What You Just Can't Say
It feels good to still be surviving though after the last weeks events in the stock
market I am asking, "Did I just change deck chairs on the Titanic ??"
This market is trying to shake us out.
I had a good two week run of chasing people around and doing a bunch of stuff that
didn't lead to a whole lot. I know that's all part of the game. Today the burnout hit hard like
it often does after a big wave of prospecting. I'm not a natural. I burnout after talking
to hundreds of aloof strangers.
Is anyone else tired of being in crisis mode? I know we just got to deal with it.
What you just can't say to that client sitting across the table whose 800K shrank to
"At least you got 500k. If this flimsy reed of a job goes down I'm up a creek without
What you just can't say to the wife who still doesn't have a since of urgency about minimizing
"This job that you think is so great, sweetie - it's really just a reed blowing in the wind. It
can and might be gone at a moments notice."
Oh, and what you can't say to Alan Skrainka. I respect the guy but this hold through anything
strategy has scalped me and my clients. Luckily I had a few tricks up my sleeve that I learned at
Merrill Lynch. It's not a sin to get some money off the table. I know we're not supposed time the
market - but seriously, did anyone think this thing was going to turn around on a dime ??
What you can't say to the regional leader whose always talking about the glamour boy big producer.
"I respect that guy but would you quit comparing me to Michael Jordan? It's not motivating me at
all. Maybe I'm Scottie Pippen with tenacious defense. Maybe I'm Steve Kerr coming in to sink the
three point shot. Maybe I'm ugly Dennis Rodman coming in to mess with your head. But please stop
comparing us to the superstar...."
What you can't say to that rookie you're supposed to motivate.
"Uh, like dude digging ditch is a better gig than this right now."
What you can't say to the home office cronies....
"At least you got a paycheck that isn't a roll of the dice every month."
What you can't say to cronies who complain on Registered Rep Forums...
"Shut the #$%& Up!"
Take a position one way or the other. You hate jones one week, you like them the next and delete your negative posts. Now you hate them again. Stay consistent, that's my motto.
Well, the one thing we know for sure, you are closer to the bottom than the top!!
"I am out here for you. You don't know what it's like to be ME out here for YOU. It is an up-
at-dawn, pride-swallowing siege that I will never fully tell you about, ok?" Jerry Maguire
Sword - you're playing the mental game about as much as your clients are. THAT'S NOT WHY THEY HIRED YOU!!!!
You need to figure out what you want to do with your life. Whining about this and than doesn't portray an ounce of confidence with your clients. They hired you to create a plan for them to retire, or put their kids through school, or to just go on a big vacation in 10 years. NONE OF THAT HAS CHANGED! They still want, or need, to do those things. The game has changed, but the goal is still the same.
My suggestion - separate your clients into two groups. First, the group of people who think this market sucks, but are willing to listen to you and take your advice. Those people are the people you have got to build your future business around. They may not be your biggest clients. Doesn't really matter at this point. Focus 70% of your attention on making them happy, meeting their needs, and adjusting their plans. You may have to tell some of them they can't retire next year like you were planning. Or that their kid may have to get a summer job to pay for college. Life sucks. Now move on.
Next group is your clients who aren't listening to you. Those are the folks calling you telling you to move everything to cash or that want to you buy them a CD. Focus 20% of your attention on them. Create a LMGR list called "Goodknight" and add their names to that list. Once you get big enough, jetison them to the next new rockstar of your region.
You'll notice that there's 10% of your attention left. I'm going to add a group. That's your prospects. Get some new blood in your pipeline. There's nothing worse than old, stale prospects. Go find some new ones. This may be more time consuming than dealing with your existing clients, but it will be well worth it when the market starts to recover. Those new clients who rode the market down with the wirehouse broker, will ride it back up with you, possibly thinking your a genius as they see it grow.
If you don't like those ideas, then you're probably in the wrong biz.