Peter Dorsey, TD Ameritrade’s new managing director of institutional sales, has this tip for advisors: restrain the urge to tell potential clients what you know at the get-go.

“Start with asking questions,” says Dorsey, 40, who has worked in the RIA channel for 14 years, seven with TDA. “I have seen people in the past have an opportunity, and all they want to do is tell (clients) about the latest and greatest. If that’s not applicable to their business, it’s not going to get them far.

“What they really want to do is start by understanding. And the only way you can do that is by asking questions and listening first.”

Dorsey’s perspective is honed from talking with hundreds of advisors each year. Formerly director of sales for TD’s Western region (the Rockies and everything west), he led a team of six. As the new managing director, he will oversee a staff of more than 100 and be responsible for practice management consulting, advisor recruitment, relationship management, and sales strategy nationally.

He’s taking over for Tom Nally, who was named president of TD Ameritrade Institutional this year. He worked for Nally in his prior role, and will continue to answer to him in the new one, an arrangement he says suits both of them. Nally’s background in trading and service complements Dorsey’s business development background, he says. “I defer to him on a lot of things, he defers to me on a lot of things,” Dorsey says.

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(Read more from Senior Editor, Jerry Gleeson's blog, RIA Rising.)