I am an investment advisor. It’s something that I am honored and privileged to do for many families and businesses. I take my clients’ money very seriously – as seriously as I take my own. And my clients know it. That I am the financial steward for so many normal people is a testament to the trust I’ve built up. My clients know me as a natural connector, meaning I match many people up with resources they may need. And although I only manage money, I’ve helped people in my network find soul mates, family therapists, addiction counselors, plumbers, all sorts of trades people, and a large miscellany of other resources.
I am also very generous (perhaps to a fault) or referring business to those in my network. I do this to help others. There’s nothing in it for me, except happiness and doing the right thing. I create good karma.
A good part of my job is calling people, to talk money and to offer help. The reality is that most people who manage their own money have almost no clue as to how it works. The result: Significant losses over prolonged periods. It’s these very same people who continue to blame bad luck. No – it’s not bad luck. It’s bad decision making. Period.
My approach is simple. I tell – never sell. I say things like they are (no sugar-coating) and I work with those that share the same philosophies as I do about money. If you do – we work together. And if we don’t – we don’t. And I am totally not offended, either way. Oh, and I also have a very thick skin. Nothing ever offends me, except not returning my calls and saying a simple, honest or even dishonest - “No”
Here's what happens if you have never returned a call of mine:
- I am not going to support your brand. Why would I continue to support your brand, if you don’t have the courtesy to return more than 10 of my calls over a 12-month period. I call that rude (rude I get over easily) – not to mention unprofessional. A senior VP of a nationally recognized coffee-store chain refused my calls – repeatedly. Eighteen months later, I go out of my way to not support them.
- You’re not using your time well – and your time is money. Call me back. Ask me to delete you from my database. You’ll be deleted within seconds. Promise. Total time spent: between 30 and 60 seconds. You’ve created valuable goodwill, and we’re all good. Don’t call me back and I’ll call you between 6 and 8 more times. No goodwill is created and you’ll spend between two and 3 minutes when I finally do reach you. #awkward. Get the picture?
- If you don’t take networking/ introduction calls, you’re not going to get introduction/ networking calls. In business, it’s not necessarily what you know, but rather who you know. I learned this from Peter Shankman, a master of networking. And there would be no successful business person who could honestly and with conviction discount the value of their network.
- The worm turns. There will come a time when you’ll need to reach out for some financial advice. This time may be a year or two hence or maybe a decade or two hence. Either way the worm turns. Now, to be clear there are thousands of John Sacke’s around – but this John Sacke would rather talk to courteous people. It’s just the way I roll.
So, if you know some one, who habitually never returns calls, you may want to send this along to him/ her. And if you never return calls – you may want to start. I promise, it’s a good idea. You can only gain.