How Your Overworked Assistant Can Help Get Business

Is your office phone answered by a real person? Assuming that’s the case, you have a sales assistant or at least part of one. Hopefully you treat them well, provide a career path and have a bonus system in place. They work hard, yet there are small things they can do to help you to get more business. Here are three examples: 1. Answering the phone. The phone rings. It’s a client. You are meeting with another client. The call might be urgent. They let you know who is calling. You let them know you are with a client, doing a specific task, such as setting up college savings plans for their grandchildren. What happens next? They tell the caller you are meeting with a client. They mention you are helping them with college savings plans. You will call back after the meeting. Benefit: Clients who might think of you in a narrow category (insurance, investments) are gradually learning you help people in other ways. It subtly advertises your other skills. It gets them thinking. 2. The big holiday. Thanksgiving is approaching. Clients call. You aren’t available. Your assistant asks if they can help. They likely take a message too. What happens next? Your assistant asks: “What are you doing for the holiday?” They might hear the client is having a big family gathering. Drinks. Dinner. Football. They casually ask: “Have your children ever met (advisor?) Benefit: The seed is planted. The client thinks maybe inviting you over is a good idea. Suppose they say: “Why do you ask?” Your assistant might say: “Your accounts have family members names all over them. They are going to meet (advisor) sometime. Isn’t it better if in happy circumstances?” 3. The accountant needs something. It’s irrelevant who calls who, but the end result is your assistant needs to send something to your client’s accountant. It might be getting the cost basis on a stock or a revised tax statement. What happens next? Your assistant calls the accountant’s office to confirm receipt. They call the client back to close the circle. The client is happy. Your assistant asks: “Has your accountant ever met (advisor)?” They stop talking. Benefit: The client should figure out there’s a benefit to making the connection. Maybe they think the accountant can call directly when they need something, taking them out of the loop! Suppose the client asks: “Why should they meet?” Your assistant might say: “They both help you handle your money.” Another seed is planted.These strategies don’t create extra tasks. They help script conversations. They plant seeds and ideas. They might lead to more business or valuable connections.

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