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By David RichmanNational Director, Eaton Vance Advisor Institute

What is today's most commonly missed moment? Many advisors are angling for the follow-up meeting in initial prospecting calls while missing the stark reality that they are ALREADY IN A MEETING!

Consider this scenario: An advisor calls a prospect who agreed to connect on the phone after a LinkedIn reach out. Call is going great until our advisor attempts to schedule a follow-up virtual or socially distanced coffee meeting as a next step. Prospect balks. Call ends.

In so many of the role-plays we have stimulated recently, the ask for the follow-up meeting seems to occur prematurely. What's the miss?

Pause your agenda and stay in the moment. "Angle-based" listening may lead you to pivot too swiftly with a suggested follow-up meeting. In contrast, "agendaless" listening helps you follow the bread crumbs to discover increasing insights about your prospective client.

Once you have uncovered what is top of mind, suggest a follow-up conversation to address that topic more deeply. Consider saying something like this:

"It would be a pleasure to dig more deeply into your newfound desires to move your retirement date forward. As a next step, how would you prefer we meet again — in person, phone or virtually?"

Bottom line: When you find a prospective client willing to open up, seize the moment. Even if it is your first conversation, recognize you may be able to turn it into an extremely productive first meeting.