Unfortunately, prospects don’t conform to our timetable. You have some in the pipeline. They like what you are saying, but are focused on the holidays. “Call me in January.” What makes January different? Why should they do business in the New Year? Lets assume they already have an advisor and have no intention of leaving them.
1. The rule of three.
The book “The Millionaire’s Advisor” by Russ Alan Price and Brett VAN Bortel has been one of my longtime favorites. They point wealthy people have three financial advisors on average. The “must have all your money” argument doesn’t work with everyone. They diversify among advisors like you recommend diversifying among money managers for style and size reasons.
Strategy: “I have an advisor.” I expected that. Successful people often have multiple advisory relationships. You are obviously successful. How many do you have?
2. Different perspective.
You represent a fresh set of eyes. No one is an expert in everything. If you can take a look and gather some data, you can give them a comprehensive picture, see how all the pieces fit together.
Strategy: people might have concentrated positions. They might have neglected to make retirement plan contributions. You can offer some valuable advice while getting your foot in the door.
3. Are you taken for granted?
In romance, courtship can be torrid while relationships can cool off after decades of marriage. Some advisors focus on getting new assets, figuring if current clients are quiet, they don’t need much attention.
Strategy: I’ve often thought the counter to another advisor’s referral strategy” is “Is your advisor more interested in who you know than in knowing you?”
4. When was the last time you heard from your advisor?
It’s almost January. Everyone is expecting an annual review. If they aren’t, they should! Good advisors are getting those on the calendar now.
Strategy: If you haven’t heard from your advisor, they may not be paying attention or consider you a low priority.
5. Your specialist subject. No one is an expert on everything. You are an expert in one specific area. It might be a market niche. You know what physicians want. It might be in a product area, like municipal bonds.
Strategy: You have a need in a specific area. That’s my specialty. I hold specific professional certifications.
6. Fresh money is coming.
They are getting their annual bonus in late January. That’s fresh money. They won’t need to disrupt their existing relationship to start working with you.
Strategy: I realize you don’t want to change anything with your current advisor. That’s fine. You mentioned your bonus arrives in a few weeks. That’s fresh money.
7. When is your annual review?
Ask when it’s been put on the calendar. Can you see them a few days beforehand? You make your proposal for a reasonable amount of assets to be moved to your firm.
Strategy: You are establishing yourself as the alternative. They might not be pleased with the results their advisor is reporting. Reviews often include buy and sell recommendations. They can use the sell recommendations as a way to raise cash to transfer over to your firm.
8. What’s your accountant saying?
They might get recommendations on what to do differently when tax law changes eventually come into effect. You might be able to implement those strategies. Their accountant might tell them they are paying too much for mediocre results.
Strategy: It’s a square peg, square hole conversation. Their account has suggestions for a shift in direction. You understand and can implement those steps.
Once your prospect’s attention is refocused after the holidays, you can make the case for taking action now.