Don’t Open the Door to Strangers


When you ask prospects what they’re hearing from their advisors, you unnecessarily invite those advisors into your conversation and immediately risk losing control.

  • Listen to what potential clients want to know from you and answer their questions.
  • Don’t compare yourself to other advisors. They don’t need to be a part of this conversation at all.
  • Leave your prospects with a picture of how you make your clients feel and what they can expect if they choose to work with you.

Related: Before Moving From a Broker-Dealer to an RIA Model: Know Thyself


When you’re having an initial conversation with a prospective client, don’t go and invite people who don’t need to be there.

And by that, I mean don’t ask what they’re hearing from their advisor. Don’t needlessly invite their advisor into this conversation; they’ve asked you what you’re thinking about things. . .

They are carrying on a conversation with you knowing that you’re a professional, knowing that you’re in this advisory space. They’re wanting to hear what you think. Don’t needlessly bring someone else into the conversation.

If they continue listening to you, they’re looking for help—they may be looking for solutions. They’re at least looking to hear your opinions on things. When you ask a prospect what they’re hearing from their current advisor, you all of a sudden make yourself vulnerable to their response. You’ve brought somebody else into the conversation and don’t know what that non-present person will “say,” which now demands a response from you. The person you’re talking with won’t necessarily know much about exactly what their advisor has been saying to them, if their advisor has been saying anything at all. So don’t bring this person into the conversation. Keep talking with this potential client about their situation. If the conversation keeps going, you know they are looking for help.

So to do this most effectively,

  1. Listen. Listen to where they’re coming from. Listen to what they want to talk with you about.

  2. Don’t compare. Don’t get into that comparison game and look for somebody else to compare yourself against. Chances are if they do say something about their advisor, it’s going to totally derail the conversation. And what if their advisor’s a super-phenomenal advisor, and they bring out all this economic data to you? How are you going to deal with that? And now you’ve gotten completely off topic.

  3. Mention a benefit that your clients love, that your clients enjoy, and leave them with that in their minds. You can let them know, for instance, “We focus mostly on planning, and that’s why our clients right now, especially during these last two-and-a-half years, are enjoying peace of mind.” And just let it go with that.

Listen to what they begin talking about, leave them with a clear picture of what they can expect if they come on board to work with you, and, whatever you do, don’t worry about comparing yourself to anyone else.

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