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By David RichmanNational Director, Eaton Vance Advisor Institute

Recently, I caught up with a top advisor who is closing in on 30 new households since the start of the pandemic. What's his secret?

For the past six months, he and his team consistently focused on client communications. Beyond their stepped-up individual client outreach, this team just had their seventh virtual event to which they invited all clients to participate.

This team has long believed in our approach to helping advisors capture referable moments. Our discussion about his recent successes led him to the following conclusion:

"Because people are feeling so alone, when they are in conversation or Zoom happy hours with friends and family, their conversations are going deeper. Increasingly, we are learning that these conversations are turning to the topic of the financial markets, which then turns into a conversation about us."

"During the first call with the referred friend, I lead with the following: 'Tell me how you were feeling in March and April.' If their answer is 'like a deer in headlights,' it often leads to a paperwork conversation by the end of the call."

Bottom line: Stay top of mind by relentlessly helping your clients through these difficult days. When a referral leads you to a first call, always remember: The questions you ask differentiate you as an advisor.