Face to Face

Learning a New Dance

by Tony DiLeonardi

Not that I generally care to dispute the thinking of Nobel Prize winners, but this week I'd like to challenge Samuel Beckett's advice "Dance first.  Think later. It's the natural order."  That is, when it comes to connecting with clients, which can be akin to inviting someone to dance, think about your connection strategy before executing.  For example, just as you may evaluate your dance partner when deciding whether to break dance or fox trot, why assume that a golf outing is a an appropriate connection event for every client?  Rather, think about who you are looking to create/maintain a connection with and then orchestrate your "dance" accordingly.
First, let's look at the golf outing.  Please don't misconstrue my above reference as a put-down on the connection opportunity presented by golfing.  Rather, if a golf outing is appropriate for your client base, expand the event in ways that help build your business.  I recently had a conversation with one advisor who hosted an annual golf outing for his clients.  The outing was structured so that it became a generational event as participation required clients to bring a child or grandchild with them.  The beauty of this approach is while you reap the benefits of networking with the next generation of potential clients, you are also helping your clients' efforts at raising their children/grandchildren's money IQ.
In my next post, I'll continue this discussion to provide you with more creative thinking on ways to connect with clients.  In the interim, I'll leave you with a thought based on the African proverb "When the music changes, so does the dance."  We all know the music has changed, but have you changed your dance?