Don’t overlook this crucial behavior when working with clients

There are so many things advisors can do to connect with clients. The most important tactic is a simple one, said William T. O’Donnell, MSFS, a Past MDRT President and 52-year member from Lake Bluff, Illinois.

“If you’re a good listener and you help people get through the issues that every individual has, I think that is the best thing that you can do,” he said. “Sometimes when you’re working — especially when you’re new — you walk in and you’re not thinking one iota about this prospect. You’re thinking about you, and the sooner advisors learn that, the sooner they can develop a mental and emotional freedom in dealing with people and knowing that they’re truly helping them. And think, ‘It’s not about me. It’s about you, and let’s grow together.’

“Early on in my career, Xerox had a course called ‘The Listening Course,’ and I brought together eight to 10 of my friends every Monday night for six or eight weeks. They’d come to my office, we’d listen to these tapes on how to become a better listener, and the jokes would fly. It was a ton of fun. And today, 30, 35 years later, these guys still talk about ‘The Listening Course’ and how it helped them.”


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