Thursday, March 18, 1999

Broker Boot Camp

by Dan Bischof

I read an article the other day in a big Wise magazine that chronicles a weekend retreat with a professional "drill sergeant" for brokers. The broker guru (who is, of course, fabulously wealthy and fabulously successful) charges brokers $1,500 for his advice. Here's what he drills into his Wise boot campers:

1. Scare people into becoming clients.

2. Confuse clients with facts -- "you can't sell someone a solution until you convince him there's a problem."

3. Don't allow clients access to financial periodicals in your waiting room -- it only unsettles them.

4. Direct market those who are imminently retiring, especially those who are wealthy.

5. If clients ask too many questions or are otherwise "difficult," dump them.

6. Imitate your clients' speech patterns and body language to build confidence.

7. Use certain words repetitively.

And what's his advice if a client (perhaps a Fool?) walks in the door saying he prefers to make a go of it on his own with no-load funds and by researching stocks on his own? This sarge says, be sarcastic and tell him, "Want a job here? If I can't do a better job for you full-time than you can part-time, why am I here? Why are all these people here to see me in this office? Enough said."

Well, Fools, I think I will remain difficult, ask questions and continue to make a go of it on my own.

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