The Advisor Institute: Coach's Corner
Go beyond the superficial

Practical messages intended to help you elevate the success of your practice.

The views expressed in these posts are those of the authors and are current only through the date stated. These views are subject to change at any time based upon market or other conditions, and Eaton Vance disclaims any responsibility to update such views. These views may not be relied upon as investment advice and, because investment decisions for Eaton Vance are based on many factors, may not be relied upon as an indication of trading intent on behalf of any Eaton Vance fund. The discussion herein is general in nature and is provided for informational purposes only. There is no guarantee as to its accuracy or completeness. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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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.