In August of 2001, I obtained my Series 7 license and started as the broker of an Edward Jones office in Nashville selling stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.
I was in my early 30’s and much too young to be taken seriously as a stockbroker, or was I?
One of the biggest tragedies in American history happened a few weeks later. I was sitting at the breakfast table talking to a small business owner about developing a 401k program for their company when the news broke.
All we could do was stare at the images of the plane crashing into the first tower for the next 30 minutes. Needless to say, I did not close the deal that morning.
In fact, Wall Street would be shut down for the next week. I felt helpless.
My goal was to meet 1,500 new people in the first three months on the job. There was nothing else for me to do, so I went door knocking 8+ hours a day for the next few weeks. I knocked on nearly every residence and small businesses near my office.
I noticed something on that first day.
People were glad to see me. They wanted to know what was going on with their investments and how the market would react when it re-opened. As the week progressed, people started talking about how their broker wasn’t calling them back.
They were scared too.
I realized that the fear and lack of information was used as an excuse by the brokers to hide from their clients. Who wants to be the messenger of bad news right?
That was the worst thing that one could do to further a relationship. I realize that a phone call is not going to change a thing about someone’s retirement account. But it does change how people trust you.
Put yourself in their shoes for a minute. You’ve put your financial future in the hands of someone who won’t call you back when you need them most.
Most of the clients that I gained that first year, I met during this time. And many of them were twice my age or older. What could make them trust their future to someone younger than their own children?
Being present. Listening to their concerns. Offering what little advice that I could give. Providing information. Promising to follow up with them in the near future. And, being true to my word.
Right this minute, the market is changing in your area. The worst thing that you could do is to not talk about it with your clients and prospects. You think you will scare them away with the truth.
Instead, you’ll endear them with honesty because every other agent has their head in the sand. And set the stage for them to see you as the expert that they want to work with to solve their real estate problems.
It’s not that hard. You just need to care enough to do the right thing for others, no matter how uncomfortable it is for you.
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