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By David RichmanManaging Director, Advisor Institute

One of the skill sets we work to nurture with advisors is the ability to maintain their composure throughout a prospecting call by being calm, confident and curious. Advisors do well with calm and confident, while most have some difficulty mastering curiosity.

The first definition of the word curiosity in many dictionaries is "a strong desire to know or learn something." Curiosity requires genuine interest. It is easy to spot the difference between questions for the sake of asking questions and questions based on genuine interest.

Without genuine interest, questions can sound insincere, like you are trying to take the conversation down a certain path. Quite simply, it sounds like a "sales call." Consider the difference between these two questions:

  • "When do you want to retire?"
  • "As you approach retirement, is there anything that concerns you?"

Do you see how curiosity with genuine interest has an entirely different feel? The answers to such questions are far more likely to lead to deeper discovery.

Bottom line: Let genuine interest be your navigational beacon to unleashing the power of curiosity.