The following is based on two of Norm Trainor’s clients, Don Leitzell and Ron Roberts.
In my experience, top advisors are givers. They are generous by nature. Let me give you a few examples. Don Leitzell is a very successful advisor whom I have had the privilege of working with for the last two years and is the leading annuity producer with one of the companies that sponsors our Practice Development program.
Recently, one of Don’s clients, an elderly widow, was eligible for additional Social Security benefits. She was anxious about going to the local office to press her claim. Don offered to go with her and assist in whatever way he could. When he arrived to take her to the appointment, the client’s daughter was there to accompany her mother. When they returned from the appointment, the daughter took Don aside and thanked him. She went on to say that she was in the final stages of selling her business and was in need of a financial advisor. She is now Don’s biggest client.
In William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, Portia utters one of the most famous lines in English literature: “The quality of mercy is not strained.” What Shakespeare meant is that generosity of spirit cannot be faked. The daughter of Don’s client was touched by his generosity. She knew that this simple act of kindness was over and above what could be expected of a financial advisor.
I, too, have experienced Don’s kindness. Last fall, he invited me and my son to a Penn State football game. We stayed at his beautiful farm. Don and his wife, Heidi, were gracious hosts. Before the game, we went to a party at Chris Leitzell’s home. Chris is Don’s son and partner. Chris then drove a group of us to the game in a bus specially outfitted for these events. The tailgate party had over 100 guests. It was a truly memorable day. Don, his family and his partners in the firm went out of their way to make our visit a wonderful experience.
Ron Roberts also exemplifies the “quality of mercy is not strained.” I had the privilege of visiting Ron’s office recently and working with him and his team. While we were involved in a planning session with the whole team, an elderly couple came into the office. The woman was in a wheelchair. Ron and his staff were very attentive to their needs. Someone once told me that people will not remember what you say or what you do, only how you make them feel. Ron and his team made this elderly couple feel special.
The next day, I played golf with Ron and Dave Nash, another top advisor. Ron and Dave are both involved in a Study Group of top advisors. During our round of golf, Dave shared with me how much of a mentor Ron has been to him. Ron has generously taken the time to work with Dave and foster his development.
That afternoon, I presented to the Study Group. The members are all top advisors who are leaders in their communities and in their profession. Though I was only with them for a few hours, they made me feel special. As a result of the presentation, I am going to be working with the Study Group for the next year.
Don Leitzell and Ron Roberts are both running successful financial advisory firms. They have surrounded themselves with quality people. Their attraction power is based upon their “goodness.” Shakespeare is right. The quality of mercy cannot be strained.
Norm Trainor is the founder of The Covenant Group, a company specializing in practice development for advisors. For further information, visit his Web site at www.covenantgroup.com.