About a week ago I made a call to a financial planner whom I know who works here in Middletown, New Jersey. Several years ago, I had a brief coaching assignment with him.
The reason for my call was to refer an individual to him, who I thought, would be a good potential client for his business.
As expected, his assistant answered the phone. I introduced myself and asked if I could speak with the gentleman. She put me on hold and after 10 or 15 seconds, came back and said, “I’m sorry he’s in a meeting right now. Can I take a message and have him call you back?” I responded that it would be very nice, and gave her my name and the best contact number for him to use.
Then, as expected, she asked, “May I tell him what this call is about?” I responded that I would prefer to discuss it with him when he called me back. She did not like my response, her tone changed and she became a bit frustrated with me because I wouldn’t comply with her request.
Now, in all fairness to the lady, she probably thought that I was one of those annoying telephone solicitation calls that we all get.
However, what she said next was extremely interesting for a business – financial planning – built on personal relationships. Her response was, “Well you know it’s very difficult for him to call people back, so if you tell me what it’s about, he may be able to call you back.”
I thanked her for her time and the conversation ended.
Our teams represent us and our organizations.
In many cases, they are the first contact a potential buyer of your services will experience. While the individual was doing her job in attempting to screen the call, her response was driven by her frustration with me versus what was in the best interest of her firm. Why would anyone want to do business with an investment advisor who finds it “difficult” calling people back? The truth is, the advisor does call people back. But that’s not what the assistant told me.
It doesn’t make a lot of sense for anyone, let alone a financial advisor to be working very hard to fill their bucket with prospects and new business when a team member is punching a hole in the bottom of it through their actions and words. Be sure that all of your employees know your story and can tell it correctly every time.
And what was the result of all of this? I referred the individual to someone else.
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