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A list of Dan Richards’ previous articles appears at the end of this article.

In the course of a typical week, all advisors and their support teams have lots of routine telephone interactions with clients.

At a recent roundtable for advisors, a top producing advisor told me about a simple step he’d implemented that significantly increased the mileage from those calls.

This advisor leads a team of twelve wealth advisors, investment associates and administrative staff – together they talk to hundreds of clients each week.  He is part of a top ranking bank-owned investment dealer

Many of these calls are for routine matters and are initiated by clients. A while back, they launched a program called “ECHO,” an acronym for “Every Call Holds Opportunity.”

No matter how mundane the client’s request - perhaps for a tax receipt or clarification of a transaction in their account - on each and every call all members of the team seek out opportunities that the client has not inquired about or might not even be aware of, whether it be an trust for their grandchildren or a retirement account for adult children in the workforce.

At the end of the call, they finish by asking the client “What else can we help you with?”

I talk to hundreds of successful advisors each year. In my experience, it’s not the big ambitious initiatives that make a difference in advisors’ productivity. It’s the little things like consistently looking for hidden opportunity in every client interaction. Consider adopting the “ECHO” principle for your own client calls – make it a priority to listen and you may be surprised by the things you hear.

* Dan Richards conducts programs to help advisors gain and retain clients and is an award winning faculty member in the MBA program at the University of Toronto. To see more of his written and video commentaries and to reach him, go to

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