Establishing Constructive Connections

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There comes a time in every adviser’s career when he or she realizes how important good communication is with their peers, support staff, mentors and colleagues. But how does one know the best practices for establishing constructive connections without a guide?

Matt, a 26-year-old adviser, was just three years into the industry and found himself having to train and motivate a fellow “rookie” on the team, Jeff, who was 10 years older than him. After months of training, Matt began feeling that Jeff was starting to resent his help when his recommendations were quickly dismissed and Jeff continued to face the same challenges.

If this scenario sounds familiar, perhaps implementing the following formula will help you create constructive communications and better working relationships.

Start with the Positives
Let’s face it, nobody wants to be constantly criticized. Jeff would no sooner finish a cold call and Matt would be eagerly waiting to critique what he had overheard during Jeff’s conversation.

I coached both individuals, so knowing both sides of the story. I recommended to Matt that he make some notes then wait until the end of the day to meet with Jeff in private.  Then start the discussion with a list of positive remarks to reinforce Jeff’s great calling techniques. One example I suggested was: “You did a great job today following the format of the cold calling script…”

Transition with an Observation
It has been said that all manner of praise is irrelevant if followed by the word “but.” That’s because the listener will feel that any compliments given were a lead up to any true sentiments and hence insincere. To keep that from happening, it is important to transition with an observation. An example of this would be: “What I noticed is that you could be even more effective if…”

This example lets the listener know that you thought they were good at “X” and that by simply changing or adding a few things they could get even better results.

Recommend and Reinforce with Reasons
If you want to make an impact, you must give the listener a strong reason why they should apply your recommendations; explaining your own experience with the subject gives you credibility.

Here is an example: “You should add some of your own personal stories to your conversations. I did this and found that people were more receptive to speaking with me, because they could relate and they knew I was having a true dialogue with them rather than reading from a script.”

Putting It All Together
Now, here is how it sounds if you put the preceding three steps together:

You did a great job today following the format of the cold calling script, and what I noticed is that you could be even more effective if you add some of your own personal stories into your conversations. I did this and found that people were more receptive to speaking with me, because they could relate and they knew I was having a true dialogue with them rather than reading a script.”

This type of communication doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and preparation, but eventually you will find that it gets easier and it is well worth it as creating constructive connections always makes good business sense.

If you are interested in a complimentary consultation with Dan Finley, email Melissa Denham, Advisor Solution’s director of client servicing, at melissa@advisorsolutionsinc.com.

Dan FinleyDaniel C. Finley
President

Advisor Solutions
St. Paul, Minn.

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