Advisors: More Isn’t Always Better


If you have all the business you can handle, taking on more clients risks everyone being unhappy. It’s OK to be full.

  • Decide how many clients you can comfortably provide outstanding service to, and make that your limit.
  • Once you get to that number of clients, be proud of what you’ve achieved. It’s OK to tell new prospects that you are currently full and not accepting new clients at this time.
  • When you’re at capacity, re-evaluate what you want from your business. If everyone is happy, it’s OK to choose not to grow further. If you want to expand, you can do that in a controlled way that won’t wear you out.

Related: Advisors Should Know Which Clients Provide Most Value


Would you wait a year for a seat at a restaurant?

It turns out people will. Erin French owns the restaurant The Lost Kitchen in Maine, and she has built such a reputation that people will wait up to a year to get in and have a meal there. In fact, you’ve got to enter a lottery to actually have that experience. She has built a phenomenal business and has a fantastic reputation for what she provides. . .

And she has a cap: she has a ceiling on how many people they’ll serve at any one time.

We had a similar experience back in New Zealand when we had our learn-to-swim school. We had 12 instructors, and eventually, the classes got full. I wasn’t going to increase capacity in those classes because I wanted students and parents to know they were getting value for money.

There’s nothing wrong with being full. In fact, it’s something to take pride in. In our industry, however, advisors have a really hard time acknowledging this. This is something you should be proud of, instead of jamming more clients into your business to a point where you get fatigued and then your service starts to drop off. Then your reputation takes a ding.

I talk to a number of advisors who are pretty tired with the businesses they’re running. They only ever wanted to work with about 130 clients, and already they have 160 or 170. They’re making a ton of money but not enjoying it. I want to encourage you to take pride in reaching that ceiling, reaching that cap that points to people being super happy with what you’re doing for them. Then that’s a place to stop, and rest, and catch your breath. Otherwise, you’re just going to fatigue yourself.

So, if you’re wondering what this number is and how to get there,

  1. Set a number. I’ve read articles lately where people are believing it’s between about 120 to 150 clients. It’s up to you as the individual to have that number set that you think you can reach and then evaluate from there.
  2. Work to reach that number. When you reach that number, you’ve achieved a phenomenal goal! This was something you set out to achieve, and you’ve reached it. Take pride in that.
  3. Re-evaluate from there. Maybe you’re just fine with that number of ideal clients being at 120: you’re making all the money you want to make, your staff and team are happy, and you’re enjoying business more than you’ve ever done. Take pride in reaching that point, of having that cap and saying, “Sorry, we’re full right now. At the moment we are at capacity.” That’s something to be proud of. Not many advisors can say that and get excited about it.

Do that with your business. Provide phenomenal service to a set number of clients, and have them continue talking about you in such a positive way, your reputation not only stays intact, but you continue to be a hugely profitable business.

I look forward to bringing you another Distraction-Proof Advisor Idea next week.