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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

When calling a generation older, showcase your process

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There are three common intimidating factors for those who are making calls for appointments. The first one is calling people who are filthy rich.

Since we are financial advisors, having a super-rich prospect can be intimidating — especially if you are a new advisor. The second common fear is calling people you are very close to.

Since your pre-existing relationship is an important one, the phone call is more emotionally “charged.” Most people tell me that any one appointment isn’t as important as certain relationships they have and often the main coping mechanism is to NOT call those we are closest to. (That’s another conversation.)

Related: Texting: when (and when not) to use it in client communications

The third intimidating factor is calling someone a generation older than you. Often, it is someone who remembers you as a young person. Or, worse, they remember diapering you. 

No matter how old you are, the people who remember you as a kid have to adjust to your maturity. It’s important to help them “hear” that maturity in your phone call, so your inflection and script delivery is key. But so is your choice of words. 

I had this very conversation with an advisor who was in my class last week. He agrees that many of his natural market prospects are the parents of his childhood friends, in addition to relatives his parent’s age.

Telling an aunt, or friend of the family, that you would like to “be their financial advisor” when they may have knowledge of your brief career is not a good idea.

As a baby boomer, I easily role play with my youngest advisors because I understand how that relative or family friend would react to the suggestion that this young person wants to give me financial advice. Having the right message in your script is critical.

A different tack, which I propose will get a better reaction, is to offer to show these prospects your process. Do not go straight for the advisor relationship in your first call.

I have had too many young advisors report disastrous and embarrassing stories of when directly suggesting “being a financial resource” to them. And those words are straight out of my own script book.

Related: Here are 2 good answers to “I’ve got an advisor”

Some ideas for things to say:

I’ve been in financial services for a couple of years and feel I’ve been professionally irresponsible in that I haven’t reached out to you. My team and I have an amazing process that we use to give people a different perspective on their finances.

I’d like to get together to show you how we put people’s money through a series of questions and in the end, it helps folks to make better decisions about getting their money to do what they want it to. 


You know that I’ve joined _____________ and I’m working with a really talented team. I’m calling because we use a process that is eye-opening and helps to organize how people think about their money. I’d like to find a time when you can sit down and see this for yourself, so that you can decide if it gives you a new perspective on your finances.

Being a new, young financial advisor poses challenges. Calling people you know who are a generation older doesn’t have to be stressful if you have a good message and believe what you are saying. Remember, what you do is important and to not call those you know will deprive them of the choice of learning something about their money. 

More blogs by Gail Goodman:

Prospects not listening to voice mail? Arrange a phone date

DNC prospecting: What to do when you can’t call people at home

How to evaluate prospecting methods

10 prospecting strategies that work



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