Clients care about your skill, not your age

Michael DeVivo

As a 24-year-old advisor, Michael DeVivo didn’t know if an older prospect with considerable wealth would take him seriously. So when the now-30-year-old, one-year MDRT member from Downers Grove, Illinois, met with a client’s father who was in his 70s, he was not bursting with confidence.

“Surprisingly, he met me with open arms and was very receptive to everything I talked about. I ended up closing a seven-figure annuity with him,” DeVivo said, attributing his success to both his custom suit (suggesting achievement in the business), his level of knowledge and his ability to make financial solutions understandable. “It was such a huge confidence booster for me that I knew that I did a good job. He knew that I did a good job. For me to have a client with that age gap trust me with their advising was huge for me.”

One element that established that trust, DeVivo said, was making sure the client understood that he should do what was best for him, not just automatically agreeing and moving forward with what DeVivo showed him. “Then they know you’re working for them and their money and not for yourself, and it makes the process much smoother,” he said. “What this case was able to do for me was make me think of myself differently in this business. It doesn’t matter how old you are or where you come from. It’s just, ‘Do you do a good job, and do you know what you’re talking about? Can you help people?’ If you can convey those things and build the relationship and have confidence when you’re doing all of it, it can really change your career.”

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