DLS Consulting

PROVERBS 19: 2-3; “It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way. A man’s own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord.”

When I was a young man starting my career with Merrill Lynch, my manager suggested I go on a sales call with a man who had been in the business for many years and it was my role to learn from one of the masters. As we waited to meet with the gentleman who we were calling on, I asked my “mentor” some questions about the money managers we were going to propose to our prospect.

My mentor looked at me with great disdain and said we don’t know anything about anything and the sooner I understood that the prospect knew even less, the better off I would be in taking command of the selling relationship. As my mentor proceeded to embarrass both of us by trying to intimidate the prospect under the guise of we are the experts and you know nothing so just trust us, I vowed to never allow myself to be in the midst of that sales technique. Some of you have been trained by old school types who still exist in the industry who will jeopardize your witness if you are not careful.

Thank God there are not many of these types left but the concept is still alive in more subtle ways. We’ve changed the style a bit because today, we use the alphabet soup of designations to impress our new clients and whether we are CFP, CIMA, CPA, MBA, CCFC, CLU, OR you fill in the blank, we still use the art of intimidation to start our relationship. This week, may I suggest you simply ask, “How can I help you?” rather than “let me tell you what we can do for you!”

Although not all of you who are reading the MMM are in the financial services industry, I believe these words can still be of value in your endeavors. God bless you all as you work to add passionate followers of Jesus to the Kingdom. dls

This was sent in April 2006

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