Joseph Spinelli III, CLU, LUTCF, doesn’t remember exactly how it happened. But the 11-year MDRT member from Tallahassee, Florida, USA, remembers the problem at hand: The babysitter canceled, his wife was unavailable, and suddenly he was responsible for both his 1½-year-old son and an appointment that was going to be starting soon.
“I called my client and said, ‘Hey, can we reschedule? I’ve got my son, James, here with me …’ Spinelli said. “She was super excited and was holding him the whole time during our meeting.”
This does not happen on a regular basis — Spinelli prefers not to do things this way if possible. But he’s learned the benefits if the situation requires it, and how it shows clients that he’s human.
In fact, for a few appointments, clients have specifically told him to bring his family. “They’ll say, ‘Bring the kids, and we’ll feed you,’” Spinelli said. “We’ve done that before with clients who are friends of ours, and at the end we talk a little bit of business.
“It helps people bring their guard down. I don’t always like to do it because meetings can drag out; I’d prefer to bring the family over another time. Just because sometimes I feel like if business and personal matters aren’t separate, certain things may not get done. But it does add a more personal component to your practice from time to time.”
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