Saturday, March 7, 2009

"Cut Out the Doom and Gloom Talk"

"In tough times, words matter. Leaders must choose them carefully," says John Baldoni in "Cut Out the Doom and Gloom Talk." Baldoni's trying to get leaders to stop using terms such as "financial Armageddon." I don't think that Armageddon talk is much of an issue for financial advisors. Advisors are trying to calm clients, not stir them up. 

But Baldoni's advice for the doomsayers can also help advisors. He suggests that you:
1. "Think ahead." Don't wing it and get emotional when you're talking about serious issues.
2. "Pause before you speak." "The pause radiates calmness. It demonstrates that you are in control," says Baldoni, even if you don't feel in control.
3. "Avoid hyperbole." It'll just upset your clients.
4. "Convey urgency." But only about actions that your clients can take. Not about things they can't control
5. "Be like Warren [Buffett]." Throw in some humor to lighten the mood. I'm sure Baldoni would also tell you not to use humor to make light of your clients' concerns.

Have you tried these techniques? How have they worked for you? Please leave a comment.

Susan B. Weiner, CFA
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Copyright 2009 by Susan B. Weiner All rights reserved

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