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Growing Through Active Listening and Good Communication With Mike Row of Future Capital

Mike Row

Mike Row is the Chief Revenue Officer of Future Capital, a firm connecting anyone working toward retirement with the tools, services, and guidance they need to retire with confidence. Before Future Capital, Mike spent over three decades at Pershing, acting both as an advocate for clients within the company and as a trusted senior representative of the firm. Throughout his journey, he has gained a well-rounded perspective of wealth and institutional businesses in the financial services industry.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Mike Row explains how Future Capital helps people

  • What is a target date fund?

  • Mike’s professional journey at Pershing

  • Tips for having active listening skills as an advisor

  • The value of good communication in a business

  • How AI affects communication

  • The greatest lesson Mike has learned in his career

In this episode…

As a financial advisor, are you looking for people preparing for retirement? How can you foster a good relationship and help them navigate their financial futures?

It's most people's dream to retire with confidence. They understand the value of saving for retirement but know little about planning. Through active listening and good communication skills, you can win their trust as an advisor, help them understand their current financial situation, and plan the next steps toward the retirement they want.

In this episode of The Customer Wins, Richard Walker sits down with Mike Row, Chief Revenue Officer of Future Capital, to discuss the value of active listening and good communication in the financial services industry. Mike talks about Future Capital and his professional journey at Pershing, tips for having active listening skills as an advisor, the value of good communication in a business, and the impact of AI on communication.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode...

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At Quik!, we provide forms automation and management solutions for companies seeking to maximize their potential productivity.

Our vision is to become the leading forms automation company by making paperwork the easiest part of every transaction.

Meanwhile, our mission is to help the top firms in the financial industry raise their bottom line by streamlining the customer experience with automated, convenient solutions.

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Episode Transcript:

Intro 0:02

Welcome to The Customer Wins podcast where business leaders discuss their secrets and techniques for helping their customers succeed and in turn grow their business.

Richard Walker 0:16

Hi, I'm Rich Walker, the host of The Customer Wins where I talk to business leaders about how they help their customers win, and how their focus on customer experience leads to growth. Some of our past guests have included David Knoch CEO DocuPace and Marc Butler of Marc Butler Consulting. Today I'm excited to speak with Mike Row, Chief Revenue Officer of Future Capital formerly known as ProNvest. Today's episode is brought to you by Quik! the leader in enterprise forums automation. When the last step to earning your clients business requires filling out paperwork, don't ruin a good relationship with a bad experience. Instead, get Quik Forms to make filling out forms a great experience and the easiest part of your transaction, visit to get started. So before I introduce today's guest, I want to give a big thank you to Pem Guerry of SIGNiX, who's a friend and we worked with him for a long time go check out and see how they make e-signature and online notary easy. All right now I'd like to introduce Mike Row, with over three decades of experience in serving clients at Pershing. Mike has learned that active listening is a crucial skill for providing exceptional service. Throughout his journey and customer service operations, account management, client management and new business development, he has gained a well-rounded perspective of the wealth and institutional businesses in the financial services industry. Now as a leader at Future Capital, he's excited to contribute his experience and focus on value to lead the company's growth in the wealth management and defined contribution retirement planning sectors. Beyond work, Mike enjoys unwinding through travel CrossFit, spending time with his wife and five daughters and playing the piano. Mike, welcome to The Customer Wins.

Mike Row 2:02

Rich, it's a pleasure to be here. Thanks very much.

Richard Walker 2:04

Yeah, I'm super excited to talk to you. Now for those of you who haven't heard this podcast before, I enjoy talking with business leaders about what they're doing to help their customers win, how they build and deliver a great customer experience. And the challenge is to grow their own company. Mike, man with your client centric background, I really can't wait to hear how you talk about this. So let us understand your business better. How does your company help people?

Mike Row 2:28

Well, simply put our company helps people plan and execute on retirement strategies for their future. And that's part of the reason we've rebranded the company recently as Future Capital, because we are oriented towards helping people specifically with their 401 K or other workplace retirement accounts, an area where, frankly, for years people have been left to pick and choose among the investment options themselves. We're taking a professional management approach to those accounts for them, and helping them have a more successful retirement as a result.

Richard Walker 3:05

Nice. So make it easier, probably easier to understand, because I know a lot of people struggle with that.

Mike Row 3:11

Oh, yeah. And so many people in the financial services industry, clients are getting help, they're getting advisors and other people to help them on their non-retirement assets. But in the workplace, more than 90% of the people just pick and choose among those options themselves. And so we see a real opportunity to help improve their outcomes with professional management, which has been sadly lacking for as many years as the 401k business has been out there.

Richard Walker 3:41

Yeah, for sure, and I've always found in 401k businesses, hey, here's eight funds, figure it out. That's all they get to choose from. How do you guys change that process of choice? And is it your managed programs that make it better or what?

Mike Row 3:59

Well, our traditional business for years has been serving retirement plan advisors who are working with employers and platforms, retirement platforms to deliver employers and their employees 401k options, so a plan advisor will go into a company, set up the 401k, set up the platform, choose the investment options, and then work with the employees in their benefits meetings and enrollments to set up their 401k’s and move forward. We began as an adjunct to that business offering a managed account solution for those employees who wanted it. So, instead of picking and choosing off of a screen, we can take some information about them and their goals and objectives, plus our database of the investment options that are available and regardless of what platform they're on. We can help them create a model portfolio, trade that portfolio for them, rebalance it, etc. going forward. So traditionally, the way we did that is through retirement plan advisors. But as we were developed our technology, we are now offering this to Wealth Advisors who have worked with their clients for years on their non-retirement assets. And for a variety of reasons, compliance, access supervision, not being able to get paid, have not had the ability to offer advisory services on those 401k assets. So it's managing everything except that workplace account that you've got. And so we're closing that gap for them.

Richard Walker 5:35

Wow, does that also translate to rollovers to IRAs when people leave the 401k? Are you guys still involved in that part too.

Mike Row 5:43

We can be although typically, certainly the outside Wealth Advisors who are managing the assets of their customers, and with us adding purview on the 401k assets are actually setting themselves up to get those rollovers. So while we have a relationship with the participant, the client, the person with the 401k, our service model is designed to allow that advisor to have the relationship. So the perfect solution for us, frankly, is when that advisor retains the assets when that client leaves the company that retires or changes jobs and needs to roll that 401k over. We're setting that advisor up to get those assets and that's the service model we designed. Nice, that's awesome.

Richard Walker 6:29

So I'm trying to build a frame of reference. And I know some of our audience is financial, very, very financially savvy. But like in my 401k, we have the option to choose funds or a target date fund, meaning the date I expect to retire within a five year period. How does that relate to what you guys are doing is that a comparable at all a target date fund?

Mike Row 6:49

Well, the target date fund is a common way for people to plan for their retirement. And I think I'm going to retire in 2040. And therefore I'll choose a target date 2040 fund. And off I go. We found an industry data show that more active management of the actual different fund options that are available across a 401k can lead to a better outcome. So it's obviously dependent on a person's situation. And future performance is no, it's not guaranteed by past performance. But the idea here is that more active management can lead to a better outcome potentially than simply putting the money into a target date fund.

Richard Walker 7:32

Yeah, that's a good point. Because maybe when I get to 2040, and I'm ready to retire, my risk profile is still what it was, I want more risk on that portfolio, because maybe I built up a fund of much greater size outside of that 401k for other things. I can imagine that balance can be very specific and unnecessary to kind of evaluate, should we be more actively managed at that point or not?

Mike Row 7:55

Yeah, that's right. And a client can take those outside assets into account when they're setting up their portfolio with us and give us a more conservative or more aggressive indication of how they would like their account managed. And then we'll take that into account by establishing the model portfolio. And it's really a set it and forget it even one of the attractive parts of a target date portfolio is that it's just that, I'm going to retire in 2040. And people are going to make sure that I'm perhaps more aggressive, early and more conservative wait. But this allows a little bit more variation in that and will then handle the trading of that account, the rebalancing of that account, will set the future contributions into the 401k to the model. So that a an employee, while they have all the access, they need to see what's going on. And importantly, so does the advisor who referred the business to us, they can see what's going on. They don't need to worry about trading it they don't need the advisor to worry about managing it will handle it for them going forward all on an automated basis and give them the tools to keep track of what's happening.

Richard Walker 9:12

Yeah, I'm always surprised at what's out there in our industry and how people are helping each other. I love it. Let's go back in time. So you start with Pershing, like 35 years. I mean, it says a lot about staying with a company and what you saw there. Tell us a little bit about that journey and what your focus was.

Mike Row 9:28

Well, I walked into Pershing in 1987 and I had almost no idea what a clearing and custody platform was. It was sounded like a good job. I thought I might like to work in Wall Street. And so I got the Sunday Times which back then had a help on it section. That was 50 pages long with hundreds, perhaps 1000s of ads and certainly the Wall Street section of that. Sunday Times was thick in the mid to late 80s. And I found a job that way and walked into Pershing. And, you know, soon learn what a clearing firm did and how we operated in support of financial institutions, advisors, and investors all the way through it. And as you probably know, being in the custody and clearing business is complex, we have a core set of services that we have to provide as a custodian and clearing firm. But the services and products and capabilities that we deliver to firms and advisors and clients are broad and deep and continuously changing. And that was a challenge and one that I enjoyed learning about that. And it really took me perhaps, maybe as many as three to six years to really feel like I had a handle on all of it, and could go out into the marketplace and talk to our clients about it, and talk to prospects about it as I moved into a sales role. And I enjoyed the intellectual challenge of trying to figure all that out and being presented with a question that I had heard before, and being able to kind of synthesize information real time as those questions would come up, and delivering an answer that they actually thought was helpful to them. And so that kind of problem solving with customers was, I think, my favorite part of what I do. And as you said in the intro, active listening, you really have to kind of sit there and listen. And then, as I said earlier, kind of synthesize what you're hearing compared to what you know, and offer solutions and suggestions as to what the answer is. And obviously, in a support role, or a sales role, advocate for the company in a way that's productive, and the right way, make commitments to clients on what you're going to do to help them obviously, either in a service or a sales role, and then deliver on those commitments. Easy to sit in a room and say, I think we can get that done. I'll be back to you next Tuesday. I think, in actuality, the ability to actually get back to people on Tuesday with the answer that you promised, or at least an update is not as 100% has potentially as it should be. And I always enjoy making those commitments and delivering on them as best that I could. So all of that interaction with customers was what I enjoyed there, and hopefully what I'm bringing to Future Capital today.

Richard Walker 12:41

Yeah, so you said something really important to me, which is active listening. Because I feel that the only way to deliver an excellent customer experience is to understand what the experience should be what the customer wants it to be, and really what they're asking for, and be able to talk in their terms and give them messaging that matches what they're looking for. So I'm really curious, how would you teach somebody active listening skills?

Mike Row 13:05

Well, one of the things I learned in a training session years ago, and it was sponsored by Pershing and we spent some time is to avoid the quick answer that, when someone's about a third of the way into the question, especially as you get more experience, you may have a good sense of where the rest of that question is going. And frankly, you're already beginning to formulate an answer, when you're hearing that even if you're not interrupting the question or in starting to give the answer before they finished. But what that means if you're sitting there formulating an answer, while they're talking is means you can't be a 100% listening. And frankly, no one can be 100% listening, because your mind is already thinking about wait, I forgot that golf day, I got to confirm the tee time. And then you're, oh wait, I've got to pay attention to this person who's asking a question. I mean, that's just a natural human. We've got minds that multitask, perhaps the devices that we all carry around now made us even better, and maybe worse, all at the same time. And multitasking. All of that means that you're not listening and or you are but you're not listening as intently as you can. So it's really important, especially with experience that you don't have that voice say I've heard this one before. I'm gonna give them the answer that it's green, and it happens on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and there'll be a train that comes to pick you up. Whatever the answer is, it may actually at the end of the question turn into something different. So you really have to kind of let them walk through the conversation. Try not to interrupt both actively by speaking but more importantly not interrupt your own thought process and listening with your own agenda. So easy, easy to say. And 100% of the people listening to this will say, that's what you should do. It's impossible to do completely. But the more you can get towards 100% listening, the better you'll be.

Richard Walker 15:11

Yeah, I agree. One of the lessons I learned was I had a partner in my company who is responsible for sales. And so he'd set up a meeting to bring me to talk about the tech, I was essentially the sales engineer on the call. And he would say, the conversations about, I don't know, transitions, advisor transitions, I'd get on the call. And I started asking them questions about what their pain points were, and it had nothing to do with transitions. And so suddenly, the whole conversation dynamic changed what their real needs were. And the more we did that, the more I realized, I cannot go into a conversation with preconceived notions, I need to just let them tell me what it is. So I wonder if you can give more techniques, like do advise people to take notes when their brains interrupting them, just jot it down really fast or ignore it, or what?

Mike Row 15:56

I think one of the way to empty your mind is to write it down, right. So I keep a pad of paper next to my bed. And in the middle of the night, you're up, and you're thinking about stuff. And the challenges that you have in your day to day life, are always worse when you're thinking about them at 2:15 in the morning. And the easiest way for me to deal with that is just write it down, that's like, oh, I've got to remember to do this or that tomorrow, or, oh, my gosh, if we don't get this done, it's going to be cataclysmic, always feels that way to 15. In the morning, just write it down, you're taking what's in your head, and you're getting it out of your head into a place, in this case, a pad of paper that you know is going to be there and you have a method, at some point in the future, perhaps the next morning, to review what you've dumped somewhere, in this case written on a piece of paper, and you're going to then deal with it, whatever has to happen, what's the next step, et cetera. And I always think of a book called Getting Things Done that was really formulaic in that process of not trying to keep your list in your head. So maybe it is write it down for you so that it's out of your head and onto a piece of paper. And if that helps, then get back to what the conversation actually is, and what the question is, and how you can add value to this or respond or support the client or sell to the prospect, the better. And so any way that you can interrupt that inner dialogue, the better.

Richard Walker 17:34

Yeah, I love this conversation, because I think communication is the foundation of all relationships. And listening is probably two parts of that equation. Talking is just a smaller part, in my opinion. And especially I've been in situations where another reseller of our product would say, oh, yeah, we always listen to our customer, and then just run over them, talk over them contradict what they say. And that's all, no, you have to have it this way. I don't like that's not listening.

Mike Row 18:03

Yeah. And frankly, people like to talk about their stuff, whether it's problems they have, or good things that are going on with their business or their life. And I've been in a bunch of meetings where I said very little, and let a client or a prospect, just talk about what's going on. And it's amazing, the more they're talking, the more they come away with the idea that they've had a great meeting. And we've been very responsive, even though none of us actually responded that much. Because people do want to tell you why they're meeting with you. They want to explain their point of view. And when you're running over them, and or getting to your pitch or your company stuff too quickly, they feel a little cut off. And they may be very polite, not say a word. But they walk away from that. And they think, well, geez, they didn't really listen to me, that wasn't a great meeting. And the opposite is actually true. In my experience.

Richard Walker 19:08

Yeah. And that reminds me of dating a long time ago. I've been married for a while. And I'd go on a date with somebody and ask them questions. They never asked me a single question. And to me, it was a terrible day. And for them, it was a great day. They're like, let's do it again. I'm like, no, don't want to do that again. You don't care about me.

Mike Row 19:27

Exactly. Well, it's a human dynamic. And, you know, we are one of the few species that can actually use this thing called language and use our words and I have thought a lot about that, frankly. Words are language and the ability to communicate is the reason that humans are obviously the dominant species on the planet and everything else, most other animals can do, but we're the ones who can communicate and frankly, most of the challenges and most of the successes in my career have been either challenges of communication and successes of communication. It's rare that there's technical problems, there's procedural operational issues. There's other types of challenges in the financial services business, certainly. But most of the problems that develop and become heated, are based on communication channels, I thought you told me that we would get this, or I assumed that when you said XYZ, that then ABC, or and that ABC didn't happen, or you told us it would be June 3. And it's not, it's now June 4, and where is it? All of those are communication. There may be technical and operational challenges underlying some of that. But the real things that that bubble up tend to be just lack of communication. So it's about using words, clearly and accurately, remembering what you committed to and keeping your word. So I've always use that kind of pawn words are the way to keep your word. And when you lose, when you don't meet a commitment or you don't follow through on something you said, you've got a communication problem. And your word is now discredited. And the next time you say this is what's going to happen, or that's what's going to happen, or we'll do this or we'll do that there's going to be a smidge at least of disbelief in the listeners mind. And they may not even tell you that. So it's important to use words to keep your word.

Richard Walker 21:49

Yeah, no, I love that I love the integrity to what you're saying. You came from a very, very big company, and you probably saw a ton of growth while you were there. And now you're with a much smaller company. Do you think that this new company gives you more influence over better communication and better experience? Or I mean, how are you finding Future Capital with this smaller size?

Mike Row 22:11

Well, I will tell you that yes Pershing part of being why Mellon, very large company, very significant customer base, frankly, a very important part of the financial infrastructure as a systemically important financial institution BNI Mellon and in purging really, really critical to the industry. In a very large firm. We had a culture when I was there of accountability. And we talked with each other and long ago, as a client representative, I learned that you have to think like you own the whole thing. You have to work with clients, like you own the whole thing. That doesn't mean by the way, that the client facing person or the salesperson gets to say yes to whatever they want. And then the firm is committed to doing that, no, it's more complex than that in a large organization, then you have to work with your partners and colleagues across product across technology across service delivery, to be able to make commitments to clients. So there is a larger responsibility in an organization like that to broadly double check when clients are asking for things or prospects are looking for things that are going to make them clients. In an organization like Future Capital, we do have a smaller team. And there is something refreshing, frankly, about being able to make a quick decision with two or three people and move on to implementation. But that has its challenges too, it better be bright. If you're the one that's going to make a decision with a small group, then you're on a tightrope, you have to be thoughtful, you have to think about the implications of what you're doing. And you almost have to be all of those different areas in a large firm rolled into a single couple of three people because you can't, we're all operating in the same regulatory environment. We're all operating in the same competitive environment, we're all operating the same technology environment. And so decisions that we make quickly, but badly can be just as damaging as decisions that we make after a long deliberation with large teams and go wrong. So there's frankly, a lot more similarity in the small company versus the large company than I anticipated. Because we still have to consider all of the dynamics in the marketplace when we're making those decisions. It's an interesting conundrum that thing. Now we can make them quicker and one or two people say let's do that, but the actual consideration of all the angles is really, really, really important.

Richard Walker 25:04

Yeah, I agree. It's something I actually enjoy about being a small company myself. I've been at a large, several large companies, namely Arthur Andersen, 100,000 employees, and I understand that. But I love the sense that you need to be laser focused and super clear about what you're going to accomplish, and how you're going to accomplish it. Because risking a quarter million dollars when you're a $2 million company is detrimental. I mean, it's like a huge, huge risk, versus a quarter million dollars on Pershing would be like, well, somebody might get a slap on the wrist or something. I'm guessing, obviously.

Mike Row 25:37

Maybe a little bit more than that. In my experience was a little bit more than a slap. But we got through it. Yeah.

Richard Walker 25:44

So let's bring tech into this conversation about communication. I recognize that you're not necessarily a technologist, but everybody's talking about artificial intelligence. So let me kind of spin the question a little differently. How do you see artificial intelligence impacting how you communicate, and how you listen, and therefore how you serve clients better?

Mike Row 26:05

Well, I think there's a couple of things there. Certainly, there are tasks involved in servicing and or attracting clients. And there are ways to take some of that road task work out of the process, where you don't have to invent a new way to say something you can work with those tools that are available to streamline that make it quicker, give yourself something to work with. But it's important that obviously, the user, us stay in control of the messaging, and saying, control the commitments and stay in control of that communication, because it is our communication, regardless of what help we got in creating it. So I think that's the trap, the tools are there to make rote tasks easier. The trap is overusing it to the point where you're not actually controlling the messaging. So when we talk about communication, your word is your words. And regardless of how you commit to something, and give your word, you have to live up to it. So it's very, very important that you take care with that. And if you're using a cool new tool, which I think will evolve over time, to get that work done, just take care of that you actually are saying what you want to say.

Richard Walker 27:31

I read a really good article the other day, it took a set of professional writers content writers versus chatGPT, with the exact same prompt and same starting point, and comparing the output. And in fact, they walked through the entire process of using chatGPT to refine the prompt, refine that output, get it to where they thought it was acceptable, versus giving it to a team of writers. And some of the analysis was just profound, because chatGPT, for example, we don't know if the facts are there or not. It had very little sentiment in terms of emotional appeal. It wasn't choosing words to necessarily drive the emotional response of the reader like the writers were doing. So I think of that shortcut that you're talking about that temptation to say, oh, I'll have chatGPT to write me something, and I'll send it out on behalf of my company. But it's not in the company tone, it doesn't actually match our communication style. So I totally agree with you that that trap is there.

Mike Row 28:26

Yeah, it's a very, very important, any of the tools that have been developed, since the internet since Robo advice since chatGPT, all of them are tremendously helpful to facilitating the business of what we do. And if they're used the right way, they are immensely helpful. It's important, though, that they are viewed as tools and not the end, which is the point you're making. You can't just outsource your identity and your reason for being and your business value. Because it's easy to do. And that's the trap and avoiding it is a good idea.

Richard Walker 29:08

Yeah. Mike, I would be remiss if I didn't ask you another type of question related to the fact that you've been at one company for so long, and you went from the bottom to the top and that company? I mean, aside from what we've talked about, because you've shared so much great stuff, what is one of the key lessons or maybe tips or secrets that you can think of, that you can help other business leaders use to win more customers that you've learned along the way?

Mike Row 29:31

Well, I think it's an extension. I, essentially of what I've already talked about, I had in, in my later years with Pershing, I had a number of dozens of younger, newer people who wanted to move forward and would ask and say, look, you've done great. You've obviously moved forward in your career and you're in an important position with a company. I've been here a long time. Give me your best single piece of advice. And I'm afraid I disappointed them when I answered at least at the outset of my answer, I would disappoint them that said, say what you're going to do, and then do what you said. And they would look at me and say, of course, I mean, really, that is what you're going to tell me is the key. And I said, it's a sorry, state of affairs, but the fact is, that if you're in a meeting with 10 people, and Person A takes away a task, most of the people in that room with Person A say oh, great, they'll be back by four o'clock, we'll have that that's what they said, we're no, we're going to have it. That's great. I'm glad they gave it to person A awesome. No one says that out loud. By the way, all that happens in the meeting is that Person A says I've got that I'll be back to you by form. But that's what's going on in the minds of everyone at that table, then Person B takes another task. And they say, I'll have this done by noon tomorrow. And everybody in that room says, probably not gonna hear that, about that till next week, if we hear at all. And that may or may not be fair, but people do that. And so that means that person B has a problem. And even if Person B comes back at noon tomorrow with their answer, just like they said, they would everyone goes, wow, that's weird. That's not them. They actually delivered it on time, holy crap, how about that. And if person A doesn't deliver by four o'clock, like they said, they would everybody goes, geez, that's weird. They always are on time, well, something must have come up, they must have a good reason, because they would never. So not only that people have these pre-baked conclusions about other people in their heads, when they're sitting around the table. It takes repetitive proof, to actually change their minds about those people. So once you're a person B, you've got several instances that you've got to deliver before people think that person B is actually turned into person A and person A on the other hand can fail a few times and still be person A and that's unfair, has nothing to do with what's happening in that particular situation. It's just based on experience. But everyone I've talked to about that says, you know what, you're right. I know. And they start giving me names, I don't know. But that's what happens. People get these things baked in. So you want to be delivered. And that doesn't mean that when you say, I'll have it to you by Tuesday at four, you have to have it by Tuesday at four. But certainly before Tuesday at four, if there's a challenge, you need to reset the expectation, say, I've run into an issue, I had something come up or the answer isn't as easy to dig into, as I thought, I'm going to need some more time, here's what I'm doing. And you reset the expectation. That's all people want. People are understanding people, they know things change. And, frankly, that's the advice I would give people. That's what I learned early on, just do what you say. And say what you're going to do, and then do what you say, if you do that consistently, then you're going to have a career wherever you are, that's going to be successful. And maybe it's simplistic, and it seems too easy, but it's actually the truth.

Richard Walker 30:27

And that's so important with customers to write, they trust you if you deliver, they don't trust you if you don't. And I think a lot of what you're saying I call it planting seeds. When you communicate upfront about what your intention what you're going to do, you're setting an expectation, you're anchoring an expectation for you to then live up to, if you don't say it, and then you still deliver at four o'clock on Tuesday, but you've never set the expectation. They don't know how to judge it. But because you said it up front, they know how to evaluate it. And now they have this consistent measure to see, are you a type A or type B or I should say person a person B, not type? That's really great.

Mike Row 33:20

That's right. And your mind works against it, when you don't have an answer, you know you're not gonna be able to do with sums come up. Your mind wants to say, You know what, I'll get it to him later and it'll be fine. You know, it's human nature not to want to say I wasn't able to do what I said, it just is, you recognize that and the more upfront you are about resetting those expectations, the better off you'll be long term.

Richard Walker 34:20

Yeah, I also agree something else you said about communicating before the deadline. If you are not able to deliver what you're up against the challenge I often tell my team it's not that I care that you get the work done it I care that you follow through on the work getting done. So if you're having a challenge you got to go to the doctor you got to pick up your kid you can't do the work fine, no big deal. Communicate so we can still as a team accomplish it and meet the deadline or the promise the customer.

Mike Row 34:46

It all ends up being trust, people will trust you more if you're open about whatever difficulty you're having, getting back to them or meeting the commitment that you made. Once distrust slides into the clients mind, that is a dangerous start and can be a very slippery slope. And even though they didn't bother you, even though they didn't send an email saying, where is it? That's in their mind, they know that what you said is what you said, they know that it didn't happen. And even if it's late, and you just deliver it late, and you don't say anything, which is kind of the easy way to do it, but long term, the hard way to do it, because it ends up with this cycle of trust. And even when it's bad news, even when you know what, Joe, I couldn't get it done for you. I thought I could, here's why, those kind of current state client disappointments actually build trust long term, and trust, once you've got trust, you're golden with clients, any kind of slippage interest means you're anything but golden with clients. And so building trust doesn't necessarily mean it's thumbs up all the way every time. But explanations that are meaningful and transparent and truthful, can be a way to build trust, even when the client isn't getting what they want.

Richard Walker 36:09

Yeah, that's super important. Mike, as we wrap this up, I have another question for you. But before I ask it, I want to help people connect with you, what is the best way for people to find you and connect with you?

Mike Row 36:20

All right, so my email address is, that would be the best way to do it. We just as I said, rebranded our company to Future Capital. So I'd like my new email address to get some traffic. So anyone who has a question or a thought, or wants to connect, that'd be the best way to do it. I'm on LinkedIn too. So that can work, but a direct email is my preference.

Richard Walker 36:45

Awesome, outstanding. Okay, here's my last question. Who has had the biggest impact on your leadership style or how you approach your role?

Mike Row 36:54

I worked for Brian Shea, who ultimately became CEO of Pershing directly for about 20 years. And I learned more about what we do as a company and how to work with clients and make commitments and keep commitments and explain where we were on things from him than anyone else. And it was a privilege to call him a boss. He's still a friend. And Brian was by far the most influential person in my professional life. And I'm very happy to have met him as early in my career?

Richard Walker 37:31

I've actually had a couple of people comment on how excellent his leadership style is, and how much they've learned from him. I guess I got to talk to him. I'd love to meet somebody like that.

Mike Row 37:41

You should. Brian was the toughest leader that I ever worked for. But it was good kind of tough. It was fair. And you would never question his motives of helping our company grow, and helping our clients succeed. And so I've tried to carry that through as best I can, in the efforts of Pershing and now at Future Capital.

Richard Walker 38:03

Yeah, I like that I really, really value that internal integrity people have towards their mission, and it's not personal against somebody. It's really just helping everybody aligned to that mission and goal. Absolutely. Right. Look, I want to say thank you to Mike Row chief revenue. So to The Customer Wins, go check out Mike's website at And don't forget to check out Quik! at where we take the work out of paperwork. I hope you've enjoyed this discussion, and we'll click the like button, share this with someone and subscribe to our channels for future episodes of The Customer Wins. Mike, thank you so much for joining me today.

Mike Row 38:41

Rich, it was great fun. Thanks for having me.

Outro 38:44

Thanks for listening to The Customer Wins podcast. We'll see you again next time and be sure to click subscribe to get future episodes.


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