The dreaded, “I already have an advisor.”
This statement from a prospect will stop most advisors in their tracks.
How would you like to reduce the chances of hearing that unwelcome phrase to almost nil?
Simply assume that everyone you meet already has at least one financial advisor with whom they’re working. Starting off from that assumption will usually disarm your prospect – at least to some extent.
What Might This Sound Like?
What follows are a few ways to hit this issue head-on, in virtually any type of context: speaking to a prospect to whom you’ve been introduced or meeting someone for the first time at an event:
- Tell me about your current advisor. Maybe I know him or her.
- Folks at your level of success often have more than one advisor. Tell me about the types of advisors with whom you are working.
- I suppose we wouldn’t be speaking right now if you were 100 percent satisfied with your current advisor. Do you sense there is a gap in the type of work you’ve been doing or are you just sensing the fit isn’t quite right?
- Tell me about your current advisor. First of all, what are they doing super well for you? What keeps you satisfied and loyal? [After some discussion…] I know that no one is perfect, what are your pet peeves?
- I’m curious. How often do you speak with and/or meet with your advisor? I know that there are many models out there and I’m curious about how your advisors stay in contact with you.
- I love to learn about the types of relationships other advisors have established with their clients. My team strives to be the best we can be in all areas of our work with clients, and as well as we are doing, I know I can always learn new things. First off, how would you characterize your relationship with your advisor? In what areas do they shine? And what are some of your pet peeves you hope they will improve upon?
- Tell me about your current financial advisor. Do you ever recommend him or her to others? Or do you try to keep them all to yourself?
What if They Don’t Already Have an Advisor?
If they aren’t currently working with an advisor, you can respond by asking:
- “Can you tell me more?” OR…
- “Can you tell me more? Are you doing most of your financial planning on your own? Or have you just not gotten around to developing your road map to reach all of your financial goals?”
- If you were going to create the perfect financial professional for your needs, what would that look like? What type of work would they be doing? What would the communication be like? How would you feel about working with them?
Look – Though you’re free to do so, I don’t expect you to use the exact language I’ve provided here. Your personality and the specific context in which you find yourself will influence how you proceed.
The main goal in all of this is to simply have a genuine and comfortable conversation with any prospect.
If there are any objections or points of resistance in your client-acquisition process that seem to come up all the time, your best strategy is to bring them up first. When you wait for the objection to arise, you will be in a reactive mode. A reactive mode usually isn’t as comfortable for either you or your prospect. And it could lead you to bail on the conversation sooner than need be.
Two Action Steps for You
- I recommend you do an experiment. For the next 30 days, go into every new prospect relationship assuming that prospect is already working with at least one type of financial professional. If they are, but they aren’t completely happy, that will usually become apparent quickly.
- When your prospect professes to be 100 percent satisfied and loyal and your want-a-second-opinion strategy doesn’t work, have a short checklist of critical financial decisions [20 or less – 12 is better], that you can run by them to make sure they are touching all the important bases in proper financial planning. This just might expose one or two gaps in their current relationship. It may become their turn to say to you, “Tell me more.”