The Advisor Institute: Coach's Corner
'How are YOU doing?'

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

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      By David RichmanNational Director, Eaton Vance Advisor Institute

      This past weekend, I caught up with a very successful advisor and friend — we go all the way back to high school. One of the things we discussed was his three days of calls to clients last week.

      While he was successful in reaching out to most of his 100 clients, what struck him the most was their almost universal first question of him: "How are YOU doing?"

      What does that say about his client relationships? He has built a depth of client loyalty that runs very deep.

      He mentioned that another advisor he spoke with was shocked that he, such a seasoned advisor, was banging the phones so aggressively. Here was his response:

      "We are the only professional in the client's lives that does not charge by the hour. Do you know why? Because, we charge them every day, 24/7! Pick up the phone. These are the moments to work a little harder to earn those fees."

      When reaching out to clients remember to respect the importance of the advisory relationship. Given that you undoubtedly like most of your clients and they probably also like you, does that mean they are your friends? I would suggest they are not, perhaps with the exception of friends who became your clients. However, even they are now clients first, friends second.

      Bottom line: If you have cultivated strong client relationships like my advisor friend, don't be surprised if clients ask how YOU are doing. Be genuine with your answer and make sure to connect the dots from HOW you are doing to WHAT you are doing on behalf of your clients as you help them navigate these unchartered — and unnerving — waters.