EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

Over the years I have had more than a few “interesting” discussions with new member applicants. I guess I can talk about them with all of you because they weren’t sponsored or accepted.

Although I am in a position where I have to say no now and then, I try to visualize my role as that of “the welcoming committee” and not “the gate keeper.”

However, as one of my Army buddies used to say: “There are some folks who wouldn’t be happy if they were hanged with a new rope.”

Sad to say, but when the answer is no, and it is you, it is hard to take. What are the reasons why? And, as logical financial folks, I know we next move to “how can I reason my way through this and make the decision yes?” Well, unfortunately, when the answer is no, there often aren’t good reasons.

It is easy to get angry. As hard driving financial types, we have been trained to never take no for an answer. The problem is, however, that you never “win” these kinds of arguments. As distasteful as it might be sometimes, a conciliatory approach might actually work more successfully for you.

In the case of one new member applicant several years ago, he called me on a Saturday when I was trying to take a nap. He then proceeded to harangue me for the better part of 15 minutes about why, even though he only had 5 years of work experience, I really should allow him to join The FENG. I know, you are probably thinking why did I even listen to him? Well, I try to be polite to all those who contact us. Besides, I remembered his background and felt he was clearly a bright young man.

Had he calmed down a bit and approached me with a smile on his face, I was actually prepared to help him by providing him with some appropriate contacts within our fine organization as sort of an investment in a future member. But, he was so abrasive, I was more focused on just ending the conversation without him filing a lawsuit against us.

As the old expression goes “you can catch more flies with a spoonful of honey than with a gallon of vinegar.” (I hope I got that right.)

Chip removal surgery isn’t expensive. All you have to do is keep you greater goals in mind.

Even with firms that have turned you down, a little sugar can go a long way. Sometimes that person who “apparently” was better than you doesn’t work out. I have heard it more than once. If you are number two or even three, they could be right back to you. (And this time, you can play hard to get.)

Regards, Matt

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