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?”

Read: Top 10 myths about clients

#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.…”

Read: When clients complain about good news

Bryce Sanders is President of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. in New Hope, PA. His book “Captivating the Wealthy Investor” is available on Amazon.com.
Originally published on Advisor.ca

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