A Million Dollar Meeting Gone Wrong - A Lost Prospect Tells All

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.Dan Richards

Landing a meeting with a prospective client with a million dollars to invest doesn’t happen every day – especially when it results from a cold call.

But getting a chance to sit down is only the first step. Over lunch last week, a long-time friend who’s a partner with a downtown Toronto law described a recent meeting with a financial advisor seeking his business and how some subtle errors and obvious mistakes cost the advisor the opportunity to do business.

This lawyer has assets of well over $1 million – our conversation offers a number of important lessons for advisors.

The first relates to what it takes to get a meeting when you’re calling cold.

Cold calling to get meetings

Here’s what the lawyer told me.

The original contact came a year ago from a guy calling on behalf of a broker with one of the banks. The only reason that he got through originally was that I get in early. So when he called the first time at 7:30, I answered my phone. I blew him off, told him I was happy where I was – but he said he’d like to send me a report from his firm on the outlook for markets regardless. He also said he’d like to touch base in six months. I said sure, figured I’ve never hear from him again – was a bit surprised when that report crossed my desk a week later”

The same guy called me last fall at about the same time in the morning, guess he’d figured out when I get in – and I told him I still wasn’t interested in meeting. And again he said that he understood, but would like to email me an article from Fortune Magazine that the broker he works with has been sending clients on the outlook for the economy and then touch base in about six months.”

In March, I got another call – this time from the broker himself. I agreed to give him half an hour over a coffee” the lawyer said. “I was impressed by his low key manner on the phone and his persistence. My comfort level went up when he told me that he dealt with a number of lawyers and had been in the investment industry for 20 years. And I actually felt a bit of obligation, given that I’d twice said his assistant could send me stuff and then he’d followed through both times.”