The Advisor Institute: Coach's Corner
'How DARE you call me in the midst of a pandemic?!?!'

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

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      By David RichmanNational Director, Eaton Vance Advisor Institute

      These days we have been hosting virtual workshops to support advisors wanting to sharpen their prospecting skills on the phone. While typically reserved for newer advisors, many established advisors have also become increasingly interested in revisiting their approaches to prospecting calls.

      This pandemic is bringing out the best and worst of people. The classic quote from Forest Gump comes to mind: "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."

      This means we need to be especially empathic in our communication skills. If someone you call lashes out at you, recognize his or her sharp tone may have nothing to do with you and everything to do with what has transpired during their day or over the past several months..

      Remember, objections often are not anchored in the truth; rather, they may merely be off-the-cuff attempts to get you off the phone. How can you use judo and gently cast aside the objection and pivot to another question? This art takes practice and a willingness to be experimental and sometimes even a bit playful.

      Dear friend and writing partner, Alan Parisse, refers to sometimes needing a bit of karate, especially when dealing with what he calls the "conversation stopper." Such objections leave you no alternative other than to simply "go for it" since in another moment the prospect is likely to hang up the phone. This has come to mind over the past few months as countless advisors have shared their consternation over the objection: "How DARE you call me in the midst of a pandemic?!?!"

      Alan's favorite response to this objection: "That's PRECISELY why I am calling you," followed by a pause.

      Bottom line: Do not underestimate the power of the pause when prospecting. Even the most challenging objections have the potential to allow you to pivot to a more productive place.