Working With Clients: Some General Thoughts

One of the best discussions I have heard for account management was by Andrew Sobel. I was digging through some files today and came across some of my notes. I thought I would share a few of my takeaways which I think are good general advice.

  • It is essentially to be trusted.The four attributes of trust that he discussed were Empathy, Generalist, Synthesis, and Integrity.
  • Be an Advisor not an Expert.Experts are afraid to learn anything new.
  • An Expert’s mind believes that there are few options that make sense. A beginner’s mind is open to many options.
  • At 5-years old, we ask about 200 questions per day. By age 20, we only ask about 20 questions a day. Ask more questions. [Reminds me of another piece of advice that said that to “ass-u-me” is to make an “ass out of you and me”.]
  • Perceived competence leads to trust.
  • Empathy means listening, know your own biases, and having humility.
  • Reflection leads to creativity.

He also suggested acting as if you were independently wealthy. [Not always easy, but not worrying about the politics and other issues frees you up to speak your mind.]

He (or his company) laid out the following comparison on their key point which was “Be an Advisor not an Expert”.


It is easy to play the expert. It is much harder to play the role of advisor.

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