Tell-Tell-Tell

Paul White was the first news director at CBS, beginning in 1930. Of course, it was CBS Radio back then. He is credited with what has become known as the White formula for writing radio news: “Tell ‘em what you’re going to tell ‘em. Tell ‘em. Tell ‘em what you told ‘em.”

Just about everyone who has taken any public speaking courses has probably heard the formula and understands the importance of reinforcing the message by repetition.

I expect that many advisors have never thought about how using the “tell-tell-tell” formula can help in their client meetings.

Imagine three advisors who cover virtually the same content at their progress review meetings with clients.

Advisor A sits down with his clients, works through his list of topics, answers their questions and sets their next appointment.

Advisor B sends her clients an agenda prior to the meeting. When they come in, she works through the list of topics, answers their questions and sets their next appointment.

Advisor C sends his clients an agenda prior to the meeting. When they come in, he explains the agenda and the purpose for each item on it. He works through the list of topics and answers their questions. Then he goes back over the agenda and confirms that everything has been addressed to their satisfaction before setting their next appointment.

While Advisors B and C both recognize the importance of using an agenda to guide client meetings, only Advisor C employs the White formula of “tell-tell-tell.”

When you tell your clients what you plan to discuss at the meeting (on the agenda and at the start of the meeting), discuss each topic and then review what you talked about, here’s what you will accomplish:

  1. You will reinforce in their minds exactly what happens at your progress review meetings.
  2. Your clients will gain a better understanding of the value of working with you because you have clearly explained…at least three times…what you are doing and why.
  3. They will also know how to respond to the next person who asks, “Tell me about your advisor. What does he or she do?” You will have told them exactly what to say!

And it’s all because you told them what you were going to talk about, you talked about it, and then you told them what you talked about. Tell-tell-tell – a simple formula that works!

If you would like a copy of my checklist to help create your Progress Review Agenda, send me an email!

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