Ho, Hum

In which we're reminded to tailor and differentiate our unsolicited approaches to prospects. 2:00 pm. I'm at my desk, working. The phone rings. Caller: Hi Nick this is John Greene at (Securities Firm A) in Chelmsford, how are you today? Me: Great, John. What’s this about?

Caller: Nick, from time to time, when we run across an opportunity that seems to have merit, would you be open to our ideas?
Me: No, thanks.

3:00 pm. Same day. Same desk. Same phone. I’m not kidding, this really happened.

Caller: Hi Nick this is Pat Smith at (a different company, Securities Firm B) in Wellesley, how are you today?
Me: Great, Pat. What’s this about?
Caller: Nick, from time to time, we run across very attractive opportunities. I’d like to send you my card and some information about the firm and call you when we see one of those opportunities.
Me: No thanks.

These guys were trolling. Uck! First, it’s amazing that the two firms use virtually identical scripts. That’s a dud. Second, it’s disappointing that they had not segmented their prospects and modified their scripts  to acknowledge “successful small business owners” and some hint about current market conditions. MAYBE their approaches would have been good in a rising market when people were feeling investing fever. But not now. A very simple approach could be:

Caller: Nick, Pat Smith with {investment company name]. I have a question for you, and before I ask, congratulations on building your company over the past 17 years and surviving this shakeup in the banking industry. [He could deduce this from our Web site.]
Me: Thanks. Challenging times, and we’ve developed a good company. What’s your question, Pat?
Caller:Nick,  I work with business owners. The stock market has declined 25% in recent months. I’m wondering how you’ve been handling your retirement assets and how you think your approach might change given the decline. [Notice, this is a forward-looking question.]

Now, depending on the answer I give him at THAT point, he may have a play to make. For example:

Me: I work with a financial manager who handles the strategy and investments. As to changing the approach, I’m not sure at this point. We haven’t had that conversation.

There’s just the tiniest opening there that the first two callers would never have seen (from me, at least) because this approach reflects knowledge about me and Clarity and connects to current reality.

© Clarity Advantage Corporation, 2009. All rights reserved.

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