The Advisor Institute: Coach's Corner
Warming up the warm call

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

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      By David RichmanNational Director, Eaton Vance Advisor Institute

      With the curtailment of "social networking," advisors of all tenures are turning to the phone for prospecting. As a result, demand for phone-skills workshops has been keeping us quite busy.

      While there are several varieties of these workshops, my personal favorite is the Zoom call simulation. The format is straightforward:

      • Two "volunteers" play the role of client and advisor
      • The "advisor" provides the "client" with a persona to take on — usually replicating a recent conversation — along with the particular details of what led up to the call (assuming a "warm" call)
      • At a certain point, I call time out and ask the "room" what stood out to them

      During a recent workshop with a single team of nine advisors, an hour flew by due to the lively brainstorming that followed a four-minute call simulation.

      What struck me was that none of the other advisors heard the opening of the call quite the way I did. Take a moment and consider what missed opportunity you might notice:

      Bill: "Hi, it's Bill from XYZ. How are you today?"

      Amanda: "I am good. What do you want?"

      Bill immediately jumped in to describe his role on the team to bring a handful of new clients in this year.

      Your thoughts? Perhaps you noticed what I did — her first words were "I am good."

      Somehow, Bill skipped over this and instead only heard her curt challenge: "What do you want?" He missed the opportunity to bring some humanity to the call. What if Bill said: "That's terrific that you are 'good' in the midst of these crazy times. What's your secret?" Then what if he paused to hear where she could go from there? Might that have warmed her to him?

      Bottom line: Whether you make a warm call or a cold call, seek to connect where life intersects with life BEFORE moving on to where life intersects with money.