles on the team. A half hour later, the call ended — no one had asked Susan a single question.

Was there a third meeting? No. Susan declined the invitation.

Does the advisor have impressive colleagues on his team? Absolutely. Did the advisor judiciously deploy them? Absolutely not.

Be careful not to overwhelm prospective clients with all of the valuable services your team provides. Instead, seek to uncover an issue that is top of mind for him or her and consider focusing in on that topic in your next meeting. For example, if confusion about an old trust is top of mind, perhaps you should only invite the team member most astute discussing trusts to the next meeting with the prospective client.

Bottom line: Before bringing your team to the table, be sure you establish a meaningful connection with prospective clients.