Last week we looked at 10 expressions you should avoid. Here are eight more.
#1. “Wow. I can’t believe you did that.”
A prospect made a poor investment decision and paid the price.
Why: He may feel he made a stupid mistake. You just confirmed it.
Instead: “How did this happen? Tell me about it. Start at the beginning.”
Read: 10 expressions to avoid
#2. “Can you make it quick?”
A client calls and you’re in the middle of something. It’s important so you brush them off.
Why: You imply her issue isn’t important.
Instead: “I’m with a client right now. Can I call you back in 30 minutes? Then you’ll have my undivided attention.”
#3. “I’ll watch it for you”
Or, “I’ll keep my eye on that stock for you. If it comes down to $30 I’ll let you know.” A client wants to buy or sell a stock but isn’t convinced yet. You’re trying to be helpful.
Why: You’re taking an unofficial order and exposing yourself to liability. What does “watch it” mean? If the company got a takeover bid and the stock popped, the client would have expected you to take action.
Instead: “I’m not at my desk all the time. I can’t watch a stock constantly. What if I’m out sick? If you want to take action we can place an order that goes live if the stock crosses a threshold.” Explain stops and limits.
#4. “Can this wait? I was just heading out the door”
You need to get moving or you’ll miss your flight.
Why: We’re in the service business, so clients must come first. Something may need an answer immediately. You need to balance your time commitments without slighting the client.
Instead: “I’m on my way to the airport. Can I call you in 10 minutes when I’m in the cab?”
#5. “Get your best price. I’ll match or beat it”
You’re implying the price you quoted isn’t your best offer.
Why: You’re commoditizing your services and implying your skills bring no value. They sense the price you quoted is the start of negotiation and they’d be foolish to accept it.
Instead: “Investing is an ongoing relationship. You should understand how we make money. Here’s what we charge and why. Here’s how we add value.”
#6. “The firm made me do it”
Used when there’s an unpleasant development such as fee or asset-minimum increases. Also avoid, “If it were up to me….”
Why: It weakens the client-advisor bond because you’re shifting the blame.
Instead: “I’ve taken on additional responsibilities at the firm. I’ll still be working with individual clients but the asset levels will be higher…” For a fee increase: “We’re introducing a different pricing scale in July. It’s going to change how we discount established relationships. Fortunately I have some leeway.…”
#7. “There must be some mistake”
Your client calls because statement values are down or they were charged a stiff fee. You want to avoid an argument.
Why: You’ve given them hope that values haven’t gone down or fees weren’t charged. It’s likely the statement is correct.
Instead: “I see what you mean. I don’t have all the facts but I’ll look into it. I’ll try to call you back by end of day Thursday.”
#8. “Better you than me”
The client’s in an awkward situation that will be difficult to unravel.
Why: You’re creating distance in the relationship.
Instead: “That’s a tough situation—thanks for explaining the details. I realize you’ve already thought this through, but it sounds like you have three options.…”