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By David RichmanNational Director, Eaton Vance Advisor Institute

Suppose YOU are a prospect and a financial advisor you met a year ago at a function for a local charity calls you and starts with one of these phrases:

  • "How was your weekend?"
  • "Thought I would check in."
  • "Just touching base."

Think about it. How would you feel? Like hanging up or that he is trying to sell you something? Agreed.

Instead, what if the call started like this:

"Hi Beth, this is David. Was thinking of you yesterday while driving by Valley Country Club remembering the charity event Jimmy arranged last spring. Sure seems like forever ago, doesn't it?"

Reflect for a moment on the difference in this approach:

  • First, who doesn't like when others are "thinking about them?"
  • Second, even if he only vaguely remembers, you have refreshed his recollection about you and your mutual connection to Jimmy.
  • Third, and most importantly, it gets you talking about something less trivial than the things you share in common (in this case golf and Jimmy).

Perhaps the discussion leads you to go deeper by asking questions such as:

  • What reflections have you had about your life and the things that matter?
  • How have your priorities or your plans about the future changed?
  • What have you learned about yourself?

What bonds you at a deep level today with every prospective client is that we are all living through these extraordinary times.

Bottom line: This is your time to go beyond the superficial and go deeper in conversation.