Are Your “Gatekeepers” Killing Your Client Relationships?

I had been limping around for three weeks with a pain across the top of my left foot that didn’t seem to be getting any better.  I made it through five straight days on my feet for two workshops and an active vacation, but the pain did not subside.  So, I finally decided to visit a

Client Retention: They Changed Their Minds!!!

After two visits—a total of six hours—advisor Marianne had gotten an enthusiastic “thumbs up” from her new “almost clients”—a young professional couple with small children—to prepare a financial plan for them.  The plan would specifically include some much-needed life insurance.  There was no doubt the mission was going forward! But a few days later, just

Is SUCCESS Ruining Your Practice?

“I think too much business is the worst thing for my practice,” Brandon complained. Brandon is a financial planner who was working with four or five newer clients.  He was worried that he was too busy to be out looking for his next clients, and in a few weeks, he’d have no one waiting in

As If Your Life Depended on It…

I pushed too hard the other day.  Or did I? I was trying to get Janis, a relatively new financial services representative who works at a branch of a large insurance company, to take the last available seat in my workshop program.  I had offered her help with the tuition, and she had committed on

You Lost Me At “Hello”

I was calling an accountant client of mine—we’ll call him Bill Peterson.  The phone rang seven times, so by then, I was expecting his voice mail.  Instead, I was greeted by an unhappy, bored, stressed-sounding female voice. “Mr. Peterson’s Office,” the voice grumbled crankily. “May I speak with him?” I asked politely. “He’s busy right now,”

The BEST Advisor in Illinois

No, I don’t plan to share an opinion here about who the best advisor in Illinois is, but I wanted to make this point: Most of us know how to meet prospective clients, talk to them, and have them retain us, but the what we do is not a problem.  The problem is who we

“Approach-Avoidance Tango” Revisited

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the problem that occurs when a prospective client runs “hot and cold”—approaching you as if he’s interested and then blowing you off as if he’s not.  I called this phenomenon the Approach-Avoidance Tango, because it has the air of a dance. After reading my advice, Mitch, one of my

The “Approach-Avoidance Tango”

It can happen to anyone who sells a service:  We speak to someone who is thinking about hiring us.  She calls again with a question and leaves a message to call her back.  We’re enthusiastic about the prospect of working with her—but when we return her call, she’s suddenly unavailable—forever. This is the “Approach-Avoidance Tango”,

Make an Offer, and Let Them Say “No”

Nineteen years ago, I needed lifesaving surgery.  I worked hard to find out who the surgeons with the best reputations were, and then I made separate appointments with each of three doctors who had been most highly recommended. The first surgeon I met with did not impress me one way or another.  The second told