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The Curiosity Factor

“What’s the main reason your calls and emails are not getting returned,” I asked a group of advisors recently.

Hands shot up throughout the room.

Value,” one of the advisors responded back.  “They’re not getting enough value from the call or the email.”  Heads nodded throughout the room in agreement.

But the answer was wrong.

People aren’t returning calls or responding to emails because they’re not “getting enough” CURIOSITY.


In the old days of manipulative sales, some trainers taught their people to leave a message that sounded like it got cut off:

“…My number is 555-1234.  The reason that I’m calling is [indiscernible noise, then click].”

The idea, of course was to arouse enough curiosity to get the sales-victim to call back.

But this was just wrong on so many levels.  I wrote an article a while back blasting a tactic that some financial representatives and their managers were applauding: an advisor leaving a message confirming an appointment for “later today” that she hadn’t actually made with the prospect.  Her effort did get the prospect to call back—to ask that he never be called again.  I DEFINITELY DO NOT CONDONE THESE METHODS OF CREATING CURIOSITY.

Call Back

Unfortunately, for those of us attempting earnest service, there are three types of calls that aren’t being returned:

1) Cold calls
2) Calls to referrals, or people you know or have met but who aren’t yet clients
3) Calls to existing clients

Cold call messages are rarely returned, but they are 100% certain not to be returned if the message you leave is generic.  Many advisors don’t leave a message at all—but you’re there already, so why not try?  Leave a message that might peak his interest:

“Mr. Jones, I’m calling because I have some ideas to help people who are worried that they might not have enough money to retire.  If this means something to you, please call me back at _____.  I promise that I won’t waste your time.”


Calls to people you know, but who aren’t yet clients, need to genuinely spark the same Curiosity Factor:

“Joe!  I’ve been thinking about the conversation we had at John and Mary’s party last week and I have a couple of ideas for you.  Give me a call if you can…”

Finally, calls to a current client that aren’t being returned suggest a less-than-satisfactory relationship.  Here, it’s not usually about curiosity any longer—it’s about improving that relationship, or firing the client.  Still, sending a hand-written note hinting at some ideas to further improve his/her situation might create just enough renewed curiosity to generate a response.

If you don’t have the interest of those you want to work with, light a genuine spark, and keep REACHING…


16 Disciplines

I suppose it would have been more fun if I called them 16 “hot tubs” for advisors, or less intimidating if I called them “practices,” but after 17 years of working with and observing how the most successful advisors, it's clear that there are branches of knowledge involved. 


Practice these simple 16 disciplines daily and watch how quickly and easily your practice grows.

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